There’s nothing more rewarding than gaming online or watching your favorite TV shows after a hard day at work or school. But sometimes, the only thing that’s standing between you and a relaxing time is your ISP.
According to Yelp, more than 1000 people gave AT&T 1 star reviews because of their poor quality internet (among other problems). While some fast services give their customers unlimited traffic, AT&T will throttle your internet if you connect too many devices and make their network too busy.
What’s worse, in many cases AT&T used to throttle even customers that bought the Unlimited Elite plan. In fact, only this year did AT&T announce that they won’t throttle premium customers anymore.
But despite the plan you’ve signed up for, the chances that you’ll experience slow speeds are still high.
Why Do I Experience Slow Internet Speeds?
Here’s a list of the most common reason why this happens:
1. You Have Too Many Devices Connected to Your Network
Having your PC, laptop, phone, and tablet connected at the same time to the internet can overcrowd your network and eat a lot of bandwidth. If you’re streaming or gaming, this means that you’ll experience high ping, slow download speeds, and frequent buffering.
When this happens, it can negatively impact even your work schedule.
2. Your AT&T Router Has Issues
A few years ago, more than 138,000 AT&T routers were found to be buggy or with different other issues, such as outdated hardware, defective items, or loose cables.
But even if your router is in perfect condition, sometimes it still needs a boost. Over time, your router accumulates too much data and this prevents it from running smoothly.
3. AT&T Is Throttling You
Your router is new and works well, you disconnected the devices you don’t use, and you’ve closed the background apps, and you didn’t think of torrenting, not even once. In one word, you’ve been an exemplary customer – but for some reason, the internet is still slow.
We have bad news for you, buddy – it’s because AT&T might throttle your internet speeds. If you’re doing something that eats too much data or even if the network is too busy, AT&T will limit your connection speeds.
4. AT&T Has Poor Infrastructure
Even if you subscribed to a premium plan, never exceed your data cap, or don’t torrent – AT&T will still have slow speeds and might throttle you. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it.
AT&T’s traditional internet network uses copper-wire technology. Copper wires are made to conduct electricity, so having copper internet makes your internet signal less reliable. Besides, copper is very heavy and expensive to store – so it’ll cost your ISP more money than fiber optic bundles.
For a few years now, reputable ISPs have changed to fiber optic because it doesn’t conduct electrical current so they don’t interfere with internet signals. Besides, fiber optic cables have 1,000 times more bandwidth and are 100 times faster than copper.
Can an AT&T VPN Boost My Internet Speed?
Only in some situations, but mostly a VPN can’t improve an internet speed that’s already bad, to begin with. It’s like buying fish from your local supermarket – it doesn’t matter how fresh it is, if they don’t have proper storage conditions, it’ll go bad.
It’s the same thing with your internet speeds – it doesn’t matter what you do to improve your speeds. If AT&T doesn’t have a high-quality infrastructure, or even worse, they don’t offer the internet speeds they promised you in the contract – you don’t have too many options other than changing your ISP. So even if a VPN server can have 1 Gbps speeds, you can’t benefit from this if AT&T doesn’t offer you more than 10 Mbps speeds.
However, there is a small chance that a VPN might boost your internet speed.
And that’s because it takes your internet traffic and rerouted through their VPN servers which are more likely to be better than AT&T’s. In this case, you might slightly increase your internet speed.
How Can I Speed Up My AT&T Internet?
Changing your ISP can be a drastic measure, so here’s a list of what you can do to improve your internet speed.
1. Hard Reset Your Router
Rebooting your router clears out any unnecessary piled-up data that has been stored over time. Most ISPs recommend resetting your router at least every couple of months.
2. Use VPN Servers Near Your Location
A VPN can hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic so AT&T won’t throttle your speed that easily. So if you notice a significant slowdown after you connect to a VPN, make sure you choose a VPN server that’s located as near to your physical address as possible.
This way, the traffic will reach your device and the pages you’re browsing on the internet faster. A smaller distance means less time waiting for your favorite TV shows and no high ping when you’re gaming.
3. Use an Ethernet Cable Instead of WiFi
WiFi connection can be pretty unstable. If you have other electronic devices around the house, their signal can interfere with your WiFi, thus making you experience unexpected slowdowns.
An Ethernet cable is much more reliable and can offer faster speeds than WiFi.
5. Check Your Data Cap
Do you like to spend your weekend gaming or watching Netflix? Keep in mind that watching 1 season in standard definition (SD) consumes around 8.5GB. And we’re talking about a single day. If you’re planning to play online games, work, or watch anything else for the rest of the month – the numbers add up pretty quick.
Make sure that your contract offers you enough internet data and if not, consider upgrading to a better plan.
6. Close Background Apps That You Don’t Use
Background web-connected apps can eat more bandwidth than you’d expect. So make sure that when you’re watching Netflix, you’re not connected to game servers or social media apps.
On the same note, when you’re gaming, make sure that you don’t leave apps like Skype, YouTube, Netflix, or HBO open.
Have You Experienced Slow Speeds with AT&T?
If you experienced slow speeds with AT&T, what did you do to improve them? Let us know in the comments what is the best method that never fails to give your internet speeds a much-needed boost!