How to increase download speed: 15 tips and tricks (2023)

Oct. 7, 2020

Many things cancontribute to slow download speed and figuring out the underlying problem toyour slow connection can sometimes be tricky. While it may be a simple fix likechecking your internet speed or restarting your computer, some solutions aremore complex.

Download speed refers tohow many megabits (Mbps) per second it takes your server to download data toyour device. Files, videos, images, and text are all forms of downloads. Anyapplications you use on your devices, like Spotify, Instagram, and YouTube, allrequire you to download data.

According to the Broadband Speed Guide from the FederalCommunication Commission (FCC), download speeds of at least 25 Mbps are consideredgood download speeds. But how can you increase download speed if yours is slow?

It’s important to notethat the number of devices and internet users you have in your household canaffect your download speeds. If your household usage is moderate to high,meaning you have more than 3 or 4 devices running at a time, you may need toincrease your speeds to exceed 25 Mbps.

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Read on to discover 15different ways you may be able to increase your download speed.

1. Restart your computer

Before you dive intoother methods, try a good old restart. Sometimes you may have applicationsrunning on your computer that you didn’t know were still being used or you mayhave too many browsers open at once. Simply restart your computer and begin thedownload with only one browser open.

2. Test your internet speed

If the problem wasn’tyour device, it may be your internet. Your internet speed is measured by theamount of data your connection can transfer per second. The easiest and fastestway to increase your download speed is to run a speed test. This can be done byinputting “internet speed test” into Google. Click the “run speed test” buttonfor a gauge on what your current download speed is.

If your speed score is fast — around 100-200 Mbps — this indicates that your slow download speed has nothingto do with the internet. If your speed score is low — below 100 Mbps — thiscould be an indication that the internet may be the problem. Keep in mind thatyour speeds vary depending on the number of users that are on your network at atime.

3. Upgrade internet speed

Depending on yourservice provider, your internet connection may not be able to handle largedownloads. Slow download speed can be frustrating and it may be worth it toupgrade to a plan with higher speeds, especially if your household has multiplepeople and devices. Explore your options and see if there are packagesavailable that can support a higher volume of data.

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4. Disable other devicesconnected to your router

The more people anddevices you have connected to your internet, the slower the connection can be.When downloading, try disconnecting any other devices, like smart TVs, iPads, and phones for the timebeing. This may increase your internet and download speed significantly.

5. Disable apps that aren’t being used

Similarly, you shoulddisable any applications on your device when downloading. The applications youhave running on your computer can take up a good chunk of your bandwidth, whichcan contribute to slower speeds. For example, video streaming services likeNetflix use a heavy amount of bandwidth. Temporarily disable the apps and seeif that helps.

6. Download one file at a time

When downloadingmultiple files at once, it’s not uncommon for your download to fail. This couldbe because your device isn’t compatible with downloading large files. To makeit easier, try downloading one file at a time. Though this may seemcounterintuitive, it can end up saving time.

7. Test or replace yourmodem or router

If you want to connectmultiple devices to your home’s internet, you need to connect a router to yourmodem. A router not only allows you to connect multiple devices, but it alsoacts as an antenna to extend the range of the Wi-Fi throughout your home.

The modem you have is typically provided by your service provider. Sometimes the fix can be as simpleas restarting your modem. If your download speed has been significantly slowand you saw no change in speed after restarting, it may be time for a newmodem.

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The best way to checkyour modem’s signal strength is to put your device close to it. If your speedincreases when you are directly next to the modem, this is a good sign, inwhich case your router may be the issue. As mentioned, the router allows you to extend your connectivityrange. If your device is too far away from the router, this could be impactingyour download speed.

8. Change the locationof your router

The location of yourrouter can have a major impact on your download speed as well. Be mindful ofwhere you are placing your router as some areas in your home may not have astrong connectivity signal. If you have a large house, consider getting Wi-Fiextenders that can boost the range and increase your internet speed.

Avoid putting yourrouter in basements, bathrooms, cabinets, on the floor, or near microwaves andother home appliances. Your router should be in a central location so theconnection can reach throughout the entire home.

9. Use an ethernet cable

Sometimes Wi-Fi can betricky, in which case connecting to an Ethernet cable can quickly increase yourdownload speed. To do this, connect the Ethernet from your modem to yourdevice. Since this is hardwired and you don’t have to rely on Wi-Fi, thisoption can deliver the fastest connection for your download speeds.

10. Upgrade your cable

If you opt for the fastsolution by using an Ethernet cable but still don’t see a change in downloadspeeds, you may need to check the cable. If the cable is too long or if it isoutdated, try upgrading to a higher-quality, shorter cable. Sometimes thisslight change can make all the difference.

11. Scan for viruses

Viruses on your devicecan cause a multitude of issues. These viruses can run in the background, usingyour internet and increasing your bandwidth usage, which results in slowdownload speed. To prevent this, consider installing antivirussoftware to protect yourself from viruses, malware, and other online threats.

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12. Limit bandwidth usage

Aside from installing virus scanners, you may also want to limit how much bandwidth is being used onyour device. Bandwidth is a measurement that refers to the amount of data thatcan be transferred within a network. All of the applications, downloads, andupdates that happen on our network can take up our bandwidth, causing downloadspeed to suddenly slow down. If this is the case, manually disable automatic updates by going to your device’s system preferences. You can also manuallylimit how much bandwidth is being used by updating your device settings.

