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7 Hacks To Turbo-Charge Your Internet

7 Hacks To Turbo-Charge Your Internet

Your computer’s performance is a critical part of your personal performance. Nothing can be more frustrating than a slow computer, especially if you’re in the middle of working on something urgent. When pages load slowly and programs freeze mid-save, you’ll probably feel the urge to abandon your task.

Don’t give up so easily. There are several steps you can take to boost your computer’s performance, and your internet in particular. Doing a few or all of these tasks will definitely give your computer a good boost in performance and speed.

1. Position your router in the optimal location

Depending on the size of your home, the location of your router is a critical factor in where all you have internet access. If you have a large home, positioning the router in the center of the house will allow the signal to reach more areas of your house than keeping it in a corner bedroom.

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You may have to prioritize one side of the house over another, depending on your home’s architecture. Choose the side where you will be working on a computer most often. Make your your router is positioned at a decent height, not low to the ground. Keep it away from microwaves, as they can interfere with the Wi-Fi signals, along with baby monitors and cordless phones. An antenna pointed upwards will have better horizontal reach, and an antenna pointed sideways will have better vertical reach.

2. Find the right Wi-Fi channel.

Wi-Fi networks use channels along a 2.4 GHz range, totalling 14 channels. Each channel is 5 MHz apart with the exception of channel 14, which is slightly farther. When channels overlap each other, they can cause interference which negatively affects the performance of your Wi-Fi. Channels 1, 6 and 11 are ideal to use because they do not overlap each other and have minimal interference. Aside from simply using these suggested channels, you can identify which channels are best for your house by using many free programs or apps.

If you have an Android phone, the Wifi Analyzer App can identify the best channel for your Wi-Fi. Macs can use a program called Wireless Diagnostics, a built-in feature, to identify the least congested channels. Windows users can use programs such as inSSIDer, Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector or WifiInfoView to identify the best channel for your internet connection.

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3. Update your router.

Not all Wi-Fi devices are alike. If you have a 2.4 GHz router, any 802.11b devices connected to it will slow down all devices connected to the internet. This can be frustrating and slow down your speed immensely, especially if you are using a VPN to change your location. Rather than attempting to identify all such offending 802.11b devices, consider switching to a 5 GHz device.

5 GHz Wi-Fi routers have a wider range of devices they can connect to, including any devices that would have connected to a 2.4 GHz router. Further, they aren’t negatively affected by 802.11b devices the way older routers are, making them a stronger choice all around.

4. Use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi

Although Wi-Fi is important in a modern workspace, nothing will give you a faster internet performance than plugging your computer directly into your router. Ethernet saves you from interference issues, location issues, and also keeps you more secure. When you’re plugged into your router, hackers cannot use Wi-Fi to get access to your computer; they will have to plug directly into your device.

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Make sure you have a Cat-6 cord or newer for maximum performance, as older cords are more limited. The only reason to use Wi-Fi over an ethernet connection is convenience. In every other way, an ethernet connection will get you better performance and better internet speeds for your device. Obviously, smart phones and tablets must remain connected to the Wi-Fi, but a desktop or laptop that does minimal traveling will benefit from an ethernet cord plugged into the router.

5. Clear your browser’s cache

Sometimes it’s the software, not hardware, that is negatively affecting your internet performance. If you haven’t cleared your internet browser’s cache history anytime recently, it could be bogging down your browser’s performance and slowing down your internet.

Depending the browser used, you should be able to find clear guides on how to clear your data. Clearing cache, browsing history and cookies should do the trick; you don’t have to delete all your saved passwords every time your internet is getting slow.

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6. Organize start-up programs and manage your files and folders

After a few years of continuous use, you may find that your computer has accumulated a lot of junk content. This can negatively affect the performance of any and all programs your computer attempts to run. Organising and managing these is a key step in addressing computer performance issues, particularly for older devices.

Unnecessary programs can significantly bog down a computer’s performance. Go into your program list and uninstall old programs you don’t need anymore. Check online before deleting programs you don’t recognize—they could be critical programs for your system. The instructions are different for Windows and Mac.

Open your hard drive and hunt for content you don’t use anymore. Check if you downloaded episodes of Frasier and the like, into your Videos folder years ago and then barely watched any of it. Find the space gluttons and decide whether you still need that content or not. See if you can upload it to a cloud device rather than storing it on your computer.

7. Reset your modem

Sometimes, your devices get bogged down because they’re built like that. Technology isn’t perfect. Resetting your modem can solve a corrupt configuration or interference issues. To reset it properly, disconnect your modem for at least a minute to allow a full reset to occur. On the other hand, leaving it off overnight can give you a new IP address, which is sometimes be the solution for your slow internet connection. Just reconnect it in the morning, give it a minute or two to reboot, and you should have a better internet speed available to you.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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