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Is a slow internet connection getting you down? We’ve all been there! Internet is a necessity and when it’s slow, it can stop you from working, watching, and online shopping! Luckily, here are 10 pro tips on how you can speed up your Internet connection!
Sometimes, the solution is really straightforward! If connection speeds are low, try moving your router. A central position within your house is the best bet, and if a particular floor is where your household accesses the internet most frequently, move it to that one.
You may not realize, but in many cases the amount of data you can access monthly can be limited by your provider. Data caps are rarely advertised, but when they kick in, your connection speed can slow down to a bare minimum.
To find out whether a data cap applies to your contract, take a look at your bill. It’ll most often be written in the small print. Consider speaking with your provider to increase the data cap if it’s going to be a recurring problem.
Okay, this might sound like your IT department’s default advice, but it’s worth doing it anyway!
Although routers are resilient machines, they should be reset or restarted on a regular basis to make sure they continue working properly. And if you have a separate modem, make sure to reset that, too.
Doing this prompts a refresh of your connection, which can boost speeds substantially if that’s the root of the problem. There are also timers available that will automatically reset your router at an interval of your choosing.
Sometimes, your browser may be working so hard that it can’t deliver the best speed and responsiveness. Switching to a lightweight browser, such as Opera, Torch, or Lunascape, for at least some of your tasks can ease the burden of your usual browser and speed up your overall online experience.
It may also be because of the type of content you are trying to view. Websites or apps with heavy video or multimedia can make a page slow to respond, as can having a ton of website ‘tabs’ open at once. Consider closing some if you want a speedier experience.
Adverts on web pages are often intrusive and annoying, but there’s another reason to give them the chop: they slow your browsing speed right down.
Autoplay videos and image-dense ads are particularly draining, but you can avoid them by using an Ad Blocker extension on your browser. They’re easy to install, and you’re likely to see an immediate improvement in performance.
The humble Ethernet cable may have lost its shine due to the dominance of Wi-Fi, but an Ethernet connection is always faster and more reliable than wireless, with enhanced security.
It’s a good idea to connect your non-portable internet-enabled devices via Ethernet; desktop computers, games consoles, and smart TVs are ideal candidates. And if your laptop still has an Ethernet port, plug it in when you have connection issues. The difference can be startling!
The cause of your connection problems may be the presence of malware or a virus. It’s important to have protection software anyway, but if you suspect a virus has made its way into your computer, there’s no harm in double-checking. Enlist the help of a computer technician if there is a problem.
While you have your protective software running, set up automatic, regular scans. This will prevent further issues in the future.
A cache is basically the holder of all the pieces of information that your browser collects while you’re online. It helps marketers deliver ads that are relevant to your searches and browsing history.
However, the data stored within a cache also has a tendency to build and slow your browser down. Luckily, the fix is quick and painless. Simply clear the cache – either manually or using a plugin – to improve browsing speeds. Do this regularly to prevent further slowdowns.
Once you’ve exhausted all the possible at-home solutions, your best shot at speed improvement is to speak directly with your provider.
They may have different plans that give you access to greater speeds; although they will come at a higher cost, the investment is worthwhile if slow connections are causing you problems.
Don’t forget to do some research before you speak to your provider – there may be deals online that tick all of the right boxes.
If all else fails, the problem might be with your internet provider itself. If they’re unable to resolve your connection issues with other solutions, and your provider doesn’t seem interested in helping, it’s a good time to switch.
Taking on a new contract with a different provider – and getting into the practice of making price comparisons every time a contract is up – can save you serious money in the long run. Even if you don’t end up switching, sharing the intent with your provider can prompt them to give you secret special offers.
Many areas have a limited number of ISPs, so comparing their features and pricing shouldn’t be a burden. The time investment is worthwhile, and although this isn’t the first action you should take, it’s an ideal solution if nothing else works.
We’d love to know which tactics have worked for you; leave a comment below!
When choosing your ISP provider, you should always make an informed decision; otherwise, you could end up purchasing a package that isn’t suitable for your needs. You’ll either end up paying too much for services you’ll never use, or you won’t buy enough for your needs.
To know exactly what you are getting, you should know a little bit about the technology that delivers your internet. Understanding terms like Mbps, bandwidth, and latency will help you make the right decision on what Mbps are and how many you actually need.
