Internet speed, like time, is now of the essence. Most people use the internet for something as mundane as checking the latest fashion on Instagram to something as monumental as organizing movements that crowdfund resources for noble causes. Businesses are made daily and so are relationships.
Definitely, a mobile satellite internet provider is a godsend. But it’s not always about the source of your internet in as much as the allocation of your internet bandwidth in the household. Even if you have the best internet connection out there, if a nefarious app is eating up your internet resources, then that file upload for your boss will still take a gazillion years to finish.
In order of level of computer skill, here are some tiny life hacks to help speed up your internet connection.
Techniques For the Non-Techie
If you are a Windows user, a little sleuthing is helpful. You can check the very useful Resource Monitor to check out what’s eating your internet connection, literally. Tech Republic has generously given a tutorial on this matter. You can fire up Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Firefox at the same time and make it access the same website and see from the Resource Monitor which of the three is making your computer work harder than it should.
Mac users also need not fear. Just type Activity Monitor from Launchpad and click Network tab and it will show you the same data which basically informs you of the apps and computer activities are hogging your internet resources. If something is weird and eating up too much resource, you can kill it and restart using Task Manager.
If you have a particularly large file being downloaded or backing up files on cloud storage, you can switch off the other apps that launch and share in the internet speed pie when you turn your computer on.
For the iPhone, you can go to Settings>Cellular>Cellular Data and switch off apps that take up internet data even when you are using it while outside the house or not connected to Wifi. Do you really need Gmail to use the internet even when you are hiking in a mountain? It can also help you switch off unnecessary advertisements. For example, there are these nefarious and annoying marketing Grab/Uber notifications that remind you to book a ride even at a time that you don’t really need it. Switch the culprit apps’ access to internet off unless you need to really use the feature.
You can also check your internet connection speed weekly or daily using free speed test tools online like IP Details. Ookla’s Speedtest desktop app for Windows and Mac OS is also a good tool that you can easily fire up for this purpose. This will give you an idea if your home WiFi is slower or faster than your ordinary browsing experience.
Techniques for Brave Techie Enthusiast Explorers
If you think the above methods are cute but insufficient, there is a higher level of exploration that you can consider. There are powerful stuff you can crack on your own for free. You can install something like Wireshark, a hardcore network protocol analyzer. This will require you to understand the basics of the TCP/IP model, also known as the bedrock or foundation of internet connectivity and networking. It’s what we pay the IT folks good money for. Just a warning: this tool is not for the fainthearted and you might end up discovering things like a stray Bitcoin miner who occasionally tries to hijack your computer router.
Techniques for the Computer Gods, Linux Lovers, or Command Line Fluent Folks
These folks are technology ninjas who need not be taught to the letter. They most likely have a firmer grasp of how to nip internet resources eaters in the bud. In a nutshell, TCP Dump, firewalls, and stringent incoming internet connection rules are the key, among many other things. (Tip: if you are an iPhone user, you can also check out the Test Flight app for iSH which conveniently installs an Alpine Linux emulator on your iPhone where you can easily install TCP Dump or other tools to your liking).
Depending on the level of time you are willing to give, you can make the most of the bang for your buck at any given day.