The Sony PlayStation 4 is known for its low download speeds, particularly the original 2014 model. This is not always due to hardware: software that runs in the background, Wi-Fi issues and other network problems play their part.
Quick tips to speed up downloads on your PlayStation 4
Follow some basic tips to improve download speeds on any device, not just the PlayStation 4. Your Internet connection shares bandwidth between all your devices.
So downloading a file to your laptop or streaming Netflix in 4K on another device can slow things down. For maximum speed, pause any other download or transmission and let your PS4 consume all the bandwidth you want.
Queuing multiple downloads on your PS4 has a similar effect. The console has to share the bandwidth it has, so if you want to get a particular download, it is best to pause your other transfers.
Finally, don't play online games while downloading in the background. As you will see, this will dramatically limit your download speed. It is also likely that the download itself adversely affects its performance, introducing delayed spikes and connection problems that may put you at a disadvantage.
1.- Kill all running applications
One of the fastest ways to increase download speed is to eliminate any running process. We have seen that this dramatically accelerates downloads and all that is needed are some button presses:
- With the PlayStation 4 running, press and hold the PS button on the control until a menu appears on the screen.
- Highlight the "Close applications" option and press X.
This tip has its roots in the 2017 Juho Snellman blog post. The systems programmer discovered that the console "reception window" is reduced considerably each time a game or other application is run.
It is likely that Sony designed this behavior to prioritize games and other software. So you can download PSN items and continue playing online games. If you are in a hurry to complete a download, you better kill any running game or application and do something else for a moment.
2.- Pause and resume your download
Another tip we've seen work is to pause your download and then resume it again. If you feel that your PS4 is dragging your heels over a big update or a new game download. This tip could help you move forward.
To do this, you must access the download queue in Notifications:
- Access the PlayStation 4 board by pressing the PS button once.
- Press "up" on the left stick (or d-pad) to highlight Notifications, then press X.
- You should see "Downloads" in the list, highlight it and press X.
- Highlight the item that is currently downloading and press X, then choose the "Pause" option.
- Press X again on the highlighted download and choose "Resume."
The download will take a few minutes to start over, but this time it should download even faster and show a shorter estimated download time. You can try this several times, especially if you notice that the speed drops again.
3.- You can put your PlayStation 4 in sleep mode
If you have plenty of time and are not currently using your PS4, sleep mode can help you improve your speed a bit. For best results, close all applications before enabling it. As we describe lines above.
Before putting your PS4 into sleep mode, you must enable internet access in the background so that your download continues while your machine is on hold.
Go to the PS4 settings menu and scroll down to "Power saving settings", then press X. Select "Set available functions in sleep mode" and make sure to enable "Stay connected to the internet".
Now you can put your PS4 in sleep mode by pressing and holding the PS button on your control. Scroll down to "On" and choose "Enter sleep mode." You must turn on your PS4 again to see the progress of your download.
4.- Use a wired connection for your PlayStation 4
Wireless networks can be slow and prone to interference. Even if you have a modern router, you cannot control the weather or the choice of your neighbor's wireless channel. For a much more stable network connection, leave the wireless connection completely and use an Ethernet cable instead.
The original PS4 is notoriously bad for wireless connections, but a wired connection will also improve performance on Slim and Pro hardware reviews. If your router is close to your console, this is an easy solution.
You will find an Ethernet port on the back of all PS4 models, connect one end of a standard Ethernet cable to your console and the other to a free port on your router.
But what if your PS4 and your router are in different rooms or on different floors? The Ethernet power line adapters allow you to use the cables that are already on your walls.
For many of us, wireless networks are the only option. The original PS4 model only supports 802.11b / g / n wireless 2.4 GHz. While the newer PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro models support dual band 802.11ac, in the 5 GHz band.
While the 2.4GHz wireless connection has better wall penetration than the 5GHz dual band, the old standard is also slower and more susceptible to interference.
If you still want to use a wireless connection, be sure to use 5 GHz whenever possible. To improve things, the router and console should be in the same room or as close as possible.
5.- Configure a proxy server
Many users swear that setting up a proxy server on a local machine solved their download problems. A proxy is like an internet gateway that is most commonly found in a corporate network.
By getting a computer on your local network to do some heavy work, it is possible to increase the download speed. This is especially true for the first PlayStation 4 models, which have notoriously unstable network adapters.
The first thing you should do is download and run a proxy server on your local machine. Windows users can use a free version of CCProxy, while Mac users can use the free Squidman application. Download and install the proxy server on a machine that is connected to the same network as your PS4.
6.- Your mileage may vary: change your DNS servers
DNS stands for Domain Name System and is like an address book for the web. The DNS servers you use determine which servers are resolved when you enter a web address. If you have not changed the DNS servers, you are using the default values of your service provider.
Some users swear that changing DNS servers solved their PS4 download speed problems. Others think it is a placebo effect. Also, they have theories that their choice of DNS servers affects which servers your console uses for downloads.
We don't know for sure how it works. Either way, we recommend using Cloudflare or Google's DNS servers, as they are probably faster than those provided by your internet service provider.
The best way to do this is to change your DNS servers on your router, which will affect all the devices in your network. If you follow this route, you will not need to enter manual changes to the DNS server on each device.
Now, if you're willing to try it, you can use alternative DNS servers provided by Google (22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199), CloudFlare (188.8.131.52), or choose the fastest DNS servers based on your location.
In case you do not want to change the DNS server for your entire home network, you can change it only on your PS4. You do not need to do this if you have already changed it on your router!
Steps to change the DNS servers used by your PS4:
- Access the "Settings" menu of your console, scroll down to "Network" and then press the X button.
- Highlight "Set up internet connection" and then press X.
- Choose between "Use Wi-Fi" or "Use a LAN cable" according to your current settings.
- When asked how you want to configure your connection, choose "Custom" and press X.
- Choose a Wi-Fi network and enter the password as necessary.
- For «IP address settings», choose «Automatic».
- Under "DHCP hostname", select "Do not specify."
- For "DNS Settings", choose "Manual" and press X again.
- Add two DNS servers of your choice in the "Primary DNS" and "Secondary DNS" fields, then select "Next."
- For «MTU Settings», choose «Automatic».
- For «Proxy server», choose «Do not use».
- Finally, choose "Test Internet Connection" and then wait for the test to complete.
Could the problem be your internet speed?
When was the last time you tested your internet speed? If your internet speed is slow at first, nothing you do on your PS4 will make things better. Test your connection using a laptop or desktop by going to Speedtest.net or by downloading Speedtest apps for iOS and Android.
If your speed is not on par, then it is time to address the problem with your service provider. It is also worth trying several times, at different times of the day, to better diagnose the problem.