12 Tips to Make Your Internet Speed Faster

Happy family uses a laptop with fast internet.

Ever wondered how to get a faster internet speed? This article is for you.

The internet has come a long way since the days of dial-up connections and slow-to-load web pages. Recent technological advances make internet speeds faster than ever. Information is accessible in an instant—which is why it’s so frustrating when a slow internet connection forces you to wait for information to load.

Between streaming online entertainment and multitasking to get your work done, you need fast internet. From moving the location of your router to upgrading to fiber internet, these 12 tips will ensure you’ll never Google “how to make my internet faster” again.

Test Your Current Speed

Before we get into our tips for ensuring a faster internet speed, we recommend you take an internet speed test. A speed test will give you an idea of the upload and download speed of your current Wi-Fi connection, so you can determine what your starting range is. Hopefully, once you’ve applied our tips, our speed test will show that your signal strength has improved.

1. Check for Router Obstructions

Regardless of your Wi-Fi network, obstructions in your home or poor placement of your wireless router can weaken the signal strength of your Wi-Fi network. Objects such as metal studs, stone, brick, glass, or many floors and walls between your computer and router can interfere with your signal.

The first step to faster internet is to place your router in a centralized location so all rooms in your home have better access to the signal. If your ethernet cable doesn’t allow the Wi-Fi router to be in an easily accessible spot, remove as many obstructions as possible to enhance your connection. 

If you’re still experiencing slow internet speeds, try switching up the location of your router to see what works best. Placing your router up high in a central location (such as your living room) is ideal. Avoid areas that can interfere with your connection, like rooms with lots of windows or metal appliances (especially the kitchen). You can also get a Wi-Fi extender to ensure your connection reaches all the devices in your home.

2. Update Router Firmware

Updating your router’s firmware is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of maintaining an efficient home network. Firmware, the embedded software that governs a router’s functionality, plays a pivotal role in ensuring optimal performance, security, and compatibility. Here are the key benefits of regularly updating your router’s firmware:

  • Security Enhancements: Firmware updates often include critical security patches that address vulnerabilities discovered since the last release. Cyber threats and hacking techniques are continually evolving, and updating your router’s firmware is a proactive measure to safeguard your network against potential exploits. By staying up-to-date, you reduce the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security concerns.
  • Bug Fixes and Stability: Like any software, routers may encounter bugs or glitches that affect their performance. Firmware updates typically include bug fixes to address these issues, improving the overall stability of your router. This can lead to a more reliable and consistent internet connection, reducing the likelihood of disruptions and downtime.
  • Compatibility with New Devices: As technology advances, new devices and networking standards emerge. Firmware updates often include optimizations and compatibility improvements to ensure seamless integration with the latest devices, such as smartphones, smart home gadgets, and other connected appliances. This is crucial for maintaining a modern and well-functioning home network.
  • Performance Improvements: Router manufacturers continually work on refining and optimizing the performance of their devices. Firmware updates may include enhancements that improve data transfer rates, reduce latency, and enhance overall network speed. Keeping your router’s firmware current ensures that you’re benefiting from the latest performance optimizations.
  • New Features and Capabilities: Firmware updates may introduce new features or capabilities to your router, providing additional functionalities that enhance your networking experience. These could include improved parental controls, better Quality of Service (QoS) settings, or support for advanced networking protocols.

3. Secure Your Network

People can steal your bandwidth—and slow down your internet—without you even knowing it, especially if you didn’t set up your wireless router correctly. If your Wi-Fi network isn’t secure, any device within its range could use your internet signal.

To make your internet speed faster and prevent others from using your internet connection without permission, log into your router settings, disable network sharing settings, and add a password to protect your signal.

Choosing a strong WPA or WPA2 password is especially important—the longer and less obvious, the better. Consider including several numbers and symbols and periodically changing passwords to keep hackers and unwanted users at bay. 

Other steps to avoid network congestion include hiding your network name, creating a separate network for guest usage, installing a firewall to prevent viruses, and using a virtual private network (or VPN) to encrypt all your private information. This step is key to protecting your internet and home security.

