It’s hard to remember how we were so patient with dial-up.
In this day and age, it is hard for most people to imagine what it would be like without Internet, and it takes a lot of patience to deal with a slow Internet connection. Having a below-average connection speed can affect download and upload time, streaming quality, cause buffering, and much more. If you are tired of taking an unnecessary amount of time out of your day in order to load what you want to surf, or you just want to preemptively avoid having slow connections, then here are some tips and tricks that will surely speed up your Internet connection!
1) Find the Best Wireless Channel
Just like with a walkie-talkie, numerous routers can share a channel, and most come defaulted on the same channel. This can end up crowding the channel and slowing down your connection, so be sure to find a channel that has the least number of routers on it. You can do so by using a web app like Wi-Fi Stumbler that will tell you what channels are in use within your computer’s range. You can change your router’s channel on your router’s administration page under the “Wireless” tab.
2) Change Your DNS Server
Computers choose a DNS (Domain Name Server) automatically, but can sometimes choose a bad one that results in slow processing of information. You can manually find a better DNS server, which in turn may significantly improve your Internet speed. Programs such as Google’s namebench allow you to find the best DNS server in range for your needs. Once you’ve found an acceptable server, go into your computer’s DNS settings (the setting panel for this may differ depending on your computer or operating system) and change the information from “default” to the information you have for the new DNS server.
3) Turn Your Router into a Repeater
Did you know that you can actually recycle and reuse your old routers in order to help extend the reach of your Wi-Fi signal? Sometimes our wireless routers don’t cover small areas of the home outside of its range, so this DIY trick could help! Some routers already have repeater functions built in, while others will need manual configuration; if yours is the type that is able to function as a repeater, it will say so on your router admin panel. Next, check DD-WRT, OpenWRT, or Tomato to see if your router is supported. For a list of step-by-step instructions on how to set up your old router as a repeater, visit this site. Since the router you are using to make the Wi-Fi repeater is likely older than your current wireless router, the speed of your Internet may not increase with this trick, but it will definitely allow you to use Wi-Fi in places it didn’t reach before.
4) Limit Background Activity
Sometimes, programs will remain open or be running in the background of your computer, and this can cause a severe loss in speed and connectivity. When unnecessary programs are hogging the memory of your computer, it slows the whole system down. Check to make sure that there are no files being downloaded, scans running, or applications updating while you are using the Internet, and if there are and they are not important, end the processes — that alone could help improve your connection speed.
5) Find and Destroy Adware
Adware and Spyware are free programs that are nearly impossible to uninstall once they’ve been installed. Some are harmless and just an annoyance, while others are dangerous and could take a hit at your privacy. However, no matter how harmful, they almost always gobble up your bandwidth, which slows down your Internet connection. Depending on your computer type, there are programs made specifically for removing adware and spyware in order to clean up your computer and improve speed all around. The best way is just to avoid adware altogether by never downloading any additional files other than the ones you are specifically trying to download. Any extra files, programs, or “toolbars” are potential adware threats.
6) Free Up Space
Thanks to temporary Internet files, your computer can get clogged with unnecessary data. Alleviate this issue by deleting any temporary Internet files that have snuck their way onto your computer, and deleting your cache and cookies. There are many guides on the Internet for how to clear this data, but the process is fairly simple for both Windows and Mac users. Windows users can delete unwanted data files by going to the Control Panel, finding the Programs or the Add/Remove Programs panel, highlighting the unwanted files and clicking “Uninstall”. Macintosh users can skim through their Applications folder and drag and drop unwanted items into the Trash.