Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Ways To Speed Up Slow Internet Connection

I've seen an edition of TV patrol about the annoying problem of internet connection in the Phillippines(see similar story from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/05/20/15/philippine-internet-speed-so-slow-and-so-far-behind) It is not fast enough to deliver a pleasant surfing experience. As the infrastructure is the culprit at the moment, we can not do anything but wait until the operators upgrade their servers. So it is up to the users to find a way on how to maximise up to the last drop of data trickled by the networks. When I am in the country, I usually do the following to get the most from these companies.

Smartphones and tablet users:

Choose amount of data over length of use.

When you buy an internet bundle, the best buy is to choose the biggest amount of data your budget can afford  over the number of days.

Based from the internet tariff above, the best buys for the cheapest megabyte is GoSurf 50(4), GS499(7) and GS2499(10) which is worth 1peso per 6MBs of data.

 If you do not use the internet everyday, the GS50 is for you. If you are a light user but access the internet everyday, GS499 fits and those with up to 500MB a day users could choose between GS1799 and GS2499. If you exceed 166 but do not exceed 333MB perday then GS1799 is for you.

The MB Allowance/Day in the table is just my conservative estimate of data flow from your network which could be not accurate.

GoSurfMB Allowance/CostValidity/daysMB Allowance/Day
1030MB/10php= 3MB/php130mb/day
15=30MB/15php= 2MB/php215mb/day
3070MB/30php= 2.3MB/php170mb/day
50300MB/50php= 6MB/php3100mb/day
99=100MB/99php= 1.01MB/php303.33mb/day
2991500MB/299php= 5.02MB/php 3050mb/day
4993000MB/499php= 6.01MB/php30100MB/day
9995000MB/999php= 5.01MB/php30166MB/day
179910000MB/1799php= 5.56MB/php30333MB/day
249915000MB/2499php= 6.00MB/php30500MB/day

Why knowing the MB Allowance per day important? It is because data network companies can "throttle" your internet connection to distribute your bandwidth until the end of the validity period. For example you have 3000MB to use in 30 days, but you already used up to 2500MB in 10 days, your network will ration the remaining 500 MB to you in 20 days. This means the flow of data will be divided over the period of days that will result in a slow connection.

Turn off automatic updates and avoid using live widgets.

Autoupdates use data to work and so with live widgets. If you can live with checking your email, facebook, new version of you applications manually then turn this off. A phone without live wallpapers or latest news and gossip flashed on the screen could make your phone dull looking, but this also saves your bandwidth to use in more productive activity. Off with this!

Connect to a VPN network.

Instead of the data coming directly from your network provider, a virtual private network intercepts data packets before sending it to your device. So what VPN does to the data?

Android Users.
I have been using Opera Max (download here for android, VPN. Once  downloaded, just follow the easy steps to set up. What it does is it saves me megabytes by trimming unwanted data from a website before sending it to my mobile. Any internet activity will pass the VPN and shed it's extra weight from there. The lighter the package, the faster for the delivery and the faster it is to be rendered by the mobile device. Below is the screenshot of my internet activity using mobile data. Dividing 58.5MB savings from 190MB use revealed 30 percent savings! FB doesn't show any savings here because I only use it whilst on wi-fi! The Geek application has been totally stripped and has given me 69% savings.

If you have iPhone then do not feel left out, you can use the opera mini browser(download it here) to save on browsing the internet.

Desktop and laptop users.

Limit wifi users.

If the wifi share it's bandwidth with several devices, then the data allocation and the speed on the delivery will be divided amongst the users. Even if you have unlimited data, the speed of how it is delivered is also crucial factor for your laptop to render the information in it's screen. As much as possible, limit the number of connected devices specially when you are doing an extensive bandwidth gobbling activity like VOIP and movie streaming.

If  you are using an older laptop, at least 5 years old, and experience intermittent signal, it is better to connect using ethernet cable (wired connection RJ 45).

Do not load images.

Though you can not tweak other devices like play consoles and streaming devices rather than disconnecting them from the internet, you can do something with your laptop. If you are only after information or just doing your emails, you can disable images to load the page quicker. Every browser has this setting, just go to the advance setting and set the browser not to show pictures.

Change your user agent.

Websites are rendered according to the type of viewing port. If the site detects that you are using a mobile device, it will show you the page that is adopted to a mobile device. This means the website is chopped off of elements, making this light and easier to handle for mobiles. What if this "light and easier" package is loaded in a laptop with a more powerful processor? The result will be amazingly faster.

I use chrome browser for this purpose. Add this extension to chrome from


Once it is added click the icon(11) from the top and select a user agent, this example I have chosen android(12)

Page with default user agent.
The same page rendered as android kitkat!

Last Words.

Additional trick is cleaning your internet cache. This should improve internet rendering specially when the page becomes stuck. These tweaks may not work for all but I am confident that this will at least get the best of your low bandwidth problem in the Philippines whilst waiting for the improved internet infrastructure.

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