How to Boost Your Internet Connection: 9 Tips for Faster Speeds

Are you constantly tearing your hair out wondering why your internet connection is so slow?

You’re not definitely not alone. All of us have experienced the pure frustration of staring at a webpage that never loads at some point in time. 

If you want to know exactly why this might be happening to you and learn some handy tips for giving your slow connection a boost then this article is for you.

What factors affect internet speed?

There are multiple factors that could be influencing the internet speed at your business or home. 

  • Hardware – What equipment you have installed will massively influence you connection speed. Different routers will have different processing power, with some being more powerful than others. The same can also be said of your devices, such as your laptop or computer. Using a router or wireless device with a weak processor can lead to slower speeds.
  • Number of internet users – Your internet speed might slow down when the number of users that are connecting simultaneously increases. This network congestion normally occurs during peak times such as in the evening when many people are home from work.
  • Network maintenance – Mobile network providers may be carrying out work in your area that could temporarily slow the speeds you normally see or even cut your service out all together.
  • Outages – Whether it be due to planned maintenance or an uncontrollable natural disaster, outages do happen. This will likely leave you without any internet at all.
  • Virus and malware – If your electronic devices become infected with viruses, this will often drain resources causing your device to slow.
  • Cable issues – Your cables may be plugged into the wrong ports on your router affecting the strength of the connection. You could also have faulty cable connections.
  • Type of broadband connection – Some connection types are faster than others. ADSL is the slowest wired connection available, whilst fibre broadband is considered the fastest. 5G mobile broadband can also rival fibre speeds when located in a strong 5G coverage area.
  • Exceeding data allowance – If you are using mobile broadband, another factor which can affect your speed is exceeding your data allowance. This can happen to you if you are on a capped data plan (not unlimited data) and you use more than your allocated monthly allowance.
  • Wired vs Wireless – Your internet speed will also differ depending one whether you are connecting your devices wirelessly or via a wired connection. A cabled connection is often faster than using the wireless network as it cuts out any possible signal interference you might experience. 

How to tell my internet connection is slow?

There are a few major signs that your internet speed is not up to scratch.

Look out for things such as images taking a long time to load, videos only playing for a few seconds before buffering and consistent lag when you’re online. If these things are commonplace when you’re using the internet then it’s likely you need a faster connection for your business or home.

How to check my current internet speed? 

The best way to find out what your internet speed actually is is to carry out a speed test.

These are easy to find and extremely quick to do. Click here for a reliable internet speed test website that we recommend using.

Make sure you’re connected to the right network that you want to test and press go. This will then generate results showing both your download speed and upload speed.

So, what are the best practices for boosting your connection?

1. Reset your router

If you normally have decent speeds but recently you’ve noticed a drop, then resetting your router is the best first step you can take.

Unplug your router and leave it off for a good 30 seconds before plugging it back in again. This will ensure the router will fully reboot. You might find your speeds are back to their normal level after this.

2. Move closer to your WiFi router

The further away from your WiFi router you are, the weaker the WiFi signal will be. This will result in some of the data your router sends to your device getting lost, which will ultimately mean slow internet speed.

If you can move closer to your router, the signal quality will be higher. Loading & sending times will likely decrease. 

If you cannot move physically closer to your WiFi router, then perhaps try and remove any chance of signal interference. You can do this by turning off any other wireless products in your home. This can be anything from a speaker to a baby monitor.

3. Get WiFi extenders

What are WiFi extenders?

WiFi extenders (or access points) are devices you can add to your network that will boost the WiFi signal in areas where the WiFi from your main router cannot reach.

How does a WiFi extender work?

They connect to your existing Wi-Fi network, and then duplicate and rebroadcast it. By doing this, they extend the signal range to cover more ground. They are typically compatible with any wireless router.

They often resemble large air fresheners and don’t take up much room. 

The easiest way to set these up in your business or home is to use powerline adapters. Powerlines enable you to connect the extenders to your existing router without using cables. All you have to do is plug one adapter into a socket near your main router and plug another one in your WiFi dead spot. This will wirelessly extend the WiFi from one place to the other, giving you a stronger signal. Simple!

4. Upgrade your primary router

Your internet speed will be affected by the quality of your router and the standard of WiFi that is built in.

