Many people work from home nowadays – and many discover that their internet is not as fast as necessary. Likewise, those who invest in games, more streaming entertainment and other online activities may find that the speeds in their current situation are not at the desired level. So, what's the best way to improve your internet speeds in 2020? Let's take a look at current practical tips and take your internet connection to new heights!
Not sure how your internet speed is doing? You can take a minute and run an internet speed test to get more exact numbers. Remember that running the test several times a day will give you better information about your average speeds.
Reset your router
Resetting your router has many advantages for the average home network. It can help clear hacking attempts, reset the router's limited memory to speed things up, and even apply important updates that your router may have been waiting for.
The key is to correctly restart your router. You don't want to do a factory reset which will clear all your settings and force you to start from scratch. Avoid the holes and reset buttons on the router; instead, simply disconnect your router from all connected devices and then from the power source, completely turning it off. Wait about a minute for everything to shut down completely, then plug your router back into your power source, modem, and anything else you need. We also have a full guide on what you need to know about router reset for more information.
Manage your Wi-Fi channels
Most routers today are dual-band, which means they provide connections over both the 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. Some routers are also tri-band, which simply means that there is an extra 5 GHz band to spread connections even more.
These different channels exist so you can divide device connections across the spectrum and reduce the demand for a single channel. This can help speed up your connections, especially if the 2.5 GHz band gets a little crowded.
As a general rule, the 5 Ghz band has a shorter range, but a little faster, more suitable for devices that are close to the router. The 2.5 GHz band has a longer range, but is slightly slower, a better choice for devices in other rooms or mobile devices that move a lot.
Some routers come with automatic assignment functions that allow devices to be assigned to different channels based on connection needs and switch to new channels when conditions change. That's great, but most routers still don't have that service, which means going to your router settings and making sure that networks are set up for all bands on your router, then connecting each device individually to the channel that is best for them. It's a bit of work, but it can really make a difference to your speeds.
Manage the devices on your network
The average home router can theoretically handle about 250 connected devices ] – in practice, as more devices stack up, bandwidth struggles to cover network needs and delay. In the modern home or office where everyone has multiple mobile devices and smart devices are common, routers can get overloaded and cause speed issues.
If a lot of new devices are connected to your Wi-Fi and you notice speed issues, you may want to start limiting connected devices. For newer routers, open your router app and look for the list of connected devices. For older routers, enter your IP address in the browser and search for your administrator settings, where you need to look for a section that says Manage devices Restrict access or something similar. While the settings may vary, here are several important options to look for:
- find unnecessary devices: If devices don't need to be on your network or it seems like someone is hijacking your Wi-Fi, you can disable those devices. You can also look for an option to ban their MAC addresses and make sure to change your Wi-Fi password when you're done. It's not a perfect solution, but it can help remove unknown devices quickly.
- Throttle Bandwidth: Some routers allow you to choose specific connections to slow down or slow down their speed. This way you can give less bandwidth to devices that are only needed for simple tasks, and more bandwidth to devices used for gaming and streaming, reducing speed issues.
- Restrict Usage: Routers may also be able to limit the hours of usage for certain devices, which is a good way to ensure that devices do not use too much bandwidth during important hours of the day. It is also a reliable way to manage children's online connections for busy families.
- Voice Commands: We are seeing more and more devices with voice command compatibility, especially for Alexa. Saying, "Alexa, disconnect this device" or "Alexa, turn off Timmy's WiFi" can be useful commands. Alexa can also help you quickly switch between router modes (chat, gaming, default, etc.) to prioritize certain activities.
Using Ethernet Connections
So far we assume that you need to use WiFi connections everywhere in your home. If your computer (or other device) is close enough to the router, consider using a wired Ethernet connection to the ports on your router. This is a very reliable way to increase speed as a wired connection is free from many of the problems that can cause Wi-Fi delays.
"DNS" your stacked
A DNS (Domain Name System) record keeps track of all website addresses you visit to better improve future visits. However, DNS records rely on you and the website to both stay on their respective servers. If servers change over time – which happens with many websites – the DNS will damage your connection speed because it doesn't recognize the new server. Therefore, it may be a good idea, as they say, to flush your DNS from time to time.
This process does not take long with the right steps. In Windows 10, simply search for Command Prompt in the search box and open the app. Make sure you are running as an administrator! Then type the command line " ipconfig / flushdns " and select enter . Windows will let you know that the DNS has been cleared.
Switching to a faster browser
Is your delay especially common when using your browser or opening many new tabs? Think about switching to a more minimalistic browser that only loads what is needed. Browsers like Brave for Mac and Opera excel at this, especially if you're willing to tinker with settings. If you haven't tried it yet, Google Chrome is also known as one of the fastest major browser options.
Add an extension to manage your cache
Your browser cache stores copies of website content to make it easier to reload sites. As internet users learn, an overfilled cache can slow down online performance (cookies, history and similar stored data can also have an impact). Clearing your cache manually can be tricky which is why it keeps getting bigger over time. We recommend a simpler path: Download a Clear Cache extension that allows you to customize your deletions and delete them immediately with a simple button on your browser's taskbar.
Consider Using a VPN
If you're looking for a VPN (virtual private network) to increase your internet speeds, you're likely to come across a lot of conflicting information. Here's the deal: Some Internet service providers (Internet service providers) will limit bandwidth based on certain activities, such as reaching a soft data cap or streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube. If you have evidence that your ISP is limiting bandwidth in this way, a VPN can help by hiding your activity so the ISP doesn't have the data it needs to make restriction decisions.
In many cases, however, a VPN can really slow down your internet speed through the combination of encryption and server hopping. Only try this as a solution if you are sure your ISP is dark. Fortunately, many VPNs are free to download and can be enabled for a trial if you want to test it.
Upgrade your Wi-Fi system or bandwidth if needed
Many changes are now coming to the router market, including expanded MU-MIMO features for better individual connections, Wi-Fi 6 and compatible devices and more. These new features are great for improving speed and performance. The caveat is that if your router is a few years old, you probably need to buy a new version to get these upgrades – and make sure your new mobile devices are compatible too.
This provides an opportunity to find a router solution that works better for your situation. For example, mesh routers with multiple router points around a house can provide better performance.
You can also choose to upgrade your internet package to get more bandwidth. This of course entails higher costs in the long term, but it makes a direct difference. You can check your provider to see if there are any current offers or discounts that you can take advantage of.
Note : Under current conditions, many ISPs are easing restrictions on data caps, improving speeds, and taking other measures to meet new demand. You may already receive an upgrade in bandwidth with these changes. Check if your provider has added extra features and what difference they have made.