I’ve dealt with more than my share of slow internet connection. You may have as well. Maybe you are even on such a connection right now. If so, I feel honored you’ve given a great deal of time to load this page.

Slow internet speeds are encountered mostly while traveling for work or pleasure. Maybe you’re in a developing nation. Or maybe you’re just in the middle of nowhere. Whatever the case, here’s how to optimize what internet speed you have:

Use Multiple Tabs and Windows

I hope your computer has plenty of RAM. Because what you want to do is open many tabs/windows and leave them open. That way you won’t have to reload them each time you want to revisit them. Email, spreadsheets… everything. Leave as much open as your computer will allow. Make sure your browser caches the information and won’t make you reload each time. Adjust settings accordingly.

Avoid Bandwidth Hogs

Some things just take way too much data for your internet speed. These are things like videos, video landing pages, graphic intense pages, image searches, image hosting websites, Skype, etc. Avoid as many of these websites as possible. Not only will the experience be terrible, but you may also begin to think you’re experiencing technical difficulties with the pages. But in reality, your internet is just too slow to push through total functionality.

Keep Your Connection on Lock Down

If you’re on a private connection – make sure it’s really private. If you have internet leeches, (people who access your WiFi without permission) they may be part of the problem. They may be sucking down your bandwidth without you knowing. Though it largely goes unsaid in 2016, remember to use a password.

Change Webpage Settings to Low Bandwidth Options

Some pages (Google pages come to mind) will display some basic text at the bottom of each page that says something along the lines of ‘Switch to Classic’ or ‘Click for slow internet connections’. The page will then reload, sans graphics. It’ll strip most of the decorative code from the page leaving the classic HTML – 2002 looking webpages. It is ugly but it’s a great option to have. You’ll want to click that option each time.

Stop Pages Before They’ve Loaded

If you’ve visited a page before, you know what extra modules are about to load that aren’t pertinent to this page request. Therefore, you can stop the page before it fully loads. Sometimes if you stop the page too early, the functionality for the loaded modules won’t work quite right. Most of the time this isn’t a problem but be aware. What I typically do is wait until the module I need is working, kill the page and then use the module like normal.

Make Sure Hardware Isn’t to Blame

Make sure it is indeed the internet connection that is the problem. People sometimes blame internet connection speed with hardware problems. Check the router, modem and your computer itself to make sure they are all acting as they should.

Your Productivity Will Remain High

While slow internet is frustrating, you can still get a lot of work done. You just have to deploy the methods given to you above. Pretty soon, you’ll be dancing through the tabs and, for a time, you’ll even forget you’re on a connection from the Stone Age. Enjoy being as productive as possible!


William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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