Improve Internet Speeds: Can Unplugging Your Router Be the Secret?

The need for speed is here. Internet speeds are going up, and people want more. Gamers want to have flawless game play, and families want to hook up multiple devices throughout the house and not experience degradation to their bandwidth. There is a lot of advice on the Web explaining how to improve Internet speeds. One of the most common answers is to simply reboot your router.

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Internet 101

The basics behind getting Internet to the home is fairly simple. The cable company sends a certain amount of bandwidth to your home depending on the Internet package you have purchased. You then connect to the Internet expecting the speed you are paying for, but this is not always the case. There are many circumstances that can draw your bandwidth away from you: hardware, software, and location are just a few examples.

A good start to knowing how much bandwidth you are getting from your Internet provider is to perform a speed test at BandwidthPlace.com.

The Router Reboot

Shutting the power off on your router and turning it back on is known as a reboot. Rebooting your router will not give you a faster Internet speed — not permanently anyway, but it can improve your Internet speed, in a way.

The router is the hardware, and within the hardware is software that is running the operation. Just like you may have to reboot your computer because it is running slow, the same also applies to a router. Occasionally, the hardware and software stop talking together correctly, and the reboot will re-sync them together, so that they are operating correctly.

If there are multiple devices in the home and there seems to be a terrible lag, then a logical choice may be to reboot the router. After the reboot, you may find that things are running faster again like they are supposed to, but upon closer inspection, you may find out that someone else in the house was just downloading some bandwidth-sucking content.

So, the answer is, yes, unplugging your router can improve Internet speeds from their current state, and no, it will not improve your overall Internet speed. Netflix has a short tutorial on how to restart gaming consoles, smart TVs, and routers.

Photo credit: Flickr/Mr ATM