Living in the 20th century without a fast internet can be very irritating. When the world slowly moves towards 5G leaving back the already-fast 4G in search of faster data transfer, there are people who can’t still watch a YouTube video without buffering. We are not talking about those who do not even have access to internet data. But those who have subscribed for a fast internet connection but still not able to enjoy it to its fullest.
So, in this guide, we are going to look at some of the possible ways one can increase the speed of their internet connection. Without any further due, let’s dive into it.
Before you Start: Test the Internet Speed
In order to improve your internet speed, you should first figure out how much of its potential you are missing. If you subscribed for a connection with a 10mbps speed, you should be able to get something between 1 – 1.5MBps (know the difference between Mbps and MBps in the following section) downloading and uploading speeds. It will vary based on your location and whether your provider delivers the same download/upload speeds.
If you prefer a visual guide, have a look at the following video explaining the internet speed test –
The best way to know is to ask someone who has the same connection and figure out what speeds they are getting, and then use an internet speed test tool to find out your current connection speed.
Use an internet speed test tool
The best way to test your internet connection is by using an internet speed test tool. www.speedcheck.org is a good example of such tools that provide accurate measurements.
But of course, any tool will do. These internet speed test tools will provide you with detailed information regarding your current internet connection including its download/upload speeds, connection latency, etc. with a single click of a button. It is probably the best way to accurately measure the internet connection speed. For a better understanding, you can read our article on checking internet speed.
MBps vs Mbps
While measuring your internet connection you should know an important fact. There is a difference between MBps and Mbps. The “B” in these two examples stands for Bytes and Bits. Most of the internet service providers advertise their products in Mbps. Which is Megabits per second. If you know about bits and bytes. A byte = 8 bits. That means, if you have a 100 Mbps internet connection, you are only going to get roughly 12 MBps download/upload speed.
In addition to this, certain internet service providers limit their upload speeds significantly. This happens mostly in the DSL connections and is uncommon in fiber. For example, BSNL, a broadband service provider in India will limit your upload speeds to 256 kbps no matter how good your internet package is. So, while assessing your test results. Keep these things in mind.
Ways to Improve Internet Speed
Once you know the speed of your current internet connection and figure out how much you are missing out on, it is time to improve it. As you already know how much potential of the internet connection you are missing, you will have a good idea about the improvements you make after doing each one of the following methods that might help to boost the internet speed or fix any connection troubles.
1. Prefer wired connection over Wi-Fi
Wireless connections usually tend to be slower than wired connections. Especially if you are using the device far apart from the Wi-Fi router, you should consider either placing it near your Wi-Fi usage area, using a Wi-Fi extender, or switching to the wired connection (if you are using a laptop or computer). If you are using a smartphone, this won’t be possible. It only applies to those who can use a wired connection instead of Wifi.
|Category||Wired Connection||Wi-Fi Connection|
|Speed||Typically faster||Slower than wired|
|Stability||Generally stable||Susceptible to interference|
|Reliability||Highly reliable||Can be affected by signal strength and distance|
|Security||More secure||Vulnerable to unauthorized access|
|Range||Limited by cable||Extended coverage with range extenders|
|Convenience||Requires physical connections||Wireless mobility|
|Installation||Requires Ethernet cables and setup||Easy setup and flexibility|
2. Restart your router/modem
The golden rule is to fix almost any problem related to any device. Just restart it. If you suddenly start experiencing connection speed issues, and you are already on a wired connection or using Wi-Fi very near the router, the first thing you should do is try to restart the router or modem. If the problems were temporary or caused by any conflicts, a simple restart may fix the issues. If you don’t know how to restart your router, read this guide.
3. Change the DNS server
The DNS server also plays a vital role in how fast your internet connection is. Always choose a good DNS provider. You can read our article on the best DNS servers for reference. We recommend using the Google DNS (220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168) for the best possible speeds, no matter which part of the world you are. Google DNS works way better than any other DNS servers we tried so far. For any usage cases, including streaming and gaming, go for it.
4. Turn off VPN
If you are using a VPN service, it could slow down your internet connection. Especially the free VPN services can significantly impact the speed when the server is under load. So, it is better to turn off your VPN service if you are no longer using it. Using a premium VPN will also help to increase the speeds as they have a limit on the number of users that can connect to a single server and generally perform better than the free VPN servers.
