Tips on How to Improve a Slow DSL Connection

It can be very frustrating to need a connection with decent speed standards and don’t have it at home. For some reason, your DSL is not providing acceptable levels which means that you’re getting a product with a lower quality than the one you’re paying for. 

This tragedy will trigger a moment of anger against the world, that can only be solved with straightforward solutions easy to run for an average user. It is the only way to come back from the chasm and be able to use your internet connection as most people do. 

Tips on How to Improve a Slow DSL Connection

The reasons why something like this can happen are diverse. The most frequent is related to your location: you are in the outer limits of the zone where your company connections perform at its best. That is a reason that can make you think that you are helpless. 

But you will be surprised by the number of procedures that can help you to solve this problem. There is more to do than it looks like, and we are going to help you in this article to do anything you can get your hands on to make this nightmare come to a happy ending.  

Test your internet speed 

First and foremost, you have to test your internet speed. This procedure will grant you the information you need to compare with the number that your plan should be providing, and confirm whether you are getting a lower connection than you should or not. 

Several websites can help you with this procedure. What you usually see after running the test, is megabytes per second numbers for download and upload, and a quantity for ping and sometimes jitter.  

Download and upload numbers are easy to check: if they are close to what you should have, its ok. If it’s not, your investigation goes on. 

Ping is related to the delay you can have, for example, in a gaming experience. More than 100ms it means problems with a lot of games, and 10ms is excellent. Anything in between will be better the closer you are to 10ms. 

Jitter is how smooth is the path for data to go back and forth. Acceptable jitter should be below 30 ms.  

Take your time to run some tests and compare the results. It is essential to do this when no other device is using the internet connection at that moment. It can be helpful if you run these tests in different moments of the day, that can give you an idea about how much your connection suffers from network congestion of the zone you are located. 

Take notes of the average results, whatever they are, before keep going with the actions that hopefully will push up that speed that is not being what it should. 

Speed up your internet 

It is important to take into account that the numbers that internet companies offer to their users are always “potential.” Most of the time, you don’t have this average, because of some circumstances we mentioned in the last paragraphs.  

Maybe you could get in contact with your ISP service to precisely know what it will be reasonable to expect considering your area. This information will complete your set of data before you start to check if you can solve the puzzle. 

Scan for viruses 

Viruses not only affect the speed of your computer but also can be using your connection bandwidth to download and upload files. If this is the case, stop and erase them. Your connection should immediately speed up. Moreover, you will be safe from a significant threat related to the security of your personal data. 

Check for external interference 

It may sound obvious, but exactly as you find in your pocket the keys that you’re searching all around the house, you can forget to check if other of your devices are using your connection. 

Furthermore our gaming console, laptop or smart tv, we usually have a smartphone, a tablet, an iPad and some other electronic device connected to our modem. Maybe there are even more devices if we live in a shared flat. If this is the case, check if some of them are taking a big piece of your bandwidth. What if one of your roomies is using p2p software? Try to find a way to rerun a test speed turning some of them off. If something changes, you will find a source of your problem.  

Turning off and on your modem 

Another basic check but not less important. It may sound like an old school nonsense measure, but there is a chance that if you turn off your modem for some minutes and then turn it on again, it can have an unexpected positive effect. The technical name for this is “power cycling”, and it’s a way to get rid of some issues with the speed of your connection. Even a new password can be a solution in some rare cases. 

Connect your device directly with a cable 

It’s nice to enjoy the comfort of a WiFi connection, but they are usually the reason why your experience of downloading or gaming is not as good as it should be.  

The best choice is to get a cable and connect the device you want to use at top speed directly to your modem/router. You will find this recommendation in most of the troubleshooting indications of many software that provides an experience which needs a high speed and low latency. 

Check your filters 

Usually, when you have a phone line associated with your internet connection, the company installs filters to improve the performance of the signals of the cable that provides telephone and internet service. 

Make sure that those are good quality filters, and they are clean from dust.  Again, check if those are updated to work with your modem, especially if you changed it for one that has new features.   

Test a different router 

Bad modems or routers are one of the most common causes for low speeds. They seem fantastic until you realize that an inferior device caused all those moments with slow speed and dropouts, that you thought was the blame of the company. 

Search on the internet if other users had similar issues with your model, and what device solved them. You will find experiences, for example, with issues like modems not adequately equipped for ADLS2+.  

Companies improve their network from time to time. If your router it’s outdated, you will not see the change.   

Find your best router settings 

This situation is another of those that can be invisible because you take them for granted. It is not that uncommon that the default setup of your modem it’s not what you need to avoid poor performance. 

Based on the brand and the model of your device, make research considering the technology of the connection that your company offers. This information is usually provided on the website of your router and ISP service. 

Check for software interference 

Not only a virus can affect your internet performance. There are some other programs like a virus scanner, updaters or even some hidden tasks from the operative system that can be the source of the problem. 

Search for a source you think that can be creating the problem, turn it off and rerun a speed test. If this is the problem, you will see a marked improvement that will confirm your suspicions.  

Check the cabling  

Cables are the highway where all the data goes back and forth. If you made most of this list and the problem it’s still there, request your ISP for an on-site line test.  A worker should visit your home to perform this procedure that some companies charge in your monthly bill. When everything seems lost, this miracle man may find damaged wires that affect the stability and power of the signal.  

Another possible issue is related to the length of your cables. If they are too long, they can low down your speed. You have to get shorter wires and find a way to put your modem closer to your device. 

Keep firmware and software updated 

It is mandatory to update regularly your router/modem firmware and software. Companies usually release them when they detect precisely problems related to the quality of the signal. 

It is totally safe to do this, especially if you follow the instructions that usually are available on the website of the manufacturer. Seize the moment and check for updates also for your devices that use the internet. Compatibility issues can be solved after a successful download and install of these new versions of the firmware and software.  

Check TV boxes 

Some old TV boxes that provide cable TV can create interference with your internet, even when you are not using them. Disconnect them from the electricity and run a test to discard or confirm this as a source of conflict. 

Everything checked? 

If you run all the procedures we recommend in this article, you should see at least some improvement on your connection. If it’s not the case, and you are sure that you should get a better connection, there is no other way out than demanding your company a solution. It’s your right as a customer.