Your internet is slow. But an upgraded plan is expensive. I get it. I’ve been there. Being that I’m online a lot, this was a problem. Being I like saving a lot, this was a problem.
I’ve figured out many workarounds to a slow internet connection. The following post outlines virtually everything someone can do in order to get the most out of their slow connection.
Use Multiple Tabs/Windows
You have to keep many, many tabs and windows open. This is so while one page loads, you can hop to another. Also, this means you won’t have to reopen tabs each time you sit down at your computer. Leave commonly used sites open. This may include email, web-based documents you frequently edit, Amazon, etc.
Before leaving too many tabs open, make sure they aren’t constantly being auto refreshed. Some sites do this. This will slow down other pages. For most sites, you needn’t worry about this.
Set Videos to Download
Instead of trying to buffer videos, download them. This can be done for YouTube in a variety of ways. Before going to bed, start downloading all of the videos you’d like to watch in the near future. When you wake up, the downloads will be complete and you can watch smooth video!
Avoid Unnecessary Bandwidth Hogs
Do you have many internet based background programs running? These can be tools such as Skype. See, these tools were designed for mass audience appeal. Most people have fast internet so this isn’t an issue for them. But for slow connections, these tools require a lot more thought as to whether or not they are sucking bandwidth.
Use the Internet During off-Peak Times
With most internet connections, speeds jump during oddball hours. It’s because not as many people are online. This means your internet service provider is having to handle less traffic. I’ve noticed internet speed is fastest between the hours of 1 AM and 8 AM. Not ideal but if you’re a night owl – no problem.
Change Web Page Settings for ‘Slow Connections’
Some web pages offer such things as a ‘classic’ mode for slow connections. This basically strips away the pretty user interface and shows you the ugly stuff. Though not as awful as looking at straight up code, it’s not pretty. But who cares? Your pages will load much faster in classic mode.
Make Sure Your Hardware Isn’T the Bottleneck
Before upgrading internet plans, call your provider and see if your equipment is up-to-date. Perhaps you just have an old modem that was never meant to handle your current speed. Or maybe something else is the problem. Just give them a quick call, read off some numbers from your hardware and they can help.
Also test to see if your computer just simply can’t load pages very quickly. You could start by checking system specs for things such as graphic card capability, etc. But that’s a hassle. Instead, just take your computer to a friend’s house. See if it’s instantly faster on someone else’s connection. If it is, your computer isn’t the problem. Plus, upgrading computers would be costly just like upgrading internet plans.
Stop Pages Before They’ve Finished Loading
This is extreme. But if you’re on really slow internet such as satellite, you may want to do this. Stop pages before they’ve finished loading. Once the on-page, pertinent information has been displayed, stop the load. While inconvenient, it’ll keep text/images from slowly populating and driving you crazy!
This is a MAJOR pain. But if you can’t afford to upgrade internet plans right now, it’s doable. When you want to use the internet intensely, do so elsewhere. Here are the following places you can go:
- Stay at work longer or get their early and use the fast internet. I used to get to work super early and stay late so I could use the internet for personal use. No one cared in the slightest. I’d usually end up working long to so it was a win-win for both myself and my employer.
- Go to a college library/campus. Most campuses have free internet. You may need a guest card to logon. It’s similar to a public library in many respects.
- Visit the local library. A library is probably the most underrated building in your neighborhood. Often library are pretty empty nowadays. This may be a great place for you to set up shop for an afternoon.
- Set up shop at a local cafe or coffee house. Having to buy something is good etiquette so make sure you actually like the place!
- Hang out at a grocery store restaurant with free wi-fi. What I used to do was go to really nice grocery store with free wi-fi, outlets at every table. I didn’t even have to order any convenience food and was never bothered. Once I finished, I’d go buy my groceries. That free wi-fi got the place lots of business – and it helped me as well.
- Go to a friends house or a family member’s house – I’ve done this before to a great extent. It has actually worked out well. If you know someone with a dog for instance, say you can watch the dog on the weekend or something while they take a trip. Then you can suck in all the free internet you can handle. And they get a free pet sitter!
The internet is your connection to the entire planet. It’s a culmination of the world’s information. If there is any way you can justify it, upgrade your internet. It’s some of the best money you can spend. It’s a utility, after all.
Will Lipovsky is a personal finance freelance writer and internet marketer. His most embarrassing moment has been saying to a Microsoft executive, “I’ll just Google it.” You can get in touch with Will at FirstQuarterFinance.com.