What to do if your internet is slow?

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to internet performance problems. Sometimes your service provider network is responsible for poor performance. However, an outdated router or modem, the number of people sharing your internet connection and the applications they’re using can all contribute to slow speeds.

Here you will learn about:

Understanding your internet plan

Once you know the speeds of your connection, compare them to the speeds that your internet service provider (ISP) offers as part of your monthly internet plan. If you don’t know what internet plan you’re subscribed to, you can get this information by calling your ISP, looking at a recent internet bill or visiting your ISP’s website.

For example, if you purchase an internet plan for your home or business for download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and upload speeds of 10 Mbps, those speeds represent speeds you will get under ideal conditions. The speeds you could experience in a real-world setting, such as your home, may be slower because of a number of factors.

What factors impact your internet performance

A slow internet connection can be caused by several factors. While it’s possible your service provider network is responsible for poor performance, there are a variety of other factors that can contribute to performance problems.

  • You have a lot of devices connected to the internet: When multiple devices that connect to the internet are being used at the same time, there’s a good chance that you and the other users in your household or office will notice a reduction in speed and performance.
  • You have an outdated Wi-Fi router: If your router is more than three or four years old, it could be a major contributing factor to slower speed. Check the label on your modem or router to see what type of Wi-Fi technology it uses. If it says 802.11b on the label, for example, it will handle a maximum speed of about 5.5 Mbps. If it says 802.11a and g, it will handle up to 20 Mbps, while 802.11n will handle 100 Mbps. If you’re using one of these older technologies, it’s time for an upgrade.
  • Your ISP uses fixed wireless technology: Fixed-wireless connections can provide the same upload and download speeds as other types of wired technologies, but environmental factors can degrade performance. For example, fixed-wireless technology requires a direct line of sight between the receiver on your house or office and the wireless base station. Any trees, hills or other obstructions can slow things down. Weather conditions, such as heavy rain or fog, can also affect the strength of the wireless signal and, therefore, the quality and speed of your internet.

What to do next?

If you’re still experiencing a slow internet connection after investigating these common factors, contact your ISP to see if there are any technical issues that may be causing the problem. One possibility is that you need to upgrade to a faster internet package to meet the needs of the people in your household.

It’s also a good idea to find out if there are other ISPs offering broadband internet services in your area, especially if you’re constantly experiencing slow speeds and poor performance. Many ISPs continue to upgrade their networks with the latest technology, so you might find one that’s offering faster, high-quality internet that’s within your budget.