With the increasing popularity of mobile devices, media streaming and online consumerism, it makes sense why a growing number of people wonder how to get even more bandwidth from their high-speed Internet connection.
You may pay your Internet service provider for a specific amount of data and bandwidth each month. However, when was the last time that your download and upload speed came close to what is advertised on your package plan? With buffering videos and slower speeds, you may have a throttling issue. Here are several steps you can take to resolve the issue and get more bandwidth from your service:
Also, read: 5 Tips for a More Accurate Internet Speed Test
Run a Test to Get Your Accurate Speed
The first step is run a speed test to determine the true speed of your Internet connection. Do not rely on what seems to be fast Internet. Compared to what you had in the past, it may seem like an upgrade. However, this does not mean it comes close to the speed for which you paid. Running a speed test will give you a real-time report of your download and upload speeds at that moment. Make sure that you choose a quality website that will analyze both sides of your speed – download and upload – with accurate pinging. It is recommended to run the test at least 2-3 times to ensure the best results.
Examine Your List of Connected Devices
Another step that you can take to increase your bandwidth and maximize the value of your high-speed Internet is to closely examine the list of your connected devices. How many devices currently access the same network either through a wired or wireless connection? From torrenting and multiplayer gaming to HD streaming and mobile web surfing, you would be surprised to see just how much bandwidth is being used by that extensive list of devices.
A solid question to ask is, “Do all those devices need to be connected?” Examine the list closely and distinguish between the devices used all day versus the ones that are hardly used at all. For instance, any Wi-Fi only devices (such as tablets) may not need to maintain an active connection. You can turn them off occasionally or shut down the connection whenever it is not used. With the devices that come with their own mobile data plan, you could perhaps schedule blocks of time where it is not connected to your primary Internet connection. You may even see that there are some devices listed that do not need to be connected at all.
Check and Test Your Router
In addition to examining your connected devices, you should also pay close attention to the condition of your router. An overworked router could be the main reason why your bandwidth struggles. There are several factors that you should consider when analyzing the condition of your router, including:
- Age (How long ago did was the router manufactured?)
- Firmware (When was the last time that the firmware was updated?)
- Power Cycle (Have you tried to do a hard/soft reboot of your router recently?)
Another tip is to keep your router in an open space. Typically, most consumers seem to think that closets, cabinets and other concealed places are the best locations for routers. Contrary to popular opinion, it is recommended to keep the router in an open space to make sure that the connection does not have to fight through any walls, doors or other obstructions to be accessed freely.
As is the case with any type of technology, its age plays a major factor. Just because an old router still works does not mean it works well or as efficiently as it worked in the past. It may be time to switch it out with a newer model designed to take advantage of your full bandwidth.
Analyze the Condition of Your Computers
Your router is not the only device accessing your internet connection that needs to be analyzed. If everything else checks out as you try to troubleshoot your bandwidth issue, then you may need to consider the age and condition of your computer. Specifically, you should focus on its data processing speed. Depending on the age of the computer, it may be more cost-effective to just buy a new one. However, if it is a recent model, then perhaps you can simply upgrade the data processing speed and other key specifications to allow your computer to take full advantage of the available bandwidth.