4. Use a Wired Connection

While Wi-Fi is convenient and provides flexibility in terms of device mobility, a wired connection can be a game-changer for those who prioritize speed, stability, and reliability. Here are some key benefits of using a wired connection:

  • Faster Speeds: One of the most significant advantages of a wired connection is the potential for faster and more consistent internet speeds. Ethernet cables are designed to transmit data at higher rates compared to most Wi-Fi connections. This is particularly crucial for activities that demand high bandwidth, such as online gaming, video streaming, and large file downloads.
  • Lower Latency: Latency, also known as ping, is the time it takes for data to travel from your device to a server and back. Wired connections typically have lower latency than Wi-Fi, making them ideal for online gaming and real-time applications. Lower latency ensures a more responsive and lag-free experience, especially in competitive gaming environments.
  • Improved Stability: Wi-Fi signals can be affected by interference from other electronic devices, physical obstacles, and even neighboring networks. A wired connection is less susceptible to these external factors, providing a more stable and reliable connection. This is crucial for activities that require a constant and uninterrupted connection, such as video conferencing or online meetings.
  • Reduced Interference: Wi-Fi networks can experience interference from neighboring Wi-Fi networks, electronic devices, and even physical barriers like walls and floors. Ethernet cables, being physical wires, are not susceptible to these types of interference, ensuring a more consistent and interference-free connection.
  • Enhanced Security: Wired connections are generally more secure than Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi signals can be intercepted or hacked, potentially compromising sensitive data. A wired connection limits the risk of unauthorized access as it requires physical access to the network through an Ethernet cable.
  • Easier Network Management: Wired connections simplify network management, especially in environments with multiple devices. Ethernet cables are reliable and easy to troubleshoot, making it easier to identify and resolve connectivity issues. This can be particularly advantageous in large households or offices with numerous connected devices.
  • Consistent Performance: Wired connections offer a consistent level of performance regardless of the number of devices connected to the network or the distance from the router. In contrast, Wi-Fi performance may degrade as more devices connect or as they move farther away from the router.

5. Check Auto-Updating Programs

As you work, your computer runs multiple programs and apps in the background. Automatic updates to these programs could slow down your speed without your knowledge.

If your connection is slow, start Task Manager on your Windows PC or Activity Monitor on your Mac to examine which programs are running in the background and pinpoint where the slowdown is happening.

Happy family uses a laptop together on couch.

6. Scan for Malware

After you’ve checked your system for speed-stealing programs, scan your system for viruses. Malware can hog your bandwidth and send virus-embedded emails and other infectious information to others, clogging up your internet in the process. 

Signs your computer has a virus include slow internet, random pop-up messages, an overworked hard drive, and programs starting by themselves. To remove the malware, turn your computer off and on, enter Safe Mode, delete all Temporary Files, and download a virus scanner. When in doubt, call an expert. 

Removing malware protects your private information and makes your internet speed noticeably faster in seconds. 

7. Optimize Your Web Browser

Consider using a web browser optimized for fast internet. Browsers such as Firefox provide extensions to stop ads and pop-ups that cause internet lag. Chrome uses minimal memory and doesn’t require Flash and JavaScript, which also slows down your bandwidth. These browsers save on internet usage so you can work faster, and they regularly release new versions to make your internet faster and up to date.

If you are an avid gamer, enabling the 24 GHz frequency on your router and prioritizing gaming traffic through QoS settings can result in a smoother gaming experience with reduced lag.

Frequently clearing your browsing cache and cookies is another easy way to improve your internet speed. If the browser you’re currently using seems consistently slow, consider switching to a new one to see if that fixes the problem.

8. Limit Background Applications

Background applications and processes can consume bandwidth and slow down your internet speed. Closing unnecessary applications running in the background frees up resources for your primary tasks—it’s one of the simplest ways to ensure your internet is running smoothly.

9. Clear Your Browser History

Another easy way to speed up your internet connection is to regularly clean out your browser history. As you browse the internet, your web browser stores a considerable amount of data, including cached files, cookies, and a history of visited websites. 

