Does your internet speed regularly take you back to dial-up times when you had time to make yourself a cup of tea while the web page is loading? Most likely, you can fix this issue. In this guide, we will tell you about some things and tips you can use to finally enjoy a fast connection.
What is bandwidth?
Let’s figure out this before we talk about the methods. Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data your connection can transfer at a time. It determines the speed of your internet. If it’s above 25 Mbps, it’s already a nice speed. But it doesn’t mean that you have good internet if the router provides you with a maximum of 25 Mbps. The router divides the bandwidth between devices. Therefore, if it receives the bandwidth of 100 Mbps, and two devices are connected to the router, each device will get around 50 Mbps depending on the usage.
Thus, if there are over 3 people living with you in the same household, your internet should offer 200-300 Mbps of bandwidth to your router so that all users feel comfortable.
The bandwidth is generally dependent on the internet service provider and the router. Some routers can’t handle more than 100 Mbps. And ISPs have different tariffs that provide users with different speeds — from 100 Mbps to 1000 Mbps usually.
How to test your bandwidth?
You can just google online speed tests and use one of them to see your actual internet speed. Then you can compare it to the speed your ISP promises to deliver. Note that during the test only one device should be connected to the network if you’re using a router at that moment. We don’t say that the speed must be exactly 100 Mbps if that’s what your provider promised. But it should be around that. If the speed is twice as low, and you have just a single device connected to the network, you’re being fooled.
The most basic things to do to improve the speed of your WiFi
Here is what you can do to fix the low speeds of your wireless network:
- Upgrade your plan. If you have over two people using the same network all the time, 100 Mbps won’t be sufficient. Choose another plan that gives more speed.
- Check the speed. Perform the test we’ve described above to see if the ISP gives you the advertised speed. If not — change the provider.
- Buy a new router. If your internet plan offers 300 Mbps, but your router can handle only 100 Mbps, you’ll get 100 Mbps. To achieve the speed offered by your internet plan, get a new more powerful router.
- Limit the number of connections. If you don’t want to upgrade the plan or your router, disconnect other devices from the network to improve your speed.
- Use a wired connection. Then your speed will improve, but you won’t be able to connect other devices to the network.
Tried all of it but the speed still sucks?
Here are more things you can do.
Fixing the issues with your device
Sometimes the internet speed depends on your gadget, too. If it’s too old or too overwhelmed to process all the incoming data, changes you apply to your router and internet network won’t really do much. Try cleaning the device from thrash files or upgrading it if needed.
Also, you can scan it for viruses as they can impair the internet connection. Additionally, try checking if there are any apps running in the background and eating up your speed.
The router of your neighbors
If two routers are located too close to each other, their communication might overlap causing issues with the speed. You can relocate your router or use another frequency if it broadcasts on 2.4 and 5 GHz.
Pay attention to when the speed gets low
If the internet becomes annoyingly slow just during specific activities — for example, streaming or gaming — your ISP might be throttling your connection. We’ll talk about it later.
Reboot, update and relocate your router
Routers tend to get overwhelmed. So rebooting it from time to time will make some difference, if it doesn’t support automatic reboots. Also, think about its location — maybe walls or other objects weaken the signal. Try relocating the router to another place. Finally, don’t forget to update the firmware — outdated software is full of vulnerabilities and is weaker than the new versions.
Let’s talk more about the router
This device is crucial when it comes to internet speed. We’ve talked about the firmware, location, and weak routers already. Now we’ll take a look at more possible issues.
Make sure strangers are not using your WiFi
Even if you have a password for your network, you might have some leeches who figured out the combination. Go to your router’s control panel and see if there are unknown devices connected to the WiFi. If you find any, disconnect them and change the password to a much stronger combination.
Automate the reboots
If your router supports this feature, set it up to perform automatic reboots when the WiFi network is not being used.
Get a range extender
If your house is large, the router’s signal might not reach all the corners. Consider getting a WiFi extender.
Now, bandwidth throttling
We’ve mentioned that your provider might throttle your connection. What is it? Bandwidth throttling is the activity of an IPS when it’s limiting the connection speed for a user so that not too much traffic is used. Usually, it happens when a user is playing some multiplayer games, streaming online, or performing other bandwidth-heavy activities. If you’re paying for an expensive internet plan with lots of bandwidth, but your ISP still throttles your connection when you perform certain activities, it’s outraging. You can try getting a new provider or using a VPN app.
iNinja free VPN for Mac, Windows, and mobile devices will encrypt your traffic thus hiding your activity from the ISP. Then the provider won’t be able to detect what you’re doing online. Therefore, the throttling won’t be triggered. Additionally, a VPN app will protect you from malefactors — that’s a nice bonus.