11 tips to improve your internet connection

Do you suffer from slow internet speed at home? Since we spend more and more time at home, many connectivity problems can appear, especially when several people live under the same roof.

Connectivity drops, bottlenecks, delays in uploading and downloading content are common problems with home internet services, and it may not be your provider’s fault.

Here are the reasons why your internet may be slow, and solutions to fix it.

1. Assess your bandwidth

If you constantly have speed issues, your bandwidth is the first thing to consider.

Make sure you have a plan that can handle all of today’s devices and their bandwidth demands. A minimum speed of 30 Mb/s is recommended.

Generally, you will need more bandwidth if you have multiple devices and streaming services in use. Your internet service provider may have imposed a limitation on your service if you are considered to be using “too much” bandwidth – if this is the case you will need to call your service provider. You may also need to renegotiate your plan, upgrade it, or, if you’re not getting a good deal, switch providers altogether.

2. Check your speed

If you already have a broadband plan and there is no reason for you to suffer from slow speed because of what you pay, go to the ZDNet speedtest or on Speedtest.net and Fast.com for real-time analysis of your connection. These free services will ping and check your download and upload speeds.

If you pay for a plan of up to 30 Mbps and only receive speeds of 2 or 3 Mbps, for example, it may be an issue with your internet service provider (ISP). At this stage, it is useful to check with your supplier if there is an outage in the area. To do this, simply type the name of your ISP and the word “outage” into a search engine or visit its website. You can also ask your neighbors if they have any problems.

Flickering lights on your router can also indicate a problem outside your home, such as with cables or junction boxes.

However, if it’s just a specific online service you’re having trouble with, go to Down for everyone or just me, type the address and check if your slow speed or domain login failure is a 3rd party issue or failure. Sometimes the inability to access web domains is not the fault of your service, but rather of ISPs or Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). For example, Fastly made large swaths of the web inaccessible due to an outage in June 2021.

3. Reset your router

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the right one. If your connection speed suffers, try unplugging your router, leaving it turned off for about 10 seconds, then restarting it. In the same way that a PC sometimes needs a refresh, routers sometimes need it too.

4. Check the location of your router

There are two general categories of hardware used to connect your home: a traditional router or a mesh network (unless you are relying on a mobile device and 3G/4G/5G cellular setup).

Traditional routers act as a central hub to connect you to your ISP. These routers handle traffic through a single access point.

In comparison, mesh networks are newcomers to the market that create a network of nodes for internet access. Instead of each home device connecting to a router, these products include a hub and nodes that can be spread across different areas of your home, and devices connect to the nearest physical node to access the web.

If you’re using traditional hardware, like a default router provided by your ISP, you should remember that the further away you are, the greater the risk of connection issues, slow speeds, and dropouts. A simple solution is to move your router – perhaps closer to your office – or invest in a Wi-Fi extender to increase signal strength.

Certain objects can also interfere with connections between your devices and a router. Whenever possible, try to keep clutter around your router to a minimum.

5. Consider a mesh network

Large properties or home offices located in a garden or yard may simply not be serviced by a centralized internet hub. If so, moving your router won’t be enough, and it might be time to consider a mesh network instead.

Both categories can offer reasonable speeds, but mesh networks tend to sacrifice a bit of speed for better connectivity. If you need high-speed direct connections for streaming, gaming, and power-hungry business applications, upgrading your standard router is a worthwhile investment and will likely perform better than a network install. The default router typically provided by an ISP may simply not meet the bandwidth needs of today’s homes.

It’s also worth noting that you can combine a router with a LAN cable if you want a stable and fast connection for a PC in a room, as well as wireless connectivity in general.

It is also useless to subscribe to a broadband internet plan if your old equipment cannot support it. So you also need to consider the age of your router if lags are an issue.

6. Check your wiring

The cabling connecting your router to a switch, phone jack, or PC is something that can be overlooked, but can cause connectivity or speed issues. If your wires are old, you may consider refreshing them and replacing the old ADSL/Ethernet wires and see if that fixes the problem.

7. Find the hijackers

If you are suffering from slowness, it may be because someone else is hijacking your internet subscription. Routers usually come with a random password set by default and printed on a sticker on your router, but if you’ve changed your password to something easy to guess, you’re using an insecure protocol, or you have an open Wi-Fi hotspot, you risk other people using your network without your consent.

To lock your connection or change your password, go to your router’s configuration page in a browser. You will need to check the specific router address from your provider or do a Google search with your router type, which should provide you with the address you need to access the router settings and hunt unwanted users.

8. Switch to a less crowded channel

Wi-Fi channels make it easy to send and receive data. Bottlenecks can form when you have too many connections, slowing your broadband. Depending on the channels used by your router, you may be able to switch to less congested traffic lanes.

There are different apps android and iOS to easily scan your Wi-Fi channels and reveal which devices are connected to your network. To change channels, log into your router’s configuration page and select the channel you want from the available options.

9. Try another VPN location

Many of us work from home, and companies may require you to use a virtual private network (VPN) to access company resources securely.

You can either subscribe to a VPN as a paid customer or opt for a free service. Paid options are generally faster, but can still slow down your internet, as you’re using a relay for traffic – and if the VPN service is used at peak times, there can also be congestion.

A quick fix is ​​often to try a different location option offered by your VPN: for example, London users connected to a New York server can try using another server located in the UK. However, not all VPNs are created equal, and there can be substantial differences in the speeds offered.

Free VPNs are generally not recommended because, in exchange for free access, there is always a trade-off – whether it’s security, your personal data or speed. If you are using a free VPN and the low speed is intolerable, you should consider subscribing to a paid service.

10. Check for Malware

But the slowness of your internet connection may have nothing to do with your hardware or service provider. If your computer has been infected with malware, malware, or adware, the program may be throttling overall performance by using memory reserves. Run a virus scan to make sure. Among the suspicious behaviors to watch out for are unwanted pop-ups in large numbers, changing your default search engine, and redirects to unusual websites.

11. Check your background usage

Finally, some very resource-intensive or streaming mobile applications and PC programs can consume the bandwidth you need without you realizing it. Close any software you don’t need to be active.

Source : ZDNet.com

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11 tips to improve your internet connection

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