By now, you may already be staying home so that you and your family can be spared from getting sick of the COVID19 virus. With staying at home during this lockdown period, that means you would need to work from home and do everything indoors, so you need to make sure your house is lockdown ready.
Do you have your groceries to last you at least an entire month? Do you have your first aid kit ready? Are all your previous bills settled already? Do you have copies of all your important work documents? Have you installed all the programs and apps needed for you to successfully telecommute? Most importantly, is your internet speed reliable?
Internet speed would prove to be the most important thing aside from food in this lockdown not only because will people try to work from home, which will require a stable internet connection, but also because they will be reliant on the world wide web for the most updated news about what’s happening outside their homes and for their sources of entertainment. From streaming video to online games, from remote working to videoconferencing, a lot of your success and sanity in this lockdown period will largely depend on how stable your internet connection will be. So, without risking it, here are some ways you can be assured that your internet speeds are always A-OK.
You DNS may need some flushing
If you visit websites, you will have a DNS (domain name system) record. This keeps tabs of all the website addresses you have visited so that if you visit the same websites in the future, your experience will most likely improve. However, DNS records are reliant on the website and you (the website visitor) to both stays on your respective servers. It so happens that a lot of websites change servers during their existence, and this will affect your connection speed because your system would still need to recognize and verify the new server the website you’re visiting is now in. Thus, “flushing” your DNS may be a good idea to improve your connection speeds.
You might be familiar with the idea of clearing your cache when using a web browser. The likes of Google Chrome and Safari automatically store information about all the websites you visit, including host sites, IP addresses and any resources you access.
However, operating systems do the same, in files known as the Domain Name System (DNS) cache. If you don’t regularly clear this, there is likely to be corrupt or outdated files which present a security risk.
Does your browser of choice affect anything?
To answer the question in the heading, browsers don’t affect your internet speeds per se, but browsing speeds get affected by your browser though. So, if your slowdown happens because you’re opening too many tabs, then it may be best to switch to a more minimalistic browser like Opera or Brave (for Mac). That or you may have to discipline yourself with opening only three tabs at one time.
You may find that with different browsers, your online capabilities vary. Whether you choose Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or another browser, your Internet speed will not be affected. However, your browsing speed can vary when you choose one browser over another.
Your download and upload speed is determined by your Internet service provider. When you order a plan with a specific Internet speed, it should not vary too much from that number.
Manage your cache
Same with choosing your web browser, your cache may not really affect your internet speeds, but managing it will definitely make your browsing speeds faster. Your browser cache contains copies of the website content you have visited before so that they would reload easier and faster. Full caches, together with history, cookies, and the like, can decrease online performance, so if you feel that you’re bogged down by this, it’s best to empty your cache. Better yet, there are clear cache extensions that you can download and improve your clearing actions because you can customize how regular these operations would be.
When you browse through the internet and visit different sites, your browser saves several contents and data in temporary storage. This temporary storage is called “cache”. To get rid of the fluff you should clear the cache from time to time. In the following step by step guides we will show you how to achieve that in the different browsers on your pc.
Is a VPN for you?
There’s actually a lot of conflicting information on whether a VPN (virtual private network) increases or decreases your internet speeds. Some ISPs throttle bandwidth and impose data caps for some sites like YouTube and a VPN can help you speed things up by hiding these activities. On the other hand, because of encryption and hopping among various servers, VPNs can also slow down your connection. Most VPNs have free trial versions, though, so you can try their services and weigh their pros and cons.
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a trade-off between all the positives of a VPN, such as online security and the ability to access geo-restricted content, and seriously compromising internet speed. Issues with VPN connection speeds are commonplace.
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