How to optimize your internet speed

Thomas -

Savvy connects your browser directly with the other person's browser for your live video learning session. The speed of your (and the other person's) internet connection has a direct impact on the quality of your Savvy session. A fast internet connection will connect you smoothly, give you crystal clear audio and high-definition video. However, slow internet speed will cause all sorts of connectivity issues, poor video and audio quality. 

Here are the top tips for optimizing your internet speed:

  1. Test your internet speed
    Find out how fast or slow your connection is and how your bandwidth compares to others. Try sites like http://speedtest.net or http://fast.com
    Note that your speed might fluctuate - you may have a fast connection at times but experience temporary slowness. Test your connection speeds frequently, especially when you experience slowness.

    A fast download speed (2MB/s or more) means that you will be able to receive data fast enough to see and hear the other side with high quality video and audio. Fast upload speed (2MB/s or more) means that you can broadcast video and audio data fast enough so that the other side can hear and see you with no delay and with high quality. If your or the other user's internet speeds are slow you will experience a reduction in video quality on one or both ends and potentially audio delays or echoing. Very slow connection speeds lead to loss of video or audio (as described here).

    Read on to find out how you can improve your internet speed:

  2. Get close to your router
    The closer you are to your wifi router, the faster the signal will be. Wifi has trouble passing through walls and doors, this will slow you down.

  3. Find a good spot for your router
    For the best signal, your router should be out in the open free from obstructions and walls. Ideally somewhere near the center of the house.

  4. Restart your router
    Routers are just like mini computers, and like computers they can sometimes get themselves in a tizzy and need to be restarted for better performance.

  5. Check other devices on your network
    Is your housemate currently binge watching every episode of GoT at the same time? If so ask him to stop as you're trying to expand your mind rather than finding out if Jon Snow has died or not, personally I've never watched the show but my guess is they kill him off then bring him back in a dream. Or was that JR?

  6. Any other applications using your network
    Shut down any other internet enabled apps that you don't need to free up internet bandwidth. If in doubt, try closing down and restarting your browser or (better yet) shut down your machine and reboot (yes, I know!).

  7. Install a wifi repeater
    or powerline adapter. Those will extend the range of your wifi signal. However, while these range extenders boost your wireless signal they relay data to your router which can sometimes actually slow down your connection speed. It's always better to be close to your router or to follow this advice:

  8. Use Ethernet cable instead of wifi
    Try plugging your computer directly into the router. I see you rolling your eyes: a cable! Trust me, this eliminates all possibility of wifi interference. If the cable connection gives you significant faster internet speed it might be time for a faster wifi router and for placing it in a way to give you a strong wifi signal where you use your computer the most.

  9. Change wireless channels
    Wireless routers transmit on a channel, if your neighbours devices are all transmitting on this channel it will lead to a slow down of your wifi. Most routers allow you to change the channel to decrease the congestion. See http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/21132/change-your-wi-fi-router-channel-to-optimize-your-wireless-signal/ for a general guide

  10. Check with your internet provider
    Contact your service provider to report slowness and to find out which speeds you should expect based on the plan you are on. In many cases they can upgrade you to higher speeds where available.

  11. Check your hardware
    After optimizing your internet speed with the ten suggestions above you'll have to take a look at the hardware you are using since that might be limiting you: is your desktop, laptop or mobile device fast enough to handle audio and video streams efficiently? It is always a good idea to close all programs you don't need before a video session. The most effective way is to reboot your device frequently or prior to a call. This will give you the best performance your hardware is capable of.
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