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5 Hacks for Improving Your Internet Connection

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5 Hacks for Improving Your Internet Connection

If you spend a spend a large amount of your day on the internet then you have likely experienced the frustration that can occur when internet speeds suddenly slow down to a crawl. Even worse is when you can no longer get a connection to your modem or router.

Most people simply give up and go get a snack when connectivity issues arise. Often the issues will simply resolve themselves after a short amount of time. However, sometimes you need the internet to work and you need it to work now. Here are a few hacks for getting your internet connection back up to speed in a jiffy.

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Move closer

Many people are unaware of how much of an effect simply moving closer to your router can have. Think about if for a minute, however, and it will make sense. Your signal has to go through walls, doors, and perhaps even floors. Each one of these items will slow things down a little bit. Too many of these items and you won’t have a signal at all. Somewhere in between the two and you will get a slow, frustrating signal.

The first thing to do is always step into the room with the router and see if things magically speed up. If they do, it may be time to consider getting a new router.

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Router typically run from $100 to nearly $500. For many people a new router simply isn’t an option. Fortunately, many wireless providers will actually rent out a brand new modem or router to their customers for a small fee. If $10 a month sounds better than $300 right now, this might be an option for you. However, this can also prove to be significantly more expensive depending on your situation. You can find a good guide for deciding if renting or just purchasing a new modem will be good for you here.

Turn off the microwave

Yes, you read that right. Many appliances can actually cause significant interference with wireless routers and other network connectors. It is not limited to microwaves either. Cordless phones have been known to have the same effect. If turning off the appliances isn’t possible in your particular situation then at least try to move the router or the computer away from the appliances.

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Check your apps

Many people do not realize that there are programs on their computers and phones that are constantly using bandwidth. While you may not have the program open and be activity using it, it will still be using your wireless bandwidth and slowing the internet down for everyone that is using the router.

There are actually programs you can download if this is a significant issue that can manage your apps and make sure those that are most important get the highest priority of bandwidth. For most people, however, it will be easier just to turn off the offending programs.

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Disconnect

Another less known fact about routers is that the more connections they have the more likely they are to slow down. This means that if your router is trying to connect to multiple mobile phones, multiple computers, a smart appliance, a printer, and other devices, it will struggle. If your connectivity seems to be struggling then try disconnecting all other devices. Turn off the wifi on your phone, unplug your printer for a moment, and see what happens. This is an easy fix that often works.

Wireless networking is confusing and most people simply expect it to work at any given time. If these fail to fix the issue then it may be time to call your internet provider and let them know that their service is unacceptable.

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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