Does Modem Affect Internet Speed?

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Oct 3rd, 2023

modem affect internet speed - featured image

When analyzing internet speed, we often forget about the modem, which is one of the essential components for a smooth internet connection.

So, does your modem affect internet speed? For starters, if you do not have a modem you won’t get access to a Wi-Fi connection to gain access to the internet. And even if your PC is not going online wirelessly, where are you going to plug in the ethernet cable? Using an unresponsive or outdated modem can limit the bandwidth and internet speed. Of course, it also helps to know more information related to various internet problems, but focusing on modems is usually a good approach as far as priorities go. In this article, we will learn more about modems, how they affect internet speed, and the ways to optimize your internet connection.

What Is a Modem?

A modem is a piece of hardware that works similarly to translators. It receives signals from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and makes them accessible by network devices. They are network devices that encode and decode information by modulating and demodulating the sine waves. Modems can modulate and demodulate analog signals simultaneously. If a low-tier modem cannot support the internet speed that your internet plan offers, you will get slow internet. Keep reading if you are a tech newbie and want to learn more about modems.

How Do Modems Work?

One of the primary functions of a modem is to send and receive digital information across computers. Not more than a decade ago, these signals were transmitted through telephone lines, which we usually call a dial-up connection. Nowadays, technology is transformed by high-speed modems. When you get no internet connection, either the modem or the router is at fault. Using an outdated internet device can cause signal leakage, so you won’t get the speed you need to access the internet on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

modem affect internet speed

How Does Your Modem Affect Internet Speed?

If you are still wondering how a modem affects internet speed, the answer is the device should send sufficient signals to multiple devices. Upgrading internet devices or tweaking system settings can help significantly. Are you facing difficulties in using the internet on your computer? If yes, there are multiple troubleshoots that can help. First, make sure you have a high-end modem to get faster internet speed and maximum bandwidth. Let’s have a look at some easy ways to improve internet speed.

reset your network devices

5 Quick Fixes to Improve Your Internet Speed

If you are not happy with your internet speed, there are a few methods you can do on your end to remedy the situation:

1. Reset Your Network Devices

Turning off and then turning on again, your modem and router again can help resume or even speed up your internet connectivity. Before you reset your network devices, disable the Wi-Fi on your laptop. Now, turn off the modem and router and wait for at least 20 seconds before turning back on these devices. For better results, first, turn off your router and then the modem. After you restart the network devices, enable Wi-Fi on your computer. Check if you are getting the right internet speed promised by your ISP by opening any browser or watching online videos.

3. Upgrade Your Modem

If you are using an old or outdated modem, you may never get the speed you expect, even if you have a top-tier internet connection. Upgrading the modem or other internet devices may demand some investment, but it will improve your internet speed manifold. So, search for the right modem models for your internet plan and replace the existing one. Some of the top modems include Netgear Nighthawk CM2000, Netgear Nighthawk CM 1200, and Motorola MB 8600, to name a few.

3. Stop Background Apps

When the internet is running slow on your computer, there might be some apps running in the background and consuming bandwidth. More often, the internet network is working fine, but the problem exists in the system settings or activities. Quitting the background applications and programs can speed up your internet. You may stop these apps from eating up internet bandwidth by deactivating or stopping them. When these apps update automatically, the internet speed usually suffers. In case you do not want to see certain applications in the background or on your computer, you can remove them permanently. The video below explains how to do that:

4. Adjust Channel Width

Most router models use default settings that only allow it to switch between 20 MHz and 40 MHz channel widths. It is worth knowing that 20 MHz is slower than 40 MHz but has comparatively better coverage. If your computer supports 802.11n, try to reset your router to 40 MHz. Also, 802.11n is a standard network driver supported by almost all computers that are less than a decade old. If resetting the channel width doesn’t help improve the internet speed, roll back to 20 MHz.

5. Install Wi-Fi Extenders

Moving the router near the work desk can speed up your internet connection. If that seems to be of no help, install Wi-Fi extenders to enhance internet speed. When you are living in a spacious house that covers more area, installing Wi-Fi extenders is crucial. You can try to connect Powerline extenders that include two devices. Connect one device to the router through Ethernet, plug it into a socket, and connect it to the socket near your work desk.

install wi-fi extenders

Wrap Up

Whether you are trying to watch a movie, play a high-end game, or share an official document with your colleague, internet accessibility is important. Without the Internet, you won’t be able to do many essential tasks on your computer. So, try these workaround methods to improve your internet speed and maintain your regular workflow. Does your modem affect internet speed? Sure. However, there could be other factors that could reduce your download and upload rate. Some we have covered here, like background apps that eat up bandwidth or the need to use extenders, but the causes are not limited to those. Sometimes the problem is with your computer or mobile device, but that is a different topic for discussion. Next up, you may want to explore a guide on how to invest in your online business.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building three small companies, an educator, digital marketer, freelance writer, editor, and content manager with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for writers, digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.