How To Increase The Speed Of A DSL Internet Connection

by on January 2, 2008

Q: My question is, my computer was slow for quite some time in opening web pages or sites — it took a lot of time. I took DSL and I am still facing the same problem. Though the speed has become slightly better, it is still not in any way good enough as compared to other DSL computers that my friends have. I want to know if in any way, without spending money, I can increase the speed of my computer’s internet connection? I hope this is clear enough.

A: Thank you for your question. First, let’s consider some of the more basic possibilities. As you may already know, there are different speeds of DSL internet service. There are two important numbers to keep in mind here. The first is your incoming/download speed — how long it takes your computer to get data from the internet. The second is your outgoing/upload speed — how long it takes your computer to send data back to the internet. The easiest way to determine the speed at which your DSL service is supposed to run is to call your internet service provider. But sometimes, factors prevent your service from running at full speed. Try visiting the Tools section of to determine the speed and quality of your DSL modem’s internet connection. You may also wish to consult the instructions that came with your DSL modem for its IP address. A DSL modem’s IP address should look something like 192.168.x.x — replace the Xs with the correct numbers for your hardware. Once you find the IP address, type it into the address bar in your internet browser and press enter on your keyboard. Alternatively — depending on your configuration — you may be able to type the word gateway into the address bar instead.

Slower DSL services offer speeds like 256 kbps incoming by 256 kbps outgoing. If your service is that slow, the best solution is to upgrade to a faster service. For example, my DSL service is medium quality, functioning at a speed of 1536 kbps incoming by 480 kbps outgoing. It is worth noting that I actually pay for a few hundred more kbps of outgoing signal than I am actually using. That is either because my telephone line is of poor quality — probably the case considering the outward appearance of the wires — or I am to far away from certain equipment in my city.

Unlike cable internet, DSL requires that your DSL modem be a certain distance from a digital subscriber line access multiplexer, which is also referred to as a “home office”. If your distance from the multiplexer is greater than 1.25 miles, which could really slow your internet down. I know this from personal experience. My family and I subscribed to DSL service in the early days of broadband internet. We signed up for the service and installed all of the correct equipment and software. But it turned out that we were too far away from the multiplexer, so we were not able to establish an internet connection. We had to switch to cable internet. Consult with your internet service provider to discover your distance from the multiplexer.

Next, please think about how you are connecting your DSL modem to your computer. I recommend not connecting the modem to your computer using USB. All but the oldest of old computers will work faster on the internet if connected to the DSL modem with an ethernet cable, instead of USB. Are you connecting to your DSL modem via wireless? If so, make sure that your computer and the DSL modem are both either 802.11g or 802.11n. Additionally, please make sure that there are “filters” connected to all of your telephones. These filters should have been included with your DSL modem. Filters must be installed on all of your telephones for your DSL to work correctly.

If none of the above are helpful, consider doing a hard reset of your DSL modem. To accomplish a hard reset, find the little hidden button on your DSL modem. Get a paperclip and bend it so that you can press the hidden button with it. The required amount of time may be different on your DSL modem, but mine requires that I press the button for about 10-15 seconds before it initiates the hard reset. You may also be able to do the hard reset using your DSL modem’s IP address. Be sure to have all of your connection information available — username, password, etc. Otherwise, you will not be able to re-establish a connection to the internet. If your connection information was not included with your DSL modem, contact your internet service provider for the necessary details.

Also think about, have you done any maintenance on your computer in awhile? Believe it or not, sometimes it is a computer rather than a DSL modem that is the source of internet speed issues. Three software tools in Microsoft Windows that you should use at least once per month are: Disk cleanup, Defragmentation, and Error-checking. Disk Cleanup is located in My Computer => right-click on your hard drive => Properties. Before pressing the Disk cleanup button, you may wish to deactivate the Compress drive to save disk space option. In Disk cleanup, choose all of the options in the first tab except the one having to do with compression. When you are finished with that, go My Computer => right-click on your hard drive => Properties => Tools, and there you will find both Defragmentation and Error-checking. Be sure to choose both options in Error-checking. If you have more than one hard drive, run all three of these tools on all of the hard drives in your computer.

Good luck! I would love to receive a comment from you, below this answer, letting me know if any of this was helpful.

One Response to “How To Increase The Speed Of A DSL Internet Connection”

    I think the fact in the answer you told about connecting the DSL modem with an ethernet was fantastic.
    I am also facing speed problems.
    I have connected modem using USB.