Most of us spend any hours online. In the age of broadband, Internet access speeds get ever faster and more accessible. However, you might not be maximizing your Internet speed for a variety of reasons. Using a wireless versus wired connection, running numerous programs and computer viruses are all causes of slow Internet speeds. A faster Internet connection allows you upload and download content faster, improving your workflow and online entertainment experience.
Plug an Ethernet cable directly from your router or gateway to your computer or laptop. Wireless-B and G feeds cap at 54 megabits per second, only half that of a wired connection.
Plug in a powerline adapter to get the Ethernet feed from your router to a hard-to-reach computer. These devices use the electrical lines in your home to carry Internet data from a remote router. Plug an Ethernet cable into the sending adapter near your modem and plug this into a nearby AC outlet. Plug the receiving adapter into another outlet near your PC. Run a second Ethernet cable from this adapter to the computer.
Switch to a wireless-N router. Wireless-N technology offers wireless speeds around 300 megabits per second, a large increase from 54 Mbps. Note that you may need to purchase a wireless-N adapter card for your laptop or desktop. These are available as PCMCIA cards or simple USB adapters.
Close programs or tabs running on your computer that eat up system resources. Closing word processing or multimedia programs you are not using increases your computer's response time.
Do not stream or download large files on your main machine or another one on your network while attempting to maximize Internet connection speed. These services crowd broadband system resources, slowing Internet connections to a crawl.
Test your Internet connection speed using one of a variety of available online programs. These tell you in a few seconds what your upload and download speeds really are. Run the test with a few programs open and with none open other than your browser to examine the difference. If your tests repeatedly show speeds slower than you're paying for from your provider, contact the company to troubleshoot your line.
Run a virus scan on your computer to determine if malware is eating up resources. A primary cause for a slow computer and Internet feed is spyware and ad software running in the background. Removing these unwanted system parasites speeds up everything you do on your PC, online or not.
- Wireless-N routers offer significantly greater range and more consistent performance than "G" versions. Even if you have wireless-G hardware on certain devices, using a new "N" router is still beneficial.
- Use the highest level of wireless security you can to prevent unauthorized access.
- Ethernet cable
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