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SALT LAKE CITY — Have you ever grown impatient with a slow Internet connection?
We live in a world where the Internet is used for work, research and fun, so waiting for information to load on a slow connection can be a pain. It's easy to place the blame on others, but often the problem causing the Internet to slow down isn't on the service provider's end — it's on yours.
We've compiled a few tricks you can try to improve your chances of getting a fast Internet connection. If you have questions about how fast your Internet speed actually is compared to what you are supposed to be receiving from your service provider, you can use an Internet speed test like the free service from Ookla for a diagnosis.
Close unused tabs
Having a million tabs open in your Internet browser at the same time may seem convenient, but in reality it can slow down your browsing. A lot of webpages refresh automatically, so having multiple pages open at the same time means you have multiple sites trying to download information at the same time and claim bandwidth.
The best strategy? Once you're finished with a tab, just close it. In the worst case scenario, if you end up wishing you still had a closed tab open later, you should be able to find it again in your browsing history or hit Ctrl+Shift+T.
The placement of your wireless router can have a significant influence on the quality of your Internet connection. Routers may not be the most beautiful home decoration, but resist the urge to hide it because it needs a clear path to send the clearest signal to computers.
The routers should be placed high up in a commonly-used or central room in your home, according to Comcast. It is best to avoid putting the router next to things like metal objects, large amounts of water like fish tanks and windows. An open, clear route to your computer is always best.
Clear up your files
Some simple computer maintenance can help speed up browsing enjoyment. Cookies and other goodies from websites build up on your computer while you're perusing the Internet, and over time all of the information can slow a computer down. Programs like CCleaner are available for free and can give a clean sweep of Web-related history.
It's also a good idea to regularly run a disk defragmenter. Computers tend to get cluttered and slow down as they get older, but the defragmenter will rearrange data to let programs run more efficiently. Regularly turning off your computer also helps.
Check for conflicting signals
With the proliferation of wireless devices, it is possible your router is broadcasting on the same channel as another device in your home, or even in your neighbor's home. If multiple devices are using the same channel, it can slow things down as the devices battle for dominance.
You can try switching the channel of your router to speed things up by manually adjusting it in the settings, according to PC World. Some routers will automatically select channels so you're less likely to face this problem, but it can be an easy fix if you do have conflicting signals.
Notifications about new updates seem to come so frequently that it may be annoying, but they are usually designed with the intent to help you. Installing updates for your router, and computer, can help your device reach its maximum broadcasting potential.
As much as no one ever wants it, it is also possible that out-of-date equipment is at fault for the slow connection. Even if you're paying for the fastest Internet service from your provider, if you're using an ancient wireless router the amount of information it can broadcast will be constrained. Giving in a buying a new one could save a lot of frustration.
Turning your router off and on again may seem overly simple, but sometimes all your network needs is a little break. If you unplug your router and wait a minute or two before plugging it back it, you will give your router a chance to reboot and refocus its energy on serving you.