How to Improve Download Speed on Origin

By Laurel Storm

So much for downloading a game as an antidote to boredom.
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In theory, online game stores such as Origin are great. At any time of the day or night, you can buy a game and get to playing within a few minutes. In practice, however, things are often not so rosy. You buy a game, click to download it -- and find yourself staring at download speeds that could very well be a virtual representation of a snail moving through molasses. While there is no foolproof way of speeding up your Origin downloads, there are several things you can try that might have an effect.

Update Origin

Ensure you are running the most recent version of Origin, as conflicts between your out-of-date client and the Origin server may be the cause of the slowdowns. From within the Origin client, click "Origin" and select "Application Settings." Select the "General" tab, scroll to the bottom, ensure the check box labeled "Automatically Keep Origin Up to Date" is selected and click "Done." Restart the client and it will automatically install any updates you may have been missing.

Free Up Bandwidth

Because most Internet service providers place a limit on the amount of data you can simultaneously download, downloading anything else while downloading from Origin may cause slowdowns. Pause or cancel any other download you may be running concurrently and see if your Origin download speed improves. This includes both direct downloads, either from websites or through specialized software, and streaming content from services such as Netflix. If you are sharing an Internet connection with other members of your household, ask if they'll pause or cancel any downloads they may be running.

Adjust Firewall Settings

Your firewall software may be throttling your connection to the servers your download is coming from. According to the EA website, the Origin software requires TCP ports 80, 443, 9960 to 9969, 1024 to 1124, 18000, 18120, 18060, 27900, 28910 and 29900 and UDP ports 1024 to 1124, 18000 and 29900 to be open so it can function correctly. If you are using a router, you may also need to open the same ports on it. The method to open these ports varies depending on the firewall software and router you are using; consult your manual for more information.

Avoid Using Third-Party DNS

In order to give you the best speed possible, Origin relies on the Akamai server network. When you request a game download, the file is automatically downloaded from the Akamai server closest to your geographical location; your location is determined based on the DNS server you are using. If you are using a third-party DNS service such as Google DNS or OpenDNS, the Akamai server that is chosen will instead be the closest to the location of the third-party service's server; this can cause your download to be much slower than it otherwise would be.