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Managing online activities that use more bandwidth and affect Internet speed

An ideal router can accommodate all your wired and wireless connections and media-centric applications such as streaming video, gaming, and Voice over Internet Phone (VoIP).  While routers are designed to provide fast and seamless connectivity, you may still experience buffering or slow Internet connection in your home network.  Among those reasons that may cause connection problems are online activities that use more bandwidth
 
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred through a network at a given time.  For example, if your router is capable of 100 Mbps connection, it refers to the maximum amount of data that your router’s bandwidth can serve.  Managing the activities that use up a lot of bandwidth is advantageous, especially if you have a large network.
 
Below are some of the activities that use more bandwidth that affect Internet speed and some ways to manage them:
 
Streaming
Peer-to-peer file sharing
Running programs in the background
Using cloud applications
Malware infection
 
Streaming
 
Streaming uses a lot of bandwidth.  Streaming can be a convenient way to view videos or listen to audio files without having to save them in your computer.  Popular streaming applications include YouTube, Netflix, and videoconferences.
 
How to manage it?
 
You can block video streaming sites to lessen the bandwidth consumption.  Blocking those sites can be essential, especially if you are in an environment that limits Internet for basic surfing and email.  Limiting videoconferences for business use only can be helpful to reduce the use of too much bandwidth.  With your Linksys router, you can actually block or manage these sites to lower the bandwidth usage.  Click here to know how.
 
Peer-to-peer file sharing
 
Using peer-to-peer software for file sharing makes it easier for users on the same network to share and download data over the Internet.  Examples of peer-to-peer applications include BitTorrent, Kazaa, and Limewire.  If these applications are not closed properly, they remain active in the background.  This allows other users continuous activities like downloading files from computer.
 
How to manage it?
 
To avoid having the peer-to-peer software running in the background, close it properly if you don’t need to use it.  Refer to your computer’s manual to know how to close applications running in the background.

Running programs in the background

Programs that run in the background may use your computer's bandwidth.  Check for third-party anti-virus softwares or program updates in your computer that automatically access the Internet without your knowledge.  They can significantly cause some buffering or slow Internet connection.

How to manage it?

You may uninstall unnecessary program that you don't need, especially if you don't remember installing them.  You may also turn OFF its automatic updates and have the program updated manually.  Doing this may save you some bandwidth usage.
 
Using cloud applications
 
If you are using cloud applications to save files or using it for home automation, it may use a significant allocation of bandwidth.  Some cloud storages automatically back up your data from your computer or from your home automation device.  If it is not controlled or if you are not aware of the cloud back up service, it may affect your Internet bandwidth.
 
How to manage it?
 
Know first the conditions of the cloud application that you are going to use.  You can also set the cloud server to backup your files from your computer manually rather than automatically.  Also, use trusted cloud applications.
 
Malware infection

Malware infection can cause your computer to be open to external threats.  Some types of malware turns your computer’s security OFF, allowing outside users to take control of the data within it.  The process takes a lot of bandwidth from your system, thus slowing your Internet connection.

How to manage it?
 
To avoid getting your system infected, install an anti-virus software and actively scan your computer for malware.  Linksys routers are also designed to protect your network from getting infected from harmful websites.  To get an overview of potentially harmful websites and protect your computer from dangerous malware, click on the links below:
 
Overview on potentially harmful websites
Blocking computers from harmful websites
How to prevent your Linksys router from getting The Moon malware
 
Other things you can do
 
There are many things you can do to manage the bandwidth in your network and at the same time, improve the Internet speed.  You can install a software in your computer to monitor and track its bandwidth usage.  To know how to install and track the bandwidth usage of your computer with a software, click here.  To know other ways to improve your Internet speed, click here.

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