I’ve seen internet speed overlooked and often forgotten. If you’re in control of your broadband speed, either in your home or in your office, here are some introductory tips to ensure you’re working with as fast of a connection as possible.
Pick the Right Provider for Your Area.
My father-in-law inspired this post. I went to my in-laws’ house, and as usual, the first thing I had to do was help them with their computer. I was baffled by the slowness of their DSL internet connection. It was definitely the root of their problem. When I mentioned it to him, he said, “It’s high-speed and costs $60 a month.” I did a speed check on his connection, and it was a blazing 1.2 mbps.
I figured I’d do him a favor and call his provider so they could address the problem. Apparently there was no problem. High-speed internet in his area through his DSL is sold at 1-4 mbps. Yuck. That is not high-speed; however, I see the loophole. When someone says, “I was going fast,” it’s typically best to ask “How fast?”
After realizing his $60 a month high-speed internet was a sham, I did some research on his options. Because he’s out in the sticks, DSL doesn’t get better than what he has. That blazing 1.2 mbps is the highest speed. However, he also has got an iPhone that runs on a Verizon plan. Verizon offers a wireless router. For much less per month, he’s way better off using an LTE connection through a wireless router (12mbps). That’s 10-times faster and one-third of the price. It may not be the fastest connection, but it’s the best he can do in his rural area and fast enough to use the modern-day internet.
Check Your Internet Speed Often.
In my home office I’ve got a 100 mbps service. Working at full potential, it’s fast. Throughout the years I’ve noticed occasionally it slows down, sometimes down to 15 mbps. Here are a few links to check your speed and my go-to checklist for troubleshooting a slow cable internet connection.
Sites That Offer Free DSL and Cable Internet Speed Testing:
(Most of these are offered by specific providers. Each can check the speed of any provider’s connection.)
Tips for Speeding up Your Cable Internet Connection:
Here’s the dance I’ve been doing for the past decade. Start at the top and try to stay calm. 🙂
- Check what your speed should be, using the links above. If all is well, get back to work.
- Unplug your modem, unscrew the coaxial cable, unplug your router, wait a long minute, and plug them back in. This refreshes your connection.
- Call your provider. They’ll insist you do the step above, and then they’ll press a magic button on their end to reset your connection.
- If neither of the above work, ask your provider if you have the newest hardware. Internet providers are always upgrading their modems and typically they won’t come and replace it unless you ask. I have mine replaced about every 8 months.
- If you’ve got the newest modem from your internet provider, check on the quality of your router by plugging your computer directly into your modem. Check your speed, and if it’s faster, the slowness starts at your router.
- Make sure other devices aren’t unnecessarily eating up the connection (Apple TV, cellphones with apps open, iPad, etc.).
- Still slow? You may have a weak connection within your home. As your connection splits to your TV, through walls and to your computer, the signal can decrease. If you’ve got cable, try plugging your modem directly into where the connection starts in your home.
- Sadly, I’ve gotten this far down the list a time or two. I’ve had to have the cables to my home replaced. Sometimes a cable guy fixes something on a pole, and sometimes it’s an outage that slows everything down.
As remedial as it is, your connection speed plays a pretty big role in using the internet. If you’ve got additional tips or recommendation, feel free to leave a comment.