OS X

10 Ways to Speed Up a Slow Internet Connection on the Mac




The Internet is your Mac’s gateway to the rest of the world, and having a speedy connection is vital if you want to download movies, make video calls, play games, or even work online. Sometimes though, your Internet access might seem like it’s in serious need of a speed boost – but what can you do to ensure the fastest experience?

Even the highest speed connection may need some fine-tuning and optimisation to live up to its potential. It’s also worth noting that you should keep your Mac up to date with the latest software updates, because network-related fixes are issued from time to time.

The most important thing to remember is that your Internet speed can never exceed the maximum speed provided by your Internet Service Provider. So, if you’ve only paid for a 2 Mbps Internet line, don’t expect to be able to achieve 20 Mbps!

This guide explains some of the common (and not so common) ways to ensure that the Internet on your Mac is lightning fast.


Test Your Internet Speed

The first step is to test your Internet speed. There are various ways to do this, but the easiest (and most fun) is to use one of the popular speed test websites such as SpeedTest.net. This will test your Internet speed in the uplink and downlink directions, and present some useful statistics that you can compare with the average for your Internet provider.

Another way to check the speed provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is to look in your modem or router configuration, as it will often display the actual connected line speed which indicates the maximum that you should be able achieve on the DSL line and with your subscription. For example 6 Mbps, 20 Mbps, or even more.

SpeedTest.net screenshot
Use sites such as SpeedTest.net to check your connection speed

You could also open the Network Utility (located in Applications -> Utilities) and conduct a “ping test”, but sites such as speedtest.net already measure the ping times – which is the network time to reach a specific host such as google.co.uk. Normal ping times should be only tens of milliseconds, and if you consistently see several hundred milliseconds in your ping times then it could be indicative of a Mac or a network problem.

Network Utility screenshot
Use Network Utility to measure ping times and see other useful information

How To Speed Up Your Mac Easily With CleanMyMac 3

There is no better tool for cleaning your hard drive from junk than CleanMyMac 3. While some speed issues on the Mac simply cannot be resolved but using an app, many that can are covered in this comprehensive cleaning utility.

But that's not all CleanMyMac 3 can be also clean up after uninstalling app and can remove temporary files, plugins, redundant files and offers better management of start up items and much more. It’s a utility that should have been built into macOS from the beginning.

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  • Before you do anything!

    Make sure your Mac is not close to a corner or a wall. Also rotate it and see if the performance improves.

    I moved and had terrible problems. Then I saw this advice on the web and so moved my Mac. Instant improvement.

    The walls reflect WiFi signals and increase the interference which confuses the Mac’s WiFi .

    After that try all the other ideas for improving internet connectivity on wifi.

  • far more informative, precise, and customer/user friendly than ALL info gleaned from HOURS wasted on the Apple supprt site. Shame on them, Kudos+ for you!

  • increased speed from 6 to 39 Mbps by moving out of a corner workstation! Thanks for the advice.

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