There isn’t a single way to avoid the slow connection. So, in this in-depth tutorial, I’m going to tell you almost every single possible way to check and increase your internet connection speed. And, this article should be able to provide solutions like making the Wi-Fi speed faster and increasing the internet connection speed.
Software fixes for increasing internet speed:
Take your internet speed test
The very first step that we are going to do here is to take the internet speed test and ping test. I think most of you have already heard about the world’s best internet speed test by Ookla i.e. dropped Adobe Flash and launched another internet speed test written in HTML5.. The company recently
Take the old Ookla’s internet Speedtest here and Ookla’s HTML 5 Speedtest here. Using Ookla’s Speedtest to test your speed is very simple. All you need to do is visit the website and click on the BEGIN TEST button.
Take the Ookla’s Pingtest
Make sure your browser and OS is updated
An old and updated browser/OS also hinders your internet speed and thus makes you stuck in the middle of web browsing, downloading/uploading files etc. Make sure that your browser, as well as Operating System, is up to date in order to get a better speed. If you are finding it hard to update your browser, you can download the latest version alternatively:
- Download the latest version of Mozilla Firefox here.
- Download the latest version of Google Chrome here.
- Download the latest version of Safari here.
- Download the latest version of Internet Explorer here.
- Download the latest version of Edge browser here.’
To update your operating system, you are advised to find the suitable update settings in your computer and move to the latest version of OS.
Check for background activities
Background activities are the number one contender when it comes to slowing down your internet speed. To ensure a better internet speed, you need to check and kill those unnecessary background activities which are on your system.
Windows users can check the background activities by pressing CTR+Shift+ESC, whereas Mac users can search for “Activity Monitor” in Spotlight search.
Similar commands can also be used for Linux systems. For example, you can go ahead and use
gnome-system-monitor command to fire up the system monitor app on your Ubuntu PC.
These background activities also involve system updates. It might be possible that you are experiencing slow internet speed temporarily. So, as soon as the update is completed, your internet speed will come back to normal. Although, you can always turn off the system update but that would not be recommended.
Browser tweaks for faster internet surfing
Users can also enhance their internet surfing experience by doing some tweaks in the browsers. Make sure to clear your cache and other junks regularly as sometimes they are the major cause of slowing down your browsing speed.
I’ve already written few article on how to make Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome faster for web browsing. I will also be writing something on Edge and Safari for faster browsing in future. Meanwhile, if you are a Google Chrome user, you can always read my article on how to stop Chrome from killing your computer and reduce the RAM usage.
DNS hack for speeding up the internet
If you are a regular visitor of fossBytes, you might have come across my article on DNS Hack for faster internet. You can choose either Google DNS or OpenDNS according to your need. Generally, Google DNS is recommended for faster and secure internet.
For Google DNS configuration, use these IP addresses:
- For IPv4: 220.127.116.11 and/or 18.104.22.168.
- For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
For Open DNS configuration, use these IP addresses:
- For IPv4:
- Preferred DNS server: 22.214.171.124
- Alternate DNS server: 126.96.36.199
- For IPv6:
- Preferred DNS server: 2620:0:ccc::2
- Alternate DNS server: 2620:0:ccd::2
Stop torrent downloading and uploading
This is no hidden fact that torrent downloading/uploading also sucks your internet speed big time. And the worst part is, most of the time, you are unaware of this because these applications run in the background and start automatically whenever you turn on your computer.
So, if you are having trouble getting a good internet speed, check and make sure that your torrents are paused. You can also uncheck the “Start xyzTorrent on system startup” while installing the software.
Free up the unnecessary used space
Although, I won’t exactly call it a method but there is no harm in cleaning up the unnecessary used space in your old PC. The programs that are installed on your PC and need internet to operate, hinder your speed even if you aren’t using them. So, you should uninstall the programs that are of no more use to you. Also, do not forget to delete temporary internet data created by these programs.
Scan and remove adware
Adware are a curse to your PC as well as the internet. I’ve explained the adverse effect of adware, how to scan and remove them in the security fixes section that’ll be discussed further.
Hardware fixes for faster internet
Find problem with your Wi-Fi
It’s not that only your software slows down your internet speed, your hardware can affect that too. Previously, we wrote about Ofcom Wi-Fi checker app that runs on your smartphone or tablet and checks the quality of your WiFi signal. So, my advice to you is to download and install Ofcom or any similar Wi-Fi checker app to detect the problem and improve your Wi-Fi connection.
Read the following points to know small fixes to improve your internet speed.
Wi-Fi router placement to get good connection
Wi-Fi router placement plays an important role when it comes to boosting your Wi-Fi signal strength and hence getting better internet speed. According to a research, your router should be placed at the central location and at some elevation. Keep your router away from Microwave and direct your antenna upwards for better horizontal reach and sideways for better vertical reach.
