Internet bandwidth is the amount of data your computer receives and sends across a network or cable. You can connect to the Internet using traditional dial-up, and broadband options like cable and wireless. However, different connections will give you different bandwidth. For example, a dial-up connection will give you significantly less bandwidth than broadband connections. Less bandwidth means a slower Internet connection. And a slow Internet connection wastes time and destroys productivity. If your Internet is slowing you down, here are six ways to increase bandwidth:
Use Shorter Networking Cable
If your connection is slow, you could try using a shorter telephone line or networking cable to connect your computer to the modem or router. The shorter cable will face less interfaces, giving you better bandwidth and faster service.
Close Unused Programs/Applications
You should always fully exit applications when you aren’t using them. Many applications do not exit when you click the “Close” button. Instead, they disappear down to the system tray and continue running in the background. This means they are still using bandwidth, uploading and downloading files. Don’t forget to close your programs!
Avoid Using Bandwidth-Heavy Apps
If your hardware seems to be working properly, the problem could be that other applications are hogging the connection. For example, if you constantly download files with LimeWire, your web browsing is going to be slower. Always avoid using bandwidth-heavy applications like video or audio streaming.
Clear Your Browser History
In order to maintain optimum speed, you should clear your cookies, cache and browser history once a month. If you use Internet Explorer, look for the “Tools” menu and select “Delete Browsing History.” Make sure you check the appropriate boxes for cookies, browser history and Temporary Internet files. For Firefox, simply select “Clear Recent History” from the Tools menu. In the Safari menu, you can select “Reset Safari.” Then choose “remove all website data.”
Try Different DNS Server
DNS stands for Domain Name System. DNS is responsible for looking up and translating a web address into a computer-friendly IP address. For example, DNS allows you to use kincaidns.com, rather than an IP address. However, sometimes the server your computer uses can have problems or shut down completely. Lucky for you, there are other public DNS options available.
Troubleshoot Your Hardware
Before you call your Internet provider, give your modem or router a quick reset. By turning it off and on again, you are giving the hardware a chance to reboot. Also, check other computers and devices. If the problem only occurs on one device, you know it’s not the router or modem. However, if all devices are running slow, you could consider replacing your router or modem.
Dan is the Chief Information Technology Architect at Kincaid Network Solutions. Connect with him on Google+.