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How to Fix Slow Internet on Your Laptop

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Slow and unreliable internet speeds on your laptop can be annoying, especially when working or streaming live content. If the internet is slow on your laptop this is usually caused by technical errors, the number of devices connected to the Wi-Fi router, your laptop, and your available internet bandwidth. If you have been experiencing slow internet speeds, below are some tips to help boost the Wi-Fi and internet speeds on your laptop.  Many of these fixes can also help if Wi-Fi slow on laptop but fast on your mobile which indicates that there is a specific issue with your laptop or laptop Wi-Fi adapter.

1. Test the Speed of Your Internet & ISP Issues

Your first step is to confirm the internet speed you are getting. To confirm the speed, visit an internet speed test website like Speedcheck to confirm the speed of your internet. Use the same internet speed test to see if your speed has improved after trying each of the steps below. If the speed shown is slower than your advertised subscription plan provided by your internet service provider and you have tried all of the steps below, contact them to ask them to find out if there are any issues there side or consider upgrading the internet speed by subscribing to a new plan that is faster than your old one.  

2. Check Background Applications on Your Laptop

Running background applications can also make your laptop slow down and interfere with the internet speed by hogging all of your bandwidth without you realizing. Common culprits include automatic game updates, Torrents, and Windows updates. Press the Windows + R keys and type “Resmon” then click on the “Network tab”. All the apps running in the background will be displayed along with how much bandwidth they are using. If you identify a process that is using lots of bandwidth, you can right click on it and select “End Process” to end the process in the CPU tab.

3. Restart or Reboot the Wi-Fi Router, and Laptop

Your Wi-Fi router or device can sometimes be the reason for slow Wi-Fi speeds due to issues with its internal configuration or processing. You can reboot or restart your Wi-Fi router and laptop to reset the Wi-Fi. Switch off the Wi-Fi router to restart it and turn it on after 30-45 seconds, then confirm if the internet speed has improved. Do the same with your laptop by doing a normal restart to see if this makes any difference to speeds.  

4. Check Your Wi-Fi signal Strength

The strength of your Wi-Fi signal weakens the further away your laptop is from your Wi-Fi router. Some household devices can also interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. Avoid placing your router too far from where you are using your laptop or near devices that emit radio frequency signals such as microwaves. You can also adjust your Wi-Fi router antennas and ensure they point in vertical and horizontal directions to improve the signal. 

To check if it may be your Wi-Fi strength, test connecting your laptop with a LAN cable instead to see if it improves. You may decide to change the position of your Wi-Fi router to somewhere where the signal is stronger for you. If all else fails, you can also move closer to your router, where the signal is more concentrated to improve its speed.

If the signal of your Wi-Fi is slow, you can also boost its signal strength using. There are some programs that will turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot to improve the Wi-Fi speed by extending the Wi-Fi signal range for other devices nearby. You can also use Wi-Fi extenders to improve the Wi-Fi signal coverage for your household which are special pieces of hardware you can buy.

5. Reset Your Laptops Network Settings

If restarting your laptop and router does not work, it can help to reset your device’s network setup. To reset your device’s network, you need to set it to default, then reconfigure the Wi-Fi on your laptop and confirm if the internet speed has improved.

6. Check the Number of Devices Connected to Your Wi-Fi Router

Sometimes the issue may not be the router or laptop; instead, try and confirm if there are too many devices connected to your Wi-Fi. Multiple users on a single Wi-Fi connection can make the internet speed slow because the available bandwidth is not enough. If you find out that too many devices are connected to a single router, you can try and minimize the number of connections to improve the speed. Minimizing the number of connections helps to reduce the bandwidth load. Some Wi-Fi routers have options for balancing bandwidth between users, otherwise you may need to do this process manually. 

