We all want faster Internet. If you’ve ever had to wait for Netflix to buffer while watching your favorite show, you’ve probably wondered how you can increase your internet speed so that you can finally enjoy it without any interruptions.
Basically, slow internet sucks! There’s no way around it. So, how can you speed up your Internet connection?
There are lots of guides and information out there for potential solutions, but not all of them work. Some of the solutions are straight up fake, and others are too expensive or really technical. How would you feel if your internet was always on 100% uptime? Seems like a dream doesn’t it, take a look to find out more.
We’re here to help you speed up your connection on the cheap, without spending hours trying to figure out how the router works. In this post, we’ve rounded up 10 cheap, easy, and practical tips to help you get a faster connection and get rid of the slow buffering.
1. Check your Data Caps
Data caps are some of the main culprits when it comes to slow internet speeds. Most ISPs won’t publicize the data caps on their plans (for obvious reasons), but these caps can really affect your internet speeds.
With a data cap, you can only use a preset amount of data every month, which typically ranges from a couple of hundred megabytes to hundreds of gigabytes. Whenever a user exceeds their data limit, the ISP significantly restricts the internet speeds. This will be noticeable.
To find out whether you have a data cap or not, check your bill. It’s likely that you do, and this will be outlined in the fine print. If you exceed your data cap every month, consider talking to your provider about a plan with a much higher data limit to enjoy fast speeds for longer.
2. Give your Router a Break
You need to reset the router on a monthly basis just to refresh the internet connection. In case you experience any speed related issues, consider resetting your router.
If you have a separate modem from the router, you should reset that too. When the modem is reset, it stimulates the connection to your ISP, and this is what turning it off and then on again is all about.
If you don’t want to add another task on your to-do list, consider getting an outlet timer such as Century’s Programmable timer. You can plug your router and modem into the timer, which will automatically turn the system on and off for you. You can also set the timer to restart the system in the middle of the night while you’re asleep. This way, you will always wake up to a fresh internet connect connection every morning.
Keep in mind that resetting your modem and router won’t magically transform a slow connection into a fast one. It’s only meant to serve as an easy fix to refresh a problematic connection.
3. Reposition the Router
This is a quick one – if you’ve placed your router in a corner of the house, try moving it. If the Wi-Fi signal from your router doesn’t reach you, the connection and speeds will suffer. So, be sure to place the router towards the middle of the house, preferably on the floor where you hang out most. For instance, if you spend all of your time in the living room located on the first floor, put your router on the same level.
4. Embrace the Ethernet
Nowadays, everybody uses Wi-Fi, which is great. However, while wireless connections can be convenient and generally awesome, they aren’t always fast. With cabled connections like Ethernet, the speeds will always be more reliable and faster than the wireless ones.
The cable ideally gets the signal directly into the device instead of relying on an over-the-air transmission. If possible, connect your most important devices to the internet through an Ethernet cable. Consider connecting the following via Ethernet:
- Gaming consoles: Xbox, PlayStation, etc.
- Desktop or laptop
This is especially important if you tend to consume data-heavy media like videos on these devices.
As a bonus, Ethernet is a lot more secure than Wi-Fi, and if you prefer keeping your banking information completely private, then Ethernet is a better way to go.
5. Block those Ads
Almost any media and content provider serves ads these days. Wherever you go on the internet, you’ll find endless ads, auto-play videos, GIFs, and pictures.
However, even for those who don’t mind seeing these ads, your internet connection might suffer because of them. Ad media can significantly slow down your connection, and it’s sometimes easier to just block them off. Installing an ad-blocking plugin will shut down the media-heavy auto-play video ads, and in turn, free up some breathing room for your connection.
6. Get a Streamlined Browser
For most of us, we routinely keep dozens of windows and tabs open on our browsers. But all of that open tabs will only slow down your connection, and it’s why we often recommend getting a backup browser like Opera.
The Opera browser ideally streamlines all the data on webpages to give you faster browsing experience. While we wouldn’t recommend using it on a daily basis, it’s a great backup browser when you’re just looking something up and your Wi-Fi connection is misbehaving.
7. Install a Malware or Virus Scanner
For those who haven’t done this already, it’s highly recommended that you have a malware detecting and antivirus software. Obviously, any malware or viruses lurking on your computer will only put a major drag on your internet speed. Moreover, it’s a general rule to have protection software installed.
With good protection software in place, you can set it to scan for malware and viruses automatically on a regular basis. In case the software finds existing malware or viruses, get it removed immediately by a computer technician, and watch yourself get back to easy, fast browsing.
8. Install a Plugin to Clear the Cache
Ever heard of a “cache” found on your internet browser? Well, if not, it’s time to know what it is. Whenever you visit a website and enter information, the browser collects some bits of information about you, in the form of cookies. Marketers then utilize this data to serve you with ads for the kind of stuff that you might be interested in based on your browsing behavior. So, if you’ve ever seen an ad follow you around the internet, then this concept is already familiar.
To remove all those trackers and cookies, you need to clear your browser’s cache. This can be done manually, but it’s much easier to do this for your automatically in just one click. Be sure to make a habit out of clearing the cache on a daily basis, so that the accumulated data doesn’t affect your internet speeds.
9. Negotiate with your ISP
Even if there’s only one ISP available in town, it’s more than likely that they have multiple plans. So, if you don’t like your current speeds, your internet service provider might offer you a plan with higher speeds to better serve you. Sure, it’s no fun to pay more money every month, but if your connection is constantly driving you crazy and there isn’t a better provider in sight, what other option do you have?
Get in touch with your provider and ask about any available alternate plans, or do some online research to see what plans other users are on. You might also find deals online that the company won’t talk about over the phone.
10. Get a Different ISP
Sometimes, the biggest problem is the internet provider. While this tip isn’t simple or easy, it’s practical, and can even be cheaper for you in the long run. If your ISP is only going to provide a slow connection no matter what tips you try, consider switching.
Most areas have multiple ISPs available, and it should be easy to find out if there are other providers that offer faster speeds at better speeds in your area. Swapping providers should only be a last resort. Nonetheless, if you’ve tried the tips on our list and your speed is still not improving, it might be time to make the change.