From binge-watching Netflix series, to skyping with your out of state relatives, to looking up recipes -- a home internet connection represents comfort, communication, entertainment, and much more. At the workplace, a reliable internet setup is even more important, as it defines your ability to compete in today's fast-paced and highly interconnected world.
Unfortunately, many households and organizations struggle to get their money's worth from the internet packages that they spend their hard-earned paychecks on. The truth is that, when most internet service providers (ISPs) advertise a rate for their service, they are actually advertising the maximum potential that their service has to offer. Most of the time, you can count on getting at less than any ISPs marketing promises may offer.
In some cases, the reason why you get less internet speed than promised lies entirely outside of your control. For example, people who live far away from a DSL internet service center are going to receive subpar speeds from that ISP simply based upon where they live -- while people who subscribe to cable internet should prepare for a slower connection during prime time. That being said, a slow internet connection usually develops due to a convergence of various causes, many of which probably are at least somewhat within your ability to control.
Below, we will examine six of the most common strategies that you can use to increase the speed of your connection.
1.Watch out for Bandwidth Hogs.
Every paid internet connection offers a set quantity of bandwidth -- and if you allow a single program or a single user to monopolize that connection capacity, then your internet is going to run agonizingly slowly for every other device and every other program. Here are a few quick examples of bandwidth hogging, along with easy solutions:
System Update Downloads.
Torrents, Streams, and Other Downloads.
- The Problem: Poorly-timed automatic system update downloads are consuming your bandwidth capacity durint the exact times you want to use your connection.
- The Solution: Change your system settings to ensure that updates occur during the nighttime or when you will not be using your internet connection for other purposes.
User Bandwidth Hogs.
- The Problem: Any time a device is working to download a file, large amounts of bandwidth are consumed. With especially sizable files such as torrents, streams, etc. this can cause your entire connection to grind to a halt. (And sometimes these types of downloads can go entirely unnoticed!)
- The Solution: By following this link, you can find instructions to identify any and all download activity on your device, thus enabling you to halt any bandwidth-hogging torrents, streams, or downloads.
2.Keep Your Software Updated.
Yes, we did just mention how harmful poorly timed updates can be -- but it is important to understand that those updates do serve a function. Keeping your software updated allows for optimal computer speed and adequate cyber security, for example.
Another software-related suggestion we would make? Choose a quality internet browser. Every worthwhile browser is available for free, after all, so there is no reason to suffer through using a sub-par program (cough cough internet explorer and safari) when better alternatives (i.e. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox) are available.
3.Protect Yourself From Adware and Viruses
The threat of malware attacks is always growing. Case and point: in 2015, there were
roughly 3 million reported ransomware attacks. In 2016, there were over 638 million. Though the final numbers are not yet officialized, it is a given that 2017 saw yet another rise in this new and popular form of extortion.
However, even though big, scary cyber attack weapons such as ransomware and spyware garner the most media attention, the most common form of cyber security compromise is actually one of the most subtle: adware.
Adware frequently attaches itself onto other legitimate downloads and oftentimes expressly asks your consent in order to be downloaded. (i.e. “would you like to download the new adware.inc toolbar along with your PDF reader?)
Though adware is unlikely to steal your money or identity, or commit other crimes that ransomware and traditional viruses are intended to do, adware can slow down your internet connection while resulting in an all-around unpleasant browsing experience. In this Lifehacker article, you will find a good selection of tools that can help you remove all types of unwanted software from your device, allowing you to enjoy your internet connection at its fullest potential and move on with your life.
4.Free Up Hard Drive and Ram Space
Have you ever taken on more responsibility than you could handle, only to realize that you were underperforming in many aspects of your life? Much like a busy person who has “bitten off more than they could chew,” a computer, tablet, or phone that is overloaded in terms of hard drive or ram is unlikely to perform to its fullest potential.
Confused about the difference between hard drive and RAM? It is a bit more difficult to make a human-based analogy in this regard, so if you want to learn more, this slightly more technical guide from CNET should come in handy.
5.Clean, Repair, or Replace Your Device
A functioning cooling system is imperative to facilitating computer speed -- so sometimes, simply cleaning your device is enough to improve your connection speed. (This possibility is especially likely if you notice that you get varying speed from device to device.)
Another common, physical device problem is broken components. A visually inspection is oftentimes sufficient to alert you to such issues, though bringing your computer to an expert is never a bad idea, either.
If you suspect a hardware-based cause to your slow internet, yet the connection problem exists on all devices, then updating your modem or router could be a good investment -- not only will this improve internet speed, but purchasing such equipment is usually more economical than renting in the long run, anyway.
6.Get a Better ISP.
When all else fails, you may wish to search for a new and improved internet service provider. Visit Bundle Your Internet online today for more info!
- The Problem: People can also be bandwidth hogs! Perhaps your kid is an avid gamer -- or perhaps your neighbors are accessing your WiFi connection, thus forcing a one-family connection to do double the work!
- The Solution: Discuss appropriate internet use with your kids and lay down some ground rules for sharing a connection. If your home connection is not password-protected, be sure to set a strong password that only you and your family will know!