By Bob Rankin
Want to speed up your Internet? A slow, crawling Internet connection is a source of great frustration. Sometimes the slowdown is beyond your control; the Internet is subject to traffic jams just like any other highway. But there are some things you can do to maximize whatever speed you are able to get.
Get a Faster Internet Connection
Let’s start with the wire that connects your computer to the Internet. If you have a dialup connection, you’re traveling the information superhighway in a horse and buggy. If DSL service is available from your phone company, upgrading will make the Internet seem like a different place. If you have DSL, consider moving to cable or a fiber optic connection, which can be 10X faster.
For those in very rural areas, satellite and mobile broadband may be good alternatives. My article What is The Fastest Internet Connection? goes into more detail on the different connection options.
If you’ve already got some type of “high-speed” internet connection, sometimes a problem with the wiring, cabling or fiber optic lines between the utility pole and your computer can cause a degradation in speed. Loose cable connections can slow down the Internet. If your computer is hardwired to your router, unplug the cable connections at both ends and reseat them firmly. Also reseat the cable that brings the Internet into your router or modem.
I had a problem once with a slow cable internet connection, which turned out to be caused by the wires rubbing against a tree in my yard. Squirrels have also been known to chew on these cables. If you think the problem lies between your router and the pole, contact your service provider to have the wires checked.
And it’s not unheard of for Internet service providers to throttle your connection speed without telling you. You can ask your ISP to test your connection and certify that you are getting all the bandwidth for which you are paying. Or do it yourself! See my article Internet Speed Tests to find out how.
This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.
About Bob Rankin
Bob Rankin is a translator for the technology impaired -- a writer and computer programmer who enjoys exploring the Internet and explaining technology in plain English. His work has appeared in Computer World, NY Newsday, and other publications. Bob is also publisher of Internet TOURBUS, author of several computer books, and creator of the Lowfat Linux tutorial.