“Why is my Internet slow?” Is that a question you often find yourself asking? Regardless of which Internet Service Provider (ISP) and plan that you have chosen, you may still be unhappy with your Internet download speeds.
There are many reasons why your Internet connection may not be as fast as you like, and a customer’s specific ISP isn’t always to blame for sub-par speeds. Other factors that can influence your Internet speed include your computer’s specific configuration settings, the specific hardware that you use for your Internet connection, or even third-party applications, such as antivirus software or actual computer viruses and other malware.
Why is My Internet Slow?
One of the first steps in determining if you have a slow Internet connection is to perform an Internet speed test to determine just how fast your download and upload speeds actually are.
Most ISPs advertise a range of upload and download speeds for various plans and bundles. You can also use an Internet speedometer to keep track of your Internet speeds.
Comparing ISP Providers and Internet Plan Speeds
Once you know your actual Internet speed, you will want to check with your ISP to make certain that you have not misunderstood the Internet speeds for your specific plan.
This is also a good time to check with your ISP about any potential bundles and other special deals that they may be offering on pricing and Internet speeds, so that you can make certain that you are getting the best deal for your rate of Internet speed and price.
You can always use Digital Landing’s comparison tool to compare prices and features between the various ISPs and their plans.
When comparing providers and plans, it’s important to note that while most providers offer some form of High Speed Internet, the way in which this is delivered varies. It can be accomplished via a Broadband connection by traditional Cable TV providers, over traditional telephone lines via DSL, and most recently by transmission over Fiber Optic Cable (FiOS). Each of these Internet connection types has several pros and cons associated with it.
For example, both Broadband and DSL can be affected by weather events such as heavy rain and snow that can cause power lines to go down and for the actual transmission lines to experience service outages. DSL Internet speeds are affected by the distance between the office where the signal originates and the end user.
Connections using FiOS do not experience any decrease in speed due to distance, weather events such as heavy rain or snow, or the number of users online at the same time, but they are susceptible to interference from other events, such as seismic activity that might cause the underground cables to bend as well as being available only in limited areas.
Troubleshooting Slow Internet Speeds
After you perform the Internet speed test, and you find out that your Internet speed still isn’t meeting the range that your ISP has confirmed should be available, you will want to continue to speak with your ISP’s technical support to begin the troubleshooting process. Many times your ISP’s technical support can provide you with the best information on how to correctly configure your connection settings to receive the fastest Internet speeds from their service.
When you troubleshoot your Internet connection with your ISP’s technical support, they will often have you to check for simple, often overlooked problems, such as ensuring that the connection between your PC, and the modem or router, is not faulty. It is important to go through each troubleshooting step that the technician suggests to ensure that you have the proper settings and hardware connections for your computer.
Additional Issues that Affect Internet Speeds
So everything is configured correctly, and you have everything connected properly, but you find yourself still wondering, “Why is my internet slow?” The issue may be the result of software that has been installed on your computer, either with or without your knowledge.
One thing to consider if your Internet speed has only recently slowed down is that your antivirus software may be blocking your browser or other programs from accessing the Internet. Your computer may also be “clogged up” from too many tracking cookies, also known as Spyware, or you may have picked up actual malware, such as a computer virus, worm or “trojan horse” that is eating up your virtual memory and slowing down your Internet speeds.
Keeping your antivirus and anti-spyware software up-to-date and performing a comprehensive scan can help with these issues. Most antivirus software will automatically clear the cache of cookies and temporary Internet files when a scan is performed, and this is often the only way to locate, identify and either quarantine or remove any malware that may have become installed on your computer. Many antivirus software companies also offer additional products as part of their service bundle that can speed up an Internet connection, such as a web accelerator.
Having a better understanding of available Internet connections, troubleshooting your Internet connection with your ISP, and installing, updating and frequently using antivirus and anti-spyware software, in conjunction with using a web accelerator, is often all that anyone needs to reach the Internet speeds they want and need.
Photo Credit: Herr Olsen