If you are experiencing slow internet speeds, there are several ways to troubleshoot the issue, starting with your equipment. A simple restart of your modem and router or wireless gateway may help speed up your connection. However, if the problem persists, it may be due to issues on your internet service provider’s end, which you cannot fix.
Outdated or malfunctioning equipment, such as a modem or router, can create a bottleneck that slows down your internet speeds. For instance, older equipment may not support newer internet protocols, while damaged ports or components can also cause slowdowns.
To ensure that each step of your network is operating at optimal speed up your connection, you should identify and address any weaknesses in your network. We’ll start with the basics and gradually delve deeper into our guide for more advanced troubleshooting techniques.
Why Is Your Internet Connection So Slow?
Slow internet speeds can stem from various issues, such as problems with your internet service provider, the need for a network reboot, or being too far away from your router. With so many possibilities, knowing where to begin cannot be easy. That’s why we’ve compiled the most frequent issues that cause slow internet speeds and how to resolve them to help you increase your speed.
Your Internet Plan Is Too Slow
Experience slow internet speed when many people are online simultaneously. It could be a sign that you are exceeding the bandwidth limit of your internet plan. You can use an internet speed test to check if you are getting the advertised speed by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If the result is close to the speed promised by your plan, it may be time to consider upgrading.
Your internet package provides you with a fixed amount of bandwidth. If more data is trying to move around than the bandwidth allows, it creates a traffic jam.
Think of your internet connection as a road that leads directly to your house. Only one car, or data package, can reach your house at a time. When more cars or data packages are trying to get to your house, they must wait in line, which causes delays. If more cars arrive while the others are waiting, the line and delays get even longer.
The easiest solution to increase bandwidth is to upgrade to a faster internet plan that can accommodate the needs of your household. With increased internet usage, the plan you subscribed to several years ago may be insufficient, leading to slow internet speed whenever multiple people use the internet simultaneously.
Congested Internet Connection
If you are experiencing slow internet speeds, it could be due to excessive traffic on your home network. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to alleviate congestion without asking everyone to stop using the internet while you attend a Zoom meeting.
Consider the following tips for managing your home network traffic:
Use the QoS setting to prioritize certain activities.
The quality of service (QoS) feature is available on several routers, allowing you to manage the priority of different data types on your network. Using this feature, you can ensure that your streaming data is given priority access to available bandwidth, ensuring seamless playback.
It is worth noting that not all routers have adjustable QoS. However, if your router does have this feature, you can access the controls through the router’s web interface.
Stagger bandwidth-hogging activities
If your internet connection struggles to support multiple users online simultaneously, consider staggering your internet activities to allow everyone to have uninterrupted access.
Additionally, scheduling large downloads, such as computer and game updates, is a good idea when fewer people are online. It helps to prevent congestion and ensure that everyone on the network has a reliable internet connection.
Your Provider’s Network Is Congested
As a user, you may experience network congestion with your internet service provider (ISP), similar to traffic on your home network, but on a larger scale. If network congestion worsens, your ISP may reduce internet speeds in your area to manage traffic.
Unfortunately, you cannot control the internet usage of other people in your area. However, there are some workarounds to deal with this issue. You can schedule downloads of games and media during off-peak hours to avoid congestion. Alternatively, you may consider switching to a different provider with fewer subscribers in your area. However, it can be challenging to determine this information.
Fortunately, cable ISPs have upgraded their networks by adding more neighbourhood nodes, reducing neighbourhood-level congestion.
Fibre internet is less affected by network congestion in an area. Fibre infrastructure can handle a higher volume of information than other internet types, meaning that multiple users can access the internet without experiencing a significant slowdown in speed.
You Have High Latency
Latency is the delay that occurs when data travels to its destination and back to your device, causing noticeable lag in activities like online gaming and video calls. It’s influenced by factors beyond your control, such as distance from internet servers, network congestion, and your internet provider’s infrastructure. Internet type also affects latency, with newer options like fibre and 5G mmWave providing faster signals and lower latency than satellite internet. To improve your connection, refer to reports on the fastest ISPs with the best-tested speeds and lowest average latency.
Your Devices Are Outdated
Outdated devices may not be able to handle today’s Wi-Fi speeds, causing speed issues. For instance, the PlayStation Vita console’s Wi-Fi 4 radio can only support up to 150 Mbps per second, which is limited by the router and security protocol. Power cycling a desktop or laptop by shutting it down for 30 seconds can clear the memory of junk, refresh the connection, and eliminate unnecessary processes and temporary files that cause speed issues due to an overworked processor.
In conclusion, slow internet speeds can be frustrating, but there are several ways to troubleshoot and fix the issue. It could be due to outdated or malfunctioning equipment, an overloaded home network, a congested provider network, high latency, or outdated devices. By identifying the cause of the slow internet speed and taking the necessary steps to address it, you can increase your internet speed and improve your online experience.