There are many ways to speed up computer networking, but only a few of them are easy to implement at home without spending much money.
Free Ways To Speed Up Computer Networking
The easiest of the ways to speed up computer networking is to reduce distance. Whether you use wired or wireless networking, cutting distance in half can double your speed.
The biggest improvement in speed applies to latency—the amount of time between when you send data and when you receive confirmation that it was received. But moving devices closer together can also improve bandwidth—the total amount of data you can send each second.
Bandwidth goes up because devices which are closer together tend to have fewer dropped packets, and fewer dropped packets mean fewer packets which need to be resent. Since each resent packet takes up space which could’ve been used to send a new packet, ensuring fewer resent packets is another one of the ways to speed up computer networking.
Ways To Speed Up Computer Wireless Networking
The new Wireless-N wifi standard has significantly increased the bandwidth available to wireless devices. It can even be faster than some older ethernet (wired) networking standards, so it’s great way to boost speed.
The catch is that upgrading to wireless-n can be difficult if you don’t already have support for it in your mobile devices. Wireless-N requires a wireless card built for it, and you usually can’t replace the wireless card built into your laptop or tablet.
(You can often add a USB wireless-n device to a laptop, but who wants to carry around more USB devices with their laptop?)
Wireless-N also requires that you buy a router which supports wireless-n. These routers are still a bit expensive, but they’re dropping in price quickly. But, before you buy, read the next section about gigabit routers so you don’t cut yourself out of other ways to speed up computer networking.
Final Ways To Speed Up Computer Networking
The fastest ways to speed up computer networking all require wired (ethernet) networking—in particular, they require the new gigabit ethernet standard.
Gigabit networking promises to be about ten times as fast as the previous standard, 100-megabit networking (often called 10/100 since it’s backward compatible with the still-older 10-megabit network standard).
Note that most gigabit installations don’t actually offer gigabit speeds—for that you need special cord which isn’t generally sold to consumers.
To get gigabit, you need a gigabit networking card for each of your computers. These have been built into most computers for the last couple years. You also need category 6 (cat–6) networking cable and a gigabit router.
Before you buy a gigabit router, consider the previously discussed tricks. If you buy a dual-purpose wired and wireless router, you probably want a gigabit/wireless-n router so you can use both wired and wireless ways to speed up computer networking.