Why is my internet so slow? [Common Reasons and How to Fix It]

Since the onset of the social distancing crisis, working from home has rapidly become entrenched in the current workforce making almost everything run on the internet from streaming shows on Disney plus to remote schooling and board meetings.

Therefore a reliable internet connection is more needed than ever. However, steady internet is still a nightmare, especially where there are multiple occupants in the same property connected to a single bandwidth channel.

Connectivity drops may stem from a host of issues arising from the mass fight for capacity where limited bandwidth is unable to sustain huge traffic. The following troubleshooting ultimate guide will help you to pin down why your internet connection is so slow and suggest ways to speed up your internet connection.

Why is my internet so slow- Common Reasons

Hardware Limitations

If you are subscribed to super-fast internet connectivity that delivers high speeds of 1000 Mbps, it is impossible to experience such terrific speeds if you have an outdated primary Wi-Fi router. Similarly, you might have an up-to-date 1 Gbps wireless router, but if it is connected to a regular older gaming console or a cheaper laptop device you are going to witness slow internet transfer speed.

Bandwidth-hogging Applications

File-syncing apps like Google drive might be hogging your bandwidth in the background slowing down your internet connection.  Similarly, if you are used to downloading files with Bit Torrent, your systematic web browsing experience might become slower.

Slow DNS server

The computer uses DNS to translate an address typed on the browser into a computer-friendly IP address. Occasionally, the DNS servers might have snags or break down entirely. Luckily, there are plenty of free and faster options like Google DNS. Although you may not notice, a good DNS will speed up your regular webpage loading time with milliseconds.

Low-quality internet plan

Sometimes, your internet connection may be slow due to your subscription to low-quality internet. Either head on to your ISP website or call their customer services to find out the plan you are paying for. Then, Log on to fast.com or another alternative site and run a speed test. If the results will be close to your subscription plan, then your network is perfect and but the internet plan you are paying for is a bit crappy. Therefore, the best solution to speed up your internet is to upgrade.

Weak Wi-Fi signal

Your internet and router might be working perfectly fine, but your Wi-Fi signal is weak. This can cause a snag with more latency in the browsing and streaming experience. Even if you have the fastest internet plan, your connectivity can’t get any better if your router is unable to deliver the signal to your device. Similarly, if you mistakenly altered the configuration settings, your internet speeds might be affected.

How to fix slow internet

Try fixing your hardware

Before you think about implicating your internet service provider, give your hardware a thorough fix. For example, turn your router and modem on and off to quickly reset them and see if something improves. Examine the other devices in your house and find out if their internet connection is also is slow. If the issue is only experienced in one computer, the problem is with that specific computer and not your modem or router.

Use data-saving browsers

If your hardware is in good working condition, check whether it is your browser hogging down the internet connection. Use data-saving-minded browsers like Opera Mini and turn off unnecessary images and videos to save your data from slow page-loadings. 

 Install ad-blocking extensions

Installing ad-blocking extensions like Privacy Badger and AdBlock Plus will help to block bandwidth-hogging videos and ads that may be using up your internet connection. Likewise, you can try using an entirely different privacy browser like Brave and catch up with your Netflix lineup without delays.

Replace your router

It is important to get a clean router with massive throughput potential, at least two-stream wireless. This will boost your speedier devices operating on a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network. However, if a specific gadget is underperforming by a significant intensity, examine its specs and determine whether it has reached its optimum speed. Generally, if you are using an older version 802.11n router, it is important to upgrade to the latest 802.11ac router, this will increase the speed of your internet and ensure the coverage of your entire living space.

Reposition your router

You might also need to tweak and reposition your Wi-Fi router to boost its signal. Try pulling your router from the basement and put it in a good position, either in the living room or in the office for improved signal strength.

Check your router configuration settings

Check whether your router’s configuration settings have met the manufacturer’s standard recommendations. If the set-up is okay, try to unplug your router for a while and plug it back in again, this trick also helps your device to pick up the strongest signal as you station yourself closer to the router.

Optimize your web browser

Slow internet connection troubleshooting may take a while. When you are not busy on your computer that’s the right time to optimize your web for slower connections. You can try swapping your browser’s user agent and sync a version of a mobile-optimized user website rather than a data-heavy desktop version.

Hardwire using Ethernet

It is practically proven that hardwired connections are more effective than wireless connections. You can try plugin your device directly into your router using an Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi. Although this may not be flexible as wireless, Ethernet can increase your internet speed significantly. However, if you need to get online and your Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection is compromising on your laptop, you can tether your smartphone and set a mobile data limit.

Related: Best LAN Cables for Nintendo Switch

Contact your ISP

If you have tried all the required troubleshooting remedies and your internet is still slow, it is important to contact your internet service provider and check whether the glitch is on their side.  You might even end up requesting if they can offer you a better package on your internet especially if you’ve been receiving pathetic speeds all the time. After improvement, you are more likely to receive good results.

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