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5 Hacks for Improving Your Internet Connection

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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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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