How to Speed Up Your Internet
Like it or not, most Braintree residents are streaming live for work, school and entertainment every day. So what do you do when Internet slowdowns, drop-offs and buffering get you down?
This easy, step-by-step guide can help you solve issues with your connection speed. No worries if technology isn't your thing. At BELD Internet we keep it simple and might even save you a few bucks.
How Internet Speed Works
Think of your Internet connection like plumbing. In Braintree, water travels through a network of pipes from reservoirs all the way to your kitchen sink. Disruptions at any point in this network—inside or outside your home—can impact your water pressure.
The Internet works in a similar way. Data signals run through a network of cables from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) into your home. If you have a router, those signals further transmit wirelessly to your WiFi devices.
When your Internet is running slow, the problem is either inside the home (most likely your WiFi connection) or outside the home (most likely your ISP or streaming provider).
How do you know? How do you fix it? Read on!
Outside Your Home
Internet Service Provider (ISP) like BELD Internet
Infrastructure (cables and lines)
Inside Your Home
Modem and Router
Hardwired or Wireless Connection
TVs, Computers, Phones, etc.
How to Make Your WiFi Faster
If your Internet is acting up, slow WiFi is likely the cause. Here’s how you know:
Your wireless device shows low signal strength.
Less than full bars at the top of your phone, computer or tablet screen indicates a weak or unstable WiFi connection.
You also can check signal strength on your TV. Look in “signal settings” or “network settings.”
Lots of people and devices are using your WiFi.
It’s obvious but true: Heavy usage will strain your wireless network.
What You Can Do
When was the last time you restarted your modem and router? Trust us, this simple step often does the trick. Unplug the power, wait 30 seconds, reconnect power, and then wait five minutes for your equipment to come back online.
Now, how old is your modem? For top performance we recommend a DOCSIS 3.1 WiFi modem/router combo like the ones BELD Internet leases to customers, or you can use your own compatible cable modem and/or router.
Still running slow? Okay, let’s roll up our sleeves.
Tip 1. Reduce the load.
If you’re Zooming for work while the kids are talking to their teachers on Google Meet, it’s probably not a good time for someone else to watch Netflix. Set up a streaming schedule that works for everyone.
Also, turn off any unused WiFi devices. You might be surprised by the stuff pinging your router all day. (“Alexa, check my security camera and turn up the heat.”)
Tip 2. Relocate your router.
Routers aren’t pretty so we often stash them out of sight. The problem is that distance, walls and other obstructions can interfere with the wireless signal, which routers cast downward and in all directions.
Sometimes just shifting the router a few feet can boost the signal. But if your router is hidden in a closet or the basement, think about moving it to a high, central, open location, away from other electronics.
Tip 3. Get a WiFi extender.
If you have WiFi dead zones around your house and can’t relocate your router, you need to find another way to boost coverage.
The answer is a WiFi extender, a multi-node WiFi mesh system or a wireless access point (WAP). This solution costs a few bucks but can do wonders.
Tip 4. Hardwire the router into your TV or computer.
Is your router located close to the device you want to use? For example, many folks put the router behind the TV and Xbox, or beneath the home office computer.
There’s no reason to use WiFi to talk to a device just a few feet away. Hardwire the devices to your router with an Ethernet cable.
Still Need Help?
We know, WiFi is tricky. BELD Internet technicians are available to diagnose, wire and move stuff around your home—with masks and social distancing. Service rate is $49.95 per hour.
When the Slowdown Is Outside Your Home
If you’ve ruled out WiFi problems, there might be a temporary issue with your streaming provider or Internet provider. Some telltale signs include:
Only one streaming provider is slow.
If Netflix is lagging but YouTube isn’t, most likely your WiFi isn’t the problem.
Your live-stream content lags at high-traffic times of day.
Is your Netflix movie buffering on a Saturday at 7 p.m.? You’re not the only household settling in for movie night.
All of your devices are suddenly down.
Mostly likely there’s an Internet outage in your area.
What You Can Do
Tip 1. Read guidance from your streaming provider.
Tip 2. Check online for temporary service outages.
Tip 3. Call your Internet Service Provider.
If you’re a BELD Internet customer, our HelpDesk will send a signal that tests the connection from our server and cables to your home. If the signal is weak, there’s an issue outside your home and we’ll send someone out ASAP.
What’s the Bottom Line?
The best way to speed up your Internet is by optimizing your WiFi network.
Try moving your router away from obstructions, or add a WiFi extender.
If all else fails or you can’t change your lifestyle, it’s time to upgrade your Internet plan.
Upgrade or Switch to BELD Internet
BELD Internet is Braintree’s hometown, not-for-profit provider of high-speed Internet. We offer plans of 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps, 400 Mbps and Gig speed.
98% approval rating
2019 Internet customer survey
No data caps
Finally, here's one last tip that might save you some money. (You won’t hear this from other Internet providers.)
Upgrade your plan just one level at a time. If the step-up doesn’t work, call technical support for in-home advice to improve your WiFi connection. With better WiFi, you could possibly downgrade your plan.
Help Us Spread the Word!
If you found this guide useful, please share it on social media. You can also refer a friend to BELD Internet for a $10 credit on your bill. Thank you, Braintree!