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How to increase Wi-Fi bandwidth

Aug 08, 2019 · 3 min read

How to increase Wi-Fi bandwidth

A slow internet connection is frustrating, especially if you don’t know why it’s slow. If your videos suddenly start buffering or web pages take longer than usual to load, chances are you’re not getting enough bandwidth. Let’s find out how to increase your bandwidth and improve your browsing.

What is bandwidth?

To fix the problem, we first need to define bandwidth and the impact it has on your connection speeds. When it comes to computers, bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be downloaded or uploaded from your computer in a set period of time. It’s measured and expressed in bits per second (bps).

What is bandwidth

Your bandwidth is mostly determined by your device, your router, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and the bandwidth they promised you. However, even if your contract said that your connection speed would be up to 20 Mbps, that doesn’t mean you will always get maximum bandwidth – especially if you connect multiple devices to the same network and use them all at once. Why?

Your bandwidth is like a two-lane highway where all the cars (data) travel at the same speed. Driving is fun as long as there aren’t too many cars. The more crowded it gets, the slower you’ll go. More lanes, or bandwidth, on the highway can solve the problem.

Is your bandwidth insufficient? Let’s test it

If you think you have a low bandwidth problem, run a speed test and compare the results with the numbers advertised by your ISP. If you only have one device connected to the internet and you are not downloading any files, the results should be close to what you were promised. However, if you tend to have multiple devices connected at once and love streaming videos and sharing files with your friends, it may be that you need more bandwidth.

Here are 3 simple solutions you could try:

  1. If you have a basic internet plan. -> Upgrade to a better plan with more bandwidth.
  2. If your ISP doesn’t offer enough bandwidth for your needs. -> Ditch it and go to another ISP.
  3. If you don’t want to invest in an upgrade but need more speed. -> Try limiting the number of devices connected to the internet or ask your family members to pause their downloads for a while. You could also turn off the Wi-Fi and use a wired connection.

No luck?

If you’re satisfied with your internet plan and your internet speeds were fine during your test, it’s likely the problem lies in:

  • Your computer. You won’t be able to enjoy fast internet connection if your machine is not able to process the data it’s receiving. Maybe it’s time to get a new computer?
  • Your router. It may be that your router is overworked. Try rebooting it and don’t forget regular firmware updates. Also, keep it in an open space – away from the walls and other obstructions.
  • Your neighbors' Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi equipment communicates over channels, which tend to overlap. Try using a different wireless channel with fewer users on it. You could even consider getting a dual-bandwidth router that broadcasts on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies.
  • Your ISP. If you notice that your speeds are slower during specific times of the day, your ISP is likely throttling your connection. ISPs do so to reduce network congestion during peak times and by targeting certain activities. Use a VPN to bypass internet throttling – ISPs will no longer be able to monitor what you do on the internet and, as a result, will not be able to block or limit your connection.

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Emily Green
Emily Green successVerified author

Emily Green is a content writer who loves to investigate the latest internet privacy and security news. She thrives on looking for solutions to problems and sharing her knowledge with NordVPN readers and customers.

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