Whether for work or for play, internet speeds have become an integral part of day to day life. People have grown accustomed to the instant gratification of quick downloads, clear video streaming, and websites loading in the blink of an eye. So when the speed starts to slow down, it can be a frustrating wrench in the gears for internet users, and there are many causes, often with easy solutions.
Generally, the speed of communication is essential, which translates to every part of our connectivity with other people - from internet speed to cell phone networks being up. For the latter, not having a cell tower in vicinity can be a reason for bad connection. Here are some of the most common issues that arise in the world of high speed internet, and how you can troubleshoot to find out just what is causing a slow down.
Are you experiencing slowdowns only certain sites you visit?
As hard as it can be to believe with the technological advancements of our times, sometimes too much traffic to a particular site can cause slowdowns. If you find that only certain websites you visit are running slow, there is a good chance the problem is not on your end. These slowdowns can be caused by insufficient host servers on the other end, or an unexpected rush of people to a site during a certain time. Sites often receive more visitors during certain hours and aren’t able to run at their full speed capacity.
How to fix it:
Unfortunately, when the slowdown is at the other end, there is little you can do to remedy the issue instantly. Note the time of day when you visit a site, and if you regularly experience a lack of speed during that time, try moving your visit to a different time of day. Sometimes, it may just be a particular section or a special sale going on, and just moving your visit could give you much faster speeds.
Are you experiencing slow connections when you have many devices connected?
When you have all your devices hooked into your wireless internet network, or several people using it, you may experience a slowdown. That’s because you only have a certain amount of data available on your network.
How to fix it:
Either upgrade to a larger package that will give you faster speeds and more Mbps, or limit the amount of devices that can connect to your network. Some new models of modem/router combos allow users limit their usage.
How are you connected to the internet?
There are many routes available to receive similar service and access to worldwide networks. In home internet originated with dial up- where home phone lines were used to connect to the internet. This evolved into DSL which is an option that allows your internet subscription to connect through telephone networks. Cable connections are often faster, as the information travels through cable lines. Mobile devices use 3G or 4G coverage through mobile broadband, but 3G and 4G internet can be used wirelessly through a mobile hotspot.
How to fix it:
Compare the different packages available to your location. Many people find that they experience faster speeds by switching from DSL to Cable. Some people find their mobile networks are faster than their home, so in those situations upgrading to a mobile hotspot can allow your devices to reach higher speeds. Remote areas typically have fewer options, while cities and hubs have high speeds because there are so many different options.
Where is your Wi-Fi router located?
While the physical notion of a wireless internet connection isn’t very tangible, your connection can be interrupted depending on how far your device is from the router transmitting the wireless signal. As it travels through walls or even from floor to floor, you may experience a lag in your internet speed.
How to fix it:
If you have a large space to cover, try moving the wireless router to a centralized location in your home, closest to where it is most frequently used. The more open space you have, the better internet speed you’ll be able to utilize. If you have a device like a desktop computer or television, that is fairly stationary in nature, consider using wired internet instead to ensure the highest speeds without adding additional strain to the wireless signal.
If you have a large space to cover, you may find a WiFi booster can help to provide a stronger signal in areas of the home or building that don’t otherwise have good coverage. It also won’t hurt to upgrade to a newer, higher quality wireless router with a strong antenna that can provide the highest speeds. When making this upgrade, many users find it beneficial to purchase a combination modem/router.
Are you experiencing slow speeds on all your devices all the time?
The speed at which a device can process a particular site depends nearly on the device as much as the connection. If you are experiencing issues with only certain devices, they may in fact be the culprit. If your devices work fine on other networks, but not your own, the modem or the router may be your issue.
How to fix it:
Old devices may only be able to run at a certain speed because they have slow processors. This can apply to your computer, or your modem or router. Upgrade to a newer computer, or new router/modem combination to help alleviate the issue. If you need to hold on to your old computer for awhile, make sure it isn’t running any malware, and clean off any old documents by deleting or transferring to an external hard drive.
How will a combination modem/router help me?
A modem is the device that takes the information from the internet service provider which is either broadband (cable) or DSL (telephone line), and is connected to the router. The router is the actual appliance that communicates with your wireless enables devices, and is the origin of your wireless network. It essentially takes the internet from the modem and makes it availably wirelessly. If you’re happy with your service provider and delivery method and don’t plan on switching from one to the other any time soon, a combination modem/router is a great solution to your connectivity needs.
Having one device not only saves space and cuts down on the amount of wires, but makes for a simple setup. Most of the configuration is done through the ISP and comes on the device. Those who have limited tech skills find that the simplicity of the setup makes a modem upgrade more enticing. Some even let you control how many people can use it, or what hours they are able to access your connection, which prevents traffic during certain times.