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How to increase download speed in 10 steps

There are multiple reasons why you encounter reduced download speeds while gaming, streaming, torrenting, or browsing. One of the most common reasons is the ISP throttling your connection. You can easily solve this issue using a reputable VPN.

However, there are more solutions to increase your download speed. In this article, you can find causes behind reduced speeds and provide you with 10 steps to resolve this issue, ensuring that you can perform activities online without buffering or lag.

How to increase download speed with a VPN in 5 steps

  1. Download and install a reputable VPN with fast speeds. We recommend NordVPN, now 72%OFF!
  2. Sign up to a VPN you’ll be using.
  3. Connect to the least congested server closest to your location.
  4. Connect to the fastest tunneling protocol. It can be WireGuard, or NordLynx if you use NordVPN.
  5. Start streaming, gaming, torrenting, or simply browsing online with fast download speed!

Why is my download speed so slow?

There could be various reasons why your download speeds are slow, including ISP throttling or issues with your router being outdated. Check out the list below for more possible explanations, which include:

  • There are too many devices connected. Local network congestion can occur if too many devices are connected to your it. For example, if someone in your household is streaming Netflix, another person is downloading a game on a separate device, this can exacerbate the problem. Therefore, you should reduce number of devices connected to your Internet.
  • Your ISP network is congested. If you observe that your download speeds are slower at certain times of the day, it is possible that many people, including your neighbors, are connecting to the network simultaneously. As a result, this can lead to a decrease in download speeds.
  • ISP throttles your conenction. Speed might slow down if users perform bandwidth-heavy activities, such as torrenting, streaming, or gaming. Therefore, your ISP will decrease your connection speed. Luckily, a VPN effectively hides your activities from the ISP and you can have a good connection as usual.
  • Data cap. If your ISP sets data limits (such as 500 GB or 1TB) and you consume a significant amount of bandwidth, you may surpass the data cap. This can lead to the ISP throttling your speeds.
  • Router has problems. Restarting your router can improve download speeds. However, if you use an outdated router or device, you may need more than restarting it to enhance your download speeds. In such cases, you may need to replace the router or device to see an improvement.
  • Weak signal. Walls and distance from devices can interrupt your connection, so make sure nothing blocks the Internet. Or try looking for a more comprehensive router.
  • Hijacking. It is possible that someone, such as your neighbor, is using your internet connection without your knowledge. To check if this is the case, you can either change your password or check the list of connected devices to identify any unknown devices.
  • Torrenting. If you download games or programs, download speeds will automatically decrease. The same applies to other software – if apps are running in the background, they will slower speeds.

How increased download speed can benefit you?

Increasing your download speed is beneficial as it allows downloading files faster, streaming media without buffering, and enjoying gaming without delays. However, there are other benefits you get by simply enhancing your download speed:

  • Having faster download speeds can improve your streaming experience, allowing you to watch content in higher resolution.
  • You can download software and heavy files, such as games, more quickly. When downloading such files, slower speeds can cause a decrease in overall network performance, affecting all users on the local network. However, with faster download speeds, users can continue to use the internet at normal speeds.
  • You get better video and audio quality with people across the world.
  • Fast download speeds provide you with a lag-free experience online. In contrast, slow download speeds can cause buffering, disconnection from websites, longer wait times, and lagging during online gaming, negatively impacting your experience online.
  • Increased efficiency. With fast download speeds, you can enjoy a more seamless browsing experience as websites and all their elements, such as pictures and videos, load much faster. This means you won't have to wait long periods for sites to load, making your browsing experience much more enjoyable.

How to increase download speed: 10 methods

Fortunately, there are several techniques to boost download speed, and most are very easy to implement. You can find proven methods to improve your download speed in the list.

1. Get a better Internet plan which includes faster speeds or unlimited bandwidth

Some ISPs impose data caps, which result in slower speeds, especially if you perform bandwidth-heavy activities. Consider upgrading your Internet plan that offers faster speeds and unlimited bandwidth. This way, you’ll enjoy faster speeds if you game, stream, or torrent frequently.