Different routers are compatible with different WiFi frequencies and protocols. Some are faster than others. Generally, the faster the WiFi the more expensive the router will be. However, if you’re internet speed is becoming a consistent problem, then spending a bit of money to fix it is probably a smart investment.

And your existing router does not need to go to waste. In most cases you can probably repurpose this as a WiFi access point to extend the WiFi further around your business or home.

5. Disconnect other devices on the network

Any device on the same network will take up some of the available internet bandwidth, which in turn might cause a slow connection.

To disconnect other devices, you can either turn them off or go to settings and turn their WiFi off so they cannot connect.

6. Use an ethernet cable

Switching from a wireless connection to a wired connection is another good tip. 

Instead of connecting via the WiFi you can plug an ethernet cable directly into your laptop instead. As mentioned earlier, wired connections are often faster than wireless ones.

7. Check your data usage

If you’re using mobile broadband, it’s a good idea to check how much data you’ve used. If you’re near or have exceeded your monthly data allowance, your provider may throttle your service and decrease your speeds. 

Alternatively, they could cut you off all together or charge you extra for all the data you use over the allowance.

To find out how much data you have used, you can usually go to your service provider’s website or call them up and they will get the information for you.

8. Phone your internet service provider

If none of the above steps help to improve the speeds you are seeing, then it’s probably time to report the issue to your internet provider. 

Let them know what the issue you are experiencing is and how long it’s been going on for. They should be able to investigate the problem and let you know if there is something wrong their end.

Depending on your connection type, you may even find there is an upgrade available to you which might guarantee you better speeds.

9. Switch to a different broadband type

As a last resort resolution, you might find you need to switch broadband providers all together to get a faster service. Before taking this step, make sure you have ruled out all other possible causes of your slow speeds.

Which broadband type has the fastest speeds?

Fibre broadband has the fastest broadband speeds available. FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) delivers internet via fibre optic cabling straight from the exchange to your business or home. Download speeds can get up to and over 1Gbps.

For those where FTTC is not available the next fastest options are FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) and mobile broadband. 5G broadband is particularly fast and maximum speeds can rival those of FTTP when deployed in the right area.

FAQs: Boost your internet connection

Is there a device to increase Internet speed?

WiFi extenders won’t technically increase your internet speed, but they will distribute your WiFi to areas which it isn’t currently reaching. By making the WiFi signal stronger, it may appear as though the device has boosted your speed but really it is just extending your WiFi network to eliminate the dead spot and giving you a more reliable connection.

How to boost your internet speed when everyone is working from home?

Working from home will put a greater strain on your home broadband. There will be less bandwidth available for each user, causing slower speeds to arise.

The above steps are all still valid ways of trying to boost you internet connection when your household is working from home. The main one that will be more difficult is disconnecting other mobile devices from the network. It is likely those connected devices will be needed for work purposes and cannot afford to be disconnected.

Another tip for maintaining decent broadband speeds whilst WFH would be to plan your internet usage. If you know your housemate has an important video call in the afternoon, perhaps you could schedule your lunch break for the same time, meaning there will be one less device/user taking up bandwidth then.

What’s the difference between broadband and WiFi?

Despite common belief, these two things are not the same.

Broadband is the data connection that brings internet access to your premises. Whereas, WiFi is how that connection is distributed around the building. You can connect to WiFi wirelessly through your devices.

Often the confusion between these two terms, can lead to wrong conclusions about where the problem with an internet connection truly lies. Some people may believe they have a problem with their WiFi when actually it’s their actual broadband connection which is slow and vice versa.

Can a better router increase internet speed?

Yes, a better router can help to improve your WiFi speed issues if that is where the problem lies.

Routers have different standards of WiFi built in. If you buy a newer, higher quality one than your current router you will get a higher quality WiFi service. Not only will this likely be faster, but you can also expect the coverage range to be larger than a cheaper or older router too.

Technology is always improving and new WiFi standards are being developed all the time. You can always check with your internet service provider to find out if there are any modern router upgrades available to give you faster internet speeds.

What is the best router to increase internet speed?

In terms of SimRush 4G broadband routers, the most powerful is the SimRush Pro WiFi router.

This has the highest quality WiFi 5 Wave 2 WiFi built in and is designed for business grade deployments. Find out more about this router here.