Today we spend more and more time on internet-ready devices and that comes at a cost. Imagine the strain on your network when your family is using a few laptops, tablets and smartphones simultaneously. You’ll most likely end up with slow speeds and lagging connections leaving you frustrated. You can avoid such as nightmarish scenario by taking a few steps that will increase network speed and ultimately enjoying your web browsing experience.
Check Your Network Speed
The first thing you need to do to is know your network speed. You can check this by Googling “speed test” and using a few services to get an average figure. It is better not to rely on just one service as the test servers are usually located in different areas and the speeds may vary for a number of reasons.
Compare the Speed with Your Plan
Now compare the speed against the service that you have subscribed to. One point that could deceive you is the use of the abbreviations MBps and Mbps. MBps refers to megabytes while Mbps refers to megabits and there’s quite a big difference between the two. If your speed test comes out in Mbps, you will need to divide that value by 8 to get the value in MBps. This will help you do a comparison between what you are paying for and what you are receiving.
Tips to Increase Network Speed
Now that you have a fair picture of the situation, here are some of the things you can do to increase network speed.
1. Keep Track of Your Data Usage
Most internet service providers offer unlimited data with a fair data usage policy. This basically means that there is a data cap imposed on your usage so make sure you haven’t crossed the limit. If you have, you’re likely to see a drop in speed. Keep track of your data usage and ensure that you use within your limits. Or upgrade to a higher plan.
2. Reset the Modem
Sometimes resetting the modem may resolve the problem. (Keep your internet login information handy in case you need to re-enter it after the reset.)
3. Check your Router
- If you are connected to the internet with a Wi-Fi router, make sure that you haven’t placed it in a dinghy location. This will lead to poor signals and plenty of connectivity issues.
- If you have other internet-ready gadgets that you don’t use but are relatively close to your modem, try removing them from the way as they can cause electromagnetic interference.
- Keep the router as close to the computer or gadget that you are using to boost the signal.
- Make sure that your modem connections are clean and dust free. Check to see if the cables connecting to your modem are not loose or dust laden. If they are, you need to clean them up and check your speeds again.
- If you have an old router consider picking up a modern one, one that is more suited to your internet plan. This will most likely improve your connectivity and speed.
- Ensure that there is plenty of ventilation around the modem to keep it from overheating.
4. Check Your Filters
If your internet connection is also connected to your telephone line make sure that you have good quality filters installed on the line to filter out disturbances. These filters will of course vary depending on the type of internet connection you have such as ADSL2+ or cable, so make sure you have the appropriate filter.
5. Use Ethernet if Possible
Using an Ethernet connection over Wi-Fi will ensure better internet speeds for connected devices so try switching to an Ethernet connection where possible. This also has the effect of reducing the interference with other Wi-Fi connections you might have for your tablets and smartphones.
6. Password Protect your Wi-Fi Connection
Using an unsecured Wi-Fi will leave your network open for others to use. If you don’t want people to steal your bandwidth, ensure that you password protect your Wi-Fi.
7. Turn Off Devices You Are Not Using
If you have multiple devices connected to your network, but you are not using any of them at the moment, make sure you turn them off.
8. Keep Your PC Clean
Keep your PC and other devices free from viruses and malware, which can slow down your speed. Regularly do a system scan to ensure that your device is free of such culprits. Malwarebytes is a great tool to have on your device as it can sniff out stubborn viruses that most anti virus programs miss out on.
Occasionally clear your browser cache as it might be storing way too may links to make loading easier, but this may eventually slow down your browser. Similarly toolbars tend to slow down a browser performance by constantly seeking out information. Keep your browser toolbar-free or to a minimum to improve its performance.
If your computer is running slow, it might give the appearance that your internet is slow. Clean up your PC and ensure that its working primly. If you have any unwanted programs that you don’t use anymore or do not remember installing, remove it.
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You can also discover which programs are hogging your bandwidth and slowing down your network. If there are programs that are running in the background and updating or syncing constantly, you may be seeing slow speeds. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open up your task manager and turn off programs that you don’t need. Make sure you don’t close files or processes you are not familiar with as this may cause some programs to not function properly.
9. Tweak Settings
These steps will not work if you are using a Home edition of Windows 8.
1. On the Windows 8 Start screen click Run.
2. In the Run dialog, type gpedit.msc and hit enter.
3. In the Local Group Policy Editor window that opens up, on the left pane, under Computer Configuration, click Administrative Templates.
4. Then, in the right pane, double-click Network.
5. In the right pane, double click QoS Packet Scheduler.
6. Double click Limit reservable bandwidth.
7. Click Enabled. In the Bandwidth limit % text box, change the value to 0 and click OK.
8. Clear out your temporary files and restart your browser. You should see a noticeable increase in network speed as your PC now uses 100 percent of the total bandwidth available.
10. Try Switching to Another Data Plan
If you are having a home plan, you are most likely to be sharing the internet connection with a whole lot of people who may be streaming a particular website at certain times causing slow speeds when you try to access that site. If this is a repeated process, you may consider switching to another data plan, preferably a business plan that may be a tad expensive, but will provide you with better connectivity and speeds.
Also, there may be times when ISPs deliberately throttle your bandwidth if they catch a whiff of your continuous torrent downloads and such. In such cases try using a VPN for your torrent downloads.
You could also check with your ISP’s customer service department to resolve the issue.
Implementing one or more of these tips will certainly help increase network speed to some extent, so do give them a go and tell us which ones worked best for you.