A wired router

Internet is essential in today’s world – you use it for streaming videos and music, communicating with friends, and, of course, holding virtual work meetings over Zoom.

Poor internet speed can result in your entertainment being spoiled by stuttering, and video freezing or crashing while on an important conference call.

This is why your internet is slow

There are several factors which determine the speed of your internet. These include your provider, your distance from your provider’s exchange, and the medium through which your data is passed. Fiber optic lines are better for high speed internet access than old copper wires. Your own equipment also has an effect.

Some of these factors can be fixed, but some can’t.

Reboot your router

Routers are more than simple devices to connect you to the internet. They’re actually small, specialized computers with limited resources, and typically under 1GB RAM. Your router can easily run out of memory, which means that pages will run out of memory, and your streams may crash.

Rebooting your router clears its memory and can increase your internet speeds.

Replace your router

a wireless router on a yellow background

Technology changes over time, and what was once considered fast is now slow. If you’re rocking a router from the early 2000s, it’s unlikely that it supports the latest standards such as 802.11ac, which was designed to cope with around 20 devices simultaneously. If your router only supports 802.11g, for instance, it is relying on a technology which was only designed to provide connectivity to a handful of devices.

Faced with more devices than it was ever expected to have to deal with, your router will struggle to juggle connections, meaning that both internet speed and reliability will suffer as a result. Your best option is to replace your router for a more modern model.

Reposition your router

A wall mounted TV in front of a comfy-looking couch

If you use WiFi to connect to the internet, you need to take into account how easy it is for a signal to reach your router from your device. A weak WiFi signal means slower internet.

Obviously, the further your WiFi router is from the devices trying to reach it, the weaker the signal will be, which means the internet speed will be slower, too.

When choosing the right position for your router, you also need to take obstacles into account. Ideally, your router will have a clear line of sight with the devices attempting to access it. Objects such as walls, chairs, and even furnishings, can have an effect on internet speed, so try and make sure your router is positioned so it can’t be obstructed.

Change your ISP

a towering mobile mast

Your internet service provider might not provide the highest internet speeds, and they are under no obligation to deliver the speeds advertised in marketing materials.

Try contacting your ISP to ask if there is anything they can do to improve your internet speed. It’s great if they can, but if they either can’t or won’t, you should switch provider to one which can and will.

Change your Ethernet cable

a coiled and bedraggled Ethernet cable

The simplest options are often the best. Your router is connected to the wider internet by an Ethernet cable, and unfortunately, cables wear out over time. A worn or damaged Ethernet cable will disrupt your internet connection and slow it down. In the worst case, a damaged Ethernet cable can cut your connection to the internet altogether.

Even if there is no visible damage, you should change your Ethernet cable for a new one every few years.

Enjoy a faster internet connection!

Life is easier with a fast internet connection, it’s only when you don’t have a fast internet connection that you stop taking it for granted. Games can be downloaded in minutes and you can stream movies to your TV in 4K. Don’t put up with a lousy internet connection. Fix it now.