How to Get the Internet Speed You’re Paying For

Speed Test logoDo you think your connection to the Internet is much slower than what you’re paying for?  Are you paying for  a “high speed” DSL or cable connection, but getting to sites, downloading songs, and everything on line takes forever?

There’s a two-step fix that works for me every time.

  1. Make sure the Internet is actually slow.

    It could be you.  Maybe you’ve had one too many lattes and the whole world cannot keep up with your mind. Or — more likely — there could be another issue with your computer that makes the Internet connection look slow.

    Go to Speedtest.net .  That site provides a free, anonymous clocking of your internet speed.  See if your speed comes close to matching what the ISP says it will give you.

    My ISP plan is for speeds of 12Mb download and 1 Mb upload.  You can see from the graphic showing my test results that I am getting what I am paying for.

    But, I wasn’t when I started off the morning.

    In fact, when I first went to my keyboard  iTunes was predicting that it would take 20 minutes to download a song, and browsing regular web sites was painful because I was having to wait for each graphic to draw itself into the page.  When I first ran the Speed test my download speed was less than 1 Mb!

    That’s when I went to the next step:

  2. Turn off and Back On Your Router and/or Internet Modem

    Your home router is a computer — although a specialized one — that sometimes gets confused. Or busy.  Or something.

    Just like an old Windows machine, sometimes the router goes off by a bit.  And, just like an old Windows machine, the easiest (and maybe only) way to fix the problem is to reboot it.

    Just unplug the router from its power supply, count to 30, and plug it back in.

    This sophisticated, high tech solution works for me 99 times out of a 100.  The other 1 time in 100, I have to unplug and plug back in the power on the cable modem and also reboot my PC.  This combination has not yet failed to get me back to reasonable speed.

My home network is simple and uses a 2009 (fairly new) Cisco Router.  I should not have to worry about the router causing speed problems.  Really. It is annoying.  However, rather than spend days debugging and talking to tech support at Cisco, I am happy to use the one-two punch whenever I think the Internet is slow:

1. Make sure the problem is real, and 2. Reboot the router.

Of course, if rebooting both the router and the cable (or DSL) modem fails to get your speed up to what you’re paying for, then it’s time to call that ISP and tell them that they have a problem!

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