Mbps are one of the main factors affecting the price of an internet package. Mbps means megabits per second, a data unit that is used to indicate the bandwidth and throughput of your internet connection. To put it simply: Mbps tells you how fast you can download or upload information.
The higher the number of Mbps, the more you can download in the same amount of time. Simple enough, right? Well, this is where things get a little more complex, because there’s a difference between Mbps and MBps!
You might think that MBps is simply a typo that somebody overlooked during editing, but MBps means something completely different from Mbps:
The main difference between bits and bytes is that one byte equals 8 bits. Since that means that one bit is 1/8th of a byte, you can calculate how many MB of data you can download by dividing your Mbps by 8.
If you have a 100Mbps connection, you will be able to download 100Mbps/8 = 12.5MBps. This means each second, you’ll be able to download 12.5MB of data. So if your internet is slow, you just need some Mbps, right? Well, it’s a bit more complex than that.
While most ISPs mention Mbps as an indication of their high-speed internet packets, those are not the only things that affect the speed of the network. Mbps indicate the bandwidth and throughput of your internet connection. Which means:
This means that while your bandwidth is listed at 100Mbps, the actual throughput might be lower, based on other important factors that affect network performance, such as network latency and packet loss.
If you often have issues with videos buffering, slow website loading or you keep getting disconnected from your games, you will have to test network performance.
More Mbps might not fix your problem because your internet speed depends on more than just that. You might get a speedtest result like the one below and still experience issues while browsing, streaming, and gaming.
So if your download and upload are fine, what else can cause this? To thoroughly test your network performance, you will have to measure the following:
Packet loss and latency is most often the issue when you, as the user, are just too far away from the main network cable your ISP has for your area. Always make sure to check that, too, when choosing your internet package.
No amount of Mbps can fix your internet connection if you’re just too far away for all the data communication to travel without getting lost or taking too long to reach you. Once you are sure that you will not have such issues, you can safely choose your ideal Mbps package.
Everything you do online costs bandwidth, i.e. Mbps. The amount of Mbps depends on how you plan to use your internet, how many devices will be connected, and how many users there will be. It’s not the same if you watch movies on your tablet or on your 4K TV either.
The higher the definition, the more MB per second need to be downloaded (streamed) for you to enjoy a buffering-free experience. The more users your household has, the more devices are connected at the same time, meaning the more bandwidth and Mbps you will need.
This table lists the optimal Mbps depending on various internet-based activities. Each new row shows activities in addition to the row above it.
|Activity||Minimum Mbps||Optimal Mbps|
|+ Browsing / Social Media / Emailing||1.5 Mbps||5 Mbps|
|+ Music Streaming / Skype Calls||3 Mbps||10 Mbps|
|+ SD (standard definition) videos / Browser Games||5 Mbps||15 Mbps|
|+ HD (high definition) videos / Online Gaming||15 Mbps||30 Mbps|
|+ UHD and 4K videos / Competitive Online Gaming||40 Mbps||100 Mbps|
**Note that the above minimum Mbps are recommendations based on a single-user household.**
You will use more of your bandwidth when you are streaming a 4K video than when you are browsing on your PC. While browsing rarely takes more than 1 or 2 Mbps, 4K definition video streaming often takes as much as 60Mbps and more.
Think about how you spend your time online. Are you streaming and playing games? Do you have a 4K TV at home? Are you living alone or with others in the house?
All these factors affect the amount of Mbps you need. The more of you there are, the more Mbps you need. The same goes for the number of devices that are simultaneously using the internet. All of them will take a chunk of your bandwidth.
This means that having a 4K movie running, playing games on a console, and being in a Skype call will require at least 100Mbps. List all your activities, and then refer to the table above to find your optimal amount of Mbps.
When you mention online gaming to anyone living in rural areas, most will reply with the same thing – it’s impossible. Whether suffering from slow speeds, high ping, data issues, or a combination of all three, teaming up with friends to beat the season’s most action-packed games has been frustrating to say the least.
Poor service and limited options have resulted from the inability of large cable and fiber providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Charter to make a profit in these areas. Rural homes are fewer and are spread much further out than in cities and suburbs, so with a greater cost to run cables and install equipment to a small customer base, its just not worth it to these companies.
