The most annoying thing since the advent of the Internet is that there is no Internet. The next most annoying thing is the slow Internet. Thankfully, you can troubleshoot slow Internet connections. Here are some ways to speed up.
Know your speed
The first thing you want to know is: How fast is your Internet really? There are free online tools to learn. We recommend Speedtest and Ping-test. These sites will tell you two parts of your overall Internet performance: your download and upload speeds. They only take a few minutes to run, and you don’t need to download or install anything. You’ll know if you’re reaching the speed at which your service provider says you should. If you don’t know what speed you signed up for, call your service provider. And then you’ll know your real-world speed as you perform.
Without a doubt, you have programs running in the background on your computer. These programs are pinging the Internet for my myth, while taking up the bandwidth you need for more important things, like finding a hat for the Kentucky Derby or signing up for a one-way ticket to Mars. There are several ways to reduce the number of programs running in the background. Here are some tips on how to turn off programs that automatically start with Windows. (You may be shocked by the number of programs there are.) This video shows you how to get rid of them on your Mac.
You may also want to consider setting up your browser to block ads in many of their unusual forms, from pop-ups to auto-play video ads. You can do this through installing an ad-blocking browser extension. A good adblocker is Ad Block Plus. But there is a lot to choose from and each browser has a slightly different way to attach extensions. For example, you can watch this video on how to attach an ad blocker extension to Google Chrome.
Be careful with clearing your cache
A note of caution: Your friends, family, and occasional Articles on the Internet may recommend deleting your temporary Internet files, cookies, and cache to speed up the Internet. While deleting these files can help your computer run faster, it will actually make your Internet run slower. Your cache contains static web parts. This can be anything from graphics to HTML files to CSS style definitions. The reason your cache keeps these items is that when you visit a website, especially a page you visit regularly, your computer simply downloads new or other parts of that site. The old parts of the unchanged website will be taken from your computer’s cache. As a result, you need less bandwidth to load the site and it will appear on your screen faster.
If you constantly clear the cache, your computer will have to restart from scratch every time you visit a website, even if it’s the site you visit regularly. Do you know how long it takes to download Cat Gifs? Do you want to wait around every time you let it reload? We don’t think so. This article is about improving Internet speed, not computer speed. If that’s what you’re after, visit this page for help.
Check your wireless settings
Your internet can work well … until it gets to your router, the device transmits a WiFi signal through your home so you can do it without wires. There are many things that can affect your wireless connection. Maybe your wireless router is downstairs, but you work upstairs, where connectivity is weak. You may need a WiFi enhanceer or range extender. Or the error may lie in the location of the router in your home. If your router is located in a stone basement, hidden in a lead-lined safe, that could be your problem right there.
Another possibility is that your router channel needs to change. Routers work on different channels and some of them are shared by your neighbors, disturbing wireless frequencies. In other words, Fred upstairs and Amanda across the hall have routers competing with your router. Since it’s too bad that you have to share the laundry room with them, why would you want to share your router channel? The secret is to find a channel that no one else uses. There are analytics tools for your nearby WiFi channels to help you make good choices. WiFi Analyzer is one.
Another quick fix, or at least a patch until you resolve the issue, is to connect the Ethernet cable. Obviously, this only works if the router is nearby. But if that’s the case, just walk right there, connect the cable from the router to your computer and get ready for significantly better performance.
Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. Sometimes your Internet is slow because the plan you signed up for offers very limited speeds. You can have something called a “starter package” or “Best Value Pack.” A filmmaking colleague spent the night uploading two-and-a-half hours of videos each. The experience of nail biting – they were carried out by the customer the next morning – left him with an anxious breakdown. He tried a lot of ways to fix the problem, but it didn’t work until he called his Internet service provider and discovered his plan only allowed upload speeds of 2 Mbps. For just $10 a month more, he upgraded to upload speeds to 20 Mbps. The transformation took place as quickly as if it were impressive. A video that should have took him two and a half hours to upload is now only a few minutes away. Yes, he has less than three lattes a month to pay for them all, but being able to download huge files with just one hat has made the transaction worthwhile.
Replace your neck router
It may simply be that you need a new router. This article presents some clues signaling it’s time to replace the router. These include sporadic access, disconnected connections, and router lights flashing error message in distress. You can also have an outdated router. Is your router the same as below? Modern routers have four antennas or even more, optimized for different types of signals.
It looked quickly to stand still. By comparison, if your router has only one or two antennas, that’s not necessarily a problem, but it’s a sign that it’s older and may not be compatible with modern devices. It’s quite possible that you’re paying for great Internet speeds, but it’s being routed through a router you bought after watching the premiere of “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”. Good movie, old router.
Just like playing prison, when choosing an Internet Service Provider, you have to choose wisely. If you’ve determined the current ISP isn’t right for you, the next step includes some research. There are several types of suppliers, including cables, satellites, and fiber optic cables. Each provider offers slightly different plans. And consider the reputation of the supplier – does it support customers well? Is there a data limit? What’s hidden? By using the DSL Report, you can see what people are saying about internet service providers in your area. And Whitefence is a website that allows you to easily compare different Internet packages.
Change your DNS server
The Domain Name System (DNS) server is the middle of the Internet. You may have never heard of them – and after all, why you have them – but they connect you to everything else on the Internet. Although you enter a URL (like “ehow.com”) into your browser, your computer needs to know its digital address to get you there. Where did it get that information? From the DNS server. Some work better than others. If your DNS host is mediocre, your speed will reflect that. The secret is to find the fastest DNS server you can. There are tools to help you, like Namebench and DNS Benchmark. Once you know the best DNS servers, changing them can be a bit complicated, and you may not want to do this unless you’re confident in your capabilities. Here’s a guide for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 users. If you’re an Apple user, you can find a step-by-step guide here.
On the road
When traveling, you may be forced to work with a slow Internet connection. Here are some tips to help you get through the trip:
Use a wired connection whenever you can.
Remember those background apps, which you deleted at startup? Now it’s time to close some more – any ones that you didn’t close before.
If you haven’t taken advice on ad-blocking extensions, here’s a second chance. Ads will absorb any small bandwidth you have.
Try the Opera browser. It has a turbo mode for faster speeds, which works by compressing pages and scraping pixels.
Finally, work offline whenever you can. Many online apps have offline mode. Do your work offline, then quickly connect to send that email, cloud the document, or sign in to that account.
Touch From (Don’t believe.)
Some sites claim that this is the most important thing you can do to get the Internet faster (Don’t believe it). They say it is guaranteed to triple your Internet speed (It won’t).
To be clear: This is not true.
This is a hoax. Don’t listen!
Word touch won’t help improve your speed.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
But this young satirical master is quite convincing. As he explains, all you need are two batteries, an Ethernet cable and some electrical adhesive tape.
If you’re a sadist, send this video to friends and family after you’ve fixed the Internet and let them know this is how you did it. Urge them to do it. Or, perhaps just send them a cat gif.