Just a minute. There was a time when we would cheerfully accept that phrase and wait to get a response. But in today’s online market, seconds have now become the standard. One source reports that a 3-second online delay decreases consumer satisfaction by 16 percent. We simply won’t wait longer today. Get back up to speed with this guide to troubleshoot a slow internet connection.
There are several factors that can cause a slow internet connection. Problems can arise from one or a combination of the following:
- Type of internet access – Your connection speed depends on the type of internet service you purchase. Dial-up access is the slowest. Cable or DSL connections deliver faster speeds. And upgrading to high-speed fiber optic service can deliver the highest speed.
- Computer issues – Factors like the processing speed and memory in your device can influence speed. Newer computers tend to have more of each. In addition, spyware and viruses can contribute to low speeds.
- External issues – This factor is harder for an individual business to control. High user demand can cause traffic snarls, much like rush hour does on the freeway. And system-wide viruses can slow down speeds.
How to Troubleshoot
Troubleshooting is often a process of elimination to locate the source of the problem. Start with these three things to diagnose and fix slow internet problems
- Check the on-ramp – Your modem and router are your on-ramp to the internet, so check them first. Start by unplugging then plugging them back in. This resets (or reboots) each device. Then recheck your connection. If you can, try several computers. If it works on one but not another, the problem is likely the computer. If the issue persists on all computers, try bypassing the router by connecting your computer directly to the modem with an Ethernet cable. If that corrects the problem, the issue may be with your router or its settings. Check with your internet service provider to be sure you’re using the most compatible settings.
- Clear the pathway – Your computer depends on being able to receive wireless signals from your router. Generally, the closer your device is to the router, the stronger the signal. That’s because there’s nothing blocking the signal, like walls or electrical equipment. So clear the pathway by repositioning your router and computer closer together. Here are some guidelines to find the optimal location for a wireless router.
- Shutout the hogs – If all the equipment is working, it might be a program working in the background of your computer that’s hogging all the space (or “bandwidth”). For example, your computer might be installing an update, backing up files or using a file-sharing app like Dropbox. Apps that automatically play videos can also slow things down. While these may be beneficial to your operations, you can improve speed by shutting them down or scheduling them to run during non-peak times, like overnight.
There’s also another category of hogs—malware. This malicious software is downloaded without your knowledge and lets others gain access to your computer. It’s important to keep your antivirus software up to date to catch and remove it from your system.
If you still experience slow speeds, contact your internet service provider. Check their website for troubleshooting tips or talk to a customer representative. Providers monitor the performance of a network and can often resolve problems over the phone, or they can send someone out to your business, if needed.
Don’t let slow internet speeds put you at a competitive disadvantage. Try these troubleshooting tips to diagnose and fix the problem so you can deliver the fast service customers have come to expect.