Any way to increase internet speed on older device?

I have Gigabit internet service at my home. I use a Deco mesh wifi system. On my phone, coonected to my wifi, I get download speed of 860 Mbps, so I am confident I’m getting the service I am paying for. However, I also have an older desktop (8 years old) and an older laptop (6 years old) that don’t only get around 250 Mbps and 180 Mbps respectively.

Is there any hardware out on the market I could use to increase my speeds, or are the older hardware buses insurmountable?

Hard-wiring with ethernet isn’t terribly practical based on where my service enters my house and where the desktop is located.

Do you get that 860Mbps speed on your phone near your PC?
That is basically test #1.

If Yes, you might be able to upgrade the Wi-Fi speed on the PC via a hardware upgrade.
Does the PC have USB 3? If yes, you can you can find a high qualify USB 3.0 Wi-Fi adapter that should get you up above 500MB at least else the PC might have an open slot for an ethernet card upgrade. A little trickier. The Laptop hopefully has USB 3.0, very likely. So same deal with a 5G WiFi adapter.

If No you’ll have to find a high quality high speed Wi-Fi extender and play with it to optimize speed near the PC.

Additional things to check,

  • Can you bring the laptop near the base unit of the WiFi and get better speed?
  • There are often adapter settings, especially for the Laptop being only 6 years old that can help with speed. You’ll want to look for settings that use the 5G capabilities. They aren’t on by default quite often with older computers.

Probably a very good idea to update the current ethernet drivers. This fairly simple trick might help.

So a few things:

  • Yes, the phone is right next to the desktop and laptop when I test.
  • With my wifi mesh system, I have one of the satellite APs in the room with the desktop and the laptop.
  • The desktop does have USB 3.0. I have tried different wifi adapters in the past without much success. Maybe I just need to do some research and find one that is highly recommended.

The WiFi adapters vary so much in quality and most of the bargain ones seem to make claims that don’t work. So if you can’t run wire, you’ll need a high quality USB 3.0 adapter.

I don’t have a strong recommendation unfortunately. TP-Link is at least solid and might do the job. I did pretty well with the: TP-Link Nano AC600 USB Wifi Adapter(Archer T2U Nano)- 2.4G/5G Dual Band Wireless Network Adapter but it isn’t perfect. But on a 2014 PC in the basement game room I get about 300MB and testing my phone near it, I only get 360MB. Occasionally I have to unplug the device and put it back in to get full speed again. I haven’t tested this adapter in a better location.

FTR: My phone gets 633+MB near the Router.

I ran Cat-7 cable to my office and this my main PC is getting 920MB.

If you’re comfortable making changes in the Device Manager you could go to the Network Adapters - Find the 802.11 adapter and double click it for Properties.

Go To the Advance Tab and make sure:
802.11d is enabled
802.11n channel width for 5.2GHz is set to Auto.
Preferred Band is 5G first.
Wireless Mode is set for the most robust option.

So I ordered one of these. I will see if it helps.

I’d upgrade the RAM in both machines if they aren’t maxxed out already. Crucial dot com has a small utility that can be downloaded and can check the capacity. They generally have good prices too if you want to buy more RAM.

While not a bad idea, Ram has almost nothing to do with internet speed.

I usually have luck with TP-Link products. That looks like a good solution for the Desktop.

RAM speeds up the applications that rely on the internet, and I’ve found that online data appears more quickly as a result. For example, browser pages render faster.

What awesomeness am I missing out on by not having several hundreds of Mbps of Internet speed?

Gigabit within the LAN is a necessity, of course, especially when storing video files on a NAS, but I haven’t yet felt I have been hitting the limits of my WAN performance.

I haven’t upgraded my Internet access in many years, so I wouldn’t be surprised if my own access (currently 80down/80up) is considered laughingly slow.

Honestly it depends on what you’re doing on the Internet. For browsing the Internet and streaming on that machine 80 mbps is fine. When you get into gaming and especially gaming and streaming out, over 500 mbps seems to be the goal these days.

I have crazy high speed as I ran Cat-7 to my office to a good quality Gigabyte Switch. I don’t need that much speed, but I like being on wire instead of WiFi. We then ran a Cat-7 to my sons room where I put in another Gigabyte Switch. He is doing cutting edge gaming and streaming it out to Twitch or something like that. Everything else is WiFi. Just viewing streaming, video conferencing and general Internet use.

Cool. That makes sense–as a non-gamer I just couldn’t imagine why such bandwidth would be needed in a residential environment. People regularly overestimate how much bandwidth is needed for things like Zoom or YouTube.

Now for LAN that’s different: back during lockdown I was doing substantial video editing for our church and was seriously considering upgrading to 10Gbit LAN because that is sufficient to do video editing directly off of a NAS.
Never did set that up because the technology is quite different from standard Ethernet and gets pricy quickly. But some day I’ll need to.

I apologise for not answering your question directly, but with couldn’t you buy either a new desktop) or laptop)?

Not only would it increase your Internet speed, but everything else would be better…

A lot more expensive than $25 though.
I recently finally bought a new PC replacing my 8 year old one. It was pricey. I love how fast it is, biggest difference was finally being SSD.

Meanwhile my old PC replaced a crappy refurb in the gaming room and with the mentioned TP-Link Nano AC600 is a nice improvement down there.

So, first, I don’t really need Gigabit internet speeds, but I am paying for it (at least my company is…) so I wanted to see if there was an easy and inexpensive way to get better performance. I will see later today if the $25 USB 3.0 wifi adapter makes a difference.

The desktop and laptop work perfectly fine otherwise.