Everyone wants faster internet. But there is a lot of information and potential solutions you can try, and not all of them work. Some tips are downright wrong and some are really technical and/or expensive.
We’re here to help you speed up your Internet inexpensively, and without having to spend a million hours figuring out how your router works. We looked at everything from your router to your browser to your ISP. Let’s go.
Consider your data cap
Data caps are one of the biggest culprits for slow internet. For obvious reasons, ISPs don’t advertise their data caps, but they can seriously disrupt your connection.
A data cap means that you can use a certain amount of data each month, from a few hundred megabytes to hundreds of gigabytes. If you exceed your data limit, your ISP will severely limit your internet access speed. And you will notice it.
Give your router a break
Reset your router every month or so to give it a break and refresh your internet connection. If you’re having serious speed issues, you might consider resetting your router every day.
Don’t want to add another task to your to-do list? Easy, get an outlet timer like Century’s Programmable Timer. You can plug your modem and router into a timer that will turn the system on and off for you.
Set the timer to restart the system every night when you are in bed. So you can wake up every morning to the feeling of fresh internet.
Keep in mind that resetting your router and modem won’t magically turn your login snail into a cheetah. But it will help you and it is a very simple solution.
Reposition your router
This is a quick fix: Is your router in a remote corner of your house? If so, move it.
If the router’s Wi-Fi signal can’t reach you, your internet connection will suffer. Place your router near the middle of your house, preferably on the floor where you spend the most time. If you spend all of your time in the living room on the first floor, place your router on that same level.
Everyone uses wifi these days, which is great. Wireless connections are great and convenient, but they’re not always fast. Wired connections, like Ethernet, will always be faster and more reliable than wireless connections. The cable carries the signal directly to your device rather than depending on over-the-air transmissions.
Almost all content providers display advertisements. Wherever you go online, there are endless ads, images, GIFs, and auto-playing videos.
Even if you don’t mind watching/seeing ads, your internet connection does. Ads slow down your internet connection, so sometimes the easiest thing is to block them. Install an ad blocker plugin that will disable those data-intensive auto-playing videos, and free up your connection.
The ad blocking plugin we recommend is Adblock Plus. It’s free and works on most web browsers. Some VPNs also offer ad blockers, such as NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost.
Use a simplified browser
If you’re like us, you regularly keep dozens of tabs and windows open on your browser. (You’re really going to read this Buzzfeed article from 2014. We know.) But all that open media can cause a slow internet connection, so we recommend having a fallback browser like Opera.
Install virus and malware scanners
If you haven’t already done so, we strongly recommend that you install anti-virus and malware detection software. It is obvious that viruses or malware lurking on your computer drastically reduces your internet access speed. Also, you should install protection software as a rule anyway.
Once you have good software installed, set it to automatically scan for viruses and malware on a regular basis. If the software finds any existing viruses or malware (hence your slow internet speed), have it removed by an IT technician and enjoy smooth browsing again.
Install a “clear cache” plugin
If you’ve never heard of a “cache” on your Internet browser, now is the time to find out what it is. When you visit websites and enter information, browsers collect small pieces of information about you, often in the form of cookies.
Marketers use this data to send you relevant advertisements about products you might want to buy, based on your browsing behavior. If you have ever seen the same advertisement following you around the internet, you are already familiar with this concept.
To get rid of all these cookies and tracers, you must empty the “cache” of your browser. You can do this manually, but it’s easier to install a plugin like Clear Cache for Chrome so you can do it with just one click. Get in the habit of clearing your cache every day so that all that accumulated data doesn’t affect your internet access speed.