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Here Are Factors That Affect Your Internet Speed

Internet speeds have always been important but with today's streaming standards it's crucial to measure up. Not only do we want to experience a movie without any latency or downtime, but we want to watch the movie, while the kids are doing their homework and your partner is shopping online. That’s why we plan to explore all the factors that affect your internet speed, and how we can improve them.

YOUR INTERNET IS AS SLOW AS ITS SLOWEST LINK

Your network connection is actually made up of several parts: the connection from the provider, a modem, a router (sometimes included within the modem), and finally, the device you're accessing the internet on such as a laptop, phone, tablet, etc. A slowdown can happen anywhere along the way. The following tips should help you narrow down where:

  1. Unplug your modem and router and plug them back in.

    Sometimes the equipment just needs a break. Unplugging it for about a minute gives this vital equipment an opportunity to clear its working memory and start fresh.

  2. Move your hardware.

    Routers or gateways are often hidden behind furniture or in a closet, sometimes the basement; none of these are great for WiFi. The goal is to put the least number of barriers between your device and your router as possible. Distance can even act as a barrier, since signals from microwaves, Bluetooth speakers, cordless phones, and baby monitors can interfere and slow down your WiFi signal.

  3. Experiment during off peak hours.

    Network traffic in your neighbourhood and your house may be busier than normal. If you find the internet is great until everyone else gets home and starts using it, that could be a sign you need to increase your bandwidth.

    If you find excessive use on your home network is the cause but are unable to upgrade, there may be a few ways around it:

    • Many routers offer a quality of service (QoS) feature where you can control how your network prioritizes data. That ensures your streaming data (or whatever your priority is) gets first access to the available bandwidth.
    • Inspect your home for unnecessary connections. With today's smart devices, your internet may be slowed down by any number of appliances, speakers, watches, etc.
    • Automated directory services
    • Change your WiFi password. Neighbours may be on it, sometimes unintentionally. I once “lent my wifi” to a neighbour when hers was out. Months later I realized her phone would still auto connect to our network, even though hers was up and running. It’s easy for both of us to forget something like that.
    • Utilize your guest network. If one isn’t set up, it can usually be done in your router's interface. Not only can you assign this network to your kids, but you can also limit how much bandwidth they can access.
    • Upgrade/update your device. Many times, it’s not the internet connection that’s slow, but the device you’re using to access the internet instead. Restarting the device will help sometimes, for the same reason that you restart your router; to clear away old requests or unnecessary data. If your browser or operating system are older, try updating them. An antivirus software can also help you find outdated software, malware or anything else that’s overwhelming your devices processing power.

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