If you want to know how you can enhance Wi-Fi signal by choosing a right place in detail, read our dedicated article on the same topic here. This post contains some important points based on physics.
Choose the correct Wi-Fi channel
Channel overlapping also obstructs the Wi-Fi signal and tones down your internet speed. Choosing the correct Wi-Fi channel reduces the interface and improves your Wi-Fi signal. The overlapping is done mostly with nearby channels, so, choosing channel 1,6 and 11 is the best option as they are spaced far enough and do not overlap (as shown in pic).
If you are willing to know more about choosing the correct channel to get a better Wi-Fi speed, read our in-depth article here.
Boost your Wi-Fi with beer can
To some, this method might seem funny, but it actually works. Cut and place the beer can over the antenna in such a way that your devices are facing the concave and shine side of the beer can. As a result, the Aluminium can will reflect the signal — that was earlier getting wasted in other directions — towards you and give you a strong Wi-Fi signal.
But this method has its own limitations as one side would get blocked. So, you would have to adjust it every time. If you are willing to know more about this method visit this link.
Best practices to increase your Wi-fi speed
It’s not that only little hacks work while talking about getting faster internet speed. One should follow these best practices to get a better and faster internet speed:
- Check and update your router’s firmware.
- Take ping test at PingTest.net regularly (Different from the usual speed test).
- Password protect your internet router.
- Disconnect old devices.
- Check for the signal interference from devices like cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors etc.
Use repeater to strengthen signal
If you are using a Wi-Fi router in a large house and your router isn’t strong enough, you might face the problem of slow Wi-Fi signal. It’s generally advised to use a repeater for extending your Wi-Fi network. You can either use an old router and use it as a repeater, or use a new repeater for bridging the existing router.
Use Ethernet over Wi-Fi if possible
Although, Wi-Fi is more convenient but we must admit that wired connections are way better than wireless ones. So, if possible, use a wired connection as it’s more secure, faster, has lower latency, and no wireless interference problems.
But again, it’s up to you to choose which type of connection you want. We have already told you about the speed test and the ping test in the starting of the article — take the tests and decide what kind of connection would be suitable for you. Read more about Wi-Fi vs Ethernet comparison here.
Speed Up Internet Using CMD
Command Prompt in Windows works at the very abstract level. Using CMD, you can directly interact with the ports, Flush DNS table and can even set your TCP receive window, one of the key factors in downloading from the internet. Besides, you can also define the way Microsoft Windows interacts with the internet (in the background, Microsoft also limits the internet connection).
Use the below command in CMD to check if ‘Receive Window Autotuning level’ is ‘Normal’:
- netsh interface tcp show global
This command will show you a list of TCP global parameters and if you see the result that ‘Receive Window Autotuning level’ is not ‘Normal’ then go for this command to set the receive windows to normal
- netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal
Another command which could of help is
- netsh interface tcp set heuristics disabled
This command will disable the heuristic algorithm by Microsoft which limits the internet speed.
Clean up hardware, don’t let it heat up
This method does not come directly under speeding up your internet, but keeping your CPU cool is always a good thing. Overheating slows down your system and can harm your hardware. The cooling system of the computer consists of components like fans, heat sinks, vents etc. and any type of malfunctioning can cause problems. If you are looking for general fixes, here’s an article on how to prevent your computer from overheating.
Security Fixes for high internet speed:
Scan for malware and adware and remove them
If you take a look at different surveys and reports, you’ll come to know that malware and adware risks are on the rise. To deal with these risks, you are advised to use an effective antivirus product and regularly scan your computer for malware, virus, adware, ransomware etc.
Make sure that along with your operating system, your antivirus solution is up-to-date and offers the best protection. If you are looking for some antivirus product, don’t forget to check out our list of the best antivirus software of 2016.
Check and protect router from hacking attacks
According to a research, most of the Wi-Fi routers are vulnerable to hacking attacks. The purpose of hacking into your Wi-Fi can be anything from stealing sensitive information to just using your Wi-Fi bandwidth for the internet. If goes undetected, this can harm you big time. So, I will advise you to check for the vulnerability in your router first and take the necessary precautions.
In the next point, I’ll be explaining more on network security that will also cover some steps to protect your router from getting hacked.
Set Network Security
Precaution is better than cure. Setting up network security could be a great way to avoid any unwanted intrusion. Make sure that your network devices like routers and switches are properly configured and password protected.
Below are few steps to protect your Wi-Fi router from getting hacked. You can also visit this link to read the in-depth article on the same.
- Turn on the firewall
- Enable WPA2 (Wi-Fi protected access)
- Change the default SSID network name.
- Use a strong password or passphrase maybe
- Disable remote administration
- Enable MAC filter and logging feature.