WHY YOUR INTERNET IS SLOW
There are many reasons your Internet connection might appear slow. It could be a problem with your modem or router, Wi-Fi signal, signal strength on your cable line, devices on your network saturating your bandwidth, or even a slow DNS server.
Here Are Some Few Tips to Help You Troubleshoot a Slow Internet Connection
1. Technically, you do not own all your internet connection
If you subscribed to a “high speed Internet” with probably 100 MB/s, and many other people are also using the same service, you’ll definitely experience a poor Internet connection. The link you use is shared by other people in your area using the same Internet service provider (ISP). This type of problem tends to be worse during weekends and evenings when more people are online.
How To Fix:
There’s really no ‘fix’ for this, but there are two things that can help:
First off, if your Internet is slow more often than not, get an Internet provider that has a higher ‘speed limit’. (Or call your Internet provider and see if they have a different level plan.) In your area, you will have at least two or three internet service providers.
Also, you can consciously schedule big downloads and updates to run overnight. Although, this doesn’t completely guarantee a faster connection during congested periods, but it may improve your overall internet experience. With less people on the connection, your download speed is likely to be better than during high traffic times.
2. Outages on Websites or Specific Service Providers
Sometimes, websites (like Facebook) or even region of the world can experience slow Internet connection. Testing your internet to find out what the problem is saves time and effort.
How to Fix:
Turn off other computers/phones connecting to your Internet, and then check your internet connection speed. Run a speed test using a website like speedof to see how well your internet speed is actually performing. Before starting this, ensure that downloads, uploads, or other heavy internet are properly charged.
. If the speed is lower than normal (as compared to the speed of your Internet plan), it’s likely that the issue is not specific to the website you’re trying to reach. You may want to contact your ISP to find out if there are issues with connection speed on their end, or check to see if you’ve reached a data limit.
Of course, it could also just be that you pay for a very slow internet plan—in which case you’ll need to call your internet provider and pay more to upgrade your service!
If you’ve confirmed your Internet connection is working, you can check the website you’re trying to reach to know if the site is up worldwide or regionally down.
3. Programs and Services Use Your Connection
Many programs and services (such as cloud storage programs like OneDrive and Dropbox) on your computer use your Internet connection some or all the time without your interaction. You also get software updates for your operating system and applications. Because of their automatic nature, they can end up running in the background, making your Internet slow.
How To Fix:
Remove completely any background applications you don’t need. Most programs that automatically download updates can be set to have a limit on how much connection they use or the periods when they can download. Just ensure you set a limit or schedule.
Note: Some Internet-connected devices, like a smart TV, cable TV box, or DVD player, may automatically update as well. Most of the time, you can’t change their download schedule as easily as a PC or phone, so you may need to physically disconnect them from the Internet or turn them off if they’re causing slow internet speed.
4. Bad or Loose Cables
Though cables are most times stationed, but it’s still important to be sure they’re set up right. A damaged or loose cable can make your connection fail entirely. Though they’re not likely to be the source of your internet problems, but it’s worth checking them.
How To Fix
Check every cable that is plugged into your router, modem, or both. Ensure both ends of each cable are tightly plugged in.
5. Router Issues
Your router is the main hub for your devices’ Internet traffic. Problems relating with the router’s configuration, or how devices connect to it, can cause stoppages and inconsistent behavior.
Before you do anything else, try rebooting the router. Even if the reboot doesn’t directly fix your problems, it makes other fixes you try more likely to work.
It’s possible your internet is fine, but your device Wi-Fi (which connects you to the internet) might be having signal problems. Having a bad Wi-Fi connection might just seem like an Internet connection problem, because all your devices will not have access to the internet. There are quite a few reasons you may have a bad Wi-Fi signal. First, the airwaves could be congested with too many devices nearby, especially if you’re using 2.4 GHz and not 5 GHz, which can support a lot more devices. (This is a particularly common problem in denser urban areas, for example, if you live with neighbors who have a bunch of wireless routers and other devices). Secondly, you could just have something interfering with your Wi-Fi signal, or poor coverage throughout your home.
The wireless signal from your router can have many issues. A common problem is interference with the wi-fi signal – 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi (the most common frequency) can have competition from other electronics (notably microwaves and to a lesser extent cordless phones) or nearby wireless networks also using the 2.4 GHz frequency.
If this is a particularly frequent problem, you may have to upgrade your internet package to allow your router automatically manage and assign how much bandwidth different devices and apps receive. For example, it can automatically adjust BitTorrent bandwidth to avoid slowing down Youtube streams.
Fix 1: Consider using 5 GHz Wi-Fi if your router permits it. 5 GHz generally has less interference than 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. Other configuration changes can include changing which channel number your Wi-Fi is using or disabling some 802.11 variants, but you shouldn’t attempt those changes unless you’re familiar with the technology.
Fix 2: Make sure you aren’t getting physical interference. Any sort of object (windows, walls, and furniture) can interrupt or stop the signal. Try to set up your router in the location with the lowest amount of barriers. Also, If you have lots of devices providing WiFi, disable some. Sometimes hotspots from phones, printer or other device can compete with you internet connection.
Note The Following:
Be sure to update your router regularly. Not doing so can not only slow down your connection but also expose you to threats. If you do not know how to configure it or update it, find someone who can.
If your router is an old model, consider an upgrade. However, if your router was provided by your ISP, be careful; it may be a router/modem combo that can’t be replaced by a regular router, so make sure to call your ISP before purchasing a replacement.
6. Malware on your Device
Malware such as viruses and worms can hijack your connection and place massive load on it. Malware also has other dangerous consequences. Though, anti-virus might make your device a bit slower, but when virus or malware finds its way to your system, it will be destructive and may result in identity theft, financial loss, etc.
How to Fix
Install antivirus on your PC and phone. Once installed make sure it’s up to date. Run regular scans of your computer or smartphone.
7. Browser Problems
If you’re experiencing slow connection while browsing, whether on a PC, a phone or even a TV, try the fix below to avoid slow internet frustration.
How to fix
Keep your browser up to date, or switch to a newer browser if your current browser doesn’t receive updates anymore. The exact browser options you have will vary by platform, but Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are generally a good choice. Add only plug-ins and toolbars you need, and make sure they’re from official sources. Don’t keep too many tabs open – a dozen or two is probably alright, but past that you should be using bookmarks instead.
8. Network Lookup (DNS)
DNS converts a name like “Amazon.com” to an address like “188.8.131.52”. DNS servers are provided by your Internet service provider. But, if they’re slow or overloaded, you may not be able to get better speed unless you switch to another set of DNS servers. In some cases, switching DNS servers can help speed up your apparent connection speed if your default Internet service provider DNS servers are slow.
How to Fix:
You can change which DNS server your devices use:
At the router level, so the devices will automatically follow along on what DNS to use if they haven’t been manually configured.
Per device, usually in network settings (every device with its unique process).
9. Old Hardware
Using an old device can make your Internet connection slow. For instance, if you got your computer a decade ago, or your smartphone a few years ago, I’ll advise you to upgrade. This is most likely to impact page load speed.
How to Fix:
Physically cleaning the device can help to speed it up, and most desktop computers can be made considerably more usable by adding an SSD (solid state drive – extremely fast storage). You can always use the service of an engineer to help handle the cleaning.
This post was written by Timmy, the Content director of techtips360. He’s a tech enthusiast and has worked on a couple of tech-related projects.