How to Maximize Internet Speed for a Single Device

From quickly downloading files to being able to easily check email and view content-heavy web pages, high-speed Internet provides many advantages. Sometimes, however, even when using a high-speed Internet service, a connection can start to lag. There are steps you can take to optimize an Internet connection for a single device.


    • 1
      This is an Ethernet cable
      This is an Ethernet cable

      Disconnect your router. Routers can be useful if a person wants to connect more than one device to a high-speed Internet connection; however, they can also split the connection speed between more than one device. If you are trying to optimize your connection for a single device, disconnecting your router and plugging your computer directly into your Internet modem can help. Just unplug the Ethernet cable that connects your router and your Internet modem and then plug one end into your computer and the other into the cable modem.

    • 2

      Disable any unused add-ons or plugins in your browser. Most popular browsers have a feature that allows you to personalize your browser by installing add-ons. These add-ons can be useful but can also slow down your browser and use up bandwidth. In Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), to disable any unused add-ons, open the browser and go to "Tools" and select "Manage Add-ons," then select the add-ons you wish to delete.

    • 3

      Increase your browser's cache.Your browser saves and stores certain items for future access. Cached information usually consists of graphic images, buttons, photos and sometimes even whole web pages. If your browser's cache is too small, it will consistently delete old saved items to make way for new ones. This can slow down a computer because the browser will constantly have to re-download information to display web pages. To increase the browser cache in IE8, click "Tools" and select "Internet Options." Under the General tab, select "Settings" next to Browser History. you will now have the option to increase the Internet cache size.

    • 4

      Turn off automatically downloading applications. You may use services like an auto podcast downloader, auto updates for programs or automatic virus updates. Although these applications may be convenient, they can slow down your computer's Internet speed by downloading content from the web as you are trying to do other things. If you are experiencing lots of lag time, turning off these services can really increase your connectivity speed.

    • 5

      Avoid downloading large files at peak hours. Many services, such as broadband cable Internet, have central access nodes where all the people in an area who use their services connect to the same access point. If many people in your area have the same service as you and are using their Internet connections at the same time, available bandwidth can be reduced. Peak hours vary depending on the provider; however, they are usually between midmorning and midafternoon. If you want to download large files or use applications that need a high level of bandwidth, try running them later at night. Call your local Internet provider to find out what the peak hours are in your neighborhood.

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  • Photo Credit computer image by peter Hires Images from Ethernet crossover cable image by lefebvre_jonathan from

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