Turn your modem off and on. Sometimes a simple reset can significantly increase your Internet speed. You can also turn your router on and off to see if that's helpful. Just make sure that you know your login information in case your computer requires you to enter it after the reset.
Clean your connections. Dirt is the enemy. Regularly check all modem and router cables to ensure solid and clean connections.
Dirty, dusty, or loose cables leading from your cable or DSL modem to your wireless router, or computer can cause significant reductions in your internet speed. Pick up a can of compressed air from your local computer store, and use it to blow out the dirt and dust in the connectors.
Maintain proper ventilation around all electrical components to avoid overheating.
Avoid running multiple devices at once. Turn off smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, set-top boxes or other devices that you aren't currently using and see if your Internet speed increases.
Level 2: Software Fixes
Clear your cookies, cache and browser history. You may want to do this monthly to maintain optimum speed.
Internet Explorer: Look for the Tools menu and select "Delete Browsing History." Check the appropriate boxes for cookies, browser history and Temporary Internet Files. If your version of Internet Explorer has an option that says "Preserve Favorites website data," then de-select that option.
Firefox: Select "Clear Recent History" from the Tools menu. If your version has a "Time Range to Clear" option, select "Everything."
Enter "chrome://settings/clearBrowserData" into the browser bar.
Select all of the items that you want to clear, including browsing history, download history, cache, cookies and other site and plug-in data.
On the "Obliterate the following items from" drop-down menu, select "the beginning of time."
Click "Clear Browsing Data."
Safari: In the Safari menu, choose "Reset Safari." Then choose "remove all website data."
Scan your system for unwelcome guests. Sometimes, viruses, spyware, adware or malware can slow your Internet connection.
Close all of your applications and run your anti-virus program. If you have an anti-spyware program, run that as well. You can also try a registry cleaner program if neither of those options increases your Internet speed.
To prevent future infections or slowdowns, take the time to shut down your computer every day. Turn on automatic security updates for all of your programs.
Look for bandwidth hogs. Remove any unnecessary programs from your computer that may be using up bandwidth as they run in the background.
On Windows machines, use the Add or Remove Programs feature of your Control Panel to remove any programs which you do not use regularly. You can also access the Task Manager by hitting "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" to see if any programs are running in the background which you do not want. Be cautious of deleting items if you are unsure of their purpose or function on your computer.
On a Mac, you can see any running applications using Command-Option-Esc, where you will have the option of force-quitting the application, or you can navigate to the application and quit normally.
Change your Wi-Fi channel. If many people in your building are using the same channel, then you could notice a major slowdown in your Internet speed.
Use a program such as Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android to find the least crowded channel in your building. Other programs that can analyze channels include inSSIDer for PC and KisMAC or WiFi Scanner for Mac.
If you see a more open channel, then switch channels to increase Internet speed. You'll need to consult your owner's manual or look up the support site for your individual router to find out how to do this. Every router is different, but the process isn't difficult.
Level 3: Get New Equipment
Upgrade your modem or router to a newer model. When you hook it up, try connecting your devices to shorter cables to increase your speed.
Check your filters if you have DSL. When you activated DSL, you hooked the line from your phone jack into one side of a rectangular box filter. On the other side, you have 2 lines coming out, 1 for your phone and 1 for your modem. If you are using a DSL connection over your landline, make sure that you have high-quality filters in place to get optimum signal speed.
Use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi. A hardwired connection will almost always be faster than a wireless connection. Also, purchase good cables. The quality of your Ethernet and DSL cables can play a role in the overall speed of your Internet connection. Purchase cables that are rated specifically for your desired purpose, and replace cables as they become worn or brittle.
Contact your Internet service provider (ISP) to find out how much speed you should be getting. While factors such as your distance from the phone exchange may affect your speed, your ISP should be able to give you a ballpark figure.
Test your current Internet speed. Try an online testing site that will measure the speed of your connection. Some providers offer speeds in the 40 to 50 megabyte range, which is enough for more than one simultaneous video stream, plus other concurrent internet activities.
Check to see if your actual speed matches the speeds promised by your ISP. If it doesn't, then call the company and ask them to troubleshoot or repair your connection.
Households or businesses sharing a single network for multiple users may find that the only solution to slow online speeds is to expand the bandwidth of their Internet service provider.
Contact your ISP and mention that you are interested in upgrading your service. Ask if the provider would consider a trial or evaluation period for you to test a higher service to see its impact on your Internet speed prior to signing a contract or long-term commitment.