Why Is My Internet So Slow? Causes & Solutions
- Mar 2, 2020
- By Fusion Marketing
If you’ve ever tried to download a file or access a website using a slow internet connection, you know all too well just how annoying it can be.
Most people experience slow internet either at home or when using public hotspots, but the good news is, there are steps you can take to improve or solve the issue. In fact, sometimes all you need is a few simple tweaks, and you’ll be good to go.
So, if you’ve found yourself asking why is my internet so slow, you’re at the right place - we’ll define what constitutes a slow and fast connection, go through some of the common reasons why internet is slow, as well as ways to speed it up.
When Talking About Internet Speeds, What is “Fast” and What is “Slow”?
Before we can answer the question “why is my internet slow,” we must first establish what “slow” or “fast” internet connections mean by today’s standards.
As you can imagine, the average expected speed of an internet connection is determined by numerous factors such as the country that you reside in, your service provider, and the plan you choose.
In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established that an internet speed of 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads is considered broadband internet, which is a commonly accepted baseline for “fast” internet.
So, anything below these speeds is going to be considered on the slower side, although you may get acceptable performance from non-broadband plans as well.
On the upper side, you can find many plans that exceed the broadband threshold - some plans offer as much as 1–2 Gbps downloads - providing speeds tens of times higher than basic broadband internet.
Reasons Your Internet Might Be Slow
So, why is the internet so slow?
There are many reasons why an internet connection might be slow, but you might need to check a few different possibilities before you can pinpoint the issue.
Sometimes, there are objective factors behind a slow connection - if you’re browsing during busy hours, you may have a reduced connection because of other users. In other cases, your own devices might be at fault. Smart TVs, smartphones, and various apps use the internet in the background, which could cause slower speeds.
Another common reason for might be an incorrect setup of the router and its settings.
Occasionally the router simply needs a restart, an update to its software, or maybe a replacement with a more powerful or newer model. The routers that were fine ten years ago struggle to provide good speeds today, so a simple switch to a modern router could be all you need.
If you haven’t changed your internet provider and plan in a while, it might be that you’re still using outdated technology such as DSL, which significantly limits the speeds that you can achieve. And if you’re asking, “Why is my internet so slow right now,” your provider might be at fault. Some providers cap how much data one user can transfer, and then throttle the bandwidth after the cap is reached.
In some instances, the reason behind a slow connection is accessibility. If you live in a large home and have the router placed far away from where you currently are, you may be too far to enjoy fast speeds.
What Factors Are Affecting the Speed of Your Internet?
Numerous factors can influence the speed of your connection and be the answer to the question of why is the internet so slow today.
As mentioned previously, the hardware that you have available plays a significant role in your internet speed. Your router might be old, but if your internet is slower in general, you could achieve a boost in speed by switching to a direct Ethernet connection.
If you live in a large house, you might need to set up multiple routers to achieve excellent speeds in all rooms and floors. Alternatively, you could invest in a more powerful router that has broader coverage and a stronger signal across walls.
Sometimes, your internet connection might be slowed down by viruses and malware running in the background of your devices, so make sure to maintain an up-to-date antivirus and run regular scans. Finally, even if your computer is clean, you could be slowing down your connection yourself by keeping background apps running when you don’t use them.
How to Speed Up Your Internet Without Switching Your Provider
If you’ve noticed that the internet has been running slow for a few days, it might mean that your router isn’t functioning correctly and requires a reset. Allowing it to reconfigure and reconnect to your ISP can make all the difference, which is this task is one of the first things technical support representatives recommend.
When dealing with an older router, you will need to replace it eventually, but if you need fast internet right now, you could just plug in the Ethernet cable and tap into the ISP’s connection directly.
Don’t forget to perform regular scans of your computer for viruses and malware - you might discover that you have malicious software running in the background that is using up your resources.
Finally, go through the list of apps that you’re currently running and close any unused tabs, as that can sometimes be all it takes to get your internet back to running smoothly.
How to Know When It’s Time to Make a Change to Fix the Internet Speed
If you’ve tried all the fixes listed above and are still wondering, “why is my internet so slow on my phone or computer,” it might be time to consider that you need to look for a new provider or at least renegotiate your plan.
A provider that was the right choice just a few years ago may fall behind the competition or fail to update their technology.
The good news is that in most locations across the U.S., there’s a wide selection of providers in all price points and coverage plans. And you might find that your own provider has other faster, more reliable options could renegotiate your plan.
If you do end up making the switch, consider opting for fiber optic cable internet, wireless broadband or a similar technology, as that will give you the best chance of receiving a fast and reliable service and help you avoid having to switch plans again in the near future.
The Fusion Difference
Having a slow internet connection can be very frustrating, but luckily, there’s almost always a solution.
If you remain unsure of how to solve your problem after reading this article and are still wondering “why is my internet so slow at work,” it might be time to consult with professionals. At Fusion, we have years of experience of providing business internet solutions and can help you find the best option for your organization.
To learn more about how we can help, call us at 866.300.0749 to speak with one of our representatives.