a blog from CenturyLink

4 tips to improve internet speed

by | Apr 28, 2020


In homes across the nation, people are telecommuting while kids of all ages are accessing the internet to learn and keep in touch with friends. At the end of the day, to wind down, we often reach for the remote and tune in to our favorite streaming shows. In many households, we’re doing many online activities all at the same time, from early morning to late in the evening. If you find your internet speed has slowed, try these tips to get it moving again.

Graduation 2020

How to improve your internet speed.

Before you get started, it’s helpful to know what your internet speed is currently. Run the internet speed test on one device, ideally with all other devices switched off, and repeat the test a few times to get a more accurate picture of your overall speed.

Take an audit of all devices

Take an account of all the devices that are using your internet service through either a wireless or wired connection. Every connected device in your home eats up a portion of your bandwidth, so the more devices you have, the lower the overall speed of your internet will be. Don’t forget to count smart devices such as Google Home or Alexa, security devices, smart TVs, thermostats, home security systems, and many other smart appliances.

Determine priority use

After you’ve gauged how many devices are using your internet, consider what is a priority. For example, work-related duties will likely take precedence over streaming your favorite show.  If you’re using a VPN, be sure to use it only when needed. If you need to download large files for school or work, do so overnight on a cloud-based backup. This will free up valuable daytime bandwidth and may improve internet performance.

Video meetings are a great way to stay connected, but they can take a lot of bandwidth. Only turn on video for high-level or more personal meetings. If you have two or more people working under one roof, talk over how to work together effectively. If schedules are flexible, try to have one or more people work during off-peak hours, when the network is less taxed.

However, if a family member or roommate is working during off-peak hours, it’s important that they minimize their use of streaming devices and services during peak hours. This may be a good time to rediscover reading, knitting or taking long walks (practicing social distancing, of course!).

Now that you’ve taken inventory, there are four things you can do that will help improve your internet speed.

1. Turn off non-essential devices

Ensure that all devices that are deemed non-essential at any given moment are turned off. Having devices on ‘sleep’ or paused will continue to use internet bandwidth, so try to shut them down completely whenever possible. This includes:

  • Video streaming devices that run Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube TV, etc.
  • Interactive gaming systems
  • Music streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify

2. Logistical and environmental tips for improving internet speed

Something as simple as adjusting your router’s position may give you a boost in internet speed. Elevate your router on a bookcase, shelf or upstairs to enable better coverage. Avoid placing it on the floor, in a corner or in the basement. Ideal locations are usually centrally located and in a place that has access to circulating air.  Never place your router (or any other electronic devices) near a heat source, metal obstructions or other devices that can cause interference like microwaves or baby monitors.

graduation ceremony

3. Reset the modem

Restarting or rebooting the modem is another easy fix and may help improve internet speed. Simply turning your modem off and back on can force it to reset and improve slow connections. If your internet is slower than usual, it’s always worth a try to reboot the modem before doing anything else.  Depending on the age and condition of your router, you may also benefit from setting up a regular reboot schedule.

4. Use a WiFi extender

A WiFi extender helps deliver wireless signal coverage to every corner of your home. If you notice buffering while streaming in one part of your home but not in others, you may have WiFi coverage issues and a G.Hn WiFi extender kit could be a solution.

Slow internet speeds can be a hassle to deal with especially when there are important matters at hand, like delivering a business report, checking in with your child’s schoolwork and yes, streaming your favorite show. With a little organization and perhaps moving a few pieces of furniture, these tips might do the trick and get your household back on track with blazing fast internet speeds.

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<a href="https://discover.centurylink.com/author/jill-case" target="_self">Jill Case</a>

Jill Case