We often get asked whether getting a faster computer will speed up the Internet.
Quite simply, no.
Despite the claims you often see from advertisers that a fast new processor or extra memory will give you superfast browsing, unless you’ve got a really old computer, it probably won’t make any noticeable difference. Any reasonably modern computer will have no difficulty running a browser, mail client, or even video chat. A five-year old laptop running Windows XP will retrieve and display Web pages or emails almost as fast as a modern machine, as long as you’re not trying to do too many things simultaneously.
What makes the main difference is your Net connection. No matter how fast your computer, you can’t send or receive data any faster than your connection allows. There are four components that may affect this.
1. Your wi-fi connection. Ethernet is always faster than wi-fi, and you may notice a huge difference if you connect via a cable instead of wireless. If you’ve got an old wireless card, upgrading that could show a noticeable improvement, especially if there are several people sharing your connection.
2. Your modem. A slow modem could be limiting your internet speed more than you realize. A better modem may give you a faster and more reliable service.
3. Your Internet Service Provider. Are you getting the level of service you pay for? It isn’t uncommon to find that you simply don’t get more than a few Mbps to your home. Use something like SpeedTest to find out what speed you’re actually getting. If you’re not happy, talk to your ISP and see if there’s anything they can do to improve the service – and if not, look at alternative providers.
4. The Net. Some sites are just slow. Sometimes the whole Net seems to grind to a halt. There’s nothing you or anyone else can do but wait for things to improve, and upgrading your computer won’t help.
There are plenty of good reasons to upgrade your computer, but in general, getting a faster Internet isn’t one. Call us, and we can diagnose where the bottlenecks are and what you can do to get a better Net connection.