This day and age we are used to life at its top speed thanks to various means of instant communication. That's why there are very few things that are more frustrating than slow Internet that can basically turn your life into a nightmare. Sometimes speeding up Internet is a simple question of upgrading your plan or changing your service provider.
However, sometimes even users who are paying for high speed Internet access can experience surprisingly slow Internet connection. Fortunately, there are ways to speed up Internet without having to change your ISP or buying a more powerful computer. Here are some tips on how to speed up your computer Internet connection without too much hassle.
1. Talk to your provider
First of all, call your service provider and check whether they are doing their job properly and delivering the service you are paying for. Or perhaps your package is outdated and the company will upgrade you to a better one either for free or for a small upgrade fee.
Keep in mind, though, that very few people are getting the top speed (remember the words "up to" in your contract?) because of distance exchange, congestion, and traffic shaping.
2. Find the browser that works for you
Most people still use Internet Explorer, even though it's not the fastest browser out there. If you are an active Internet user, it would be a good idea to check out different browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera to see which one works best for your connection type and your hardware configuration. For example, Chrome is particularly good for computers that are low on RAM, as it's not as memory hungry as Firefox and IE.
3. Tweak your router
If you are using a router, you can probably speed up Internet by adjusting the router settings. There are too many routers to give specific advice, but most routers can be tweaked to open up ports and boost your Internet speed. Just check the manual for things that can be done to improve performance or use Google to find answers for your particular router.
Before you do any tweaking, check whether you are close enough to the router when you use the Internet. Being too far away from it can make the connection really slow and unstable.
Another thing you should try before changing any settings is to restart your router. Sometimes this simple action can dramatically speed up your Internet connection.
4. Prevent unauthorized access
If you are using wireless Internet connection, make sure that you are not sharing it with the whole neighbourhood. The more people use your connection, the slower it is for you. So at the very least set up a WEP password to stop unauthorised users from using your Internet connection. Or if your hardware is compatible, set up WPA encryption.
5. Control your bandwidth usage
There are many applications that will use your bandwidth in the background, like Windows Update, Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Real player, Adobe Reader updates, and other similar software. Most of them usually start automatically when you log on to Windows and connect to the Internet as soon as there is a connection. This means that these programs use your bandwidth when you are not actually using them.
Most of these applications can be configured not to start on Windows log-on or to at least ask permission to connect to the Internet. If you are not sure which programs are secretly using your bandwidth, you can use a free tool called Auslogics Task Manager. With the help of this program you can track which applications and processes are consuming your network traffic.
If your Internet connection speed dropped all of a sudden for no apparent reason, check your computer for malware and spyware. Malicious software often uses your Internet connection to send information to its developers.
6. Perform some basic PC maintenance
If your computer is slow, it doesn't matter how fast your Internet connection is – everything will be slow because you computer can't cope. The answer to that is to keep your computer in good shape and perform regular maintenance like disk cleanup and defrag, registry repair, and other tasks like monitoring your startup items and optimizing Windows services. This way you will not only speed up computer performance, but also speed up your Internet connection.
There are many tools that will help you do the job, from the Windows built-in ones to complete PC optimization suites like Auslogics BoostSpeed that offers one-click maintenance and advanced tools to improve computer performance even more. It also has a tool called Internet Optimizer that will help you optimize your Internet connection for maximum speed.