Because we’re more reliant on the internet with each passing year, it can be extremely frustrating when your connection lags out or slows down. The first thing that most of us do is unplug our routers and modems to reset them. Sometimes that works, but other times, there’s a more serious issue at hand.
If you’re looking to improve your internet speeds without having to upgrade your (already expensive) monthly package, there are some tips to try out first. Here are five things that you should look into before signing a multi-year contract and getting stuck with a higher monthly internet bill.
5. Check for Viruses
Your internet speed might not have anything to do with the router or modem at all, but rather the device you’re using. Even mobile phones are suscept to getting viruses, so make sure to run antivirus and antimalware programs on all of your devices that connect to the internet. If that clears things up, you’ll be saving a lot of money.
4. Monitor Data
Most internet service providers have a data cap that they set for every customer each month. For some, the speeds remain the same while the customer gets charged more for each block of data, while others have no extra charge but will throttle your internet speeds severely after a certain point.
If your plan falls into the latter category, make sure that you’re saving data. Set a daily or weekly cap for yourself, that way you have plenty of data to use for the entire month. If you’re on the plan with paid overages, then you’ll really want to keep an eye on your data.
3. Change Frequencies
Some devices in your home are going to require a lot more bandwidth than others. For instance, if you’re playing games online through your PC or console, you’ll want to have most of the bandwidth reserved for that. Most modems will come with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies that you can use to optimize your connection.
It isn’t just your own router that can clog up the frequency, either. If your neighbors are all using the same GHz frequency, that can slow down your internet. If you find that your connection has been slowed down, try to adjust the channel before giving up on your modem completely.
2. Upgrade the Modem
A lot of people will purchase a brand new top-of-the-line modem, and then forget that modems end up improving just as fast as other electronics with each passing year. Every two to four years, modems can become out of date, even if they were the best at the time they were purchased.
Each year, a new modem will come out with improved download speeds, but that doesn’t mean the one that you have is completely obsolete. A good modem will still last for several years, but if you really want to improve your internet connection, make sure you’re staying up with the latest model. It can be a bit pricey each year but may be worth it for the lack of frustration.
1. Move the Router
One error that many people make is that they think a router can be anywhere in the house and the connection will be fine since the signals are strong enough. Some even put their routers behind televisions, in closets, or on the floor. However, where you place your wireless router is essential for signal strength.
The wireless router should always be at the center of your home and elevated as high as possible for the best signal. If you’re in an apartment, try placing the router in the living room, preferably on a shelf with nothing else. Objects around the router can interfere with signals, especially electronic ones. Giving the router a free path to your devices will work wonders for your internet connection.