Whether it is binge-watching, online shopping, remote working, or managing your smart home tech, high-speed internet is the key to fulfilling your wildest dreams on the web. With the whole world going towards rapid digitalization and AI making its way into every part of life, you need internet access around the clock to achieve even a modicum of progress and become a part of the moment.
Notice the use of the qualifier “high-speed” with the internet. Yes, if your internet connection is not fast enough to power your online activities, then, it will only drag you down. Suppose you’re in the middle of an important Zoom meeting and giving your presentation to the big heads. Suddenly, your video starts pixelating, dropping the quality, and ultimately, it freezes over, disconnecting your call and leaving you in a state of shock. What’s the culprit? More often than not, it’s your slow internet.
Thus, to avoid such a scenario in the first place, follow the below-mentioned ways to increase internet speed while at home. No, you don’t have to have a degree in engineering to implement these tips. You can just roll up your sleeves and get to work, and trust us, before you reach the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to make internet fast, Without further ado, let’s begin.
What is Internet Speed?
First things first. Know what you’re dealing with. What is internet speed, you ask? It is the rate at which data packets travel from your device to the World Wide Web and vice versa. Internet speed is usually denoted by “Mbps” or “megabits per second”. Here, megabits represent the size and stature of data. 1 megabit consists of 1000,000 bits – bit being the smallest unit of data. So, internet speed is how fast megabits move between servers and devices.
The rule of thumb with internet speed is this: The higher the internet speed, the lesser the time it takes for your information to transfer online and back. Conversely, the lower the internet speed, the greater the lag in data transmission and the more times it takes for data transmission. Thus, everyone wants high-speed internet these days that doesn’t make them wait and gratifies their demands instantly.
Read More: The Consumer’s Guide to Internet Speed
How to Check Internet Speed?
Next comes the stage of diagnosis. Measure your current internet speed to see where you’re at, what you should aim for, and whether your download speed matches the tier you’ve subscribed to from your ISP. You can test your internet speed in two simple ways:
Online Speed Tests
This is one of the easiest methods to analyze the speed and strength of your internet connection. Choose between speedtest.net, fast.com, Spectrum Internet Speed Test, Speedtest by Ookla, or any of the free online speed test tools available for all users. Connect your computer on which you wish to run the speed test to the internet hardware directly via an Ethernet cable. Start the speed test by hitting the GO button and wait a while for the tool to fetch results. Note down the actual download and upload speed, along with the ping rate, and compare it with your internet plan. If the values are below the advertised speeds, contact your internet service provider right away.
If you are tech-savvy and know your way around computers, then you can perform the internet speed test manually through the ping command. Before starting, connect your computer to the internet hardware via Ethernet and disable internet connectivity on all the other devices for a near-perfect result. Open the command prompt from the START menu. Type “ping” and a website, e.g. “ping www.bing.com” and hit ENTER. The command prompt will display entries from the domain, indicating your internet is working. It will also display the data transmission time or ping in milliseconds. If your ping rate is under 50ms, you’re good to go.
So, whether you try the automatic speed test tool or manually extract results, you’ll come to know the state of your internet speed. If your speed is disappointingly slow, then move on to the following tips and learn how to increase internet speed on your own.
Read More: How to Check Your Home Internet Speed?
How to Speed Up Internet?
Nothing frustrates more than the loading bar or buffering wheel when you’re streaming your favorite show on Netflix or are right in the middle of a team mission in an MMORG game. Before you throw your device out of the window in blind fury, rest assured that there is a silver lining behind this dark cloud. Yes, you can speed up your internet connection without having to call in a technician. Try the following tips, highlighting how to increase download speed, and improve your internet performance in no time.
1. Work Around the Data Cap
One of the reasons why you may be suffering from an internet speed slowdown is that your ISP has enforced data caps on your connection and your monthly data limit is up. What are data caps? Data caps are the artificial restrictions on the bandwidth flow to a customer’s house. To combat peak traffic hours and to prevent network blockage, your internet provider may constrict your data allowance through a data cap. Most of the ISPs have extended the data limit to 1TB, nowadays. However, if your household is full of intensive web users, then you may hit that data cap before the month is up, resulting in internet speed slowdowns and 404 errors.
What can you do about it?
- Calculate the overall data usage in your house and narrow down the activities that consume more bandwidth.
- Carry out heavy internet activities during off-peak hours to avoid network congestion.
- Allocate each member of the household in separate time slots for internet access to take the load off the data reserve.
