Crappy internet connections and browsing speeds—who hasn’t experienced this? Remember that sound that the dial-up connection through the phone line used to make? Thankfully, however, broadband connections are now pretty standard in Malaysian cities.
Even so, every so often you may be plagued by a slow connection. Maybe your parents’ home has a terrible bandwidth, or perhaps TM Net is just being slow for some unknown reason.
Here are a few simple hacks to speed up your internet in Malaysia.
1. Switch Browsers
Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are the most popular browsers out there, so chances are, you use one of these on a regular basis. The problem with all of these browsers, though, is that they consume a LOT of memory. Try a lightweight browser instead. You’ll be surprised at how much this can improve both your browsing speed and your computer’s performance.
Here’s a list of lightweight browsers that you might find useful. I’ve tried a number of these myself, and personally was very pleased with Avant and Slimboat. (Qupzilla worked well, but unfortunately it would crash now and then.) Not everything will work as perfectly as it does in Firefox or Chrome, but the jump in speed far outweighs the drawbacks.
2. Optimize Your Existing Browser
If you really feel the need to stick to your heavyweight browser, here are a few things that you can do.
- Take a look through your existing add-ons, plugins, and extensions. Which ones do you actually need/use? Remove or disable the ones that you don’t need. By slimming down your browser, its efficiency should improve.
- Make a habit out of keeping the number of tabs open on your browser to a minimum. Many pages or websites like Facebook and Gmail are designed to constantly refresh themselves. This may happen every couple of minutes, or even every few seconds! Take the load off both your machine and your bandwidth by keeping your tab count down.
- Security watchdogs will tell you turn those cookies off, but the fact is that allowing cookies (and caching) will speed up page loading. If you’re concerned about privacy and security, you can always ban cookies by default, but add trusted sites to your “Exceptions” list.
3. Try Opera
Opera is still one of the top browsers out there, and for good reason. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, plus for Android-operated devices. The main point I’d like to highlight here, however, is that Opera offers an “Off-Road” mode, specially designed to speed things up when you’re on a slow connection. How does it manage this? Why, by compressing webpages, of course.
4. Turn off Bittorrent
Do you use Bittorrent or a similar program? If you need to free up some bandwidth for browsing, then either turn off Bittorent or limit its bandwidth allocation. You may want to shut down Dropbox too, while you’re at it.
5. Get the Most Out of Your Router
First of all, where is your router located? If it’s not in the room where the wireless in your home gets the most use, then relocate it! If you’re really having trouble with a slow connection, then utilizing an Ethernet cable may also speed things up. You’ll also want to make sure that other wireless devices aren’t interfering with your WiFi; cordless phones are a major culprit here. If you have one, keep your router and cordless phone as far apart as you can.
Lastly, how old is your router? Depending on its model and make, your old router may even be the cause of your sluggish connection. Be sure that it is meant to accommodate the speed of your internet package. If it’s not capable of this, it’s time to get a new router.
SEE ALSO: 5 Great WiFi Boosters in Malaysia
6. Doublecheck Your Connection Speed
How much bandwidth are you supposed to have, according to your broadband package? Figure this out – either check the bill from your Internet Service Provider, their webpage, or give them a call. Once you know this, you’ll be able to run a quick internet speed test to determine if your results actually match what your ISP promised.
(Hint: try running the test on more than one machine or device. If the results are up to par on one device and not another, then the problem most likely stems from that device, not your ISP.)
If the results match your contract with the provider and things are still running at a snail’s pace, then it is simply time to upgrade your bandwidth.
7. Optimize Your Computer or Device
This step will be beneficial to you no matter what your connection speed. Here are a few basic steps you can take to ensure that your computer is functioning optimally:
- Shut down programs you aren’t using. Programs like Skype, iTunes, and Dropbox all consume chunks of memory that will add up.
- Make sure your computer is free of viruses and spyware; these can slow your system down tremendously. Have your antivirus program set to scan your computer regularly.
- How much free space does your hard drive have? If it’s too full, your computer won’t be able to use the free space as virtual memory. Time to get an external hard drive for all those extra pictures and videos.
- Defragment your hard drive every month or so; and do it more often if you can remember to. This step should improve the general performance of your computer.
- Turn your computer off regularly. Leaving it in standby mode all the time will end up occupying extra memory, and lower its performance.
Be Smart and Prioritize
Hopefully some or all of these solutions will manage to give your connection and browsing speed a boost. If all else fails, though, what should you do? Well, worse comes to worse, you’ll need to do some planning ahead and prioritizing. If you know you’re going to be stuck with a slow internet connection for the coming weekend at your parents’ place, then get your bandwidth-heavy tasks done before the weekend comes around. That way, your stress levels won’t shoot through the roof by Saturday evening.
How do you deal with a terribly slow connection? If you’ve got other ideas to share, leave them in the comments!
- What is the Best Broadband in Malaysia for You
- 5 Ways to Get Free WiFi in Malaysia
- How to Stay Safe on Public WiFi in Malaysia
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