6 ways to speed up your Mac or PC internet connection and get faster internet

Fezile Biyela
Internet Provider Comparisons

Do you often find yourself frustrated with the speed of your internet? You’re not alone. According to a recent study, over 60% of Americans feel that their internet speed is too slow. Don't suffer from a slow internet connection on your PC or Macbook when there are very simple ways to speed things up. Although they have different operating systems, we'll focus on factors that increase your internet speed regardless of the device's make. So keep reading, and we'll show you how to speed up slow internet access.

Troubleshooting: Restarting first to speed up your Mac or PC

If you're the type of person to have a thousand tabs and apps running, your activity monitor is going to fry. The first thing to do before switching internet providers is to save your work and bookmark anything you want to come back to before closing your web browsers and apps. Sometimes it's actually what you're running that's slowing down your internet speed.

Also, you'll want to remove any devices connected to your computer (like USBs) and disconnect your WiFi connection.

Then you'll want to reboot your hard drive. It's a good idea to also unplug it for a couple of minutes after it has powered down.

Older Mac computers and PCs may need a speed boost so wait a few seconds for them to connect completely.

If, after rebooting your PC or Mac, your computer's internet is still on a slowdown then you'll want to follow these 6 steps to get faster internet on your Mac/PC.

6 steps to getting faster internet on your Mac/PC:

1. Check your internet speed

The first step is to check your current internet speed. This can be done by conducting a speed test using an online tool like HomeLinkd Internet Speed Test. Once you have your results, compare them to the advertised speeds from your ISP. If you’re not getting the speeds you should be, it’s time to take action.

2. Identify potential causes of slow internet

There are a number of potential reasons why your internet might be running slow. It could be due to outdated hardware, interference from other devices, or even bad weather. Once you’ve identified the potential causes, you can start to take steps to fix the problem.

3. Update your router’s firmware

One of the most common causes of slow internet is an outdated router. If your router is more than a few years old, it’s likely that the firmware is out of date. Updating your router’s firmware can be a simple and effective way to boost your internet speeds.

4. Change your Wi-Fi channel

If you live in a densely populated area, there’s a good chance that your neighbours are using the same WiFi channel as you. This can lead to interference and slow speeds. By changing your WiFi channel, you can reduce interference and improve your speed.

5. Optimize your system

If you’re still not seeing the results you want, it’s time to optimize your system. This can be done by closing any unnecessary programs and background processes. You should also make sure that your antivirus software is up to date and run a scan for malware.

6. Upgrade your internet package

If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still not happy with your speed, it might be time to upgrade your internet package. This will give you access to faster speeds and more bandwidth. It’s also worth considering switching to a different ISP if you’re not satisfied with the service you’re currently getting.

Other steps you can take:

In addition to the steps above, there are a few other things you can do to improve your internet speed:

Use a wired connection. If possible, connect your computer to your router using an Ethernet cable. An ethernet connection will provide a more stable and faster connection than Wi-Fi.

Move your router. If you’re experiencing slow speeds, it could be due to interference from other devices or objects in your home. Try moving your wireless router to a different location or sitting close enough to the router so the signal doesn't get lost.

Delete temporary files. Over time, your computer will accumulate temporary files and cookies. These can take up valuable space and slow down your system. Deleting these files can help to improve your speed.

Check how many devices are connected. If you have a lot of devices connected to your Wi-Fi network, it can cause slower speeds. It's worth disconnecting some devices that are no longer in use or require internet access and seeing if that makes a difference.

By following the steps above, you can significantly increase the speed of your internet on your Mac or PC. Just remember to be patient and take things one step at a time. Soon enough, you’ll enjoy faster speeds and a better browsing experience.

Throttling by internet providers

If you’re noticing that your speeds are suddenly slower than usual, it’s possible that you’ve been throttled by your ISP. This is when your ISP deliberately slows down your connection in order to manage its network traffic. Throttling can be frustrating, and it can impact your browsing experience.