13. Clear your cache

Cache is what storesyour internet data to help website browsers and apps load faster. Sometimesyour browser cache will become full and can cause download speeds to runslower. While you may not want to clear your cache completely, you can choosewhat data to clear. You can clear your browsing history, computer cookies, and cached images and files.

Go into your browsersettings, check the boxes with data you wish to clear, and hit “clear data.”You can also download browser plugins to help keep your cache clear regularly.

14. Update firmware

Your router’s firmwareshould be updated often to keep the performance and speed of your devices up topar. Over time, the software performance can start to decline,making it important to update regularly. You can do this by accessing yourrouter’s settings through the brand’s web page. Once you are logged in, update the current settings and you may be able to fix any issues associated withdownload speeds.

15. Discover yourrouter’s best settings

When logging into your internet service providers account to update the firmware, you can also checkon the different settings. The default settings that are set on your router areoften not the best. Go to your provider’s web page to learn more about whatsettings work best for your router and download speeds.

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Slow download speeds arefrustrating, especially since there’s not one simple fix. Always keep yourinternet speeds up to par and make sure your devices are compatible with yourcurrent ISP package. With the tips and tricks mentioned in this article, youshould be able to fix whatever is causing your slow download speed in no time.

FAQs

Is a 15 download speed good? ›

10-15 Mbps: At these speeds, you should be able to access most content without issue and play games online without any noticeable delay. You'll also be able to utilize things like video conferencing, but this speed range can becoming bogged down when multiple users put a lot of strain on it.

Is 15 download speed good for gaming? ›

Here's what we recommend to play games online: A download speed of at least 5 Mbps. An upload speed of at least 3 Mbps. A latency of less than 100 ms.

What are the tricks to increase Internet speed? ›

How to improve your internet speed
  1. Turn things off and on again. ...
  2. Move your router to a better location. ...
  3. Switch your Wi-Fi frequency band. ...
  4. Adjust your router's antennas. ...
  5. Extend your Wi-Fi network. ...
  6. Prune unnecessary connections. ...
  7. Change your Wi-Fi frequency channel. ...
  8. Upgrade to faster internet.
12 Aug 2022

Does RAM affect download speed? ›

Random Access Memory (RAM)

The RAM capacity of the computer or tablet can also have a significant impact on internet speed. The higher the RAM, the more lightning quick it will seem because the computer can move between functions and applications much faster.

Why is download speed so slow? ›

There are many reasons why your internet is slow. Perhaps your internet provider is having issues, your home network needs a reboot, or you're just too far away from the router—the possibilities can be a bit overwhelming. We'll list the most common problems and how you can fix them to get more speed.

Is 1 Mbps fast? ›

You can barely do anything with 1 Mbps! It's is barely quick enough to load web pages. Let alone stream Netflix or make a video call! We spent some time playing around with 1 Mbps as a download speed.

Is 15 Mbps enough for 4K? ›

In order to stream High definition videos, it requires a minimum of 2.5 Mbps and 1080p videos require at least 4 Mbps. You can also enjoy a lot of videos in 4K Ultra HD mode and you have to manage 15 Mbps speed to play ultra HD videos smoothly.

Is 200 GB internet enough for Netflix? ›

Minimum recommended data per month

However, some low-budget plans will skimp on the data cap. For example, Mediacom's Access Internet 60 deal comes with just 200 GB per month, which you can easily burn through over a couple weeks of Netflix binge-watching.

Is 1gb speed good for gaming? ›

Most video game console manufacturers recommend at least 3 Mbps (or “megabits per second,” the measurement of how much data can be moved in a second) of download speed and 0.5 Mbps to 1 Mbps of upload speed as a generally "good internet speed".

Is 360 Mbps fast? ›

One generally accepted rule of thumb is that anything above 100 Mbps is considered “fast” internet because it can connect multiple devices at once.

Is 900 Mbps fast? ›

By most definitions, anything above 100 Mbps is considered “fast.” Once you start getting close to 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps), the internet plan is called a “gigabit” service.

How fast is 15 Mbps download speed? ›

A megabit is equal to 0.125 megabyte. This means that when an ISP advertises speeds of 15 Mbps, your download speeds are 1.875 megabytes per second.

Is 15 Mbps fast enough for streaming? ›

For streaming on most platforms, you really only need between 2 Mbps and 15 Mbps maximum. If you want to stream in 4k at 60 frames per second (which is only available on YouTube), then you might need 30 Mbps.

Can I watch Netflix with 15 Mbps? ›

For Netflix, the minimum speed required is about 3Mbps for standard streaming and 5Mbps for HD. If it's Ultra HD you're after, you typically need at least 15Mbps for YouTube, while it's 25Mbps for Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, if you want to avoid buffering.

Is 15 Mbps fast enough for work from home? ›

You want at least 10 Mbps of download speed and 1 Mbps of upload speed of dedicated internet bandwidth for each person working from home. That's enough internet speed to allow for a couple of different connections at the same time without interruptions.

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