Are you too far from the router?
- You might be too far from your Wi-Fi router. It may seem silly but if you’re far from the Wi-Fi router or have many walls, floors and lots of objects between your device and the router, you’ll probably have a poor connection that can slow down your internet access. Stone, brick and concrete walls will especially interfere with your signal, as can any device giving off its own wireless signal, like a smart home device.
Maybe your router is in a bad location.
If you’ve put your Wi-Fi router in a bad location, you may get slow internet and unstable connections on all your devices. Ideally, your router will be placed somewhere central, so its signal can reach across the house or apartment. But it should also not be placed right next to other electronics or metal objects that can interfere with its signal, significantly slowing down your internet surfing.
Too many devices on the network.
If you’re not the only person using your network, you’ll be sharing bandwidth. The pipeline between your devices and the internet is limited, and if a lot of devices try to send and receive a lot of data, they’ll have to take turns. This will slow down the internet for everyone connected. For Wi-Fi networks, numerous connected devices can also lead to a slow down, as the Wi-Fi communicates with each device in turn. This is especially true with a Wi-Fi router that supports fewer bands as more devices will be sharing the same resources.
An open network.
One of the greatest sins you can commit when setting up a Wi-Fi router is to make a public network, which anyone can connect to without a password. Even adding a separate guest network could result in some of your bandwidth getting used by strangers. You could be sharing your internet connection with users who will enjoy free internet while cutting into your bandwidth. A secure Wi-Fi router can help keep your network secure, monitoring for unauthorized access, prompting you to secure the network with a strong password, and even issuing temporary guest passes, so you don’t accidentally leave the door open for unwelcome guests on the network later on. This makes your network safer and ensures your internet isn’t slowed down because a passing stranger stopped to hop onto your network and download a movie or two.
Competing Wi-Fi signals.
It’s not just your neighbors using your Wi-Fi that you have to worry about. They might have their own Wi-Fi networks that could slow your Wi-Fi. This scenario is more likely in apartment buildings, where many people are living close together. The overlapping signals coming from multiple Wi-Fi networks will interfere with one another. While newer Wi-Fi routers will support 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, many older routers still in use only support 2.4GHz, and that can lead to interfering signals, thus slowing down your internet connection. One way to potentially resolve this is to use a free Wi-Fi analyzer and see which bands are being used by nearby Wi-Fi networks. If you see nearby networks are using the same band, and that another band isn’t being used, or has some weaker networks on it, you may be able to switch the band on your router to reduce the interference with nearby networks.
Have you switched ISP’s?
It’s possible that you’ve gotten used to faster internet in one place, and you’re not getting it in another. If you’re used to a fancy cafe, office or co-working space that makes great internet a priority, you might feel like your home network is slow in comparison. This could be because you have a Wi-Fi router with limited speeds or because the internet service you’re paying for is not as fast as what you’re getting elsewhere. Some internet service providers offer connections with incredibly limited bandwidth, so if you’re paying for a 3Mbps connection, don’t be surprised if your internet isn’t zippy, especially if multiple users are sharing that connection.
Your device may not be fast enough.
Not all Wi-Fi is created equal, and an old router might be using a Wi-Fi standard that isn’t going to deliver anything close to Gigabit speeds. The devices you’re accessing the internet with also can have limited bandwidth. Check your computer, phone, or tablet and the router you’re connecting with to see what wireless protocol they use (likely to be “Wireless” or “802.11” followed by some letters)Then, understand that you’re not going to get internet any faster than the slowest link in the chain. Another aspect of your router is the number of bands it offers. Since multiple devices can try to talk to the Wi-Fi router at once, extra bands can help them all communicate quicker. Say you have six devices on your network. If all six are on the same band, all six have to wait on one another as they each take their turn communicating with the router, slowing down the internet for all of them. If you have a dual-band router, some devices may be able to connect to the other band, so you could have four devices on one band and two on the other, reducing the time each device has to wait to talk to the router.
Rush-hour traffic on the network highway.
Another reason you might be getting slow internet, is simply that there are tons of people using up the bandwidth available to your neighborhood. The area you live in doesn’t have an unlimited pipeline to the internet, and if a huge population is all on the internet at once, the congestion can slow down the internet. This probably won’t happen often, but when it does, you’re going to hate it. You’re a bit more likely to see your internet speeds slow down if your ISP is one that uses throttling on its heaviest users. Some ISPs have bandwidth caps, and if your data usage exceeds that cap, you might get throttled internet speeds for the remainder of the month as the ISP tries to ensure other users in your area don’t see reduced speeds.
Do you have background processes running?
Let’s face it, our computer and electronic devices do a lot of stuff behind the scenes that we don’t even realize its going on. Sometimes, that can be hefty downloads that cut into your Netflix streaming speeds. Devices that have automatic updates are likely culprits, such as a computer trying to keep its operating system up to date. If you’re browsing the internet while that update quietly downloads in the background, your browsing may be slower than usual. You can use the Task Manager in Windows or the Activity Monitor in Mac OS to monitor what programs are using your network and try pinpointing the source of the slowdown. If you think a different device on your network is the culprit running network-intensive background processes, a network monitoring app like Norton Core can help you spot which devices are using the most bandwidth and adjust to prioritize their bandwidth. Another possibility is a more criminal program. Malware is a threat in a lot of ways, and it has the potential to slow down your internet browsing, especially if it’s using your bandwidth to upload files from your computer. If you can’t pinpoint what’s slowing your internet down, you may want to run a malware scan, or find a router that can monitor your network usage and security.
Webpages are loading too many things.
- You might love saving yourself a few clicks here and there, but if you let sites like Facebook and Twitter automatically play GIFs and videos when you scroll past them, you’re going to tax your internet bandwidth. While fast internet with a reliable connection should be able to handle loading the occasional video or GIF, these same bites of media could make your experience much slower if you combine that with any of the other issues above. On top of this content cutting into your bandwidth, it can also use up your devices RAM. If you use up most of your RAM, your internet will definitely start to feel slow. Why? Because your whole device is going to get slowed down.
In conclusion. If your internet is slow, It could be a number of things. your router might be in a bad spot just as your cellphone can have bad signal areas i.e elevator or basement your router can be in a bad area. Maybe you have to many devices on your network. Try turning off the Wi-Fi on devices your not using. It’s best to pinpoint why your internet is slow. this list should be able to help you get the speed that your paying for.