Is there anything more frustrating than a slow Internet connection? A website takes forever to open, a Netflix episode starts buffering every 3 seconds and your download just don’t seem to be moving at all!
It is interesting how much a slow internet connection can make us feel angry, completely forgetting the fact that not too long ago, dial-up Internet was a thing and we were so amazed just being able to even go on the World Wide Web!
When an Internet connection is slow, the initial thought is always that it is the provider’s fault. Truth be told, that might just be the case, but if your Internet speed is constantly on the slow side, maybe your provider isn’t the one to blame.
Start With Testing Your Internet Speed
Knowing what your initial Internet speed is the place to start before trying to improve it. In that way, you will know if all the improvements you are about to do are going to make a difference in the end.
Secure Your Connection
Even though service providers most of the time make sure your connection is password protected when setting it up, it is still worth checking if you are not sure.
If your Wi-Fi network is open, anyone can connect and use it (and abuse it!) which can cause your internet speed to drop.
To check if your connection is password protected, the easiest thing you can do is try to connect a new device. If you can connect to the network freely, that means that it is time to set up a password.
To set up a password, type in your IP address in your browser. The IP address can be found on the router.
The admin username and password should also be visible on the router but if they are not you will need to contact your service provider. Once you are able to log in you need to set up a password and secure your network.
Check the Location of Your Router
A common mistake a lot of people make is placing the router somewhere where people won’t trip over it – under a piece of furniture, in a cupboard or somewhere where it is not visible. The thing is, Wi-Fi signal can be weakened due to obstructions such as doors and walls.
Ideally, you want to position your router somewhere high and somewhere central at the same time. Placing it on the top of your bookshelf in the living room is a good idea since the signal will spread evenly even if your home has more the one floors.
Alternatively, you can get a smart router. One such router adjusts for interference automatically, being able to give you the best signal you can get for your connection.
Clean Up Your Devices
You might be using the internet more than you realize, even when you are not using your devices.
Automatic updates and programs that run in the background could be draining your internet without you even knowing!
The biggest consumer of your Internet in a “sneaky” way is your computer(s) and that’s where you need to start your spring cleaning. Open up the task manager and take a look at all of the programs operating in the background that might be using your Internet connection. If you see something that you don’t want to see there, make sure you disable the program or ultimately delete it if you are not using it. Careful not to delete anything important system applications!
Do the same with the phones that are connected to your network. Mobile devices constantly use the Internet for app updates, so they might be a part of the problem.
Test Your Connection With a Different Router
How long ago did you get your router? If it is over 5 years, it might be time for a new one. Even if your router is perfectly fine, it might be outdated and not have the ability to transmit the Internet signal at its best.
If you are not sure if your router is the problem, before buying a new one ask someone to borrow you their router for a few minutes. That’s as long it takes to test it. After you connect the new router, do an Internet speed test on one of the devices. If the results are similar to your old router, then you can eliminate that as a cause for a slow connection.
However, if you see a notable difference in the readings, it is time for a trip to the tech shop and buying a new router.
Connect your Computer Directly to the Router
Of course, using Wi-Fi is the most convenient way of using the Internet since there is no need to drag cables around and get tangled in them.
But to test where the problem is, you need to directly connect your computer or laptop to your modem using a VLAN cable. Test the internet speed after connecting and if there is a great improvement, you can’t really blame your provider – blame your router!
Test Your Internet Speed Again
So you have done all the adjustments and possible fixes. Did they work? The best way of finding that out is testing your internet speed once again and comparing it to what it was before you tried to fix it.
Change Your Provider
If everything else fails, then you can really blame your Internet provider. Check out your contract with them and see what was the agreed Internet speed. If it is below what you are paying for, you have legal grounds to terminate the contract and go to another provider.
The year is 2019 and there shouldn’t be a thing like a slow Internet connection. The reasons for such an occurrence may lie with how you have set things up yourself. But if you determine that it really isn’t you, go back to your Internet provider and request to get what you are paying for!