You fire up your favorite streaming device, select your favorite show on Netflix, and…buffering? If you’ve ever had this experience, then you know just how frustrating a slow internet connection can be.
In a world where 100Mbps is considered an entry-level internet speed, it doesn’t make sense to have to wait for your videos and content-rich web pages to load. Even if you’re paying for 100Mbps or less, buffering is a sign that something else may be going on.
Rather than calling up your internet service provider to give them an earful about your experience, there are a few steps that you can take to give your internet speed the boost it needs. Here are some of our top tips on maximizing your home internet speed.
2.4GHz vs. 5GHz
Most modern internet plans actually come with two different internet connections. If you’ve ever seen your home internet listed twice on your list of connections, chances are one of them has a “5G” after the name. That means it’s the 5GHz connection, which will typically provide you with much faster speeds than your 2.4GHz connection (the connection without the “5G” after it).
What the 5GHz connection has in speed it lacks in distance. The 5GHz signal doesn’t travel as far as the 2.4GHz connection and is not able to penetrate through material such as metal as well as the 2.4GHz connection. However, if you’re close to your router and switch over to your 5GHz connection if it’s available, you’re going to notice a significant increase in speed.
Update Your Security
Security plays an important role not only in staying safe online but also in optimizing your internet speeds. If your router isn’t protected with a strong password, others in the area may be able to use your home internet connection, which can use up bandwidth that’s needed to provide a faster connection.
A simple update to your router’s password protocol is all you need to boost your security. We recommend a WPA2 security protocol with a difficult password to ensure nobody else is using your home internet.
Update Your Router
Sometimes all it takes is a simple hardware update to get the internet speeds you need. Old routers simply aren’t equipped to handle modern internet speeds, and even if it looks brand new, the internal components may not be able to keep up.
It’s a good idea to upgrade your router every five years or so unless you have a router that’s future-proof and ready to handle connection speeds of 1Gbps or more.
Check Which Devices Are Connected
If you’re like most people, you probably have quite a few devices connected to your home internet at all hours of the day. Even if a device isn’t actively being used, it can actually be using a majority of the bandwidth available. This typically happens when a device is performing an auto-update.
Checking which devices are connected to your internet and potentially disconnecting a few of those devices can free up enough bandwidth to make a major difference in your browsing experience.
Run a Speed Test
After trying one or all of these tips, it’s time to run a speed test. Running a speed test is a quick, simple process that can let you know if your internet speeds are within normal ranges or if something else is going on. If you’ve tried all of these tips and you’re still experiencing slow speeds when you browse, run a speed test. It may just be that you’re getting the speed that you pay for and it’s time to upgrade your plan.
Last Resort: Upgrade Your Internet Plan
Fortunately, most major internet service providers have relatively fast entry-level speeds. Some internet service providers offer entry-level speeds as low as 50Mbps, while others offer speeds as fast as 300Mbps or more, depending on where you live.
When you experience slow internet speeds, it’s typical to think that it’s always your internet service provider’s fault. While there may be times when there are issues on their end, there are actually a lot of factors that can slow down your speeds right in your own home.
With these simple tips, you’ll be streaming without any buffering in sight!