How to improve the Internet connection at home

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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Many people these days have problems with their home connection, which means that the equipment responds slowly and the job becomes much more difficult.

For example, the case of an acquaintance who called her Internet provider to ask for an increase in connection speed. Her provider, Orange, told her they could no longer increase her speed ... it turns out she had symmetrical 600 Mb / s fiber and the job this woman did was purely office automation, which is pretty much the minimum need for. connection speed ..  



A speed test

There are many tools for performing speed tests. I like to use a tool that has nothing to do with the internet provider in case they are forging data to look good on their customers. That is, for example, if you have a connection with Movistar, try not to use the Movistar speed test.

I usually use https://speedof.me, which was the first test you could do on the web, without the need to install any apps and without the horrible Flash. 

To make a reliable test, you should make sure that no other device is transmitting data on the same network (another computer, an Apple TV playing Netflix, a NAS sharing torrents…) as it would falsify the test. 

Make sure you also disable any programs that may be using the Internet on the computer you are testing on. It is also preferable to use a device that is not suspected of occupying the network in the background. I like to test with the SpeedTest application from Apple TV (previously closing all other applications on it). 

Wi-Fi

The weakest point in the chain is usually Wi-Fi, so if you can, always use a wired connection. 



In case you doubt that this is your problem, connect with the cable, disconnect the Wi-Fi to avoid doubts and try again to see how it goes now. 

In the case of the example I mentioned earlier, the test gave this woman around 2 Mb / s when she contracted 600 Mb / s ... when the cable was plugged in things changed completely so it was clear that it was a problem with Wi-Fi. 

Connect by cable as many devices in the house as you can, you will help free up the radio space and you will gain speed in the devices that remain with the Wifi. For example, I have the TV and Apple TV connected by cable, although they could connect via Wifi. So when I use them, I don't take up the Wifi, which is free for other devices. 

We will talk about Wifi optimization later, as it goes a long way. 

Network cable

Although the network cable is much better than Wi-Fi, it can sometimes surprise us. 

Do you remember the example of the acquaintance I mentioned earlier? He switched to the network cable and retested. It went from around 2 Mb / s to around 100 Mb / s. The improvement was substantial. 

But didn't you have a 600 Mb / s contract? From 100 to 600 there is a lot of difference. The fact is that to do the test he disconnected the network cable that Orange had connected to the TV and connected it to the computer. 


It turns out that some providers are so unhappy that they put a network cable of 4 wires instead of 8 wires (it also happened with Microsoft with Xbox 360) so that the speed of that cable is limited to 100 Mb / s. That's a shame, as the price difference can be a few cents for a street user, imagine for a big company like the ones we're talking about.


It is true that 100 Mb / s is enough for a TV, think for example that Netflix, in 4k, uses about 15 Mb / s, but as I said before the price difference is minimal and you are comfortable with the customer. 


So make sure you have a good network cable to do some good tests. 

With macOS you don't have to worry about connecting via network cable and Wi-Fi at the same time, as the operating system is intelligent and prioritizes the fastest medium. If you go to System Preferences> Network you will see that the connection of the network cable appears higher than the Wifi. The one that appears above is the priority one. 

If you want to see the speed with which you are connected to the network you simply have to go to Advanced> Hardware. There you can see if you are connected at 100 Mb / s or 1000 Mb / s (which is normal today). 


Hope you will improve your connection.

Other articles in the series

  • How to improve the Internet connection at home
  • How to improve your internet connection at home (part II)
  • How to improve the internet connection at home (part III)
  • How to improve your internet connection at home (part IV)
  • How to improve your internet connection at home (part V)
  • How to improve your internet connection at home (part VI)


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