To meet your needs, you may require to increase your download speed from time to time. That means you have to increase your internet speed.
As simple as it seems, that move will help you improve productivity, primarily if you rely on the internet for your work.
You can go through a lot of work in a short time with a fast internet connection. For instance, you can open and load web pages faster, attach documents to email, download files, and upload images to blogs.
Yet you don't have to wholly depend on your internet service provider (ISP) when it comes to internet speed. Besides, you won’t have to pay anything (in most instances) to change how fast you browse the internet.
In this article, we propose several ways to increase internet speed by tweaking a few things—nothing technical – just straight forward tips to speed up your work.
How to Check Your Internet Speed
The first step before increasing your download speed is to check how fast it is.
You need to know if you are getting the exact internet speed your ISP promised you. It would be foolhardy to take your ISP's word for it.
However, before testing your internet speed, you should turn off all downloads and uploads. It would help if you also deactivated any VPN software you might be using until you finish the test.
The most effective way to measure your internet speed is by using the Oookla Speed Test.
You have to create an account with Speedtest.net and choose a particular server for testing whenever you log in. Besides, you can view your test history to compare changes in your internet speed.
Even without an account on Speedtest.net, you can still run an internet speed test. All you need is an Android or iOS phone.
The service also has apps for installation on Windows, Apple TV, macOS, and Google Chrome. The app works using your location as well as the local Speedtest server. Once you open the app, click Go, and the test would run in less than a minute.
Once you complete the process, you will see your internet speed in terms of megabits per second (Mbps).
You may share the results on social media or keep it to yourself. If you want to see fluctuations in your download speed, you may run the test over and over again.
The good thing about Speedtest is that it gives you a comparison of internet speeds globally. You only need to go to the Speedtest Global Index to compare fixed and mobile broadband connections worldwide.
How to Speed Up Your Internet- 15 Ways to Increase Your Internet Speed Today
Now to ways to increase your internet speed. Regardless of your ISP, you can take a few steps to get your internet up to speed.
The following are the tricks to help you in your quest for a higher internet speed:
1. Buy a New, Better Router/Modem
If you bought your router more than five years ago, it's time you bought a new one. That's especially true for wireless routers, which get outdated and slow down.
Now, it's not as much about having a brand new router but upgrading to a higher and better standard. It will not only give you more speed but also better reliability and broader coverage.
Newer wireless routers come with the latest wireless networking standards, offering higher download speed and little interference.
A newer router will also better accommodate devices like tablets, smartphones, laptops, game consoles, and TV streaming boxes.
Come to think of it. Will you be able to stream HD movies from Netflix with an old router?
So, which wireless networking standards could a router have? Examples of wireless networking standards include 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac, in the order of their release.
The latest, 802.11ac, was released in 2013 and offers 5 GHz for newer devices and 2.4 GHz for older electronics. It has less wireless interference and provides a reliable signal.
That's why it is useful if you upgrade to a router with the 802.11ac wireless networking standard.
2. Properly Position Your Router
Where you place, your wireless router may affect your download speed. That's because wireless networks work through radio waves, which could be hindered by walls and water. So, check that you place your router where there is little or no interference.
The best place to put your wireless router is in a central location, whether at home or in the office.
So, determine the place from which the signal would reach most of your home in equal strength.
Find a way to install the router in the selected location. Don't worry about other limiting factors for now, as you can deal with them later.
Places to avoid include the bathroom and the kitchen. In the bathroom, the constant flow of water can block radio waves and weaken your internet strength.
The kitchen isn't suitable because it has appliances that produce microwaves. Thus when you turn on the microwave oven, there will be interference with the Wi-Fi signal.
Also, metallic equipment like kitchen appliances, refrigerators, and silverware may block radio waves, weakening your internet strength.
3. Properly Adjust the Router Antennas
Most wireless routers come with adjustable antennas that can rotate full-circle and even move to the side. So, it makes sense to adjust the antennas' positions to improve your internet speed.
The purpose is to attain the best possible reception from your wireless router.
Generally, if you have the router upstairs, you could turn the antennas sideways to get the strongest reception possible. If downstairs, then you should pull the antenna upwards.
However, it also matters the kind of antenna you have on your wireless router. Thus, you could buy one with a directional antenna or omnidirectional antenna.
While the first antenna type scatters signal in a room with several devices, the second targets devices throughout the building.
As an alternative, you could replace the built-in antenna with the one you believe is more powerful.
4. Change Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
The connection you get from your ISP is the single most significant factor determining your internet download speed.
It all depends on the type of relationship you get. For instance, fiber optic cable is faster than an ASDL connection.