Thankfully, as the Internet has become more ingrained in our everyday lives, additional options have become available. Rural homes won’t be seeing 500 Mbps fiber internet any day soon, but new options like fixed wireless Internet, and mobile broadband, streaming and gaming become possible no matter where you live!
Below we’ll dive into each option to help you choose the best internet option for gaming in rural areas.
Fixed Wireless providers have been popping up all over the country, primarily in rural areas, and work by providing internet access to your home through radio waves. Not to be confused with satellite Internet which broadcasts service from the sky, fixed wireless providers install a receiver on your home and point it towards their tower on the ground.
Because most fixed wireless providers are small, privately-owned companies there is a wide variety of plans available across the US. For the most part, there will be no data caps on these plans, and the user will see 5-30 Mbps and a 20-60 MS ping on average.
Pricing is generally between $40 and $70 per month, with an additional equipment fee in most cases. Additionally, most plans are month to month.
If you can fall into the averages from above, fixed wireless is probably the best option for your home and will present no limitations to gaming!
Unfortunately, because you need to have a line of sight to the tower with limited barriers (large trees, mountains, tall buildings), as well as live within 10 miles of the tower, fixed wireless is not available to the majority of rural homes.
It’s best to do your own local google search for “fixed wireless internet providers near me”, but you can also use a site like [Broadbandnow]. Just note, it may not be 100% accurate.
As wireless networks like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile increase network coverage and capabilities, mobile broadband has emerged as a popular option for rural homes. Unlike fixed wireless, which delivers Internet over radio frequencies, mobile broadband piggybacks off of cell towers to bring you your service. All you need to get started with mobile broadband is an activated wireless router from the provider. If you would like to connect devices (laptops, tablets, gaming consoles) over Wi-Fi you will also need to add a router that will connect to your modem.
If service is available to you, speeds can range from 3 – 30 Mbps and ping rates are generally below 60ms. The biggest drawback with service is the price and data caps. For example, as of August 2019, a T-mobile broadband internet plan that gets you 22 GB of data costs $85.
If you can’t get high-speed internet from a DSL or fixed wireless provider, mobile broadband will be your next best option. Recommend going with a company like GotW3. GotW3 has agreements with the large mobile broadband providers that allow you to get tons of data, a lower ping rate, and great speeds. Service from GotW3 is $109/month, but to get a good solution while living rural, it’s well worth it.
The average speed of a mobile broadband user is around 25 Mbps with a ping around 40 ms. If you are around the average you will have little tono limitations on gaming!
We do not recommend going direct through one of the large companies because they cannot offer unlimited plans so you will meet your data cap quickly, and either be slowed down to under 1 Mbps, cut off until your service renews, or will have to buy additional data which will get very costly. Instead, work with a company that has direct agreements with the large providers to resell their plans, but with unlimited service. The largest companies providing this service are GotW3, Unlimitedville, and UnlimitedToGO.
Cell service through the major providers covers almost the entire US, meaning there’s a good chance mobile broadband service is available to you. You can use a tool like this to see which cell providers have towers near you. To get service, you must live within 12 miles (20 KM) of a AT&T, T-mobile, Sprint, or Verizon tower.
Companies like GotW3 will check all 3 companies for you to find the strongest connection for your service. The stronger your connection, the faster your service will be and the better your gaming experience. If you live far from a cell tower, its still possible you can get service, buy it may be recommended to purchase a booster to increase your connection.
If fast DSL internet is available at your location, it’s most likely your best option. DSL runs through your existing phone lines, doesn’t tie it up, has a low ping rate, and plans generally have high or no data caps. Sounds like a no brainer for the best option – right?
The issue with DSL, is the further you get from a city center, the slower the speeds that are available to you. Living rural means you’re not likely to be close to a center so it’s very likely you don’t have fast speeds available to you.
If you do have service available at your address, DSL speeds can range from 1 to 100 Mbps, and the largest providers to look for are AT&T, CenturyLink, Windstream, Verizon, EarthLink, and Frontier Communications.
