5 ways to improve your internet speed at home

Written by:
Leah Johnston
Date Posted:
1 April 2020

Simple fixes to speed things up

With children off school and millions of people now working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, a reliable broadband connection has never been more important. 

Since there has been such a spike in home usage, you may have noticed your internet has become slower in recent weeks – so, we have put together a round-up of tricks to give your home internet speed a boost.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
One fix is, quite simply, to restart your router. Like any piece of technology left running continuously, problems can easily occur. 

Turn off your router for a one minute and then turn it on again – this is known as power cycling and can often flush out any speed-restricting issues. If you have a modem separate from your router, reset that as well as this stimulates your connection to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). 

Make sure your router is in the best place
It may seem obvious, but the nearer you are to the Wi-Fi router, the better the signal will be – therefore the faster your broadband. Wi-Fi signals cannot travel through thick walls, so it is essential to ensure you have a clear path from the router to your device – choose a central location without any obstacles around it.

Another solution, especially with many devices on one network, would be to get a connection booster, which boosts your Wi-Fi network signal wherever you place it. Placing your router directly into your main phone socket will also generally give the best connectivity and boost your internet speed.

Embrace the forgotten ethernet cable
Yes, you read that right, and no, we have not gone back in time. Whilst it may not be the most up-to-date technology, if you’re desperate it is a good quick fix to boost your speed. 

Reverting back to an ethernet cable connection will always be faster and more reliable than using Wi-Fi as it allows for a dedicated connection. The cable transfers data at a faster rate as it doesn’t have to encrypt data and pull it from shared Wi-Fi bandwidth. You can also enjoy much less interference in comparison to Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to worry what frequency your neighbour is on. 

Share smaller files
Sharing files online can also be a major sap on your internet connection. Uploading and downloading large files will take up a lot of bandwidth, so it’s best to try and utilise smaller file sizes uploaded to a shared platform like Dropbox or SharePoint. Otherwise, there’s a lot of uploading, downloading, sending and receiving which takes up bandwidth and in turn slows down your device.

Close unnecessary apps and websites
Make sure you close any unnecessary data-heavy apps and websites such as Netflix or YouTube running in the background whilst you work. With lots of users on one network, streaming music and movies, online gaming, and internet video calls can all put a huge strain on your internet connection.

Whilst playing the occasional YouTube video won’t have a crippling effect on your internet connection, streaming entire box sets whilst you work on a document will consume more bandwidth than many other web-based services.

Still slow?
If everything mentioned so far still fails, your internet service provider may be facing problems themselves. With huge spikes in traffic, it is likely that ISPs could be facing infrastructure problems due to the current influx of home workers. Your internet bandwidth may also be maxed out, so an upgrade could be a solution. 

Switching providers should be a last resort, but if you try the tips on our list and your speed doesn’t improve much, it could be time to make the move. 

Have you had problems with your internet speed since working from home? Let us know how you get on with our tips @hyve!

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