While these elements serve practical purposes, such as improving page loading times and retaining login information, they can accumulate over time and potentially contribute to a slower internet connection. Here’s how regularly clearing your browsing history can make a difference:

  • Frees Up Storage Space: As you visit websites, your browser stores copies of various elements, such as images and scripts, in a cache. While this caching mechanism is designed to speed up subsequent visits to the same site, an overloaded cache can lead to performance issues. Clearing your browsing history helps free up storage space on your device, preventing the cache from becoming a hindrance to efficient internet browsing.
  • Reduces Load on Browser Resources: A cluttered browsing history can consume valuable system resources. The more information your browser has to sift through, the longer it may take to retrieve and display web pages. By regularly clearing your browsing history, you reduce the load on your browser’s resources, allowing it to function more smoothly and respond faster to your commands.
  • Enhances Privacy: Clearing your browsing history is also a privacy-conscious practice. It removes records of the websites you’ve visited and any login credentials stored by your browser. This can be particularly important if you share a device with others or use a public computer. Enhanced privacy can contribute to a more secure and streamlined online experience.
  • Promotes Efficient Data Retrieval: By eliminating unnecessary data, your browser can more efficiently retrieve the specific information required to load a webpage. This streamlined process can result in faster page loading times, especially for frequently visited sites, as the browser doesn’t have to sift through an extensive history each time you access a page.
  • Addresses Potential Browser Issues: Over time, browsers can encounter issues related to a bloated cache or conflicting data. Clearing your browsing history can address these potential problems, providing a clean slate for your browser to operate optimally.

10. Disconnect Inactive Devices

An excess of devices connected to your Wi-Fi can lead to issues. Opt for wired connections by plugging in devices wherever possible, and disconnecting any unnecessary items currently linked to your network (such as those “smart” appliances that never quite worked as intended). Ensure that only essential devices have access to the internet.

Many high-quality routers, including those mentioned earlier, come equipped with features that enable you to prioritize specific devices or services. This functionality proves beneficial in ensuring uninterrupted gaming experiences, especially when someone else on the network is engaged in video streaming on platforms like TikTok.

11. Contact Your ISP

If you’ve tried seemingly everything to increase your speed and you’re still having issues, it might be time to reach out directly to your internet service provider. 

Speaking one-on-one with technical support can help you locate any disruptions or problems that a generalized list of tips can’t pinpoint. Your ISP might send a technician to your home to troubleshoot the problem and give you added suggestions to keep your connection running quickly.

12. Upgrade to Fiber Internet

For those whose internet service providers offer fiber internet, upgrading to fiber offers numerous benefits over traditional broadband connections. Fiber internet transmits data with pulses of light through strands of ultra-thin glass or plastic fibers, resulting in a remarkably reliable and fast internet connection. 

Fiber internet provides unparalleled speed. Fiber-optic cables have the capacity to transmit data at near-light speed, providing symmetrical download and upload speeds for all the devices in your home. This high-speed capability is particularly beneficial for activities that demand extensive bandwidth, such as streaming high-definition content, online gaming, video conferencing, and large file transfers. With fiber, users can enjoy a strong internet connection with reduced buffering, lag, and latency issues.

In addition to speed, fiber internet boasts exceptional reliability and stability. Unlike traditional copper-based connections, fiber optics are impervious to electromagnetic interference, external weather conditions, and signal degradation over long distances. This inherent resilience ensures consistent performance regardless of the time of day or environmental factors. 

AT&T Fiber Internet

Check out AT&T internet availability in your area to see whether AT&T Fiber Internet is an option for you. A strong internet plan is one of the best ways to ensure your internet speed stays fast and reliable.  

Happy woman uses fast internet at home.


Overall, achieving a faster internet speed is not an elusive goal; it’s a practical and achievable endeavor with the right strategies. 

Understanding your current internet speed, as emphasized at the beginning of this article, is the first step to improvement. Testing and monitoring your connection ensure that subsequent optimizations yield measurable results. Strategic router placement and regular firmware updates address crucial hardware aspects, promoting stability, security, and compatibility.

Securing your network prevents unauthorized access, maintaining both internet speed and home security. Choosing a wired connection over Wi-Fi enhances speed, stability, and security, especially for bandwidth-intensive activities like gaming and streaming.

Additionally, managing background applications, scanning for malware, optimizing your web browser, and clearing browsing history all contribute to a smoother internet experience. Disconnecting inactive devices, seeking assistance from your ISP, and considering an upgrade to fiber internet are further steps toward achieving unparalleled speed and reliability.

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, staying informed about the latest technologies and best practices is essential. Utilizing the provided resources and related articles can serve as a continuous guide for optimizing and maintaining a fast and efficient internet connection.

Resources & Related Articles




This site is a U.S. Consumer site. You can learn more about our site and privacy policy here.