Staying at home is quickly becoming the new normal under the pandemic. Most countries across the world have enforced stay at home and social distancing restrictions in one form or another. We now have professionals working, students studying, and businesses running from home using the internet.
But with so many users suddenly dependent on residential internet, the infrastructure is seeing unprecedented traffic. This has led to many people getting seemingly slower connections. You’ve probably looked for ways to boost your internet speed yourself. If you have been unsuccessful, don’t worry. This blog explores several ways to do that.
How To Boost Your Internet Speed During COIVD-19
Before you can move on to understanding how you can get better speeds, it would be a good idea to first look at why you’re getting slower speeds in the first place. There are now more users using the same internet connection at the same time. It’s the same all over the country. With an unprecedented increase in user traffic, the bandwidth available for each user is reduced. This blog explores:
- Why You Might Have Slow Internet
- Boosting Your Wi-Fi Signal
- Simple Signal Strength Hacks
- Countering Malware and Viruses
- Planning Your Internet Usage
Let’s explore these in more detail below.
Why You Might Have Slow Internet
There can be several reasons behind your slow internet speeds during the current global health crisis. You need a reliable connection between your device and the destination server in order to use the internet. In many cases, this server can be on the other side of the world. To get through to this server, your connection may have to pass through hundreds of devices. Any of these devices can be a potential weak link, resulting in slower speeds.
In other cases, the server itself may be at fault. A DDoS of denial of service attack can overload the traffic on the server, causing digital congestion. This can also result in a slower internet experience, especially if you’re judging by the pre-COVID-19 Spectrum internet speed test. While both of these scenarios are beyond your control as a user, you can still try a few simple steps to boost your internet speed.
Boosting Your Wi-Fi Signal
Your wireless router is the access point through which most of your connected devices access the internet. The router (and modem) serve as a link between your device and your Spectrum internet service. Most Wi-Fi routers operate on a limited number of channels. These channels can often face interference from other devices, such as another nearby router.
The channels on the Wi-Fi router serve as pathways for data transfer. Most modern devices automatically switch channels to avoid interference and offer a smoother internet experience. However, some routers may be set to function on a single channel by default. You can select different channels for your router in the router’s Settings page. These can go a long way to boost your internet speed.
Simple Signal Strength Hacks
There are a number of other steps you can take for a faster internet experience. If your router supports 5GHz signals, you should consider switching to that setting. 5GHz signals transmit data at a faster rate, but can only cover shorter distances. You may need to reposition your router for better coverage.
Certain domestic appliances like a microwave oven can interfere with the Wi-Fi signal when turned on. A baby monitor or a cordless phone can have the same impact. Make sure your router is positioned away from these devices. You may also want to explore the option of getting Wi-Fi extenders to extend coverage evenly throughout your home.
Countering Malware and Viruses
Using updated antivirus software and periodically updating your devices is very important. Viruses and malware can often start transmitting data from your device, eating up bandwidth over your network. In some cases, it can also infect your hardware, like your router. Regularly rebooting your Wi-Fi equipment can help with this. However, if you’re using an older model, you may want to upgrade to a new router for better protection and faster speeds. You should also check your router’s firmware for updates.
Planning Your Internet Usage
Spectrum packages come with unlimited data, but that is not the case with every internet provider and every internet plan. That means you should be planning your monthly internet usage very carefully. Understand peak times and plan your internet activities around them. Because everyone is sharing bandwidth, speeds will tend to be slower during peak hours. If you have to upload or download large files, or attend a video conference call, plan to do it before or after peak times. This will offer a better experience all around.