It’s very difficult to know the estimated speeds you will receive, so if DSL is available to you on a month-to-month plan, we recommend trying service for a few months so you know what you can expect at your address. Proceed with caution if you have to get locked into a one or two-year contact because a sales agent might oversell the service.
If high-speed DSL is available to you, your gaming experience will be no different than those on a high-speed cable plan. You will have no restrictions and every type of game will be possible!
If you are one of the unlucky customers that can’t get a constant, high-speed connection, gaming can be rough with DSL. Because service is delivered through your phone line, ping will not be an issue in limiting the games you can play, but speed will be. Many DSL customers who live at the edges of a service providers network often see speeds at or below 3 Mbps. With the average speed of 3 Mbps needed for real-time FPS games, you will not be able to play games like Rainbow Six Siege, Fortnite, Apex, Overwatch, Counter-Strike and others.
Although it may be a little frustrating because of the speed, you will be able to play real-time strategy, massively multiplayer, and role playing games as long as you can keep a constant 1+ Mbps download.
There is no rhyme or reason as to whether you will have DSL available at your home. It’s possible your neighbor down or across the street has service and you do not.
You will need to reach out to your local provider and talk with a service representative. To find if there is a DSL provider in your area you can enter your zip code here.
Available from coast to coast, with the largest reach of all internet types, is satellite Internet. HughesNet and Viasat (formerly Exede) are the two players in this space, and each have their own satellites in the sky. These satellites can beam service to a satellite receiver on your home to provide you with internet. Because satellite can cover so much territory, satellite Internet can reach even the most rural of areas in the US.
As technology has improved, satellite plan speeds range from 10 – 100 Mbps which is great for the casual user. Plans generally cost between $50 and $150 a month depending on how much data you choose.
The drawback with satellite however, is that all plans have a “soft” data cap, and ping can be as high as 150+ ms because of the distance your requests have to travel. Both of these attributes make things like video calls and FPS gaming nearly impossible.
Because of the high ping rate, any real-time game that requires any sort of instant reaction will not be playable. Your competition will always have a 100+ ms advantage over you which makes it nearly impossible to win.
You can play some “turn-based” games, such as casual games/Facebook games, some MMO’s, some Strategy games, and online board games, but remember that satellite Internet has a soft cap. Once you reach your monthly data allotment, your service will be slowed down to on average 2 Mbps.
Here is a resource that further explains what can, and can’t be played with satellite.
Satellite is most likely available at your address. With two providers to choose from, almost the entire US is covered.
There are a few dead-zones with satellite, and you must have a location on your property with no obstructions (most commonly large trees) for a satellite receiver to point to the sky.
There is no one size fits all solution for getting a good gaming internet option at your home. Internet options available, providers, and actual results will vary from address-to-address, and it’s very possible you will have to go through a few options to find the best provider for you.
We would recommend taking the following path:
Having an RV can often mean having a hard time finding a good alternative for your TV subscription. While streaming services like Netflix and Hulu can help, they only offer a limited selection of on-demand shows, which isn’t really a decent alternative for all the channels you leave behind in your home.
Satellite TV has gotten much better in the last few years, with many satellite antennas and providers improving their technology and services. DISH is a very popular option for those who are often on the move, and they have partnered with some of the best satellite antenna manufacturers to bring affordable DISH exclusive models to their RV-loving subscribers.
The DISH Playmaker by Winegard and DISH Tailgater by KING are two very popular models to choose from. Here’s what each of them brings to the table.
The DISH Playmaker family or satellite antennas are made by Winegard, one of the most reputable manufacturers of satellite antennas in the world. You can choose between two DISH exclusive models:
Both models are super easy to install, support DISH HD programming and pay-as-you-go services, and have a fully automatic setup so that you can start watching your favourite channels in minutes.
The DISH Playmaker is a dome-shaped, fully portable, and lightweight satellite antenna that is easy to install, carry around, and relocate.
The DISH Playmaker is intended for use on your RV or for tailgating. You can either mount it onto the roof of your RV, have it directly on the ground, or use it with a compatible tripod to keep it off the ground to get a better signal.
The DISH Playmaker is available from $249 for the single channel model, or $299 for the dual channel model.
