- Reasons for your slow Internet connection
- Solutions to get you speeding along
- Learn what makes your Internet slow down
A slow Internet connection can ruin your experience of being online - and there are plenty of reasons why it could be happening.
Before diving into an extensive troubleshooting session or considering a costly technician appointment, we suggest going through this checklist to save yourself unnecessary hassle.
Why is my Internet so slow?
Numerous factors might contribute to the slowing down of your Internet speed. It could be your location, Internet congestion, or it could be something like hardware issues. Let’s take a look at the possible reasons behind your Internet slowdown:
Your modem needs a reboot
The lights on the back of your modem are wrong - so what do you do?
The most effective solution to most Internet problems is to restart your modem. It’s the ‘turn it off and on’ solution and it often works. The steps are simple:
- Disconnect the power cable from the modem, router, or gateway.
- Allow a 60-second pause.
- Reconnect the power cable to the equipment.
- Wait for the equipment to restart (this may take up to 20 minutes).
This is the same process for any equipment that isn’t functioning the way that it should and it should be your first step.
Your hardware is obstructed
Your hardware - or even the position of your equipment - can be a cause of your slow Internet connection.
If you regularly examine your Internet-connected hardware for proper positioning and connections, you can be certain it’s not a problem in the house.
Check the modem's wiring and connections, and position the router in the centre of your house for optimal coverage, avoiding obstructions like walls.
Your devices are outdated
Even with a fast Internet connection, outdated devices may lead to connectivity issues and a slow down or upload speed. If you’re running older models of smartphones, tablets or computers in your house, this could be the reason the connection is so slow.
You’re dealing with high latency
Latency is the time it takes for data to travel between your device and its destination. High latency causes delays, especially in activities like online gaming or video calls.
Unfortunately, reducing high latency is challenging, as it depends on factors beyond your control, like distance from servers and network congestion.
The type of Internet connection also matters; for instance, satellite Internet has higher latency due to the longer travel distance of data. If you want a better connection with lower latency, check out the fastest ISPs Compare Broadband can offer.
There’s congestion in the network
Think of the Internet as a vast superhighway, and users are like cars navigating it. Now, picture the evening rush, with everyone driving their cars on the superhighway simultaneously.
What do you anticipate? Traffic. Yes, you got it right - the Internet also deals with traffic. What happens during Internet congestion?
When multiple users attempt to access data over the same Internet route or bandwidth simultaneously, you get congestion. Often, we experience Internet traffic jams, especially in the evening when more people are online.
Whether you're searching for a new Internet provider or already have one, enquire about the "typical evening speed" of its promotional offer. Understanding the evening speed provides insight into how well its Internet service performs during peak hours. To fix this, do an Internet speed test to see what’s happening while you’re trying to get connected.
Your Internet plan isn’t right for your needs
When considering Internet service, it's logical to expect better quality with a higher cost. If you're in search of a home Internet plan, factor in the provider's location, plan costs and speeds.
For a smart home with HD video streaming and remote work, a plan exceeding 50 Mbps is preferable for a stable and fast connection. Cheaper plans often mean slower and more limited service. There are diverse plans available, each with features tailored to customer needs.
Find a plan that aligns with your anticipated data usage and online activities. Compare Broadband offers a variety of broadband plans to suit your preferences.
Internet service provider issues
If you’ve checked everything else and you’re still grappling with a sluggish connection, it's advisable to reach out to your Internet service provider.
Before making the call, run an Internet speed test to verify that the provided connection speed is indeed below what you're paying for.
Quick ways to speed up a slow Internet connection
Now you know all the reasons your Internet connection may have slowed down, let’s take a look at some of the other tips you could use to speed it up. We’ve given you some tips already but here are the rest:
Run some speed tests
Part A: Test the modem first
Check your modem's speed by connecting a computer directly to it via Ethernet. This initial test should match your plan's advertised speeds; if not, monitor it over days and times. If issues persist, contact your provider to address the discrepancy.
Part B: Test the router
If your modem is fine, check your router next. Reconnect it to the modem and run speed tests on wireless and wired devices. If there's a significant gap between modem and router speeds, your router or the connecting Ethernet cable may be causing slowdowns.
Note that wireless devices have varying speeds due to hardware differences. For instance, a budget Samsung phone will have slower Wi-Fi than a high-end wireless card in your desktop.
Check if your house has Wi-Fi ‘dead zones’
Assuming your router is already well-placed as mentioned earlier, you can test Wi-Fi strength across different areas using any device.
Identify dead zones where the signal drops and consider relocating your router or investing in a Wi-Fi signal booster.
Check your devices
To avoid a slowdown in your equipment, you can keep computers and equipment operating systems updated. Doing so regularly will maximise Internet speed and stability and stop you from getting frustrated if it all slows down mid-use.
By checking whether they need to be updated, you can confirm whether it’s outdated or just needs a reboot.
Upgrade your plan
If you find that your Internet slows down during data-intensive activities such as downloads or when multiple users are online in your household, it may be time for an upgrade.
Whether more people live with you now, or you’re transitioning to working from home, or you’re using your connection more than you did before, an upgrade is never a bad idea.
Compare Broadband offers a comprehensive list of trustworthy service providers in Australia to help you find the best broadband plan tailored to your needs. If persistent issues persist despite your complaints, exploring alternatives with different Internet service providers may be worth considering.