Slow internet speeds can be extremely frustrating, as anyone who has experienced the problem will testify. Often, when faced with the issue, people are quick to point the finger at their Internet Service Provider (ISP), but in reality, connectivity and performance are impacted by multiple factors.
The internet is a complicated technology, which requires numerous other technologies to work in conjunction with it. As a result, there are various points at which your broadband speed can be affected. The problem could be external, or an issue with your computer or hardware, and pinpointing the exact problem can sometimes be a process of elimination.
Test Your Internet Connection
First and foremost, make sure that your slow internet connection is connecting at all. Sometimes, the connection can drop in and out. To test your connection, besides going to a popular website like Google, go to an internet speed test website. This will give you your download and upload speeds. Using these speeds, you can measure the difference after implementing the solutions below.
Issues With Your Computer and Hardware
In many instances, a slow internet connection can be a symptom of your computer’s overall poor health. There are numerous examples of computer issues which can adversely affect the speed of your internet browsing experience. It is important to regularly take steps to ensure your machine is running efficiently, whether you own Toughbooks or Lenovos.
The presence of viruses, spyware and malware can be a major problem. Spyware, in particular, can leech your bandwidth by secretly interfering with your browser. This can slow your internet speeds and also hijack valuable computer resources. Therefore, it is important to regularly check for spyware, malware and viruses using specialist software.
Additionally, it is important that your computer has the resources required to run your browser. Common issues include a lack of space on the hard drive or a lack of memory, both of which can hinder performance. Temporary internet files should be cleared regularly. It is also important to ensure that your router is correctly configured.
Slow internet could also be caused by the simplest of things, like the age of your computer. If you have an older device, you may need to buy additional memory in order to improve internet speeds. This is because the existing device memory is simply not enough to handle modern connections and network technologies. If you have an old device, or the worlds thinnest laptop, try purchasing additional memory for a quick fix for slow internet speeds.
Browser Add-Ons and Other Applications
Almost all modern internet browsers offer a host of optional add-ons, which can often greatly enhance your browsing experience. Examples include translation tools, document viewers and themes which change the appearance of the browser.
However, this too can have a detrimental impact upon your internet speed, especially if you have multiple add-ons running at once, all using up the available resources.
Moreover, running other applications on your computer alongside your internet browser can also slow down your internet use. This is because the browser will have to share processing power, disk space and memory with the other applications, which subsequently causes delays. For this reason, it is best to browse with as few applications open as possible.
Type of Connection and External Factors
The most obvious factor which contribures towards speed, or lack of speed, is the type of internet access you have. For example, a fibre optic internet connection will be much faster than a cable or DSL connection.
Wi-Fi connections, meanwhile, can be slowed down by other devices, including microwaves, cordless phones and radio devices. These devices can cause major interference and it is worth ensuring no such devices are located close to the access point.
At peak times, congestion in the local area can slow your internet speeds, due to the sheer strain that is placed upon ISPs. This is the case with 2 way radios too. If you are part of a local network, such as in an office, the combined usage levels may also cause slowdown.
If all other factors are ruled out, your ISP may be experiencing temporary technical difficulties and it would be sensible to contact them and make sure they are aware of the problem and working towards fixing it.