Why is my internet so slow and how can I fix it?

Software

While there can be numerous factors causing an internet slow-down, there are plenty of fixes too. Here we’re going to look at some of the most common causes of slow internet for ADSL, cableand wireless users – and what you can do to fix each problem.

Equipment

The first thing to check is your equipment. Old or faulty equipment can cause significant slow-downs, so check your devices, your router, your modem and your wiring. Doing this can help to single out where the problem may lie. For example, if you are only receiving slow internet speeds on your laptop and not on your tablet, that points to the laptop being the problem.

Fix: If you can single out a problem area, find out what you can do to fix it. With equipment issues, you may need to replace or upgrade the equipment, or get it repaired.

Spyware & Viruses

If you have spyware or viruses on your devices, you will experience noticeably slower internet speeds.

Fix: Run anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your device, or get it checked over by a professional.

Bandwidth Hogs

If you have certain internet applications running, you may notice your internet connection slowing down significantly. That includes data-heavy online gaming, video conferencing, Skype and streaming. Slow-downs can also be caused by browser add-ons.

Fix: Close down data-heavy applications, and get rid of add-ons you don’t need.

 

ADSL

If you are connecting via ADSL (you can check out iiNet for your ADSL connection), the biggest factor that could affect your internet speed is the distance between you and the exchange. The further you are from the exchange, the slower the speeds you will receive.

Fix: Unless you are willing to move closer to the exchange, try calling your ISP to see what they could suggest.

Cable

If you are connecting via cable, you may notice significant slow-downs during peak periods. Cable users share bandwidth with their neighbours. If your neighbours are accessing data-heavy applications, you will probably notice your internet slowing down.

Fix: If your ISP cannot help with this problem, you may want to consider switching to ADSL or another technology.

Wireless Connections

When it comes to slow wireless connections, there can be many causes. First check your equipment. A wireless connection is like a chain – thespeeds you receive will only be as fast as the slowest link in your chain.

Next, move your router to the centre of the room, into an elevated position if possible. Remove all obstacles from around the router to allow wireless signals to move unobstructed. Walls, furniture, microwaves and cordless phones can all cause interference, and slow wireless speeds.

You may want to attach an antenna to your device and to the router, and use a repeater to boost your wireless signal. It can also be a good idea to change the wireless band you are using, as you may find that your neighbours are using the same band, and slowing your speeds down.

If you are still experiencing slow speeds, contact your ISP. You may have reached your data limit for the month, causing a slow-down, or there may be another factor that your ISP could help fix.

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