There are many reasons your Internet connection might appear slow. It could be a problem with your modem or router, Wi-Fi signal, signal strength on your cable line, devices on your network saturating your bandwidth, or even a slow DNS server. These troubleshooting steps will help you pin down the cause.
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Narrow Down the Problem With Multiple Websites and Devices
If your speed test confirms your internet is slow, you should try connecting to multiple websites and using multiple devices in your home if your Internet connection is slow. If the slowness is just with one website, it’s probably that website’s problem—not your internet’s. There’s not really anything you can do about this except wait for the people in charge of the website to fix it.
Narrowing down where the problem lies will help you fix it. Does the slowness just happen on one computer, or all your devices? If it’s just one computer, you know the solution probably lies there. You may just have to reboot the computer, or you may need to perform a malware scan with your preferred antivirus to check that everything is fine. If the slowness happens on multiple devices—multiple computers, for example, or your computer and your phone—then it’s almost certainly a network problem, and you’ll have to go to your router.
Check Your Speed and Compare It to Your Plan
Before going through a bunch of troubleshooting on your end, it’s worth running a speed test using a website like Speedtest.net to see how well it’s actually performing. Be sure to stop any downloads, uploads, Netflix streaming, or other heavy internet activity before running the test to ensure as little interference with the results as possible.
Compare the measured speed results against the expected speed of the Internet connection you’re paying for. If you don’t know this, there’s a good chance you can find it on the bill for your Internet connection or your Internet service provider’s website.
There are some caveats here. Speed tests may sometimes appear rather high, as some Internet service providers may prioritize them and they may have servers very close to you. If your connection speed appears a bit low, that can be normal—you generally pay for “up to” a certain speed and you don’t always get the exact speed you pay for. Speeds may also be slower at busier times of the day, when everyone in your neighborhood is using the Internet connection, than at off hours when many people are sleeping or at work.
Of course, it could also just be that you pay for a very slow internet plan—in which case you’ll need to call your internet provider and pay more to upgrade your service!
However, if you’re paying for a certain connection speed and consistently receive speed test results that are well below that, it’s time to move to the troubleshooting steps below.
Reboot Your Modem and Router
Like computers, modems and routers sometimes get stuck in a bad, slow, overloaded state. This problem can…
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