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Slow Internet Speed? Here’s How to Fix It

Slow Internet speeds are a major hassle that can reduce your productivity, make it difficult to enjoy your favorite entertainment, and create general frustration. You can run into problems with speed over any connection, but using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like Hotspot Shield adds even more factors that could slow you down. The VPN routes your traffic through its own servers and offers data encryption and decryption. While this is supremely helpful for protecting your data and masking – or perhaps intentionally changing – your location, it can create some snags. Use these tips to troubleshoot and improve your speed.

Upgrade Your Service Plan

Before you begin fretting over what’s wrong with your Internet, check to see if the speeds you’re getting are really lower than what your service plan promises. A site like Speedtest can give you a quick diagnostic that will let you know what speeds you’re currently receiving. Compare this to what your Internet service provider’s plan quotes you. If your Internet speeds are truly lower than what’s included on your plan, continue to the next steps to find out why. If you’re getting what you’ve subscribed to, improving your speeds is simply a matter of upgrading to something better.

Consider Where Your Bandwidth is Going

Look over the various devices that are using your Internet connection. If someone is downloading massive files over the Internet, this will hog bandwidth for everyone and slow down Internet speeds. A less visible issue may be ads and background apps that use a lot of bandwidth. Installing an ad blocker or flash blocker will filter out some of the background noise from these sources so you can use your bandwidth for things you actually care about.

Update Your Software and Hardware

If you tend to ignore available updates for your computer’s hardware and software, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. While installing these updates is often time-consuming, it’s worth it in the long run for the reward of improved Internet speeds. Check your computer and browser for available updates, particularly if you’re noticing poor Internet speeds on one device but not on others that are using the same connection.

Upgrade Your CPU

Your central processing unit (CPU) determines the maximum connectivity speeds that your device is capable of. If you have an older and slower CPU, there’s only so much you can do to improve your Internet speeds. You don’t have to get a completely new device to upgrade your CPU, but this is a delicate process that involves removing the motherboard and tinkering with the inner workings of your computer. If you’re not familiar with this type of job, have a professional take over.

Update Your Router’s Firmware

If you’re noticing issues with speed on multiple devices, the problem is probably with your connection and not the device itself. Start troubleshooting at your router and work your way out from there. First, shut down and restart the router. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, or resolves it for only a short period before things start crawling again, go to the manufacturer’s website and look for the latest version of your router’s firmware. Download and install all available updates to get your router operating at peak efficiency.

Relocate Your Router

Are you noticing better speeds on devices that are connected to the base station and poor connectivity on those using Wi-Fi? Focus your efforts on improving your Wi-Fi connection and see if this resolves your problem. Try moving the base station to a higher point in the home to spread radio waves more efficiently. Fish tanks, metal objects, mirrors, and thick walls will all disrupt your Wi-Fi reception, so adjust placement to avoid these barriers. Microwaves, baby monitors, halogen lamps, and cordless phones all create interference, so stay away from them.

Adjust Your VPN Settings

If your speed is only impacted when you’re connected to the Internet through your VPN, focus your efforts on tweaking VPN settings to get the best results possible. Your distance from the VPN servers impacts speed. The farther you are from the VPN servers, the lower your speed will be. For example, if you live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and connect to the US VPN servers, speed will be slower because data needs to travel the distance each way. Security settings and antivirus software can conflict with the VPN. To check if it does, turn off your antivirus software and test your internet speed.

If you’re using an Android device, go to your Hotspot Shield settings and use the Clear Data & Force Stop function, then reset the app. Find more troubleshooting tips here for Android.

If you’re using iOS, try reinstalling the Configuration Profile. You may always contact our dedicated Support Team at with any question. We’ll be happy to help!

Connect to a Closer Server

VPN services connect you to the Internet through a virtual location. With Hotspot Shield Elite Membership you can choose from servers in more than 15 countries. If you’re trying to bypass geo-restrictions and mask your location to look like something local, you’re fairly restricted as to the servers you can use. If this isn’t the case, however, try switching your virtual location to improve Internet speeds. A closer location may offer better speeds, so try a server closer to home and see if this clears up your problem.

Unfortunately, a slower Internet connection is often the price you pay for added security and safety. However, these tips and tricks will help you maximize your settings for the best Internet speed possible no matter how you’re connected.

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