How to Fix Slow Download Speed

By David Lipscomb

Improve download speeds to improve your network experience.
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Your Internet download speeds affect overall network performance. Enabling faster downloads improves your enjoyment of your Internet feed, along with productivity and gaming. Factors influencing download speed include viruses, wireless or wired connections, and how many programs you run at any given time. Often you have to collaborate with your Internet service provider to fix issues or upgrade your speeds.

Step 1

Run a network speed test to determine baseline performance. Resources like evaluate and report your upload and download speeds so you know what changes effect improvements.

Step 2

Run anti-virus software on your computer to locate and eliminate harmful malware. In addition to creating harmful security holes, malware runs constantly in the background, hogging system resources and slowing connection speeds. Some malware prevents an Internet connection entirely.

Step 3

Close unneeded programs. Even if you aren't actively using a program, if it's open it's using up system resources. Only keep those programs open that you need at any given time.

Step 4

Switch from a wireless to a wired connection. In addition to offering more security than wireless, wired connections are consistently faster. For example, most wireless connections offer 54 megabit per second speeds, while wired feeds routinely operate at 100Mbps or more.

Step 5

Reset your router and modem. Often these devices "lock up," requiring a reset to restore normal operation. This is also effective if you lose your connection entirely. For these reasons, resetting system hardware by unplugging cables and AC power adapters from network hardware is often the first step offered by ISP technical support.

Step 6

Reduce the amount of streaming or downloads on your network at any given time. These data-intensive tasks bog down your network, adversely affecting browsing and network connection speeds. Perform these tasks overnight or when when system usage is at a minimum.