10 Most Effective Ways To Improve Internet Speed at Home

We all know that slow internet can be a huge source of frustration, especially at home. Regardless of whether you’re trying to work, shop, or game, a speedy and reliable internet connection is essential. Thankfully, there are various steps you can take to optimise your home network and boost internet speed – read on to find out TechRound’s top 10 most effective ways to achieve a faster and more stable internet connection.

Lauren Davies of bOnline comments: “Internet speed underpins so much of our lives and slow internet can be the difference between a business deal happening, a relationship thriving or failing and the convenient and efficient running of our day to day lives. Whether you are using VoIP or even just watching movies online, your internet speeds are crucial.”

1. Upgrade Your Internet Plan

When it comes to enhancing internet speed, the first step is to evaluate your current internet plan. Get in touch with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and enquire about faster packages that they offer. ISPs often provide various plans with different download and upload speeds, and they may have introduced new plans since you initially subscribed.

Upgrading to a higher-speed plan can lead to a significant improvement in your internet experience, especially if you have a household with multiple devices connected simultaneously. Keep in mind that while upgrading, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and usage patterns to avoid overpaying for an unnecessarily high-speed plan.

2. Optimise Router Placement

The physical location of your wireless router plays a crucial role in determining the internet speed and coverage in your home. Many people make the mistake of placing their routers in corners or against walls, which can hinder the signal propagation and reduce the effective range. Instead, position your router in a central location, ideally elevated to ensure the signal can reach all areas of your home more efficiently.

Placing it on a higher shelf or mounting it on a wall can help minimise obstructions and enhance the overall signal coverage. Furthermore, keep your router away from large metal objects, such as refrigerators or microwaves, as they can interfere with the Wi-Fi signal and degrade performance.

3. Update Router Firmware

Regularly updating your router’s firmware is vital for ensuring optimal performance and security. Manufacturers often release firmware updates to address bugs, security vulnerabilities, and improve overall efficiency. Many modern routers allow you to update the firmware directly from their settings page, while others may require manual downloads from the manufacturer’s website.

Before proceeding with the update, always remember to back up your router’s configuration to avoid potential issues that may arise during the update process. By staying up-to-date with the latest firmware, you can ensure that your router functions at its best and takes advantage of the latest improvements.

4. Use a Wired Connection

While Wi-Fi offers unparalleled convenience, a wired Ethernet connection is generally faster and more stable. This is particularly important for devices that require a consistently high-speed connection, such as desktop computers, gaming consoles, or smart TVs used for streaming high-definition content.

By connecting these bandwidth-intensive devices directly to the router using Ethernet cables, you can reduce Wi-Fi congestion and free up bandwidth for other wireless devices. Keep in mind that for the best results, use high-quality Ethernet cables, such as Cat6 or Cat7, which can handle faster data transmission rates compared to older cable standards.

5. Employ Quality Network Hardware

The quality of your network hardware significantly impacts your internet speed and overall network performance. When selecting a router, opt for models that support the latest Wi-Fi standards, such as 802.11ac or the more recent 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6). These newer standards offer faster speeds and improved efficiency, especially when connecting multiple devices simultaneously. Additionally, routers with multiple antennas can enhance signal coverage and reach in larger homes.

If you’re using a modem provided by your ISP, inquire if there’s a newer model available that supports higher data transfer rates. Upgrading to the latest hardware can make a noticeable difference in your internet speed and network stability.

6. Optimise Wi-Fi Settings

Customising your Wi-Fi settings can fine-tune your home network and lead to improved internet speed. One essential setting to consider is the Wi-Fi channel selection. Routers operate on different channels within the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, and interference from neighbouring networks on the same channel can reduce your Wi-Fi performance. Use a Wi-Fi analyser app or your router’s admin interface to identify less congested channels and switch to them.

Additionally, most modern routers come with dual-band capabilities, allowing you to use both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. The 5 GHz band usually provides faster speeds and lower interference, making it preferable for devices that support it.

7. Control Bandwidth-Hungry Applications

In a household with multiple users and devices, certain bandwidth-intensive applications can hog the available bandwidth, leading to slower speeds for other devices. To address this, use Quality of Service (QoS) settings on your router. QoS allows you to prioritise specific applications or devices, ensuring they receive the necessary bandwidth while limiting less critical applications.

For example, you might prioritise video conferencing or online gaming over background software updates or IoT devices. By effectively managing your network’s bandwidth, you can maintain a smoother internet experience for all connected devices.

8. Enable Content Caching

Content caching can significantly improve loading times for frequently visited websites and streaming platforms. When enabled, caching allows your router to store frequently accessed content locally, such as images and videos from popular websites.

Consequently, the router doesn’t have to fetch the same content repeatedly from the internet, resulting in faster load times for subsequent visits. While not all routers support content caching, some advanced models and third-party firmware offer this feature. Enabling caching can be particularly beneficial for households where multiple users access the same websites frequently.

9. Consider a Mesh Wi-Fi System

If you live in a large home or experience Wi-Fi dead zones, a mesh Wi-Fi system can be an effective solution. Traditional routers often struggle to cover all areas of expansive properties, leading to inconsistent internet speeds in certain rooms or corners.

A mesh Wi-Fi system consists of multiple nodes or access points that work together to create a seamless network. These nodes communicate with each other, ensuring a stable connection throughout your home, regardless of where you are. Mesh systems automatically route traffic to the strongest access point, optimising your network’s performance and delivering faster internet speeds in every room.

10. Secure Your Network

Securing your home network is crucial to prevent unauthorised access and ensure that your bandwidth is used exclusively by your devices. Set a strong and unique password for your Wi-Fi network to prevent unauthorised users from leeching off your bandwidth or compromising your network’s security.

Avoid using default passwords provided by the router manufacturer, as these are easily guessable by potential intruders. Additionally, enable network encryption, such as WPA2 or WPA3, to encrypt the data transmitted between your devices and the router. Encryption adds an extra layer of protection, safeguarding your personal information from potential threats and eavesdropping attempts.