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The Geek Girl Report: Not-So High-Speed Internet – Tips on How To Improve Your Internet Speed

Oli Scarff, Getty Images

We’ve all been there. You’re happily surfing the internet when all of a sudden, it comes to a grinding halt. Those sites you visit all the time are loading at a snail’s pace, and that download is going slower and slower until it comes to a grinding halt. Slow internet is no fun. And there’s no one single cause for it. Slow internet can come from a number of sources: viruses, old software, even someone else hogging all the speed. The next time you experience a noticeable internet slowdown, you might try the following suggestions.

Clean Up Your System

In some cases, a slow internet connection can be the result of spyware or malware clogging up your system. And if left unchecked, you’ll have a lot more problems than just a slow internet connection. If your internet speed is suffering, try running a complete virus and malware scan, as well as running the disk defragger. Also, you should clean out your C drive periodically, as that’s where viruses and other sneaky software like to hide. There are a lot of different programs you can use to clean up your system, but the Top 3 programs I use (that are completely FREE, by the way) are Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware and Piriform’s C Cleaner.

Who Else is Using Your Internet?

Sometimes a slow internet connection is caused by someone hogging all the bandwidth on your network. If someone is using your network and is downloading large files, like full-length movies, all the other computers connected to that network have to share what little bandwidth is left over. If you have a public network, you might want to consider switching it to a password-protected network. That way, you can keep track of who’s on your network. (a MUCH safe option.)

But what if it’s not a person taking up the bandwidth? Running programs in the background when browsing the Internet can also slow you down. Next time, try closing out those extra programs. You might also need to check if you have programs accessing the Internet without your knowledge, such as programs that regularly check for updates or virus scans.

Upgrade Your Internet

If your internet just isn’t as fast as it used to be, it may be time for an upgrade. After all, you can only go as fast as your hardware will allow. But that’s not to say you should run grab a new computer just because your internet is slow. First, try switching over to a faster internet browser. (Google Chrome is one of the fastest browsers out there) Next, check your router and see how old it is. A good router should be running at about 10 Mbps, or megabytes per second. If you do have an older router, check the manufacturer’s website and see if there are any firmware downloads available. You might also try calling your internet service provider and asking if they can upgrade your internet as well.

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