9 ways to improve your internet connection

Helpful Tips to Keep You Connected

Internet Speed

I think we can all agree there’s nothing worse than slow internet speeds- especially in this day and age. We need high-speed internet. Waiting for a page to load? Never. The internet is how we stay connected with friends and family, stream our favorite movies and TV shows, order our entire wardrobe and little trinkets on websites like Amazon, not to mention it’s almost mandatory for businesses to operate using reliable, fast internet.

Studies show the average American spends 24 hours a week online. With all of that internet usage, there’s no time to waste waiting around for the internet to load, or even worse… to not load at all.

Here are 9 common things to check when trying to improve your internet connection:

  1. Confirm that you are having speed issues
    First, check to make sure you are actually having connection issues. Sometimes things just lag and that’s normal. Usually it will fix itself after restarting your computer. If it persists for more than a few minutes and after a restart, test your connection speed is by using Fast.com
  2. Reset your modem and router
    Before resetting your modem and router, first check the other computers in your house to see if their internet is slow, too. If the problem only happens on one computer, the problem may be the computer, not your router or modem. If you identify that other devices are struggling, unplug your router, then the modem. Wait about 30 seconds then plug in the modem, and then the router. From there, test your internet to see if the problem is fixed.
  3. Know your hardware’s limitations
    If you’re paying for the most expensive internet plan—say, a fiber connection – you need to be aware of the fact that you may never see those lightning-fast internet speeds if the primary wifi router in your house is a dated wireless-n device. Similarly, you might have a high-end wireless-ac router but if you’re connecting to it with an outdated or cheaper laptop, or an old XBOX gaming console, you’re going to wonder why your transfer speeds are so slow.
  4. Find out if the plan you’re on is designed for your current internet usage
    Internet demands fluctuate in every household and business. If there are more users on your internet connection then there was when you initially got your internet plan, it may be time to call your internet service provider to discuss upgrading your internet plan. Typically, plans are designed to accommodate a certain amount of devices and usage.
  5. Connect your computer directly to the modem.
    Test, test, test! If your internet speeds are noticeably different when plugged directly into the modem, then you know the router is the problem. If you still have speed issues, then it's likely the modem. You can purchase new modems almost anywhere online these days but it is best to call your internet service provider to find out what modem or router would be best for you.
  6. Check your DNS performance, and use a different one
    When you type an address into your browser, your computer uses something called DNS to look up and translate that into a computer-friendly IP address. Sometimes, the servers your computer uses to look up that information can have issues, or go down entirely. Thankfully, you have plenty of free options to use, like Google DNS or Cloudflare. Or you can use a utility like Namebench to actually test what’s the fastest for your location and go with that.
  7. Call your ISP and have them replace the modem
    If you're renting a modem from your internet service provider, there's a chance it's older and outdated. Give your internet service provider a call to see if they can come replace it.
  8. Turn off or limit bandwidth-hogging apps
    If your hardware seems to be in working order, see if any other programs are hogging the connection. For example, if you’re downloading large files, regular web browsing is going to be slower. If you’re on desktop, make sure to close unused tabs. You should also try installing extensions like AdBlock Plus, which will block some of the bandwidth-hogging ads, and videos that can slow down your connection.
  9. Call your internet provider
    If you’ve exhausted all options … it’s time to call your local internet service provider. They’ll be happy to help. Don’t assume it’s the internet providers fault, as many things contribute to high-speed internet.

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