There are several ways to boost your internet speeds.
From YouTube videos and music to online gaming, it seems like everything we do happens online these days.
As such, if your internet connection seems sluggish, it can bring your whole life to a halt.
How to boost your internet speed
If you find your internet too slow to bear, there’s a variety of steps you can take to speed it up.
Make sure you’re getting the speeds you pay for
Perform an internet speed test on your device.
If you’re not, contact your ISP and see if there’s a problem at their end. If there isn’t a problem with them, they might be cheating you out of money for a subpar plan. Consider switching.
Upgrade your router
If you’re still using the Linksys WRT54GL, the immensely popular router released in 2005, you’re in dire need of an upgrade.
Let’s start here — if your router is more than five years old, replacing it with a new model can make a huge difference.
Be sure to get at least a dual-band router, or preferably a triple-band model, and use the 5GHz bands (as we’ll explain in a bit).
Position the router centrally
Mesh routers are another convenient option.
If at all possible, put the router in the middle of your home, equidistant from every corner you need Internet access.
Alternately, invest in a mesh network router, which uses multiple nodes you can position around the house rather than relying on a single router in the middle.
Change to a less crowded channel
Your router can transmit on a variety of different channels, each of which has its own bandwidth space.
If you’re having connectivity issues, open the router’s settings (usually through a mobile app or by typing your IP address into a web browser) and change the channel from “Auto” to one of the other channel options.
You might need to experiment to find a channel that’s not already crowded. Typically, channels 1, 6, or 11 will be your best choices in the 2.4 GHz band, and any of the 23 channels in the 5 GHz band should work.
Make sure your router’s antennas are angled properly
If your router has antennas you can twist or turn, angle them for the best transmission through your walls and floors.
If your home is a single level, point all the antennas straight up and down. If you live in a multi-floor home, angle one antenna vertically but arrange at least one horizontally.
Make sure no one is stealing your bandwidth
If you’re using a weak Wi-Fi password, or no password at all, someone may be using your internet without your knowledge.
Your speed might be sluggish because others are using your Wi-Fi signal, leaving less for you.
Ensure your router is using WPA2 security with a strong password (you can check this in the router’s settings page in a web browser).
You can also use your router’s settings page or mobile app to see what “client devices” are connected to your network. If you don’t recognize some, you can kick them off the network – and then change your Wi-Fi password.
Upgrade your broadband internet package
A sample of the internet plans that Verizon offers.
Many internet service providers include more bandwidth than you generally need — if you’re getting 20Mbps or more, upgrading won’t help a lot unless you have genuinely large data needs.
But if your internet plan is modest, such as 5Mbps, consider upgrading — tweaking your router is unlikely to give you much better speed with a package that slow.
Check your family’s internet usage
Sometimes your internet is slow because your bandwidth is being consumed by other users in your house. If you have trouble streaming video, for example, make sure three other people aren’t streaming different movies at the same time.
You might want to use the parental controls feature (usually found in the mobile app for your router, or the settings page) to put limits on when your kids can use their devices, and what they can do with it.