That's why you should be careful when selecting an ISP for your home internet network.
To get faster download speed, you may have to change your ISP. However, you must consider the best among the available ISP.
It could be a satellite internet operator, broadband service, or a 4G-LTE network. Notably, the ISP should provide you with the internet speed you need.
You may get as low as 3Mbps, especially with a satellite or broadband service in some places. In areas where fiber is available, internet speeds can be as high as 100m Mbps.
However, it would be best if you didn't always take the ISP's word for it. Check with local businesses using the same ISP to ascertain that they deliver what they promise.
5. Ensure You Are the Only One Using the Bandwidth
Your internet speed very much depends on the number of users on the network. Even though an increase in users may not theoretically affect download speed, it is an essential factor.
When more devices connect to the internet through a given router, they share the bandwidth, thus splitting the internet speed.
However, devices closer to the router have better bandwidth and higher internet speeds than those who are further off.
Also necessary is the type of usage. If all people are doing is to browse the internet, the speed wouldn't be affected. However, if users are downloading files or streaming videos, the internet speed can drastically reduce.
So, you can increase your internet speed by limiting the number of devices on the network at any given time.
That ensures there is no drastic reduction in the bandwidth available to one device. As a result, you will increase internet speed for users of the network.
6. Check How Much Internet Your Family Uses
Your home Wi-Fi network supports smart devices and laptops, smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. Smart devices include cameras, thermostats, speakers, TVs, and so on.
They should remain connected to the Wi-Fi network to serve their purpose. So, they tend to use a constant level of internet throughout the day.
When it comes to laptops, tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers, the user's habits determine how much internet they consume.
Basic internet browsing, email, and social media may not consume a lot of bandwidth. However, video streaming, downloads, and uploads may consume much more internet, affecting the speed.
So, you can improve your download speed by limiting how much your family uses. You should limit the number of devices on the network and check how people in your home use the internet.
At any given time, you could limit the number of people streaming movies or downloading large files.
7. Check If You Have a Data Cap
ISPs put in place data caps to limit how much data you can transfer when carrying out online activities.
For example, the data cap could be 250GB or unlimited, depending on the monthly fee you pay.
If you use internet data beyond your ISP-imposed data cap, you might be liable for a fine, penalty, or higher cost.
How exactly does a data cap affect your internet speed? Well, it means you cannot use the internet beyond a specific limit.
Once you reach your data cap, the ISP may turn off the service curtailing your internet usage.
So you should check if the arrangement with your ISP comes with a data cap. That will help you know how you use your Wi-Fi and whether you can improve your internet speed.
8. Scan Your Computer for Viruses
Viruses, malware, and spyware could slow down your internet speed by curtailing your browser.
Even though working in the background, they may monopolize the internet connection, frustrating your efforts to use it for other purposes.
Spyware delays the internet connection by imposing keystrokes and monitoring software.
That also applies to viruses, which multiply at a very high rate, reducing your commuting power and internet speed.
Therefore, scanning your computer for viruses could significantly improve your internet speed. Additionally, avoid emails from entities and individuals of whom you have no knowledge.
If an email has a suspicious attachment or link, don't download or click on it. Always install updates for the operating system and browser to maintain a high level of protection.
Also, don't go to unfamiliar sites to download media files, games, and applications.
They may contain viruses that could drastically slow down your internet speed.
9. Get Rid Of Your Cordless Phone
As much as they are necessary, cordless phones may affect your download speed. That's because the radio waves produced by a cordless telephone creates interference for the Wi-Fi network.
The reason is that both cordless phones and Wi-Fi networks operate on a similar radiofrequency.
Thus having a cordless phone and Wi-Fi router running at 5 GHz can only lead to interference that slows down your internet speed.
You can reduce interference by placing your cordless phone further away from the router. Also, you may change the frequencies for the cordless phone and wireless router.
However, that isn't a permanent solution, given that the cordless telephone may produce some level of interference. So what should you do? Well, get rid of that cordless phone.
That will eliminate all possible interference and increase your internet speed. As an alternative, use mobile phones around your house.
10. Plugin Using an Ethernet Connection
For the appropriate devices, improving download speed may mean connecting your device using an Ethernet port.
That includes your laptop, desktop, and gaming consoles. But why is Ethernet better than Wi-Fi in terms of internet speed?
First of all, Ethernet is much faster than Wi-Fi. With 802.11ac – the fastest wireless networking standard – you get a maximum internet speed of 866.7 Mbps.
On the other hand, a Cat-6 Ethernet connection can provide up to 1Gbps of internet speed. So, Ethernet is faster and also more consistent than Wi-Fi.