5. Bridge multiple connections
Bridging multiple internet connections can improve the overall internet connection speed. This is not a way to improve the individual connection speeds. However, if you have multiple connections in your home or office, you can try bridging them together so that your devices will make use of the speeds of both the connections combined together resulting in a way faster internet speed. Here is a pretty good guide on how to bridge an internet connection.
6. Check auto-updates, Torrent clients, etc.
If some background applications use the internet connection to keep them updated, download things, or for any other needs, make sure that you quit it. For example, if you use a torrent application such as BitTorrent or uTorrent for downloading torrent files, even after the download has been finished, it will still use your internet connection to seed other torrent users. Like that, operating systems such as Windows will use your internet connection to automatically update the OS and features if you don’t turn them off.
So make sure that none of the applications are using your internet connection without your knowledge. You can do that by simply right-clicking on the taskbar and going to the task manager. Then check the network usage.
7. Contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider)
Sometimes, the problem may not be at your end. If you are living in a rural area with a very small number of internet users for a certain ISP, they might not care about you too much. There are also chances for connection troubles in the cable lines in your area only. So, the best way to know is to contact the service provider. They will try to resolve the issue or tell you if there are any known problems in your region.
8. Choose a better ISP
If you tried everything in this list and even tried contacting your internet service provider, but still don’t get the promised speeds, it is time to switch. We have a guide on the best ISPs you can use. It will vary in different locations. So, you should do your own research and ask people about their experience using a certain ISP. Once you find there are better ISPs than your current one, switching to them might permanently solve the connection issues and increase your internet performance.
9. Optimize your Wi-Fi network
Having a stable and optimized Wi-Fi network is crucial for ensuring fast internet speeds. So, consider implementing the following tips to enhance your Wi-Fi connection:
- Position your router strategically: Place your router in a central location away from obstructions, such as walls and furniture, to ensure better signal coverage.
- Update your router’s firmware: Regularly check for firmware updates provided by your router manufacturer and install them to improve performance and security.
- Secure your Wi-Fi network: Set up a strong password for your Wi-Fi network to prevent unauthorized access, which can slow down your connection.
- Adjust your Wi-Fi channel: If you’re experiencing interference from neighboring networks, try changing your Wi-Fi channel to a less congested one.
10. Clear your browser cache
Over time, your web browser accumulates temporary files, cookies, and other data that can slow down your browsing experience. Clearing your browser cache can help improve internet speed. Here’s how to do it for popular browsers:
- Google Chrome: Go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Clear browsing data.
- Mozilla Firefox: Click on the menu button > Options > Privacy & Security > Clear Data.
- Safari: Open the Safari menu > Preferences > Privacy > Manage Website Data.
- Microsoft Edge: Click on the menu button > Settings > Privacy, search, and services > Choose what to clear.
11. Optimize your device settings
Adjusting certain settings on your device can also contribute to faster internet speeds. Consider the following optimizations:
- Disable unnecessary background applications: Close any applications running in the background that consume internet bandwidth unnecessarily.
- Enable browser extensions for speed optimization: Install browser extensions like ad blockers and script blockers to prevent heavy page elements from loading, resulting in faster browsing.
- Enable hardware acceleration: If available, enable hardware acceleration in your device’s settings to offload some tasks from the CPU, improving overall performance. You may also look at overclocking your CPU or GPU.
12. Enable Quality of Service (QoS)
Many modern routers have a feature called Quality of Service (QoS) that allows you to prioritize specific devices or applications on your network. By assigning higher priority to activities such as video streaming or online gaming, you can ensure a smoother experience for these tasks while other lower-priority activities may be temporarily slowed down.
Refer to your router’s user manual or online documentation to learn how to enable and configure QoS settings.
13. Perform regular system maintenance
Keeping your device in optimal condition can positively impact internet speed. Consider the following maintenance tasks:
- Run antivirus scans: Regularly scan your device for malware or viruses that may be utilizing your internet connection without your knowledge.
- Update software and drivers: Be sure to maintain up-to-date software versions and drivers for your operating system and installed applications, as outdated versions may introduce compatibility issues that affect internet speed.
- Clear disk space: Also, free up disk space on your device by removing unnecessary files and programs. It can definitely improve overall system performance.