Both models come with a 25-feet coaxial cable and a hardware bag that includes a handle, two screws, and four tripod adapters. The dual-channel model is available as part of a bundle with the Wally HD satellite receiver starting around $300.
You will get better reception once you lift the antenna off the ground, but additional gear, like tripods or roof mounts, will have to be purchased separately. Compatible gear includes the TR-1518 Tripod Mount and the RK-4000 Roof Mount Kit, both of which are robust and made to withstand harsh conditions.
Note: If you wish to use an alternate cable for DISH Playmaker, use RG6 cables no longer than 50 feet, or you will degrade the signal strength and performance.
Both DISH Playmaker antenna models will work with the western arc of DISH satellites. You can receive all channels located on satellites 110°, 119°, and 129° and overall, the coverage is fairly good across the whole of the US.
In order to receive the signal on your DISH Playmaker antenna models, you will need to purchase a compatible receiver. Compatible receivers include DISH Solo HD receivers. Currently, those are all Wally receivers, as well as DISH 211z, 211k, 211, and 411 receivers.
The setup process for both models is easy and straightforward, and you can install and connect the antenna without professional help in as little as 15 minutes.
Note that you will have to repeat the last step of the setup every time you move to a new location. Luckily, setup takes only a few minutes. Once you reach your destination and want to watch TV, simply choose the state you are in and hit the “scan” option to find satellites.
Overall, the Playmaker has improved signal strength and can maintain a stable connection. Most users are very satisfied with this model, and note that the only time they experience signal strength issues is during particularly bad weather, or if they don’t have a clear view of the sky.
Some users have mentioned that they had issues with initial setup and that it took longer. Often, they had to call the DISH support centre several times to help with the setup, and in many cases, the issues were linked to outdated software. Once the software was up to date, the issues were resolved so that’s always something to keep in mind.
The Dish Tailgater family features five models of DISH portable satellite antennas made by KING, one of the leading manufacturers of satellite antennas in the US. The Tailgater family includes the following models:
The DISH Tailgater 4 and Pro are the newest models and the ones we’ll be focusing on in this review.
The DISH Tailgater 4 is a fully automatic satellite antenna that supports SD and HD DISH programming. It can be used on the ground or mounted on the roof, and it’s intended for stationary use only. It is based on the KING Tailgater model as an economic alternative for those RVers who don’t need more than a single provider and are happy to connect one TV only.
DISH Tailgater 4 and Tailgater PRO are portable antenna systems intended for tailgating and RV use, and can be used directly on the ground, with a tripod, or mounted onto your RV.
You can get the DISH Tailgater 4 for just $299, which is a real bargain price. The package includes the antenna, a 35-feet RG6 coaxial cable that already has pre-installed connectors, as well as a manual and guide. The antenna has a 2-year warranty covered directly by the manufacturer KING that’s activated the day you purchase it.
Note that this model only supports single-channel viewing, meaning you will only be able to connect one TV and watch just one program at a time.
The DISH Tailgater 4 Pro model starts at $349, making it an affordable option for those who want to have multiple TV viewing options. You will, however, need two receivers for multiple channel viewing, and should be aware that your multiple viewings will still be limited to a single satellite. This package includes the antenna, a 50-feet RG6 coaxial cable, and a manual and user guide.
You don’t get additional gear with the antenna; any types of mounts or tripods will have to be purchased separately. The Quick Release Roof Mount Kit (MB700) is a favourite of many, as it allows quick relocation when needed for frequent travellers. The tripod (TR1000) and Portable Antenna Window Mount (MB500) are other popular purchases for these models.
Both models cover all western and eastern arc DISH satellites. This includes satellites 119°, 110°, and 129°. When you connect any model to a Wally receiver, you will have access to 119°, 110°, and 61.5.
DISH Tailgater 4 and Pro are compatible with the following HD solo receivers: Wally, 211z, 211k, 211, and 411. Those located in the northeast of the US will need to purchase a Wally receiver to have full coverage.
The setup process takes less than 10 minutes from unpacking to watching TV, and you can do it without any professional assistance.
The Tailgater is highly praised in the RV community for its durability and overall ease of installation. The only issue that is mentioned with this model is the performance during bad weather when it’s really difficult to get or maintain a good signal. But this is something common with any model due to the way they work.
