As a gamer, you’re always on the lookout for ways to improve your Internet speed. After all, a little less lag can mean a little less embarrassment on competitive first-person shooter maps. But before you call your ISP to upgrade your Internet plan, try some unconventional options first. While the following tips may not work miracles, they could give your connection the boost is needs.

1. Modify Download Settings

If your gaming platforms such as Steam, Origin,, and others, download updates and upgrades as you play, then your connection will slow down. Set them to only download when you’re not in a game. Likewise, don’t play games when others in the household stream movies or do other bandwidth-intensive work.

2. Optimize Server and Firewall Settings

Many gaming platforms allow you to pick a server. For example, Steam has over 200 content services in 60 data centers worldwide. Pick the closest server for the fastest connection. While you’re at it, add your games to your firewall’s whitelist for a smoother online gaming experience.

3. Get Rid of Malware

Not only does some malware put your hardware, software, and your confidential data at risk, but it drags your connection. For example, spyware records and transmits your personal information to potentially dangerous people across the Internet and takes up your bandwidth in the process. A good cybersecurity program that’s light and crushes malicious software threats will improve your gaming speed.

Avoid clicking on unknown links, visiting untrustworthy websites, and downloading shareware to keep malware at bay. These sources usually infect your computer with adware, which like spyware, breaches your privacy and slows down your connection. If your computer is getting hit with a barrage of pop-ups, then destroy adware and improve performance with the right adware removal tool.

4. Improve Your Router’s Connectivity

Network latency is the time it takes for data to travel from its source to its destination. If your network latency is low, you’ll experience less lag in a game. Although multiple factors can affect your connection’s latency, your router is the most significant one. Here are some options to help you optimize your router’s connectivity:

  • Use the Ethernet port to directly connect your PC to your router with an Ethernet Cable
  • If you must use WiFi, keep your computer as close to the router as possible
  • Keep your router in a central location of the house away from objects that disrupt the signal
  • Restart your router every week to refresh the connection
  • Reset your router with guidance from your ISP if restarting doesn’t help
  • Replace your router with a router designed to prioritize gaming traffic

5. Use a Reputable VPN Service

Like many gamers, you probably use a free VPN or a proxy website to view videos inaccessible in your geographical location. These options are terrible for your Internet connection because they’re slow and infect your computer with malware.

Only subscribe to a good VPN service that offers ISP masking across hundreds of servers in many countries, alongside top AES encrypted tunnels, for the best security, privacy, and fastest gaming speeds.

These options are worth trying before you upgrade to a more expensive Internet plan. Not only will some options enhance your gaming speed, but they’ll make your computer more secure.