7. Reset Your Wi-Fi Password in Case it Has Been Compromised

It is possible that your Wi-Fi password has been compromised and someone is using all of your bandwidth without you knowing. It’s recommended to use a strong password that is harder to hack. While changing the password it’s also useful to consider using Wi-Fi security standards like WPA2 on your Wi-Fi router which have enhanced security over older security standards. Enter your Wi-Fi router’s IP address in the browser to access your Wi-Fi settings and change the password and security settings.

8. Change Your DNS Server

The default DNS being used by your Internet Service Provide (ISP) can sometimes cause issues, making the internet speed to be slow. If the DNS is the issue, then changing the DNS server will help to improve the speed of your internet. To change your internet DNS server from your Laptop follow these instructions. Consider using an open-source DNS provider instead of your ISP’s default DNS servers. To change your laptop DNS serve to open source, follow the following steps: 

  1. Click on the Wi-Fi or Internet network symbol located on the right side of your PC taskbar and select Network and Internet settings.
  2.  On the right, under the “Change your Network setting,” click “Changer adapter option.”
  3.  Right-click on the internet connection and select “Properties.”
  4.  Then highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 {TCP/IPv4} and select “Properties.”
  5.  From there, proceed by typing an alternative DNS IP address and Click “OK” to confirm.

9. Updating your Wi-Fi Router Software

Failure to update your router’s firmware can also make the speed of your Wi-Fi lug because the router software is old. Ensure you update your Wi-Fi router frequently to enhance its performance, stability, and security. This problem is common with older Wi-Fi router versions with no auto-update feature. If you have a modern Wi-Fi router they can usually auto-update themselves so you don’t need to worry. You can update the software by entering your router’s IP address in the browser to access the setting to update your router’s firmware.

10. Update Your Laptops Network Drivers

Outdated network drivers also reduce the efficiency of your laptops internet and reduce the internet speed. Ensure you install updated network drivers to avoid inconveniences. To update your Laptop network drivers visit your laptop manufacturers website and browse to the Support / Drivers section and enter your laptop model then locate the Network Drivers from the available downloads shown. 

11. Confirm the Router Band of Your Wi-Fi

Did you know your Wi-Fi signal could slow depending on your router band? The 2.4 GHz router band signal has a bigger range but is slower, while 5 GHz router band signals’ are much faster but have a more limited range. This is however only relevant for much faster internet connections above 150Mbps. If you have super fast internet, confirm the type of band your laptop is connected to; if it is 2.4 GHz, it may be a good idea to connect it to 5 GHz to get improved speeds.

12. Change the Wi-Fi Channel

Wi-Fi has 14 channels, and most of them have been set to automatic connection by the IPS. If you are in an area where there are a lot of Wi-Fi networks setup, it’s possible that the channel you are using may have become overloaded by too many Wi-Fi networks. To change the channel, enter your router address on any browser; under the wireless settings, you will find the 14 channels, then find out which one is the least utilized in your residential area. Then change your Wi-Fi channel to the non-overlapping one with the least traffic to improve the Wi-Fi speed.

13. Buy a New Wi-Fi Router

Despite having subscribed to a high-speed internet plan, sometimes the slow speed could result from using an old Wi-Fi router that does not comply with the latest Wi-Fi standards. An older model may use Wi-Fi 1, Wi-Fi 2, and Wi-Fi 3 which use older technology. If you want a superfast Wi-Fi router to go for one with Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5, and Wi-Fi 6 capabilities for improved internet speeds.

Conclusion

There are many ways of improving the speed of your internet that can depend on your laptop, your Wi-Fi router, or your ISP. Before concluding to fix the problem, it may be useful to contact your ISP for further clarification about the issue. At times, the problem could be due to a technical hitch which will be easier to resolve than manually trying to fix the issue on your own. The choice is yours.

By LaptopNinja Editorial Team

The LaptopNinja editorial team he is dedicated to helping you choose the right laptop for your needs and spreading knowledge about everything tech. Founded in 2012, the LaptopNinja team of motley tech specialists spend countless hours every week scouring the best deals across the web to help save you time and money based on more than half a decade of experience researching and recommended the top value for money and high performing laptops on the planet.

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