DISH offers a good selection of RV satellite TV antennas with their Playmaker and Tailgater Satellite Antenna families. Both Playmaker and Tailgater are easy to set up, can be relocated in seconds, and have good signal strength and coverage in all areas. While the Playmaker is a great option at a bargain price, the Tailgater is definitely better suited for power users because of its multichannel support and fully automated setup.
Partnering with some of the best satellite manufacturers has really improved what DISH can offer to their customers, and helps them bring the highest quality technology to RV lovers around the US.
Many of us are used to being in a traditional office environment, which is why the changes we’re having to make now due to the coronavirus can be difficult to navigate. With more and more employees learning how to work from home, one important factor is ensuring you have a reliable internet connection. But how do you choose between everything that’s out there?
Luckily, we’ve put together a list just in time for the work-from-home transition of what you should look for in a good internet service provider. So, don’t worry – we’ve got you!
First and foremost, price is an important factor to consider when shopping around for an internet plan. You want to make sure what you’re signing up for is affordable, but you also need to know that you’re getting your money’s worth. While looking at different providers, compare their plans and look closely at the information to answer these questions:
The questions featured above are ones you should know the answer to because they are vital to giving you the ability to work well from home. Since there’s no opportunity for meetings in the office, you may need to utilize video conferencing to communicate with coworkers. It’s also likely that you’ll need to download files. Both of these actions, and the many more you’ll probably encounter over the next several weeks working from home, require sufficient upload and download speeds, which is why you should examine the details of each plan to find the one that will suit your needs.
Although they were mentioned above, data caps are definitely something to look into on your internet quest, because becoming a remote employee will change your internet usage needs. No longer is the internet reserved for weekends and evenings after work – being home all day means you will be using more and more data, and you’ll want to be able to stream shows, movies, or music in the evenings, or even just use your devices for other purposes such as paying bills or browsing social media.
A package with a low data allotment will either end up slowing your productivity by throttling your service when you’ve surpassed your limit, or it may cost you money by charging you overage fees.
Equipment details can vary greatly from provider to provider. Some allow you to buy your modem, router, or combo straightaway, lease it by paying a monthly fee, or they include it in the cost of your plan. There are also some providers that allow customers to use their own router which can save costs if you don’t want to pay for one of theirs.
With your equipment, you also want to consider how many devices can connect at once. If you live on your own, this may not matter much, but for people with spouses or children who are also housebound, you’ll want them to also be able to connect their iPad, Kindles, or other devices that they need for work or school assignments.
After hearing about equipment, the next logical equipment is usually “how do I set it up?” If you have a simple plug-and-play modem or another type of modem/router combo that’s easy to install, you can do it on your own. With satellite internet, however, a professional technician must be the one to go out to your home and install the satellite dish.
Also, consider how long it will take to physically have your equipment set up for use at your home. For those who have deadlines and assignments that need to be completed, you should make sure that you can have service set up immediately so you can begin working at home – otherwise, a waiting period of even a week could possibly set you back on items that need completion.
Of course, reliable internet is the main service you’re looking to purchase. However, it’s the little things that can count the most! A lot of providers today have special features to entice customers, but making sure they’re right for you can be tricky.
For example, some providers may offer a personal email account with your service to use for whatever you like, free equipment or free next-day installation, or even free access to a repair service that can connect you instantly with a skilled technician should you ever run into a problem.
Some features that providers offer, if they already have great-looking services, can be the cherry on top for customers who are looking to get the most bang for their buck. Always keep an eye out for special offers as well, as these can save you a good chunk of change if they’re available to use!
Customer service review sites can be difficult mazes to navigate. After all, the people who generally take to review pages are upset about something and want to voice their opinions to save other people the trouble of dealing with a certain provider. However, it’s good to keep in mind that all the negative reviews do not account for the number of satisfied customers who my not have thought to leave a review at all.
Reading reviews on a few different websites is a great way to find your footing with each provider on your list of options and decide if they’re a good choice. Additionally, keep an eye on those dates in which reviews were written – for example, if someone wrote a negative comment about a provider’s customer service or internet capabilities in 2017, that may not be accurate still in 2020. Stay informed and stay grounded, and you’ll soon find the right provider that will work with your needs.
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