How to Get Faster Service From Cable Providers

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I was getting seriously frustrated with our cable service provider until I realized that I could be a bit proactive and get faster Internet service on a budget for our techie family.

Look Into Your Modem Situation

If your Internet is going slowly, consider how many devices you are asking your modem to handle. You might be inadvertently causing an informations traffic jam. To fix this, extend your network with another wireless router so together they can easily handle all your devices.

Internet Service From Cable Providers is Crawling

Is it my fault or their? I know sometimes all our devices created a backlog, and we have to reboot. The problem is definitely on our end in that scenario. Other times, the cable company is at fault. My first step in figuring out the problem is checking the lights.

I can never remember which lights should be blinking on the modem and routers. One day I had a Eureka moment. I took out my camera. I recorded my entire Internet setup from cables to blinking lights. When the Internet goes out on me, I check my video archives to see which lights should blinking or highlighted and call the cable company if some lights are out. If the lights are all blinking properly, I try a reboot.

How to Reboot Your Cable Box and Routers

Sometimes your surfing and game go slowly because the router is messed up. Many routers will perform the DNS function for your local networks. It is not uncommon for the router’s DNS cache to get messed up. Here’s how to reset the router, wiping the cache clean:

  1. Figure out what feeds into what for your wireless configuration and write it down. Example: Our cable modem is the main source of connectivity. It links by ethernet to our old Vonage modem, which links via ethernet to our Airport Extreme router. Downstairs, we extend our network with another Airport Extreme.
  2. Unplug everything (all your routers and modems).
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Plug in your cable modem, but nothing else.
  5. Wait for approximately a minute to make sure it’s up and running.
  6. Plug in the next item in our connectivity queue (for us it would be the Vonage modem). Wait 30 seconds (just to be safe). Plug in the next item on your list (ours would be the Airport Express upstairs). Wait 30 seconds then go on to the next device on your list until all our modems and routers are connected.

The Speed Test

If your connection is still going slow, and you are tire of hearing your children’s screams as they lose in online games because their speed is too slow, then try running a speed test. This is a simple online test you can perform by going to a specific website for a speed test.

After you find out your speed (try several times over a period of 10 or 15 minutes to get a good average), check out your cable provider plan (shown online or you can ask a customer service representative). If the speeds are below the speed you are paying for, notify the cable company. They can reset things on their end to make your speed faster.

Stick to Your Guns

If you know you are getting a slower speed than what you are paying for, then double check the speed after the company says they have fixed it. Once I was promised that it was fixed, but it was still slow. I called back, and we discovered that our speed was adjusted in a local cable provider computer, but the main provider in another state had to “make a switch” that never happened until I brought it up.

I’m still not certain how that all works, but I do know that after that second call, our household had much faster Internet service, and I didn’t have to pay a penny more.

When you have Blu-rays, computers, tablets, Wii games, and other devices running, it’s easy for technological equipment to go on overload and clog up. Knowing how to keep it clear offers you the best service for your dollar. Your kids will really appreciate it, too. No more getting annihilated online due to slow speeds…

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