2. Clear cache and cookies

Clearing the browser’s cache and cookies can boost your download speed significantly, especially if it’s been a long time since you last cleared them. Over time, the browser accumulates a large amount of data, slowing down the download speed. It’s one of the easiest steps to improve the browsing experience and access the latest website versions.

3. Use a VPN

Some believe that a VPN can slow down Internet speeds due to the connection passing through an encrypted server. However, we tested that a fast VPN, like NordVPN, can actually enhance speed by avoiding ISP throttling.

Essentially, a VPN hides the content you’re viewing from ISP. Without seeing what you are doing, your ISP won't be able to throttle any of your online activities, allowing you to browse, stream, game, or torrent at faster speeds.

4. Ensure a strong connection

Obstacles between your device and router can reduce the download speed. Consequently, you might experience lag and buffering during your online activities. To eliminate such interruptions, make sure your connection is strong. For example, you can move the router around your home, where your devices wouldn’t have issues connecting.

5. Disconnect devices you don’t use

To increase your download speed, consider disconnecting devices from the network that you are not actively using. If you are using a computer and a smartphone, keeping your tablet connected to the Internet is unnecessary. Doing this can significantly improve your download speed and reduce lag or buffering.

6. Download one file at a time

Consider downloading one file at a time instead of multiple files simultaneously. Downloading several heavy files can impact your download speed and result in slower performance. Therefore, stopping most of them and downloading one file at a time can help improve your download speed.

7. Try an Ethernet cable instead of wifi

Milliseconds in various online activities, such as gaming, can be pivotal. Therefore, you can try connecting Ethernet cable to your device to increase download speed instead of connecting to a wifi. Ethernet provides lower latency, ensures faster speeds, and is an excellent solution to enhance speed on consoles and PCs.

8. Scan for malware

Malware can threaten your device, using up bandwidth and slowing down your download speeds. Additionally, it may consume a significant portion of your computer's memory, limiting resources for other programs to run.

We recommend finding reliable anti-malware software to detect and eliminate malicious files from your device. This way, your download speed will increase significantly if there’s any malware on your device.

9. Check connected devices

Check what devices are connected to your wifi. You can disconnect and change your wifi password if you can't recognize them. This way, you’ll get rid of potential speed blockers.

10. Restart the router or get a new one

Routers can affect internet speed and are responsible for processing every device on your home network. A quality new router can help maximize your internet speed, while an older one can slow down your connection.

How does a VPN help increase download speed?

VPN increases download speed by hiding your online activity from your ISP. If you notice slower speed while performing specific activities online, such as streaming or torrenting, ISP likely throttles your connection. Therefore, VPN helps you overcome that and boost your download speed.

VPN encrypts your Internet traffic and routes it through a secure server located in a different location than your ISP. Iit means that the ISP won’t be able to see what you are doing online. Consequently, ISP can’t selectively slow down your Internet speed if it can’t see your online activities.

Increase download speed with NordVPN
If you want to boost your download speed, NordVPN is the best provider for this job. It bypasses ISP connection throttling and helps you enjoy streaming, gaming, torrenting, or browsing without buffering or lag.
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There are various reasons why you experience slow download speed. It can be your ISP throttling the connection, the problem with the router or device’s firmware, or you are simply downloading too many files simultaneously.

The good news is that you can increase download speed in very simple steps. For example, you can use a reputable VPN, like NordVPN, if you notice a slower connection while streaming, gaming, or torrenting. It means your ISP throttles the connection, and a VPN helps you overcome such an issue.

It does so by encrypting your Internet traffic from ISP, so no one can see what you do online, hence, throttle your connection.

However, you should also look into your ISP’s data caps or scan your device for malware that can potentially limit your computer’s programs from running smoothly.


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