Internet driving you crazy? Before you switch internet providers, try these troubleshooting tips to speed up your internet connection
Are you at the mercy of a slow internet connection?
It can be frustrating to have an internet connection that’s painfully slow. It can test your patience and impact your productivity.
In the UK, we rank 31st in the world for internet speed and we rank among the lowest in Europe. It’s improving, but it’s still not as fast as other countries.
Despite the infrastructure that’s already a little behind the times, there are some things you can do to improve a slow internet connection.
Read on for 10 tips to troubleshoot your internet connection.
A Brief Primer on How the Internet Works
When you’re dealing with a slow internet connection, you have to understand how the connection works. It’s not a matter of your Internet provider or your computer are super slow.
Let’s say you want to send an email to someone. When you send an email, the data is broken into packets. Each packet is at most 1500 kilobytes.
The packets then move through your wireless router, to your modem, then on to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This gives you access to the Internet network.
From there, the packets move to a long-haul provider that will find the fastest route through the many networks that create the internet.
The data are then sent to the recipient’s internet service provider, through their modem and wireless router. The packets are then put back together on their computer.
If you really think about how far these packets have to travel, it’s mind-blowing that information can travel so quickly.
Data travels in a similar fashion across websites as well.
10 Troubleshooting Tips for a Slow Internet Connection
Since there are so many steps that create an internet connection, how can you even begin to troubleshoot a slow internet connection?
1. Check Your Connection on Different Devices
As you can see from the example above, there are at least a dozen cases of a slow internet connection. You want to start troubleshooting by narrowing down the problem.
You’ll want to check multiple websites on multiple devices. If you have a mobile device nearby, take that off of WiFi and try to access the same websites. If that runs fine, then you have to narrow down your connection between you and your ISP.
2. Run a Speed Test
Run a speed test to see how slow your internet connection is. SpeedTest.net is a great place to start. You’ll get a report of your upload speed and download speed.
You’ll want to compare that to the upload and download speeds your provider says you should have in your contract.
3. Reset All Connections
Resetting your internet connections can help solve the problem. First turn off your computer. Then turn off your wireless router and your modem.
Wait a minute or so and then turn on the modem, then the router, then restart your computer. You might find that the modem and router are the same device. The modem is what connects to your wall, and the router connects to the modem.
4. Connect Directly to the Router
If you still have a slow internet connection after rebooting your devices, try connecting directly to the router.
This will help you determine if there’s something wrong with the wireless connection or if there’s a problem between the modem and the ISP. While your device is connected directly to the router, run another speed test and see if there’s a difference in your connection speed.
5. Check for Coaxial Cable Splitters
You’ll also want to check your connection between the wall and your modem. You may be using a cable splitter, which can split the signal between your modem and your television cable box.
The splitter can dilute the internet signal and slow down your internet connection. If you see this, then you’re going to want to remove the splitter temporarily and connect your modem directly to the wall.
6. Turn Off Apps in the Background
The next place to troubleshoot is with your computer. Sometimes, large programs can work in the background and take up precious memory, which can slow your computer down.
Make sure these programs aren’t running in the background as they can also slow your computer down.
7. Test a New DNS Server
Trying a new DNS server can solve a slow internet connection. DNS is basically a phone number for a website or internet service provider.
While the browser reads google.com or www.geeks-on-wheels.com, DNS would show as a numerical value, such as 255.0.255.0.
You can change the DNS in the Network and Sharing centre on your Windows computer. You can change it to Google’s public DNS to see if there’s a noticeable difference in speed.
8. Check Your Computer
Your computer may be the issue. Do you find that your computer is generally slow when a lot of programs are open?
Does it have to stop and ‘think’ more often than it should?
That could be an indication that your computer could be the cause of the slow internet connection. In that case, the next step will help speed things up.
9. Upgrade Computer Memory
If everything your computer does is slow, then it might be time for a memory upgrade. This will enable your computer to handle larger programs and let you have several programs open at once.
10. Call in the Experts
If all else fails, you’ll need to call in the experts. First, start with your ISP and let them know what the issue is and what you’ve already done to correct it.
They may send someone out to look at your lines or they may tell you that you’re out of luck.
You can also call our Geek Experts to help you troubleshoot and fix the slow connection.
Fix Your Slow Internet Connection
A slow internet connection can be frustrating, and it can kill your productivity. While there are some things you can do to troubleshoot the connection, there are ways to speed up your connection.
Do you need help figuring out your internet connection? We’re here to help. Our Geek Experts will go to you and we have same day appointments.
You don’t have to tolerate a slow connection anymore. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.