To get the best network adapter speed possible, you should consider the type of network adapter you have and how you are connecting to the network. Your adapter might be an older model, and you may be able to increase your speed simply by upgrading your hardware. It is also possible that the router you are using is not taking full advantage of your network adapter or other hardware, so you should be sure that you are upgrading all of your hardware sufficiently. Since network adapter speed can also be affected by the software you use, you should also be sure your speed is not being limited by a firewall or even other limitations of your computer.
Network adapter speed can be affected by a number of factors, many of which may depend on how an adapter is set up on a computer. One of the first things you should consider is the adapter you are using; make sure you have an updated model. If you are using a wireless adapter, for example, then you should ensure it is not an old adapter running at a slower speed based on older technology. A wired adapter typically uses an Ethernet connection, and you should be sure you are using an adapter with as high a transfer speed as possible.
You should also make sure the networking hardware you are using, such as a router, is not negatively impacting your network adapter speed. If you have a wired network adapter that utilizes 1,000 megabit (Mb) Ethernet, for example, then you should be sure that your router is also 1,000 Mb, and not a slower speed such as 100 Mb. Similarly, if you have a Wireless N network adapter, it will be backward compatible with older routers that use Wireless G technology, but such hardware will not take advantage of the network adapter speed improvements in Wireless N protocols. You should be sure that all of your hardware is properly upgraded to the same degree.
Software and hardware on your computer can also have a negative impact on your network adapter speed. If you are using a firewall, for example, you should be sure that the proper ports are open or forwarded for the websites or online services you are using. Hardware on your computer can also reduce your effective network adapter speed. While your actual adapter may be quite fast, if you do not have sufficient processing power or memory in your computer, then the data you receive may still be displayed slowly, resulting in a perceived reduction in network adapter speed.