How to Increase Bandwidth for a DSL Modem

By Ashley Poland

DSL Internet connects through your existing phone jacks.
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Maintaining a fast speed on your DSL connection is generally the same as with any Internet connection: it comes down to how you use your network and hardware. However, there are some quirks specific to DSL hardware and its use. For instance, while DSL download speeds can rival speeds advertised by cable providers, the upload speeds are often limited to much slower speeds.

Clear the Internet Cache

Your Internet cache generally serves to speed up your Internet speeds by maintaining copies of files so that your browser doesn't have to load those files every time you visit a page. But if files within the cache become corrupt, it can cause problems with your Internet browsing. Each browser offers an option in the settings to clear the cache. In addition, you can also type "ipconfig /flushdns" (without quotes) within the Windows Command Prompt to clear the DNS cache in Windows (see Resources).

Upgrade Your Internet Service Plan

Check your current speeds to see if you're getting the advertising download and upload rates. Websites like, and the DSLReports Speed Test allow you to see what your download and upload speeds are at any given time. If you're getting the speeds promised by your ISP, the best way to increase your Internet speed is to change your plan to one that has higher download and upload speeds. Depending on your ISP, it may not be much more expensive for significantly more speed. For instance, as of November 2013, the difference between the 6 Mbps and 12 Mbps uVerse service from AT&T is $5 a month.

Verify Cords

Check that you're using a DSL microfilter provided by your ISP on each line or outlet that has a telephone attached to it. Microfilters remove unnecessary noise being transmitted through the phone line. Also ensure that the DSL cable is plugged into the right port on the filter. Sometimes older cords become less efficient; replacing the telephone cable connected to your DSL modem and the Ethernet cable connected to your computer might increase your overall Internet speeds. Use the shortest possible cables when connecting between your modem and telephone jack. Using a lengthy network cable might substantially decrease overall speed when you connect to the Internet.

Place Your Modem Elsewhere

Changing the placement of your modem may also improve the DSL speed. Walk around the outside of your home and locate the place where the telephone line enters the building. Choose the jack closest to that for your modem; this reduces how much telephone wire your signal passes through before reaching your modem. Keep your DSL hardware away from other electronic devices, such as a microwave or cordless phone, as these devices can cause interference.

Reduce the Number of Devices Connected to Your Network

Decreasing the number of devices using your connection increases the overall available bandwidth for all the other devices on the network, especially if you have a wireless network. Even when devices aren't actively using the Internet, they utilize bandwidth for background tasks such as data backup and syncing. If you're connecting wirelessly, test if there is a speed difference by connecting your computer directly to the modem with an Ethernet cable. If your wireless router is near other wireless devices, you may be losing speed due to interference.