How to increase bandwidth

If you suffer sudden speed drops or your Internet speeds are much lower than advertised, it's very likely that something is limiting your connection bandwidth.

While it is hard to tell what affects your bandwidth right away, usually there exist 3 main factors that сan have a negative impact on it:

  • Your Wi-Fi router
  • Your Internet Service Provider
  • Your device

Based on the experience of our community and our personal findings, we’ve compiled a list of 15 best tips that will help you increase your connection bandwidth and avoid the frustration of a slow Internet.

Now, it’s time for you to take advantage of them.

What Is Bandwidth?

What is bandwidth

Before discussing how to improve your Internet bandwidth performance and, as a result, your Internet speeds, first we have to define what bandwidth actually is.

In plain language, bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be sent or received by your device within a specific amount of time.

It is measured in megabytes per second (Mbps) and can vary depending on your Internet service provider and plan.

Often, people call bandwidth more simply - Internet speed or connection speed, though there’s a slight difference between these terms.

Now that you know the basics, you need to understand that you may not always get the exact amount of bandwidth as referenced in your Internet plan, but the average numbers still have to be close to the ones you were promised.

Otherwise, you’ve probably encountered some of the issues that we will look into later in this article.

Is Something Limiting Your Bandwidth? Let’s Figure This Out

If you feel that your Internet speed is much slower than it has to be, it’s probably high time for you to run a speed test.

But before you do this, don’t forget to make sure you are not using video streaming services, torrent software, or anything else that may potentially be hogging your bandwidth.

After you’ve done that, run a test and check your results; maybe the bandwidth you get isn’t much different from that advertised in your Internet plan.

If that’s the case, the only thing you can do to increase it is to upgrade your current Internet package to the one fully meeting your needs.

Otherwise, keep reading this article to discover all the remaining tips you can follow to fix the problem of low bandwidth.

How To Improve Your Router’s Bandwidth

A wireless router is one of those things that can have a huge impact on the quality of your Internet connection.

Therefore, it is very important for you to put it in the right place to make the most out of your allocated bandwidth.

You shall also not leave your router unchecked as sometimes its health may be the reason why your Internet speed is low.

1. Change your router’s location

The first thing you can do to see if this fixes your bandwidth issue is to change your router’s location, placing your router in an open space with minimum to zero obstructions like doors, walls, and other thick objects.

Also, you’ll need to ensure there are no other wireless devices in close proximity to your router, as those can cause interferences dampening your Wi-Fi signal.

Having this done, check your speed via the service we’ve mentioned before.

Maybe you’ve got rid of the bandwidth problem simply by moving your router.

2. Reboot your router

Sometimes you can fix your bandwidth issue just by rebooting your router.

The thing is that routers, like people, also get overworked to the point they become inefficient.

So what you can do here is to switch your router’s power cord off for a while, usually 10-20 minutes is enough, and restart your router after that.

Setting your router on automatic reboot during inactive hours is also an option that will make things even easier.

3. Update your router’s software & check settings

Each router has its own software that you have to update regularly.

Failing to do so may lead to decreased bandwidth of your Internet connection.

To update the software, you have to visit your router’s admin panel and follow the instructions.

When you’re in the admin panel, you can also review your router’s settings to be confident that everything works as intended.

4. Configure QoS

When you access your router settings, you can see there a feature called QoS or Quality of Service.

This feature prioritizes and controls traffic that you send and receive, allowing the important traffic to come first.

So, you might want to play with those priorities as you see appropriate.

For example, you can prioritize a Skype call over Netflix streaming or online gaming services over general Internet use.

As a result, you will get faster access to the service you find critical at a given point in time.

5. Get a high-end router

Getting a high-end dual-bandwidth router instead of an old-school one might be a good idea if you stay in a location with too many routers and your WiFi channel gets overcrowded.

A dual bandwidth router broadcasts on two frequencies – 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, letting you use each frequency separately or both simultaneously.

By switching to one of these frequencies, you can avoid wireless signal jamming and, as a result, increase your Internet bandwidth.

How To Increase Bandwidth Of Your Wi-Fi

Sometimes despite the manipulations with your router, your WiFi signal still remains weak and you don’t get enough bandwidth.

