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The Ultimate Guide to Fixing a Slow Internet Connection

by Lisa Hayden
The Ultimate Guide to Fixing a Slow Internet Connection

It’s frustrating to pay for a super-fast internet connection, only to receive a connection speed that keeps dropping and lagging.

Slow internet is a nightmare. Your online videos will buffer, drop quality, and downloads will take forever. It not only makes your online experience bad but also kills your productivity. 

So, if you think your internet speed is slower than it's supposed to be, the following fixes will take you back to the fast lane. 

Check/Upgrade Your Internet Plan

If you’re paying for a slow plan, then your connection speed will always be slow. A 15 Mbps plan isn’t going to deliver the breakneck speeds you’re looking for. When downloading large game files, or using the internet for work a good connection speed is 100 Mbps and above.

Before trying to fix a slow connection, you should always test your speed first. Head over to Speedtest or Fast and run a speed test. Now compare the speed you’re getting to the speed that was promised by your ISP.

If the speed you’re getting is significantly lower than what you’re paying for, then try the following fixes we are about to discuss in this article.

Check Your Router Specs 

Think about it like this, if you have a PlayStation 4 and you’re using a 720p monitor, you’ll never get those Full HD or 4k graphics that the console provides. Here are some minimum specs that you should look for when purchasing a new router:

  • A Wi-Fi router shouldn’t have less than 128MB of RAM. The optimal RAM is 256MB or more. 
  • It should be a dual-band or more. It means that your router should have a 2.4 GHz band and a 5 GHz band for faster connections.
  • It should have advanced features like VPN and firewall setup. 
  • Never buy a router below AC1200. They’re old and outdated devices. 
best place to put a router in

Stop Bandwidth Hogging Apps

There might be programs and apps that consume unnecessary bandwidth. Bandwidth is finite so if background applications are gobbling it all up, then there’s nothing left for web browsing or whatever else you need the speed for. 

Say, for example, you’re seeding on UTorrent, it’s a process that’s easy to forget about which will affect your web browsing will be slower. You should close these apps using Windows Taskmanager to improve your speed. 

Also, some websites have certain ads in the background that hogs high bandwidth from your connection. You should install browser extensions like AdBlock, which will block such bandwidth-hogging ads, videos, and animations to keep your web surfing experience smooth. 

Change Your DNS Server

Your device uses a Domain Name System or DNS to look at a web address through your IP, every time your search for something on the internet. Sometimes the DNS server your device is using might face issues or go down entirely. This can cause your internet speed to go down from time to time.

There are plenty of free and fast DNS servers out there that you can easily switch to, like Cloudflare or Google DNS. You can use Namebench to test which DNS server is the fastest for your location. 

Check Your Router Specs

How to change the DNS server on your device?

  • On Windows, go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center
  • Click on “Change adapter settings”. 
  • Right-click on your network connection (Wi-Fi) and select “Properties
  • Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCIP/IPv4)” in the list and click “Properties”. 
  • Select “Use the following DNS server addresses
  • Now you can enter you enter the address of the DNS server you want to use. 
  • Cloudflare is 1.1.1.1 and Google DNS is 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4 

To change the DNS server on your android device, follow these steps: 

  • Go to Settings > Wi-Fi
  • Hold down your wifi network and an options box will pop up. 
  • Choose “Modify Network
  • Enter your DNS server address to the DNS section. Don’t change any other settings.

To change the DNS server on your iPhone or Apple device, follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
  • Click on the small “i” button on the right side of your Wi-Fi network. 
  • Under the DNS section, choose “Configure DNS”. 
  • Switch to Manual from Automatic
  • Enter your preferred DNS server address. 

Use a VPN

Your internet speed might only go down during certain hours of the day. Or maybe it goes down when you’re visiting certain websites. This is when you should ask the question “Am I being throttled?” 

Internet throttling or bandwidth throttling happens more frequently than you might think. Your ISP intentionally slows down your internet speed when there’s too much traffic on the network, or during any high-bandwidth activities such as online gaming or streaming. 

It’s very annoying, especially because you’re basically at the mercy of your ISP even though you’re paying a lot of money for your internet connection. 

How to avoid this? Start using a VPN. It’ll hide your IP and online activities from your ISP, so they won’t be able to throttle your network, even during peak usage hours. 

Why Do You Need VPN At Home?

3 Hacks to Increase Your Internet Speed on Windows 

1. Disable Peer to Peer Update

You windows OS has a Peer to Peer Update feature that allows your computer to share windows updates with other computers over the internet. This can make your internet speed sluggish. To turn this feature off, follow these steps: 

  • Go to Settings > Windows Update. 
  • Click on Advanced options.
  • Click Delivery Optimization (or “Choose how updates are delivered” depending on which version of windows you’re using). 
  • Turn off “Allow downloads from other PCs” (Or Update from more than one place).

2. Disable Windows Auto-Tuning

It’s a feature on Windows 10 that enables efficient data transfers. However, it can also interfere with your network and slow down your connection speed. To disable this feature, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator”. 
  • Copy and paste this command: netsh interface tcp show global
  • Press enter. 
  • On the 2nd line, check if Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level is set to normal.
  • It it says “normal”, then you’ll have to disable it. 
  • Copy and paste this command: netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
  • Press enter and Windows Auto-Tuning should be disabled.

3. Disable Large Send Offload (LSO)

Large Send Offload or LSO is a feature that optimizes your device for better network performance. However, this feature often allows your background apps to consume large amounts of unnecessary bandwidth, which leads to a slow internet speed. To disable LSO, follow these steps: 

  • Type Device Manager in your windows search bar and open it.  
  • Double-click on Network adapters > your network adapter.
  • Click the Advanced tab, then select Large Send Offload V2 (IPv4) and set the value to Disabled.
  • Similarly, change the Large Send Offload V2 (IPv6) value to Disabled
How to Share Internet Connection in Windows 10 Computer

To Sum It Up

No one likes a slow internet connection. Technology has come too far for us to wait around while a web page or content takes its sweet time loading. Hopefully, the tricks and tips in this article will help you to speed up your internet. If you’re still experiencing a slow speed after following these steps, consult with your ISP. 

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