How to increase the downstream power level

Upstream and downstream power levels are crucial when determining if your modem router or cable modem receives enough power. But, how do you increase downstream power levels if they are too low?

Cable signal levels must satisfy three signal levels to ensure optimum performance. These three signal levels include upstream levels, downstream levels, and Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR). Downstream power refers to the line signal to the cable modem from the cable provider, while upstream power is the line signal back to the cable provider from the cable modem.

Most cable modems have a standard rate of -15dBmV to +15dBmV, however a rate between -7dBmV to +7dBmV is ideal for quality connection. You may find this ideal rate increased, as apparent in many cable modems, or decreased. You can increase the downstream power level by cleaning up your line by removing splitters, among other methods. Let us find out how to increase the downstream power level on your cable modem.

Cause of the problem
State of the problem
Slow download speed
Reboot the modem

Seek assistance form an expert technician

Faulty or obsolete firmware
Upgrade your firmware and device software
Installation of splitters and amplifiers
Remove splitters, amplifiers, and other extra coax applications
Virus and other types of malware
Scan your device

How to increase the downstream power level

Power cycle your modem

If your modem is not functioning properly or has slow internet connections, the best solution is to reboot it. Often used as the first step to fixing many electronic devices, restart the modem will aid in fixing connection problems, wireless issues and even improve slow connections.

Unplug the power cord from the back of the modem or from its power source. Ensure all its lights are off and wait for one minute before plugging the power cord back into the modem. Wait for the internet light to turn green and try connecting to the internet again.  It is also vital to ensure that the electrical outlet the modem is using is functioning correctly.

Power cycle your modem

Update modem’s firmware

As a means to keep up with the increasing download speeds, manufacturers offer a software upgrade for their hardware every few years. Check your manufacturer’s website for any software/firmware upgrades for your modem. If any, download and install the updates to your cable modem. Once installed power off the modem for 15 seconds before restarting it. Check whether it is performing better by downloading a file.

Clean up your line signal

The line of a modem has various components, like amplifiers, splitters, and other extraneous coax applications, that aid in transmitting signals. Splitters help in connecting modems and one or more cable boxes to the internet. They are cheap, easy to install, and purchased from online stores, drug stores, or electronic stores. In some cases, you may find that the splitters and other components on the line of the modem, may affect the quality and speed of your connection.

If your modem has low downstream power levels, you may increase them by bypassing as many amplifiers and splitters as possible that may be present between your network termination point to the modem. Once you remove them, reset your network termination point to ensure you have made the necessary changes.

Scan for viruses

Viruses are a common type of malware that affects the performance of various devices. When a virus affects your device, it can damage programs, corrupt and delete files, reformat your hard drive, and even spread out to other devices on the same network.

Scan for viruses

To increase the downstream power levels of your device, scan it to ensure it has no virus slowing it down. If you have antivirus software, it should have a scanning feature or install various mobile applications to detect any type of malware on your device. Similarly, check whether your virus scanner or antivirus software is interfering with your internet download speeds.

Contact your expert technician

If the above fixes do not work, then it is time to call the professionals. Expert technicians will get to the root of the issue and adjust the downstream power level to the required level. It is also worth noting that some downstream power levels cannot be improved, and you may need to go out and replace your current modem to one with more ideal features that are suitable for your connectivity needs.


As discussed earlier, downstream levels refer to the download of web pages and files from the internet, while upstream levels refer to services from the customer to the provider, like sending out emails and requesting access to Web pages. Generally, downstream levels are faster than upstream levels. Using the tips mentioned above will undoubtedly help you in increasing your modem’s downstream power level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does having two routers increase internet speed?

If your internet service is generally slow, using two routers will not improve its speed. However, if your wireless connection was slow, two routers will increase the performance.

How do I check my downstream and upstream power levels?

Open your modem’s manufacturer website and enter your modem’s user name and password. Check its cable connection that will display its upstream and downstream power levels.

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