There is nothing that will stop a productive day at work in its tracks faster than a slow internet connection. When you are met with a never-ending “loading” screen, the temptation to get frustrated and swear off all technology forever is too real. But, there is no reason to panic; we’ve put together some of the most common causes of slow internet at home and at work, and what you can do to fix them.
It is important to consider the type of internet that you are using since they are not all created equal. Both DSL and cable modems are common home networking technologies, but is one option faster than the other? Generally, cable modems will run a bit faster than DSL. According to Lifewire, cable technology currently supports 300 Mbps of bandwidth, whereas most forms of DSL reach speeds of only up to 100 Mbps.
For office use, Hardwired internet will always be faster than wireless internet. An important detail to keep in mind when evaluating a new office space. It’s almost as important as being close to quality lunch spots!
Outdated wiring can be a common cause of slow internet speeds. Old or damaged wiring can be a common connection problem. Check the wiring for your router or firewall for cracks, crimps or frayed sections. Out with the old, in with the new!
How many people are accessing the internet at your home or office during one time? Multiple devices browsing or streaming at once will reduce speeds. Data is delivered in a rotating manner to any connected devices. The more devices, the longer it takes the router to arrive back at the first.
This is a common problem for home users when they decide to “cut the cord” and exclusively use streaming services for their media viewing. Just think, if you are steaming on your Smart TV, and have other family members or kids streaming on their iPads or Smartphones, you can expect your internet to be working overtime!
If this sounds like you, we recommend increasing your bandwidth for the best viewing experience.
We highly recommend this if you are like most of the Braver staff and have eagerly been anticipating the return of Game of Thrones and can’t bear to miss a second due to a slow connection!
Firewalls come in lots of different models and levels and are designed differently for home and office uses. Each firewall is designed to handle a certain speed. It is important to note that a firewall cannot route web traffic faster than the internet connection. If your internet is 100Mbps and your firewall can only handle 50Mbps, you have a bottleneck!
We recommend buying a firewall that you can to grow with for your home or business. That way, adding more users and devices will be a smoother process.
Is your wireless internet password protected? If not, you may have more people using it that you think. We recommend setting a secure password for your Wi-Fi to prevent just anyone from logging on. Having a password set up for your internet will also increase the overall security of your data and your network.
And FYI: If you are thinking of using an easy to remember a password like “Password123” we really don’t recommend it. Learn more about choosing a secure password here.
Technology is always changing, and one of the most common culprits of a slow connection is outdated hardware. The router provided by your ISP could be outdated, or your older PC/laptop could be the cause.
Your access points could be older technology or just overworked. Depending on the number of users at your home or business, you just may not have enough.
What You Can Do
Once you have a hunch what is causing your reduced internet speeds, there are a few things you can do to fix them.
We recommend running a speed test first to get a better read on your true internet speed. We prefer to use the ISP’s speed test when and if possible. Verizon, Comcast, Charter, and Cox all have their own, and it’s as close to accurate as possible.
Speedtest.net is also a public/free option that can provide an accurate reading.
For more complex issues, contact your ISP for home internet questions or your IT company for business issues. At Braver Technology Solutions, we work with local ISPs and can help troubleshoot any internet issues you may be having at your business.
Please contact us to learn more about our fast internet options for your business.