Best Free Ways to Optimize Your Internet Speed
You’re paying for premium Internet that should load web pages in the blink of an eye, but you’re not getting that. You get slow load times, broken applications because of timeout errors and email that takes forever to receive.
The good news is that there’s a few tips you can use to get the most out of your Internet connection.
1. Ditch the Wireless Connection
Wi-fi is great. It lets you take your computing on the run, sit in the living room on the couch and check your email while you enjoy television.
The problem is that it tends to be slower than a wired connection. This happens because of things like microwave interference, a number of wireless computers on your network and an assorted array of reasons.
The bottom line is that you should try disabling your wireless connection and plugging an Ethernet cable into your computer if you’re worried about speed. You may even find that you’ve boosted your Internet connection’s speed by as much as 30 percent just by doing this.
2. Check for Background Applications
If you know anything about spyware, you’ll know that a program doesn’t have to be active to be using your system’s resources. This includes your network’s bandwidth, however it’s not limited to just spyware in this case.
The first step is to check for the most obvious culprits. Scan with a reliable antivirus program, then scan with an anti-spyware program to ensure that there’s nothing devious in the background. This can also help your computer run a bit faster if it’s bogged down by background applications you don’t really want.
Your computer could be downloading a plethora of things in the background that aren’t caused by spyware applications or viruses. Common culprits that fall into this category are automatic updates for your operating system, updates to applications, peer-to-peer programs and game updates.
3. Update Your Operating System
Like all things computer-related, bugs and outdated drivers can be a possible cause for slowdown. This includes not only computer speed, but also your Internet connection.
Ensure that everything about your operating system is up to date. Updating will almost always provide a performance increase if your slow Internet speed is related to your operating system in some way.
4. Update Your Internet Applications
Internet browsers can change every day. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox usually have updates that are pushed out every week, most of which end up helping Internet browsing performance. Email clients wills sometimes have new versions available that implement better ways to retrieve and send email, which results in less of a delay while waiting for this process to complete.
5. Tweak Your Router
Most broadband Internet connections have some kind of router involved. This allows multiple computers to connect to the Internet, but it also leaves room for problems with Internet speed.
In most modern routers, there will be a setting that allows you to change the “QoS”, which stands for “Quality of Service”. In a nutshell, this allows the router to mark certain types of packets as most important than others, which means that one type of packet won’t receive all the attention because there are more of it.
QoS settings can be changed to allow Internet browsing to be more important than peer-to-peer downloading. The best way to see the type of setting you should use is to refer to the manual provided with your router.
5. Get a New Router
Hardware malfunctions. As it ages, it tends to run into problems because of components that are in the process of failing or have already failed.
Routers are no exception to this rule. That’s why if none of the above tips work, then try replacing your old router.
Things like a failing AC power supply can result in packet loss, dropped connections and slow Internet browsing. Routers that are about to die, often referred to as in the process of “bricking”, will usually provide telltale signs of packet loss. Both of these types of hardware failure can result in an Internet connection being slower than it should be.
Because it is a part of your Internet connection, most reputable ISPs will offer to replace your router free of charge. All you need to do is contact them. This may require a visit from an ISP repair person or they may ship it directly to your residence.