When your internet is running slow, it can be the most frustrating thing in the world. A fast internet connection is essential to your daily life if you’re working from home, gaming, checking emails, or browsing.
Slow internet is entirely unacceptable! In your quest to improve your internet speed, you’ve probably tried all the typical advice, all the cliché tips, and all the wizards and diagnostic tools there are. So, we won’t bore you with any of this. Instead, we offer you expert tips for getting your internet connection lightning-fast when nothing else will work.
- Check the cable
So, you’ve tried turning everything off and on again. To no avail. What else can you do?
Try inspecting your internet at the source. Not the ISP’s website, not merely your router, but the spot where the internet enters your home – your cable connection. Inspect the entirety of the cabling coming into your home. You’ll typically see this on the side of your home, potentially in some kind of enclosure to keep things safe.
You never know what animal could have chewed up your main cabling – squirrels, neighbourhood cats, or anything else that goes out on the prowl. Maybe bad weather could have caused damage. It can even be easy to dislodge things when you don’t know what they are.
Your internet may have a cable splitter. Check your splitter for dirt or rust, and replace it if needed. Make sure the splitter isn’t cheap, slow signal models. Why not get rid of the splitter altogether if your connection works fine without it?
- Clear all your settings
You may have changed router settings at some point, which led to the problem. Maybe there was an update that changed things. Perhaps both. Whatever happened, you’d be surprised how a simple reset can fix many issues!
If you want to reset your router back to its default factory configuration, you must look for a reset button somewhere on the rear or bottom of the device. This button may be tiny, or it could even be a pinhole. When you locate it, you may need to hold it down for a few seconds, waiting for a flashing light or colour change.
If you can’t find this button, try using your router’s web interface to reset all settings. This reset may entail typing in a specific IP address to your browser, using an app, or – if you’re having internet trouble anyway – just trying to open any website.
- Upgrade your router
If you haven’t changed provider in the last few years, you may still be making do with an older router. These days, 802.11b and 802.11g routers are considered older, slower models. If you have such a router, it may be unable to keep up with your modern demands. In the past, routers could easily handle gentle browsing on one or two devices.
However, nowadays, people simultaneously connect phones and multiple computers to their routers. So, you may consider switching to a more powerful, newer one.
Look for a tri-band model for maximum speeds or plenty of devices. Tri-band routers offer three bands. Alternatively, a dual-band router will let you dedicate a specific band to the activities that require lots of bandwidth and leave one free for slower things.
Whichever new router you choose will likely have the latest wifi technology. This is called 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6. You can also get the enhanced Wi-Fi 6E!
In Australia, the fastest internet connection is the National Broadband Network. A fibre-optic network, the speeds are impressive. Check if NBN has rolled out in your area.
- Check your router software
As a piece of kit that doesn’t exactly do much, it’s easy to forget about it – but your router does run the software. Your router, modem and any other hardware on your network all run low-level embedded software.
The average user probably won’t use this software much beyond giving them a cool joke name, but it’s essential to be aware of it. In addition, your vendor may occasionally roll out firmware updates and patches to provide new features and bug fixes – such as those that cause a slow internet connection. Routers can get hacked, too, after all.
So, how do you update this software? Well, the process is different for every router. But try looking in your router’s settings under “system” or “updates”. If you decide to update your router, ensure that you’re doing this correctly, and never download firmware from a third-party website.
- Troubleshoot your router
Is your router trying to tell you something? Unfortunately, without a screen or speakers, your router cannot give you a detailed error message when something is wrong. Nonetheless, your router does still have ways of trying to communicate with you.
If you look at your modem and router, you’ll probably see a set of LEDs. These indicate the status of your router and internet connection and look cool! Your router is probably turned off if you don’t see any lights. Check the power cord thoroughly to see that it is in properly – it can move over time – or press the button or switch. If there are still no lights, your power cable or your router itself is damaged.
But what if the network light is on, just not the Wi-Fi one? Your router may also have a Wi-Fi button for you to press. Pressing this should reset your Wi-Fi connection.
The lights may be blinking. For some routers, this is normal. However, for other routers, a flashing light may mean it can’t find an internet connection. You might see this for a second every time you turn your router on under normal circumstances before it gets going. If your router can’t find an internet connection, but nothing else is amiss, it’s time to call your ISP.
If you’re stuck deciphering your router, you can try checking any documentation or manuals that come with it.
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