How to Maximize Your Internet Speed

No matter what Internet speed you signed up for, sometimes it’s not quite fast enough.

Maybe you’ve noticed that pages are taking longer to load, or videos are buffering more. Maybe you just have a feeling that the speeds you’re getting are slower than they should be.

That could be because your Internet speed depends on a lot of things — including the devices you use and what you do online. But there are steps you can take to improve your Internet service. Follow these tips to make the switch from slow Internet and maximize your speeds.

Perform a speed test

The first thing you should do if you’re worried about your Internet connection? A speed test. Testing your Internet speed will tell you whether you’re actually getting speeds lower than advertised — or if it’s just time to upgrade to a faster plan.

Try an Internet connection speed test like Ookla, or search for one on your provider’s website. Usually, all you have to do is hit “Start” — you may also be prompted to choose the server location that’s closest to you. In just a few minutes, the test will reveal your download speed, upload speed and ping (a measurement of how responsive your connection is).

Compare the results of your Internet connection speed test to the speed you signed up for from your provider. If your speeds are significantly slower, it may be an issue for your ISP. If you want to try a DIY fix first, follow these steps:

Tips and tricks for faster Internet

  1. Reset your network. It sounds simple, but sometimes resetting your network is all you need to do to boost your Internet speeds. Just power off or unplug your modem and router, wait 30 seconds, and then restart your network.
  2. Check for conflicting signals. If you have multiple wireless devices in your home, there’s a chance that their signals are crossing. Check the frequency that your wireless devices run on — if multiple devices run on the same frequency, using them at the same time will lead to slow Internet speeds.
  3. See what devices are on your network. And don’t forget to see what they’re doing. The more devices that are on your network — including computers, laptops, tablets, game consoles and smartphones — the slower your speeds will be. And some activities, like streaming video, gaming and downloading movies, take up more bandwidth, resulting in slower Internet speed.
  4. Move your router. Wireless Internet speeds depend on how far your devices are from your router. The farther away your devices are, the slower Internet speed you’ll get. That’s why you get slower speeds and weaker signals in your driveway than you do in your living room. To boost your Internet performance, move your router to a more central location — or invest in a router with stronger signals.
  5. Update your browser. Slow Internet speed may not be a result of your Internet connection. It could be a result of an old, cluttered or outdated browser. Keep your Web browser updated with the latest version. Delete cookies regularly. And remove unnecessary toolbars and add-ons.
  6. Scan for viruses regularly. Viruses, malware and other online threats can result in slow Internet speed. To prevent that, use antivirus software and scan regularly for security breaches.

If these quick fixes don’t work, call your Internet service provider. They’ll likely be able to troubleshoot your connection and find the cause of your slow Internet.

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