Ethernet also comes with much less latency compared to Wi-Fi. Latency refers to the length of time or delays for traffic to move from a source device to the destination.
In gaming, latency may mean the reaction time. Compared to Wi-Fi, Ethernet has very little latency, if any.
Ethernet is, therefore, faster and more responsive than Wi-Fi. And, Ethernet doesn't have any wireless interference, given that it is a wired internet connection. So whenever you use a PC, Ethernet is always the better option.
11. Regularly Update Your Router's Firmware
To increase your internet speed, you may have to update your router's firmware. That simple move can help the router perform better, repair unwanted bugs, and support faster internet speed.
You might be required to use a mobile app or a PC to update your router's firmware. However, there are necessary steps you must take to download and install the firmware.
Visit the vendor's website and download the updated firmware. Usually, the firmware will come in a ZIP file, which means you have to unzip it before copying the firmware.
Then, log into the web interface for the router as you did during the first setup, and look for the update option.
You will find a button that leads to browsing a new firmware file. Click on it, followed by Upload or Update, and hold on until the process runs to the end.
When running an update, make sure you do not interrupt the process at any given time.
Also, follow the instructions provided by the vendor on flashing the router. Before running the upgrade, save them on a file beforehand to not end up with default settings.
12. Adjust Your Router's Settings
The settings you choose for your router has a significant bearing on the internet speed. You can determine that right from the time you buy and configure your router.
That's because the setting you choose determines whether you will stream audio or video files. So, the settings should help you prioritize certain types of traffic.
If you have a Wi-Fi router running on the 802.11n standard, you have to be careful about the encryption type you do. If you encrypt your router to MPA or WPA, you will limit your router to 54Mbps.
For higher speed, you should remove the encryption of encrypting the router to WPA2. Another important setting is the channel width, which you can measure in megahertz (MHz).
As such, you may want to choose a higher speed rating. For instance, 40 MHz is faster than the 20 MHz ratings.
To prioritize audio and video traffic, you may use the Wi-Fi Multimedia or WMM feature. With that, your network will load internet phone calls, music, and streaming.
Alternatively, you may configure service quality (QoS) to prioritize certain things on the network.
13. Choose Your Browser Carefully
Did you know that the browser you pick affects your internet speed? Browsing speeds may vary depending on whether you open one tab or several of them.
Also, browsers tend to give different download speeds when opening websites with lots of images and videos.
Besides, browsers tend to load specific URLs at different internet speeds. That's because browsers have unique features that determine how fast their loading speeds.
So, when choosing a browser, consider its features and ability to load specific webpages and download files, music, and movies.
You may use tools like Peacekeeper.futuremark.com to test a browser's speed before settling on it.
In that case, you should find out the browsers that are best suited for your PC, smartphone, or tablet. When you discover a suitable one, go ahead and make it your default browser.
14. Upgrade the Broadband Internet Package
If you want faster download speed without changing your router, then you should upgrade your broadband bundle. ISPs usually offer broadband in graduated levels with the fastest costing more in terms of a subscription fee.
So, it would help if you liaised with your ISP to go through available options as far as upgrading your broadband is concerned.
Instead of mobile-based internet, you may want to upgrade yours to super-fast fiber-optic broadband. When it comes to internet speed, fiber-optics rank higher than satellite or mobile broadband.
It is the best for individuals looking for fast downloads of audio, video, games, and software over the internet.
Thus, watching internet TV is more rapid, downloads quicker, and gaming pithy only that you should be ready to pay more for advanced broadband.
15. Use an Extension to Manage the Browser Cache
Your browser stores your browsing history in the form of a cache. That's why the sites you regularly visit usually load faster, albeit with only a few updates.
Because of that, you don't have to wait for long to see your favorite webpages.
While the cache improves your internet browsing experience, it may cause problems such as slowing down the download speed.
So you may want to manually clear cookies on your browser or use an appropriate extension. A good example is Booster, which works for Google Chrome. Its work is to extend the cache duration without affecting your internet speed.
The stretching relieves the browser of the work that goes into hosting a local cache. It is installed on your computer's hard drive, thus promoting faster cache loading time.
As it does that, it ensures that the web page represented by the cache displays the latest information.
15 Ways to Increase your Internet Download Speed- Wrapping It Up
By now, you have learned a lot of tricks you can use to speed up downloads.
While implementing some of these tricks may cost money, others are free of charge. Also, very few of the tips require any form of technical know-how.
So, you should find it easy to implement the 15 ways to increase your download speed.
With that, you will be able to stream audio and videos without interruption. You will also download & upload files to your website faster and browse the internet.
If you have smart devices around your home, they will work better and remain connected throughout the day.