Cheap/Free Methods For Boosting Internet Speed To Help With Working From Home
1) Matthew Ross
One free method of boosting your internet speed is to ask your boss or HR department to cover the cost of a new router or modem since you’re working from home. You’d be surprised how many companies are willing to purchase new routers for their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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I know because I’ve had a couple of employees approach me with the same request and I’ve obliged. I want to make sure my employees have all the necessary tools to work from home in a productive manner so if it means purchasing a new $50-$75 router or modem, so be it. It might not work for everybody, but if you’re working from home for the foreseeable future because of COVID-19, it’s worth a shot.
2) Dustin Vann
There are 3 simple things you can do to help speed up your internet.
A) Where is your internet hub? Putting it in the middle of the house means it will have the best connection and no black spots.
B) Keep your hub away from any other electronic devices, as it may stop the signal. This could be the TV, speakers, or even fairy lights!
C) Make sure it is not near any other wireless devices, like Bluetooth devices or baby monitors. This will help the connection a lot!
3) Keith Myers
Several techniques can be used to increase internet speeds.
A) Use an ethernet cable rather than WiFi
B) Scan for viruses: The next thing you need to do is make sure that no virus itself is causing you to slow down. Sometimes viruses can live on your computer and suck resources away from what you are doing thus slowing down your speeds.
C) Test a different modem/router: The biggest cause of slowing down the internet is a bad modem. Make sure your modem is suited to the internet plan that you are on.
D)Check your system for internet consumption: You can disable the Windows 10 automatic updates by switching on the metered connection in windows 10.
E) Have you tried turning it off and on again? It is called power cycling and can often flush out a bunch of problems that affect your speed. Both can save power and restart in the morning can make the internet run faster, more stable.
So these are the few techniques that you can implement to ensure that the internet speeds are not affected and are given a small boost.
4) Craig Anderson
I’ve been working from home since last July, and internet speed was once the bane of my life. Thankfully, I found what I would call a ‘holy grail’. In the form of a powerline adaptor.
If you haven’t heard of them, powerline adaptors are magical. They are plugged into a mains socket and provide a wired internet connection using your home’s electricity network. All you do is plug one adaptor next to your router, and the other next to where you work. Using Ethernet cables, you just connect one side to your router, and the other to your PC or laptop. Boom! That’s it.
You now have a wired connection straight to your router. Two adaptors (for around $60) took me from 8Mb/s via WiFi to 100Mb/s via wired! They blow my mind every day. I download things just for fun now. I can’t recommend them enough.
Here’s the exact set I use: ZyXEL Powerline AV1200/1300 Ethernet Adapter 2-Pack
5) Miguel A. Suro
As a techie, I recommend these free techniques to boost your internet speed:
A) Make sure your router software is up to date. Go to your router manufacturer’s website and download their router control utility (often, you can also find it as a mobile app), and follow the instructions on the utility to update your router’s software (also called firmware). Taking these and other steps that the utility recommends will help optimize your router as much as possible, which is especially important if you have multiple devices in your home.
If you got your router from your internet provider, call them and ask them how to optimize your router. Remember, your router is the control tower for your home internet traffic. You want each device to have the speed it needs, but not much more or less.
B) Move your router around to find an optimal location. Generally, you’d want it in an elevated, central position in your home. Still, adjustments can make a difference, so do some testing. Download a speed test app to your phone so you can test the speed at different places.
6) Sina Khanifar
I work with wireless all day. Here are my suggestions:
A) The number one thing that users can do to improve their home internet signal is to move their WiFi router to a more central location in their home.
Your WiFi router broadcasts in what is essentially a circle around the device. So if you have it tucked away in the corner of your home, you’re wasting its coverage area.
B) A second tip would be to make sure that you’re using the 5 GHz band of your router. Most routers today work on both the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz band. The 2.4 GHz has a larger coverage area, but the 5.8 GHz band has better data rates. If you have 5.8 GHz available on your router – connect to that.
C) Finally, the cheapest way to expand the coverage area of a WiFi router is to use an extender.
This can be as cheap as $30: https://amazon.com/dp/B07N1WW638/
7) Mark Rapley
My recommendations around this, apart from contacting your ISP and upgrading your speed (which may or may not be effective since many of Canada’s major ISPs are throttling right now), are as follows:
A) Remove non-essential devices from your network. When your livelihood depends on a stable, uninterrupted internet connection, it is an easier decision to unplug that game console to prevent it from doing automatic upgrades (no cost to you!).
B) Set your streaming services to “medium” instead of “best” quality. This saves bandwidth and still gives you nice picture quality (no cost to you!).
C) Improve WiFi coverage by installing a mesh system (this can get expensive depending on the equipment you choose).
D) If you think there is a line quality or connection issue, contact your ISP to see about getting it fixed, so your service runs at optimum speeds.
8) Mark Webster
Our business has been fully remote for over 5 years now, and while the majority of our team has fast, stable internet, domestic ISPs will always have their drawbacks.
One tip I would give to anyone who’s job involves a lot of uploading, for example, documents, videos or images, is to look at whether the tool they’re using offers the opportunity to integrate directly with your cloud storage provider.
For example, if you’re storing videos in Gdrive or Dropbox but wanted to add subtitles to them using a transcription service, instead of downloading all these videos and reuploading them to the service, many platforms let you connect them directly to your storage account and they will interact with each other directly.
This saves valuable bandwidth and ensures your connection doesn’t crawl to a halt whenever you need to move files between services. Keep an eye out for services that offer this as it is very commonplace!
