If you’re experiencing slower than usual speeds on the Internet, here’s 5 ways to improve your connection. 

Location Location Location 

Moving your computer is the easiest thing to do, and may be all you need. Position it as close to the router as you can, and see if that improves your connection. If you want to compare speeds in different locations, go to Speedtest.Net.

Moving your router can also help with wireless signal strength. Place the router as high up as possible in a central location if you are providing Internet access for more than one device. You may need to buy a longer ethernet cableCat5e ethernet cable is inexpensive and can be purchased in lengths from 3’ to 100’ at most electronics stores or online.  

This free tool from NetSpot will, “… reveal areas of channel interference and dead zones, and will help you tremendously to build a solid network.” 

Wired is always better(In the home)

If you’re connected to your home router via wireless (WiFi), switching to a wired connection can improve things a lot. A wired connection is always better inside the home. If moving closer to your router does not help, try a wired connection using a Cat5e ethernet cable. 

Upgrade your Router

If you’ve had the same router for many years, it could be slowing things down. This is particularly true with older routers with a lot of devices on the network. Sometimes router performance can be improved with a firmware upgrade. Check your router model online and follow the instructions for upgrading the firmware. A newer router with 5Ghz WiFi could also improve both network traffic management and overall speed. Etheric Networks recommends these routers: 

NETGEAR RangeMax – N600 Wi-Fi Router – $50

Cisco-Linksys E1000 Wireless-N Router – $60

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router – $80

NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router$190  

Run maintenance on your computer

Both Apple and Microsoft Windows operating systems require regular maintenance to keep your computer running efficiently. If you haven’t done maintenance for a long time, your system is most likely not running as fast as it could. This will affect your Internet experience. 

For Apple Mac OS we recommend using the freeware application, Onyx. It’s easy to use and has been a standard for Mac maintenance for more than a decade. For Windows OS, there are a variety of programs out there, but CCleaner is recommended. It does have paid versions, but this link should take you to the free version, which is all you need. 

Upgrade your Internet connection

If none of the suggestions above help, you may need more bandwidth. The first thing to do is run a speed test when you experience network slowdown. This is where things can get tricky. 

How much speed do you really need? In truth, not nearly as much as big box ISPs like to say. One person can stream music and movies with a 6 Mbps symmetrical connection. Symmetrical means the same speed for both uploads and downloads. You may have blazing download speed, and terrible upload speed. This can affect your online experience. Here’s a quick guide.

3+ Mbps

Regular browsing

Music streaming

SD Video streaming

Ideal for 1 person

6+ Mbps

HD video streaming

Live-streaming

Gaming

Ideal for 1-2 people

10+ Mbps

Ultra HD streaming

Multiple HD streams

Large data transfers

Ideal for 2-4 people

If you’re not getting these minimums, contact your ISP and look into upgrading service. If you’re looking for a better connection overall and live in the San Francisco Bay Area, Etheric Networks may be able to help. Our fixed wireless network offers symmetrical speeds with guaranteed service levels. 

Image by annca from Pixabay
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