As the internet has evolved into a lightning fast tool to get us answers to our questions in seconds, we have grown accustomed to the speed and the perks of instant gratification. When a website takes more than a second or two to load, we immediately start squirming and complaining about the lag or our Comcast router. But rather than complain, why not get to the bottom of why your internet is slow. We’ve created an infographic that will explain the top ten influences that can affect your internet speed.
1. Wi-Fi vs. Ethernet: While wifi is most common for in home use, and has become faster as technology advances, if speed is important for you, invest in a Cat-6 Ethernet cable for your computer. This wired connection boasts speeds up to 10 GB/s, while wireless internet clocks in at a maximum of 866.7MB/s. That’s a big difference.
2. Hardware: Your device is only capable of reaching the speeds that your equipment is also capable of reaching. You may have a state of the art laptop, but if your router can’t offer the best speeds, then you won’t be able to access them on the computer either. The same goes for the reverse. And if your router isn’t capable of handling several devices, then you won’t achieve maximum speeds.
3. Spyware: If your computer is bogged down with spyware, viruses or malware, you will probably experience slow speeds. This is because many of them run in the background and slow down your connection as a result of increased bandwidth use.
4. Router: If you’re using an old model router, it may not be capable of handling current internet speeds and traffic. It could also have a weak antenna which means your devices aren’t able to make a strong connection. Consider getting a higher-end modem router combo.
5. Wi-Fi Router Location: It’s important to place your router in a centralized location to prevent slowdowns as a result of obstacles. If speed is important, make sure your devices are used near where your router is located.
6. Web Browser: Your internet speed is not affected by using a particular browser over another, but your browsing speed can vary if you choose one browser over another. Various browsers have different capabilities and some may have the ability to download content, heavy data like images and videos faster than others. Some browsers also work better with only one tab open while others function well even if there are multiple tabs opened.
7. Host Server: If most sites are working well, and you’re only experiencing slow speeds on one particular site, the culprit is most likely the host server. It may not be capable of handling the traffic it is receiving, or could be configured incorrectly.
8. Broadband Connection: Your Internet Service Provider is the most important factor when it comes to having a quality internet connection with optimal speeds. The type of cable that your connection travels over is a big influence on speed, be it hybrid coaxial cables, ADSL, satellite, or dialup.
9. Operating System: Your computer has to be up for the task of high speeds. Macs often experience faster speeds due to their processors, while PCs have better RAM space.
10. Network Traffic: Too many people using one connection or trying to access the same site result in slow speeds for all users as a result of congestion.