Optimize your internet speed with multiple users

Is everyone in your household online at the same time? When there are multiple users on the network at the same time, you may see slower speeds. An increasingly virtual life creates a growing challenge for internet connections, so below are some tips to help maximize your existing internet service to avoid lags and congestion.

Limit the number of devices connected at the same time

The list of devices that are connected to your network at any one time may be longer than you realize. It includes not only the more obvious computers and mobile devices, but also:

  • Google Home/Amazon Alexa
  • Security devices (cameras, doorbells)
  • Tiles and other GPS trackers for keys, etc.
  • Smart air purifiers and thermostats
  • Smart TVs and streaming devices
  • Smart appliances such as refrigerators and ovens


Remember that all of these devices divide up your available bandwidth, which can in turn lead to slower speeds for all devices. Look for ways to turn some of these off when not in use to maximize available bandwidth. Consider having family members stagger online activities in “shifts” to ensure the best internet speeds for everyone.

Schedule backups and updates

Some devices run backups and updates in the background on automatic schedules. If your device is uploading a huge amount of data to the cloud, it could be eating into your bandwidth without you even realizing it. 


If you're having trouble with lags, check your device settings and adjust the automatic updates. You can often choose to have the app or device prompt you when an update or backup is needed, then schedule it to happen at an off-peak time.

Minimize streaming during work and school hours

Try as much as possible to alternate work and entertainment time. If someone is trying to stream their favorite show while someone else is on a videoconference, this can cause buffering and other issues.


The following activities all use high bandwidth, so they will impact the performance of each other:

  • Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV and other video streaming services
  • Online gaming
  • Video meetings
  • Music streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify 
  • Streaming devices like Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV

Minimize VPN usage

If you work from home, you may need a VPN connection to access your employer's secure systems and data. However, many work applications like Outlook, MS Teams and web browsing do not require the VPN connection. Your speed and performance may improve when the VPN is not connected, so try to use it only when necessary. For example, group together tasks that require the VPN connection, and then turn it off when those tasks are complete to maximize the internet speed for other users.


Finally, limit your uploading and downloading of large files during the work/school day, and schedule cloud-based backups to happen overnight to free up daytime bandwidth.


It may take some planning and practice, but by following these guidelines, you can optimize your internet speed and make it possible for everyone in your household to keep your lives running online.

Still not getting the internet speed you need?

Start by troubleshooting your connection to check for any issues that are causing slowdowns. Also try optimizing your WiFi signal and check out these real-world speed scenarios to see if any of Rita's suggestions can help you. 

You may decide you need more bandwidth to meet your needs. So what are some options to increase your speed?


Upgrade to a higher speed: The simplest way is to upgrade to a faster plan. To see what speed options are available in your area, sign in to your account on My CenturyLink or the app, and check the My Products section. 


Add a second internet line: Another popular option is to add a second internet line. The additional line can be dedicated to remote work, gaming, or streaming needs. This may be a good solution if there are no upgrades available where you live and when it's not possible to limit connected devices or adjust the hours you need to be online.

If you need more assistance, contact our support team. We're here to help!

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