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've got low bandwidth.
Bandwidth is the maximum Mbps transfer rate of your network or internet connection, and it naturally affects how fast your internet is. Any connection over 25 Mbps is considered a good speed, so larger households with 3-5 users should consider speeds around 200-300 Mbps. Low bandwidth is caused by the Mbps rate that your current broadband has, or your bandwidth could be slowed down because too many people are connected to the network and, in some cases, to your device.
Let’s investigate further and find out how to increase your bandwidth to improve your browsing.
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.
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.
If you’re satisfied with your internet plan and your internet speeds were fine during your test, the problem might be:
You won’t be able to enjoy a fast internet connection if your machine is unable to process the data it’s receiving. Could it be time to get a new computer or clean up your current one?
We suggest running antivirus scans to remove any malware. Also, if your device storage is really full, cleaning up a little space could also help. Make sure to constantly update your antivirus and antimalware software. You may also need to clear your cache, try using a different browser, or close any background apps that eat up lots of data.
It may be that your router is overworked. Try rebooting it. Some routers also support automatic reboots whenever they’re inactive.
Perhaps the signal is being interfered with. Keep it in an open space and away from walls and other obstructions, or get closer to it. Physical obstacles can weaken the signal and impact the quality of the connection.
Always update your router with firmware updates for the most up-to-date security patches. Also, make sure you haven’t activated any settings that slow down your speed significantly. If your router is very old, consider getting a new one.
Wi-Fi equipment communicates over channels that tend to overlap. Try using a different wireless channel that has fewer surrounding users on it. You could also consider getting a dual-bandwidth router that broadcasts on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies.
If you notice that your speeds are slower when engaging in specific activities, your ISP could be throttling your connection.
Bandwidth throttling is when an ISP deliberately limits its users’ internet connection bandwidth. Some ISPs curb traffic for users who engage in bandwidth-heavy activities like HD streaming. A VPN can encrypt your traffic so ISPs won’t be able to see what you do and limit your speed. Use a VPN to bypass internet throttling. ISPs will no longer be able to monitor what you do online and, as a result, will not be able to block or limit your connection based on what you’re doing.
Your upload speed determines the pace at which information from your devices travels to its destination. To improve it, you should:
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