Why is my Internet so Slow? Tips to Speed Up Your Internet Connection

Why is my Internet so Slow? Tips to Speed Up Your Internet Connection

Slow broadband connection can be more than just an inconvenience. It can bring your entire household to a standstill.

It’s a familiar scene. You’ve got your Zoom call up and running, finally having that virtual catch up that you’ve been meaning to have for ages. You’re mid-anacdote and then…

The frame freezes. The dreaded buffering circle pops up and you launch into your familiar, frantic process of rapidly refreshing the web page, trying other browsers, quickly disconnecting from and then reconnecting to the router and turning it off and on altogether.

Sound familiar?

A slow internet connection can wreak havoc on the modern household. From causing your friends and loved ones to freeze on screen to your weekly online grocery shop getting stuck at the checkout, a dodgy connection can knock the wind out of your sails. For those working from home, connectivity issues can interrupt meetings, disrupt workflow and reduce productivity. In short, a slow internet connection can be a right pain in the modem!

Luckily, despite this, you do have some control over your internet connection speed. In fact, there are several easy and effective steps you can take to speed up your internet connection. Here are our favourite 5 tips to beat the buffering!

 

1) Check Your Current Speed and Plan

If your internet requirements have increased (due to heavier internet use, more internet-enabled devices in your household or guests staying) your loss of speed could be due to your package not covering your requirements. Contact your internet service provider to find out what your existing plan covers. If you find that you are regularly having connection issues, it may be time to upgrade your package.

However, if you suspect that you’re not getting what you are paying for, use an online speed checker to see whether the speeds you are experiencing match those outlined in your package.

 

2) Secure Your Router

Your internet connection is not an unlimited resource. Only so much information can pass between your router and the internet and this means you need to secure it. If your router is not protected, your neighbours may be using your connection and, in doing so, could be causing your internet connection to slow down.

Most routers come password-protected, but not all of them are preconfigured in this way. If you’re unwittingly using an open router, it’s important you set up a password immediately.

 

3) How to set up your Wi-Fi password.

To do this, you first need to find out your Default Gateway. This may be printed on your router. If not:

  • Press the Windows Start Key to open the start screen
  • Type “cmd” and press Enter– this will launch Command Prompt
  • Type ipconfig/all into command prompt and press Enter

How to set up your wi-fi password, step 2.

  • Make a note of your default gateway (you can highlight, rick click, copy)

  • Paste (or type) the default gateway into a web browser to get to your router

Step 5 in how to set up your wi-fi password, type you ip into your web browser.

  • This will open your router settings and you may be asked to log in – if so, the username and password should be printed on the router, but if not, you can contact your internet service provider and ask them for more information
  • Once you’re in your router settings, you will be able to set up a new password and secure your Wi-Fi

 

4) How to Close Down Unnecessary Apps

It’s all too easy to clutter up your computer, but all of this unnecessary stuff could be slowing down your internet connection. Certain apps can eat up your bandwidth, such as:

  • Instant messaging platforms
  • Media pop-ups
  • OS updates
  • Security scans
  • Website tabs

How to close down unnecessary apps

  • Press CTRL + ALT + Delete – this will bring up Task Manager, where you will be able to see which programs are currently running and close those you don’t need.

Wi-manx's guide on how to close down unnecessary apps

  • To close a program, right-click on its name and select End Task. 

Depending on when you last did this, unnecessary files may be taking up room in your computer’s storage – which can slow down your device.

 

4) Correctly Position Your Router

Remember when you used to listen to the radio, but when you stood in a certain spot the signal would start to go? Every time that happened it was because your body was interfering with the signal. It’s easy to tell when a radio experiences such interference – you can hear it!

Well, did you know that your router is using the same stuff – radio waves – to connect you to the internet? Just as your body could interfere with your radio signal, other electronic devices can interfere with your internet connection. But rather than hearing this interference, you’ll notice a drop in internet speed.

Try to keep your electronic devices separate to avoid similar frequencies interfering with each other. Don’t keep your Fritzbox on top of your skybox or next to your microwave.

How to get the best possible Wi-Fi signal:

Top tips on how to get the best wi-fi signal with your router

  • Place your router in a central location – this will give the best coverage throughout your house. If your router is located on one side of your home, it may not cover every room properly.
  • Try not to encase or surround your router with solid objects as this will degrade the signal strength of your wifi and avoid putting it in a glass or wood cabinet.
  • Position the antenna correctly – positioning the antenna sideways can improve signal upstairs and positioning it vertically can improve signal laterally.

 

5) Switch Channels

If lots of people are using the same Wi-Fi channel, you may experience your connection slowing down. This is because neighbouring networks that are operating on the same frequency can interfere with your own network. Not all routers are created equal, some are smarter than others and will automatically change channels to avoid congestion. However, others don’t, but it is possible to manually change your Wi-Fi channel and most routers allow users to select from a choice of 11 different channels.

Although changing Wi-Fi channels isn’t quite as easy as switching television channels, it’s not rocket science and doing so can give you a big speed boost, if you live in an area with lots of electromagnetic congestion.

How to switch Wi-Fi Channels

  • The best Wi-Fi channels in the UK are generally 1,6 and 11.
  • Access your router settingsfollowing the instructions outlined in section two of this article
  • Look for a menu called Wi-Fi Settings or similar – the specific name varies depending on provider
  • The channel number should be selectable – select a different channel and see whether your speed improves

A variety of apps allow you to see which frequencies have the least amount of traffic in your area. For example: the Wi-Fi Analyser App gives users a visual representation of Wi-Fi usage, by frequency, in their area. Similar apps are available for desktop and IOS use.

 

I’ve Tried Everything – Nothing Works

If you’ve implemented every Wi-Fi boosting tip you can find and your internet is still not fast enough, it may be because of where you live. Unfortunately, your internet connection will depend, ultimately, on both your package and the infrastructure in your area.

Because of this, people living in certain parts of the Island experience faster or slower connections. There is some good news, however. With Fibre broadband more widely available across the island, there is some hope for these areas with patchy connectivity.

 

What about Fibre Broadband?

Delivering an Internet connection over fibre optic cables rather than copper lines, fibre broadband represents the next generation of connectivity. Fibre optic cables are able to transfer information a lot faster than traditional copper wires, transmitting data through pulses of light rather than electrical signals and allowing your data to get from A to B much quicker.

 

 

Let Wi-Manx help you to get up to speed!

If you’re sick and tired of slow broadband disrupting your work, relaxation, or socialising, get in touch with Wi-Manx today. The island’s only 100% locally owned IT and telecoms company, we’re experienced in delivering quality broadband to homes just like yours.

 

Wi-Manx is a locally owned home phone and broadband supplier, keeping the island connected with reliable connectivity and quality voice solutions.

To find out more about our phone and broadband solutions, get in touch with our team today.