How can I speed up my internet connection?
Internet connection slower than it should be? If you can’t upgrade right now, you may be able to speed up your internet with these techniques
There are few things more frustrating than a slow or unstable internet connection. Ting Internet offers lightning-fast 1,000 Mbps internet with the reliability of fiber, so as a customer you’ll never have that issue. However, if you’re not quite ready to upgrade your internet, we have good news: Chances are you can actually somewhat improve the speed and reliability of your current internet connection. Some of the best ways to do this are to:
- Check your router
- Hardwire your device
- Add a mesh kit to your network
- Upgrade your device
- Other considerations
Before taking those steps to speed up your internet, however, you should get a clear idea of your connection’s health. This is easier than you think—it can be done in minutes using an online speed test!
Check your internet connection with an online speed test
To find out the true speeds you’re getting, all you need to do is take an online speed test. Ting has an extremely accurate one you can use here. You’ll clearly see what your download and upload speeds are. If they’re considerably lower than the maximum bandwidth advertised in your package, then you’ll definitely want to look at some of the suggestions in this article. If you’re curious about the other terms, check out this help article. Now, let’s get those internet speeds up!
Check your router
Your router is the connection point between the internet delivered from your service provider and your devices. As such, it’s the first possible point of slowdown. Make sure that your router can handle speeds up to (and preferably faster than) what your internet package advertises. If there are usually many devices connected at once, you may want to spend a bit more on a router designed to handle this.
Hardwire your device
Plugging your device directly into one of the Ethernet ports on the back of your router can speed up your internet. Wi-Fi is incredibly convenient, but due to hardware constraints, interference, distance, obstacles and many other factors, the reality is you’ll often lose speed through a wireless connection. Once you’re using a modern Ethernet cable with a maximum speed capability higher than that of your internet connection, you’ll get the highest speeds that your router and device allow. Of course, this isn’t possible with devices that don’t have Ethernet ports like mobile phones. (There are adapters available, but for most of us, that’s not very practical.)
Add a mesh kit to your network
As we’ve mentioned, all routers are not created equal. Many “fast internet” providers cut costs by offering sub-par routers with limited range and slow speeds. The router Ting offers is an excellent one, easily supporting 1 Gbps speeds and typically covering about 2500 square feet or so. Still, depending on the size and layout of your home, even the best router may not be able to provide a fast and reliable wireless connection throughout the entire area.
When this turns out to be the case, mesh kits are an increasingly popular option. They are made up of two or three devices that communicate with one another to provide an uninterrupted signal. The main unit is connected directly to your router or fiber converter box, while the remaining pieces are plugged into outlets around your home. They effortlessly pass the signal from node to node, almost like using several routers at once. You’ll find that always being close to a signal source will speed up your internet noticeably.
A mesh Wi-Fi system can provide you with a seamless experience as you wander through your home. Mesh kits do all the work invisibly in the background and take out all the guesswork for you, the user. They're controlled by iOS and Android apps, which check the signal between nodes and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. If you want more information about Wi-Fi, routers and mesh kits, we wrote an entire article about it here.
Upgrade your devices
We’re all aware that electronics don’t age well. In the space of a few years, they either cannot take full advantage of current technologies and standards or become completely obsolete. One such technology we often overlook isWi-Fi capabilities. Each new Wi-Fi standard allows for faster and more reliable wireless connections with a further range to support fast internet. However, older and entry-level devices often use dated or inferior Wi-Fi or Ethernet hardware, meaning that regardless of your internet connection speed, your device will limit the speeds you experience.
If you plan on buying a new device in the near future and plan on using Ethernet, look for devices that support gigabit Ethernet. As for Wi-Fi, the latest standard is Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax—for better wireless performance, you’ll want to make sure your new device supports it.
These additional factors can have a surprisingly large impact on your Wi-Fi speeds:
Most modern routers have the option to choose between the standard 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network and the faster 5 GHz network. Using the faster 5 GHz network can maximize your speeds. However, while 5 GHz is faster, it cannot travel as far. If your device(s) will be relatively close to the router, select the 5 GHz network for better speed performance.
If you’ve installed various programs/apps or browser extensions, you can expect some of them to negatively impact your speeds. Take a look in your settings for apps or extensions running in the background; if you see an one you barely use, uninstalling it may improve not just your internet speed, but your device’s overall performance. It is generally a good idea to regularly check your devices to monitor background activities and remove programs no longer in use. Be very careful that you correctly identify the suspected culprit(s) to avoid removing important system processes.
Lastly, remember to reboot your router and devices regularly—yes, we’re referring to the often-mocked, "Try turning it off and turning it back on again!" Find out how to properly and fully reset your router. This often involves unplugging it and waiting up to 30 seconds before plugging it in again. Meanwhile, a simple reset of your device is often enough to give it a much-needed fresh start.
How will I know if I successfully increased my internet speed?
Good question. If you’ve been able to speed up your internet considerably, videos will be smoother, downloads and uploads faster, and you’ll experience less buffering when streaming media or video chatting. However, the surefire way to know if there’s been a change—and by how much—is to use that handy online speed test. Run one after making any of the above changes so you know where the problem lies.
Always have a speedy connection with Ting Internet
It’s great when things just work straight out of the box though, isn’t it? As a Ting Internet customer, you get incredibly fast 1,000 Mbps download and upload speeds with the reliability of fiber. And if your home’s size or design causes slowdowns in certain parts, we offer one of the best mesh Wi-Fi kits on the market. See if Ting is available in your neighborhood.