There could be several reasons why your internet connection might appear slow. Firstly, your internet service provider (ISP) might be having network issues but there’s not much you can do about this. Or it could be any of the following problems:

  • An issue with your router
  • The Wi-Fi signal
  • Devices on your network eating up your bandwidth

Before you start investigating it’s a good idea to carry out a speed test. This will establish whether the problem is at home or with your ISP.
There are many websites that offer this service but this one is accurate and simple.
Before you carry out the test stop any downloads and uploads, Netflix streaming, or other heavy internet activity to ensure there is as little interference with the results as possible. However before reaching a conclusion keep in mind:

  • You generally pay for “up to” a certain speed and you don’t always get the exact speed you pay for.
  • Speeds may also be slower at busier times of the day, when everyone in your area is using the internet connection.
  • You may just have a very slow internet plan in which case you might want to upgrade to a faster speed.

The speed test result you should be looking for is the download speed. Compare the measured speed results against the expected speed of the internet connection you’re paying for. If the test results are similar to what the service offers then the problem is likely in your home.

  • Try connecting to multiple websites and using different devices in your home. If the slowness is just with one website, it’s probably that website’s problem and there’s not much you can do about this.
  • Is just one computer slow or is it all your devices? If it’s just one computer, you may need to reboot the computer, or perform a malware scan with good internet security software.
  • If all the devices are slow than then it’s almost certainly a network problem, and you’ll have to check your router.

Reboot your Router

Like computers, routers sometimes get stuck in a slow, overloaded state. This problem can be fixed with a reboot. Check if your speed improves after the reboot.

Improve your Wi-Fi signal

It’s possible your internet is fine, but your Wi-F is having signal problems. A bad Wi-Fi connection can seem like an Internet connection problem, especially since it can affect all the devices in your home.

  • The Wi-Fi signal in your home could be blocked so try moving the router to a different location, in the open and out of the way of other electrical devices.
  • If you have a large home and want good coverage everywhere consider getting a mesh Wi-Fi system which provides multiple base stations you can place around your home and in your garden.

Is your connection saturated?

If your internet connection is shared by many devices, other devices on your network could be saturating your internet connection, slowing things down for everyone else.

  • For example, if two people are streaming Netflix and one person is trying to download a data heavy file, everyone’s connection will slow down.

If this is a frequent problem, you may have to upgrade your internet package.

Call your ISP

If you’ve run through these troubleshooting steps and can’t fix the problem, there’s a good chance the problem doesn’t lay with you.
It may be your ISP’s issue, for instance, an equipment/network problem. In this case, you should call your ISP and report the problem.

Article written by Steve Bell.

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