How to Boost Internet Speed on an EDGE
By Ellis Davidson
EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment) is a cellular Internet protocol that is still widely in use (as of August 2010) for network connections. There are two reasons why you may use an EDGE network. Inexpensive cell phones are frequently EDGE-only and may not use the faster 3G or 4G connections available on more expensive phones. Alternately, some networks do not provide 3G or 4G coverage in all areas, and all GSM phones will default to EDGE when faster networks are not available.
Check your cell phone to ensure that you are getting as many bars as possible in your cellular signal. A weak cell phone connection will lower your Internet speed. Moving your cell phone to a different location, or closer to a window when indoors, can improve your cellular reception.
Move a block or two away from your current location, so your cell phone picks up a different cell tower than the one you are using. Cellular network connections share Internet bandwidth with all of the other users on the same tower, so if the tower you are using is very busy, changing to a different tower can improve your speed.
Turn your cell phone off and then on again. This will ensure that your cell phone is not running any other software that may be using your network connection in the background. These will slow down the speed of the applications you are actively using.
Try different applications on your cell phone, if you are using a phone that allows installation of additional software. Some applications are vastly more efficient at using Internet bandwidth than others, and more efficient applications will appear to be much faster, even when the Internet connection itself remains slow. If you do not use a smartphone, contact your cellular provider to determine whether it provides additional applications for your phone.
Ellis Davidson has been a self-employed Internet and technology consultant, entrepreneur and author since 1993. He has written a book about self-employment for recent college graduates and is a regular contributor to "Macworld" and the TidBITS technology newsletter. He is completing a book on self-employment options during a recession. Davidson holds a Bachelor of Arts in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.