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January 17, 2020 at 5:01 pm #84165Participant@tobi
Internet connection speeds are never set in stone. A bad WiFi signal, a slow DNS server and wireless interference are just a few of the possible reasons you might be experiencing this problem. Dealing with these issues does not have to seem like a daunting task and many of them can be handled on your own. Today, we will share some appropriate steps to take in troubleshooting and handling a slow internet connection on your own before calling for tech support.
1. Check the Settings of your Router to Speed Up your Connection
Routers are essential to any WiFi network connection. But, they are still devices that need to be set up appropriately before they can work as intended. Sometimes, this is done the wrong way and it leads to slower connection speeds. An example is the MTU of your router which is responsible for the size of the data units transferred over a digital communications network. It can neither be too small nor larger than the maximum TCP packet size. If it isn’t configured well, you can face problems with your router’s performance.
Make sure you don’t ignore the recommendations from your ISP and router manufacturer when configuring your router. If so, you will likely face some issues because ISPs and manufacturers know the limits of their products.
If you ever make any changes to your router’s configurations, keep it on record so that you can revert it in the future when necessary.
2. Avoid any Signal Interferences that will Slow your Internet Speed
Every wireless internet connection will provide poor performance if there is an interference with the signal. WiFi constantly involves sending messages to overcome any overlap. Therefore, if your computer is constantly resending messages due to interference, it ends up using more bandwidth than necessary to get past the signal overlap.
Sometimes, household appliances and wireless networks close to you from your neighbors or a coffee shop nearby can cause interference with your computer. You have to strategically position your router away from these interference spots and change the channel number of your WiFi. A rule of thumb is to always make sure your device is close to your router for a smoother and faster connection.
Walls might interfere with WiFi signals but large objects like a washing machine will likely cause more interference. This applies even if your device is five feet away from the router. So, be careful where you place your router.
Multiple devices like printers and other WiFi networks will make interference worse. To combat this, keep a strong signal between your device and router.
3. Watch out for Malware like Worms
On the internet, worms are malware programs that are designed to spread out between computers on a network. Once a computer is affected by a worm, it might randomly generate network traffic without any trigger or prompt. This spontaneous traffic will cause your connection to slow down on your computer.
To deal with worms, you have to keep your antivirus updated and schedule regular scans to get rid of the malware on your device.
4. Disable Background Programs that require a lot of Bandwidth
Background processes can be a huge pain because of the unpredictability of their bandwidth consumption. They are usually hidden behind apps or in the system tray to quietly use your network resources. Although they sound like worms, they are serving a purpose that helps your computer. It’s okay to disable them, but don’t uninstall them.
Many programs that require video will use a lot of bandwidth which affects other apps running on your PC. Video Games are an example of this. If you are running such an application, its best to close it. Also, check for programs that might be running in the background while troubleshooting your slow network.
Video games and their launch software usually run patches without your permission. When your connection speed is slow and every video game is closed, check the launcher and pause the patches. In the settings of the launcher, you’ll find the option to disable auto-downloads.
5. Check if your Router and Networking Equipment are working
Routers are a form of hardware which makes them highly susceptible to malfunctions that are from your settings, tripping on wires and even rodents. Sometimes technical glitches might occur that will affect the performance of your router or modem. This is usually unnoticeable when the connection still exists.
To troubleshoot this, rearrange and reorganize your internet gear and try to experiment with different configurations. You should try to systematically bypass the router and swap cables, test with different devices to fish out the component that is slowing down the system. Once you’ve found the problem, try to decide if it can be repaired or upgraded.
6. Run a Speed Test
Run speed tests occasionally to know the quality of your internet connection. Speed tests will show you the download and upload speeds for your network. They also reveal if your computer’s outbound connection is interfered with. If you have a decent connection according to the speed test, but your connection is still slow, the problem might be coming from your computer. Some common causes are active download sessions or maximized disk and memory usage.
When your computer is running above 80 percent utilization for its system memory, CPU utilization, or disk inputs, and outputs, you might end up struggling to have optimal performance. These slow network speeds are problematic because of the load on your computer.
Check the resource utilization of your computer by opening the Task Manager in Windows 10, click on Performance and you’ll see various charts. On Linux, the top command will show your current system information. For Mac users, open the Activity Monitor.
7. Contact your Internet Service Provider
As a last resort, you should contact your ISP to find out what the problem is. If anyone has a solid answer, your ISP will. Sometimes, ISPs face some technical difficulties and they might change their network configuration. This can cause your connection to run slower than usual. Some ISPs install filters that will lower your network performance. A popular reason for these filters is due to your ISP’s predicted network activity for your home connection.
If you suspect your ISP for a slow connection, contact them as it is within your rights as a client.
Internet connections usually have trade-offs depending on the type. DSL connections are slow during peak hours like evenings or weekends. This is because many homes in your vicinity might be using the same network connection access point in the neighborhood.
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