Whether at home or at work, a fast and efficient internet connection is indispensable in today's daily life. Slow connections can be very annoying and sometimes even expensive. We'll show you how to improve your internet speed to get the most out of all your devices connected to the internet
Method 1 of 3: First steps to find the problem
Step 1. Turn off the modem, wait 10 seconds and turn it back on
Sometimes such a hard reset can already significantly improve the speed. If you (also) have a router, you can also turn it off and on again. Make sure you have any login details to hand in case you are prompted for it after the reset.
Step 2. Clean the connections
Dirt is the enemy. Regularly check all cables and connectors for dirt and dust.
- Dirty, dusty or loose cables are bad for the internet connection. Buy a can of compressed air to clean the connections.
- Make sure there is sufficient ventilation around the modem or router to prevent overheating.
Step 3. Do not connect too many devices to the modem at the same time
Turn off smartphones and tablets when you're not using them, your connection will improve immediately.
Method 2 of 3: Software solutions
Step 1. Delete the cookies, clear the cache and browser history
Do this at least once a month to maintain optimal speed.
under Tools select 'Clear browser history'. In any case, tick: cookies, browser history and temporary internet files.
Select "Delete Recent History" under Tools.
- Google Chrome:
- Type '[chrome://settings/clearBrowserData]' in the address bar.
- Select everything you want to delete, including browser history, download history, cache, cookies and other data.
- Click on 'Delete data'.
In the Safari menu, choose 'Reset Safari'. Check what you want to remove.
Step 2. Check your system for viruses, spyware and malware
These are often the culprits of a slow connection.
- Close all programs and scan the system with the anti-virus program. Do the same with the anti-spyware program. You can also use a program to clean the 'registry', aka a 'registry cleaner'.
- To prevent future infections, it is good to turn off your computer every day. Automatically install security updates for all programs.
- If you don't already have an anti-virus program, read this English-language article on free software for PC or this English-language article on software for Mac.
Step 3. Check for bandwidth consuming programs
Remove programs from your computer that you don't need, but that do drain bandwidth in the background.
- On a computer with Windows, you can use the 'Add or Remove Programs' option in the Control Panel. Remove programs you don't use. Or press 'Ctrl+Alt+Delete', then you come to Task Manager and you can see which processes are active. Be careful not to delete processes that are important to the system's operation.
- On a Mac, press Command-Option-Esc and you'll see all running programs. You can either 'force quit' a program from there or you can go to the program and quit it the normal way.
Step #4. Change your Wi-Fi channel
If many people in the area are using the same channel, the internet connection will probably be slower.
- Use a program like Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android to find the least busy channel in your area. For PC, inSSIDer is a handy program, for Mac you can use KisMAC.
- Change the channel if you have found a channel where it is not so busy. Check your router's user manual to learn how to do that. Every router is different, but it's never complicated.
Method 3 of 3: Buy new equipment
Step 1. Buy a new modem or router
Use short cables for a more efficient connection.
Step #2. Use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi
A connection with a cable is always faster than a wireless connection. Buy good quality cables. The quality of the cables can play a major role in the speed of your connection. Buy cables that are made for what you will be using the cables for. Replace worn or bad cables.
Step 3. Contact your provider's helpdesk and ask what speed you should expect in your location
The distance from your home to the exchange plays an important role in this, your provider has this data ready.
- Test your current internet speed. Try Speedtest, a website that lets you test your speed.
- Check that the actual speed corresponds to the speed as promised by the provider. Call your provider if there is a big difference between the speeds.
Step 4. If many users use the same network, you will need more bandwidth
Upgrading the subscription often offers a solution.