How Do I Speed Up My Internet for Free?

By April Lee

It can be frustrating to have an Internet connection that's so slow you can take a shower, do the dishes, have a chat with your neighbor on the phone, and cook an entire spaghetti dinner before your download has completed. If you don't want to spend money on a faster Internet provider or a new computer, with a little work and ingenuity there are several ways to get a faster Internet connection for free.

Step 1

Run a disk defragmentor and virus scan. Viruses and mounting files saved on the hard drive can adversely affect how a computer runs. Running a disk defragmentor can increase computer speed by rearranging files on the hard drive in a more efficient manner, and a virus scan can remove potential viruses that are slowing down your computer.

Step 2

Exit out of unused programs. When there are fewer applications running, there are fewer network requests, and more Internet bandwidth available. Try removing Internet browser toolbars, and use a multi-protocol instant messenger such as Trillian or Pidgin, which avoid displaying Internet ads and making unnecessary network requests.

Step 3

Disable images. A majority of bandwidth is taken up by large image files and Internet advertisements. You can either disable images by downloading a third party program or by using an Internet browser, like Google Chrome, that comes with an option for disabling images.

Step 4

Avoid deleting the browser cache. The browser cache retains IP address information about previous pages loaded, so by retaining the browser cache there is less time wasted reloading the same information, and pages load more quickly.

Step 5

Place the Internet router and computer closer together. If you have a broadband Internet connection, walls and other barriers can reduce the strength of the signal. Moving the router and the computer closer together, and getting rid of other electrical interferences, such as printer or cable wires, reduces the barriers a signal has to pass through and increases speed.

Step 6

Keep your Internet connection secure. If other people are using the same Internet connection the speed will decrease as more resources are being used, especially if people are using your connection to download media files or stream live content. Set up a password for your Internet to limit access, or if you are using a public Internet source, find a less popular connection.

Step 7

Use the Internet at off-peak hours. Connections slow down during evenings and weekends, when more people are home and accessing the Internet. The time period from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., when most people are asleep, is the ideal time to use the Internet.