Therefore, you might want to think of acquiring additional equipment that can help you solve the problem of poor speeds.

6. Boost your Wi-Fi signal with a Wireless Repeater

Devices that extend Wi-Fi range are expensive, but they can tremendously improve the quality of your bandwidth.

One of them is a wireless repeater.

The way the repeater works is that it takes your existing wireless signal from a router and rebroadcasts a boosted signal over a large area.

While it may be an ideal way to increase the range of your WiFi, you have to remember that you have to place your repeater properly.

In a reverse situation, other cordless devices will hamper its signal, and you won’t see any improvement.

7. Get a BT Broadband Accelerator

If you don’t feel like buying a wireless repeater at the moment, you can consider another device that is much more affordable.  

This device is called a BT Broadband Accelerator or iPlate, and it was developed to enhance speed and stability of ADSL connections.

It can be attached to your BT NTE5 Master Socket, and it works by isolating its bell wire that usually picks up radio interference from wireless devices.

It is known that the BT iPlate can increase your broadband speed by up to 60%.

How To Get More Bandwidth From Your ISP

Your Internet Service Provider could be another reason why you get limited bandwidth.

Sometimes, this can be a technical problem with your ISP, or you just need to change your current Internet plan to get enough bandwidth, but now it happens more often that your ISP can deliberately throttle your Internet speed.

8. Contact your ISP

In case there is a technical problem on the side of your ISP, contacting your ISP may be the only thing you need to solve your bandwidth issue.

In certain circumstances, it takes a longer time for things to get back to normal, but, usually, all issues are fixed within a day or two.

So, you just need to confirm that your ISP knows about the problem and wait for a while until it’s solved.

9. Upgrade your Internet plan

If your bandwidth is almost the same as advertised by your ISP, the only thing you can do is to get yourself a better Internet package or use another provider.

Different providers offer different options, and often you won’t even need to overpay as currently there are lots of flexible Internet plans.

Other Ways To Increase Bandwidth

Here we are going to discuss other effective tips to boost your network bandwidth in case the root of the problem lies in your PC, laptop, or smartphone or if your Internet connection is intentionally throttled by your ISP.

What is bandwidth throttling?

Bandwidth throttling is an intentional slowing of your Internet connection by your ISP to minimize network congestion or regulate traffic usage.

Since, net neutrality laws have long gone into history, network throttling has become a common practice for ISPs throughout the world.

10. Use a VPN

Using a good VPN service has many benefits, including that it can increase your bandwidth by preventing your ISP from throttling your connection.

A VPN also grants you greater privacy and security on the web, hides your online activities from ISPs or any other third parties as well as defeats all online censorship restrictions.

You can learn more about VPNs by visiting our what is VPN page.

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11. Run an antivirus scan

Viruses can also be a reason behind a slow Internet.

Therefore, we recommend that you always keep your antivirus software on and run regular scans.

This way, you can protect your device from all kinds of infection and be sure nothing affects your speed rates.

12. Use wired connection

Wired connections transmit your data in a much more efficient way than wireless ones.

Therefore, you should consider attaching an Ethernet cable to your device, as this can significantly increase your bandwidth.

Don’t forget to run a test afterward to see if there’s any improvement.

In case everything remains the same, contact your ISP to figure things out or try to opt for other solutions that we’ve mentioned in this article.

13. Try different browsers

The browser you use can also affect the quality of your web access.

Thus, do not forget to download new browser updates when they become available.

If you keep your browser up-to-date, but the problem remains, you can even try to switch it for another one to see if this makes a difference.

14. Turn off background apps

The apps you leave running in the background can slow down your system or even consume some extra bandwidth.

Therefore, you might want to manually disable such apps each time your OS loads.

You can also go to the settings and uncheck the box that makes them boot automatically.

Not only will this improve the overall performance of your system, but it will also improve the throughput capacity of your network.

15. Update your device or get a new one

Old devices such as computers, laptops, and smartphones often run on legacy firmware, and therefore you may not be able to unleash the full potential of the bandwidth you get.

Thus, the only thing you can do is to get a newer device.

However, if your device is relatively new, you may also try to download the latest firmware.

Wrapping Things Up

That’s it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and will find our tips useful in increasing your bandwidth.

Good luck, and may your connection always be fast!