9) Trevor Textor
The best thing a person can do to improve internet performance without spending money is plug it in rather than using WiFi. That is, use an ethernet cable to plug directly into the router. Don’t have an ethernet cable? Look in the original computer boxes in storage if you still have them, there might be one lying around there.
For WiFi, the best thing to do is to be as close to the antenna as possible and ensure that nothing is between you and the antenna; no walls, no people, no objects, etc. However, don’t be directly below or above the WiFi router. Those are typically dead zones.
10) Javier Odom
Be sure to have a fairly new modem to boost your internet speed. Contact your ISP and ask them for their modem recommendations. You are looking for it to be a DOCSIS 3.1 device for cable modems. Also for cable modems, the more channels the faster that modem can operate; so 32×8 is faster than 8×4.
If you have any additional networking devices, such as wireless routers or switches, be sure they provide at least 1GB speed to each port. Some devices may offer 1-10GB to one port and limit the others, so again, be sure the 1GB or more is for each port. For all interconnections, use the cables that came with the devices or use CAT-6 cables.
The best method for boosting your local wireless speed to help with working from home is to set up your wireless workspace approximately ten feet from your wireless router with a clear line of sight between your router and your work devices (notebook, tablet, phone, et cetera).
Remove unnecessary electronic devices from your workspace, and unplug unused electronics in your workspace. Place power cables, converter boxes and power strips on the ground. A wooden desk provides a better environment for wireless than a metal desk. Also, ensure your workspace is cool, with cool air passing through it, which will help keep your devices cooler and running more efficiently.
The absolute best method for boosting your internet speed to help with working from home is to ditch wireless connections and use a wired connection. To be even more sure of this, use a shielded CAT-6 cable, with shielded plugs. The shielded wire has a piece of metal sheet wrapped around the wires to protect it from RF interference. Keeping with all the above recommendations for wireless will also help improve the performance of your electronics in your workspace.
Maintaining a healthy computer, tablet, or phone will also improve the quality and speed of your network and internet connections. Uninstall unnecessary and unused applications, and use your devices self-cleaning and system health apps to make sure they are up-to-date and running as trim and fast as possible.
11) David Ginsburg
If we are looking to boost your home internet signal at little to no cost, then there will be no changes to the user’s broadband internet connection since that would become a recurring cost. We’ll limit changes to inside the home.
Spend about $150-$250 to replace any older Wi-Fi system with a mesh system, even if your home or apartment isn’t that large. This will be worth the money as performance will be much better.
Another advantage of doing this is that it doesn’t require the user to manage the different Wi-Fi frequencies – the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands that we’re familiar with.
In the absence of a new system, you can better manage which devices are allocated to which band. On both mesh and non-mesh, you can go a step further and manage the quality of service (QoS) for different devices and applications, but less critical with mesh. The mesh system also has better WLAN management applications, such as Google Home (which I use).
Once your Wi-Fi is in top shape, make sure whatever laptops and tablets you use are hooked into it properly. Run a speed test (speedtest.net) to verify. If all else fails, you could always hardwire an Ethernet connection to your cable modem or router.
12) Kelly Speers
The internet is like the road you take to work each day so that after a while, you get a better picture of how fast it takes to get to work at various times. For example, if you are on the road at rush hour your commute could be double or more in the time it will take you to get to work. But if you are on the road at 4 am, with nobody else driving at that time, then you can get there in less than half the time usually.
Being wired to the internet from your computer will generally give you better speeds than if you are wireless. And so, you may need a policy in the house that limits connectivity during working hours so that your work and speed comes first. For example, No YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney+, AppleTV/Video, and file downloading during your working hours.
Under the ideal best case, the line of sight to the router 2.4Ghz has a top end of between 450Mbps – 600Mbps shared with everyone on the wireless network at the same time. 5Ghz routers will support up to 1300Mbps, but again under ideal conditions. In some cases, your wireless router may be serving you 2.4Ghz instead of the 5Ghz due to other devices on your network that do support faster connection.
If you have access to your router you can name the 2 connections differently, for example, Homenetwork2.4 and homenetwork. And connect devices that only support the 2.4Ghz to the slower wireless signal and your faster devices to the 5G connection.
Interference can be a big issue as well with more and more home internet providers offering wifi devices. You may want to speak with your neighbors on either side of you (harder to do if you have people below and above you).
Agree on a wireless channel that you will each use. For example, neighbors to the right and left of you can be on channels 1 and 11 respectively, in the 2.4Ghz band, while you would be on channel 6.
13) Yaniv Masjedi
A simple thing you can do is to download your playlists or TV shows on whatever streaming services you use (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, etc.)—rather than streaming them.
If you’re trying to work and stream music while your kids stream Netflix in the other room, your home network might not have the bandwidth to support it all at the same time.
Have your kids download that Netflix show and play it off their iPad directly, then do the same with your Spotify playlist. Hopefully, that will give you the bandwidth you need to do your job without being frustrated by your internet connection.
14) Ravi Rishy-Maharaj
These are challenging times, and staying connected is more important than ever. Also, working from home is a whole new requirement that demands high bandwidth activities like video conferencing– which is difficult when you’ve got 3 kids gaming on your home WiFi in the other room.
With that in mind, GigSky is offering free supplemental 1-day data plans to anyone who needs some extra connectivity as an addition to their home WiFi. It’s an easy add-on that doesn’t require any work. Simply download the GigSky app and enter code FREE10 when purchasing a plan. The value can be applied to larger plans as well.