Is your ISP allowed to throttle you?

The answer to this question depends on where you live. In the United States, there are no laws that specifically prohibit throttling. However, the FCC has ruled that ISPs must disclose their throttling practices. This means that if your ISP is throttling your connection, they should let you know.

In other countries, there are different laws in place. For example, in the European Union, throttling is only allowed under specific circumstances. These include when it’s necessary to manage traffic or when it’s being used to fight spam.

How to tell if you’re being throttled

Here are a few signs that you might be getting throttled by your ISP:

  1. Your speeds are slower than usual. This is the most obvious sign that you’re being throttled. If you’ve been getting fast speeds and suddenly your connection is slow, it’s likely that you’re being throttled.
  2. Your speeds are slower at certain times of the day. Throttling often happens during peak hours when there’s a lot of traffic on the network. So if you notice that your speeds are slower in the evening or on weekends, it could be due to throttling.
  3. You’re only being throttled for certain activities. If you’re only noticing a difference in speed when you’re doing certain activities, like streaming video or downloading files, it’s possible that you’re being throttled. This is because throttling is often used to manage traffic for specific types of data.

If you think you might be getting throttled, the best thing to do is to contact your ISP and ask them about their policies. They should be able to tell you if they’re currently Throttling your connection and why.

How to prevent throttling

Here are a few things you can do to prevent your ISP from throttling your connection:

  1. Use a VPN: A VPN encrypts your data and routes it through a server in another location. This makes it much more difficult for your ISP to track what you’re doing and throttle your connection.
  2. Use a different ISP: If you’re tired of dealing with throttling, you can always switch to a different ISP. Just make sure to do your research first and find an ISP that doesn’t throttle their customers.
  3. Fight back: In some countries, there are laws in place that prohibit throttling. If you think you’re being throttled illegally, you can file a complaint with the relevant authority.
By taking steps to prevent throttling, you can keep your speeds high and enjoy a better browsing experience.

How to conduct a speed test

There are a few different ways to conduct a speed test. The most popular method is to use an online speed test tool. There are many different speed test tools available, but we recommend using one of the following:

  • Speed test: This is one of the most popular speed test tools. It’s easy to use, and it gives you accurate results.
  • Fast.com: This is a simple yet effective speed test tool. It’s owned by Netflix, and it’s free to use.
  • Google Fiber Speed Test: This speed test tool is designed for Google Fiber customers. However, it can be used by anyone.
Once you’ve selected a speed test tool, simply follow the instructions on the website to conduct a test. After the test is complete, you’ll be given your results. These results will include your download and upload speeds, as well as your ping.

What do the results mean?

Download speed: This is the speed of your connection when downloading data from the internet, i.e. streaming.

Upload speed: This is the speed of your connection when uploading data to the internet, i.e. posting on social media.

Ping: This is the time it takes for a packet of data to travel from your computer to a server and back. A lower ping is better because it means that there’s less lag.

Get faster internet speed and a new internet service provider from HomeLinkd

So we've looked at how to speed things up and get the internet running faster on your PC or Mac without buying a new device altogether. But sometimes the problem is not a slow Mac computer but a slow internet plan.

If you suspect your internet provider is throttling your Wi-Fi signal or you want a new plan with improved signal strength, HomeLinkd is here to help.

We demystify the search for a strong, reliable Wi-Fi connection. No matter if you want your internet faster or your plan cheaper, we can help you find the perfect plan for you. Visit one of our web pages on providers to see more, or read our blog for more advice about Wi-Fi networks and simple steps to make your internet work for you.

Written by:
Fezile Biyela
Digital Writer

Hi, I’m Fez. A chai-drinking, worship-singing, and words-loving copywriter. I’m a digital native obsessed with staying connected with the world around me. That’s why you’re seeing me here – helping you stay connected. Happy reading!

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