How to Improve the Speed of Low-Bandwidth Internet Connections

This article covers several possible solutions for slow internet and connectivity issues.

Last Updated: May 2024

Tip: Several internet speed tests are available online; click here to learn more.

On this page:

  1. Reduce unnecessary internet use
  2. Check your internet hardware
  3. Wi-Fi vs wired (Ethernet) connection
  4. Use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot
  5. Call your ISP
  6. Find a new ISP
  7. More support options

Reduce unnecessary internet use

  1. Your internet speed will be greatly impacted by how other people are using your Wi-Fi connection. Ask household members or colleagues to refrain from data-intensive activities (like video streaming or teleconferencing), or ask them to hotspot from their phone.

  2. It may be that your client or patient has systems running in the background that may be impacting the video call. If you are comfortable asking the question, check if anyone in their household is running streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, online multiplayer games, etc. All of these services can impact a video call.

  3. Close any applications that may be uploading data in the background, such as Google Backup or Dropbox. These can be easily paused.

Check your internet hardware

If the internet is slow for every device on your internet connection (other practitioners in your office, partners or children using the same connection), try resetting your modem (and router if you use one). You may have outdated firmware on your modem; your ISP (Internet Service Provider) will need to update it for you if this is the case. If the internet is only slow for your device, try:

  1. Installing any pending web browser updates.
  2. Installing any pending operating system updates.
  3. Resetting your device (i.e. power it off and on again).

Wi-Fi vs wired (Ethernet) connection

  1. If you use a Wi-Fi connection, your internet may be fine, but you may need to reposition or boost your Wi-Fi signal. Signal boosters and home-mesh Wi-Fi systems can be bought relatively cheaply from your local IT supplier or store.

  2. Brick, concrete and corrugated iron walls may block your Wi-Fi signal from getting through. Placement and distance to your computer can make a big difference.

  3. Please use a wired (or Ethernet) connection when possible as it is more reliable than Wi-Fi.

Use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot

It is possible to turn your smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot and access its fast 4G or 5G internet from your computer. To do this, simply turn on the mobile hotspot in your smartphone's settings and connect to it like any other Wi-Fi connection. To determine whether your 4G/5G or Wi-Fi is faster, run an internet speed test on both devices and compare the results. Mobile routers (like the Telstra Nighthawk) can also provide fast 4G internet connections.

Call your ISP

After trying all of these troubleshooting options, the next thing to do is call your Internet Service Provider and see if the problem can be fixed on their end. We recommend noting the dates and times when you experience the problem so you can share them with your Internet Service Provider.

Find a new ISP

If doing all of the above does not solve the problem, you may need to find a new Internet Service Provider. Depending on your location, you may have several Internet Service Provider options offering different connection types and speeds. Please do some research to find out what is relevant for your local area.

More support options

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