- Ask the provider to push your data allowance to a higher value so that your chances of exceeding the limit are minimized.
- Subscribe to an unlimited internet plan to surf the web with peace of mind.
2. Refresh Your Internet Connection
Technology, like humans, can get bogged down from stress. It needs a fresh boost from time to time to become good as new again. This is especially true for your internet hardware, i.e. modem and router, or a modem-router combo. So, if your internet connection is lagging recently, then chances are that the equipment is exhausted. Refresh your modem and router by resetting them every few weeks. You can go about it in two ways:
Soft Reset – Soft rest refers to a simple restarting of your modem and router. You can do it manually or automatically by selecting the RESET NETWORK EQUIPMENT option in your service account. Here’s how to do it manually: Press the POWER button on your router. Unplug it. Press the POWER button on the modem. Unplug it as well. Wait for 30 seconds. Plug the modem back in the socket. Turn it on again by pressing the POWER button. Wait for the light, which shows that the modem is online and connected to the ISP network. Plug the router back in the socket and press the POWER button. Let the router reboot. Test the network to see improved results.
Hard Reset – Hard reset is an erasure of all personalized settings and restoration of the network device back to its default state. Factory reset is the last resort. You can do it manually or request your ISP’s customer service for a factory reset when nothing else works. Here’s how to do it manually: Find the RESET button on the back panel of the router. It is a small hole. Keep the router powered on. Use a paperclip and gently insert its pointed end in the small hole until it reaches the button. Hold down the RESET button for about 15 seconds. The router will fully reset at this stage. Wait for the lights to return to normal and test the network by heading online.
3. Centrally Position Your Router
At the heart of your internet connection lies the router. It receives internet signals from the modem and disperses them wirelessly throughout the house, so your devices can connect to the web regardless of which room you’re in or what you’re doing. A router essentially creates your in-home network. It makes Wi-Fi accessible. Such is its importance.
Now, the placement of your router matters a lot. Depending on where you set the device, the internet signals will either move at the speed of light or travel around the vicinity like molasses in January. So, what’s the ideal position? An open, centralized one. Yes, place your router in a clean, open area. Avoid positioning it too close to the floor or the ceiling, and keep it away from walls, corners, bookshelves, cabinets, and other wireless devices in the area that use electromagnetic waves.
4. Switch to the 5GHz Frequency Band
Routers usually work on two frequency bands, i.e. 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 2.4GHz frequency band has the potential to cover a larger area but transmits data at slower speeds. On the other hand, the 5GHz frequency band is on the farther ends of the spectrum, which are less crowded. Though it doesn’t cover large distances, it has a significantly faster speed output. So, if your devices have been using the beaten-down 2.4GHz band, then perhaps you should change the frequency band of your router to 5GHz, by heading into the device settings from your laptop. This modification will result in faster speeds and lesser interference.
5. Update the Firmware
Just like computers, routers have permanent software embedded into them. This software is called firmware. Manufacturers roll out firmware updates from time to time, to boost the performance of their products and to fix bugs via patches. These updates are critical to a router’s functioning. So, make sure to download and install them as soon as they appear in the settings. If you don’t, then you risk making your router vulnerable to security threats and burnout from exhaustion. You can either manually update the firmware or schedule automatic updating.
6. Upgrade the Network Device
Experts recommend upgrading your router once every two years, so you can take full advantage of the new varieties and latest features that hit the market. If you’re bent on using your ISP’s provided router, then request for an upgrade by calling the customer service, so you can enjoy the extended range and advanced signal throughput. On the other hand, if you prefer to purchase your own router, then go for any of the latest router models like Netgear Nighthawk AX4 and AX8, and TP-Link AX6000 to experience faster, more refined internet access.
7. Boost the Signal with an Extender
Do you have a few bucks to spare? Then, invest in a Wi-Fi extender today. This compact device does the job of extending the range of your router and dispersing internet signals even in those areas that are deemed as the dead zones in your house. All you have to do is pick an extender like Linksys AC1900, check its standard and protocols, see if it is compatible with your router, and then, install it to boost the internet connectivity beamed by your router.
The Final Word
Internet speed is integral to achieving your aims and accomplishing your goals in the modern era. If your connection is lagging, you cannot hope to move forward and leave your mark upon the world. So, use the aforementioned tips to experience faster internet speeds, while streaming, gaming, shopping, or working from home. They are easy to understand and implement. So, do give them a go when you can and you’ll thank us for it.