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Buffering, unstable connections, and low download speeds are frustrating to every digital user. It means that you cannot participate in the online world as you would like to. For instance, online gaming or streaming can be an impossible activity due to slow connections.
The issue of internet performance has always existed. It might appear temporarily, like when you switch networks or move away from your router. However, if your connection struggles to support your activities in ideal conditions, you might need to adjust your setup.
The reasons for low internet speed can be many, like ISP throttling, different connected devices, malware, etc. But whatever the reason is, instantly buying new or upgrading to a costly plan isn’t the only option available. There are some other ways to ensure good internet speed at your house.
In this article, we have listed how to increase internet speed without spending money on more costly plans from your Internet Service Provider.
Check for viruses or malware
One of the first tricks you can try if you notice slow internet speeds is to check your computer for viruses or malware. Viruses and malware can drastically slow down your computer and, in turn, your internet connection. If you suspect that your computer may be infected, run a virus scan with reliable anti-virus software.
One of the reasons malware can slow down your internet connection is the activity performed by the virus. For instance, the infection can continue spreading from your device, sending hundreds of copies of the virus.
Restart your router or modem
If you’re still experiencing slow speeds after running a virus scan, the next step is to restart your router or modem. It can sometimes clear up any network congestion and improve speeds.
Other options include resetting your router. It should be chosen if issues continue even after multiple attempts to reboot. Thus, router reset is a troubleshooting step in a home environment. However, please remember that it will revert the original router settings, eliminating all custom changes you have made (like a password).
Upgrade your router firmware
If you’ve tried restarting the router and modem and you’re still not seeing an improvement in internet speeds, you may want to consider upgrading the router firmware. Router firmware is the software that helps run a router, and if it’s outdated or corrupt, it can slow down the internet connection.
Updating router firmware is a relatively simple process, but it varies depending on the make and model of your router. You can usually find instructions on doing this on the manufacturer’s website.
Check for interference
If you’ve tried all the above and still not seen an improvement, there may be interference in your area that affects the speeds. Interference can come from various sources, such as Bluetooth devices, microwaves, cordless phones, and even baby monitors. If you suspect interference may be the issue, try moving the router or modem to a different location in your house.
Reduce the number of connected devices
Another potential reason for slow internet speeds is that too many devices are connected to your network. Every device connected to your network uses up some of the internet bandwidth. So, if you have a lot of devices connected, it can slow down the connection. To improve the speeds, try disconnecting some of the devices that are not in use.
Stop ISP Throttling
Slow internet connections might not be caused by outdated software or too many devices connecting simultaneously. Sometimes, your Internet Service Provider is the one that disrupts your experience. Therefore, ISP throttling is one of the interruptions that you can experience. It will likely happen during peak times when many users are going online. The practice essentially refers to ISPs intentionally slowing down the internet connections of their clients. Usually, it happens to users who engage in bandwidth-heavy actions like online gaming or streaming.
You can evade this by initiating a VPN download and connecting to servers. Essentially, a Virtual Private Network encrypts your traffic, meaning that ISPs will not know when you engage in bandwidth-heavy actions. As a result, they should not significantly slow down your connection. A VPN also masks your IP address, meaning that certain geo-blocks or network bans can also be lifted with this tool.
Use a different DNS server
If you’re using ISP’s default DNS server, you may want to try switching to a different one. A Domain Name System server helps convert website addresses into IP addresses so that the computer can load the page. Sometimes, ISP-run DNS servers can be slow or unreliable, leading to slower internet speeds. There are several free public DNS servers that you can use, such as Google Public DNS or Cloudflare DNS.
Check for browser extensions or add-ons
If you’re using a web browser, such as Chrome or Firefox, there may be extensions or add-ons causing slow connection. Open the browser’s settings and look for the extensions or add-ons section to check for these. Here, you will see a list of all the extensions or add-ons installed on the browser. If you suspect that one of these is responsible for slowing down the connection, try disabling it and see if speeds improve.
Update your device’s operating system
It is one of the most important things to improve internet speeds. Operating system updates often include patches and fixes that can improve a device’s performance, including its internet speed. Ensure that your device’s operating system is up to date by going to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update or System Preferences > Software Update on a Mac.
If you use a laptop or computer, you can connect it to your router with an Ethernet cable instead of relying on Wi-Fi. Ethernet connections are typically faster and more reliable than Wi-Fi. The cable connects your device to the internet without relying on over-the-air transmissions.
Hopefully, these tips will help you improve the internet speeds and get back online. If you still experience any issues after trying these tips, you may need to upgrade your internet plan or switch providers.