Troubleshooting steps for slow internet connections


The Internet has become very important in our day to day life. Hence it has become crucial to have a stable internet connection with good speed in every household. However, internet being technology, it can malfunction and sometimes we face slow internet speed due to various reasons which hamper our work. Let us learn from this article the possible reasons for slow internet speed & know how to deal with it.

Introduction

It is always annoying when your internet gets slow in the midst of doing something and your task does not get accomplished. At such times, most of us will tend to think that their Internet service provider has some problem and try to contact them for a resolution. While this might be the quite likely reason for low internet speed, sometimes there are other factors also responsible for low internet speed rather than an ISP problem. Hence it is very important that, as customers, we check a few basic things to diagnose the drop in internet speed before we contact our ISP.

Your internet connection has several components like your PC, modem, WiFi router, cabling etc if it is a fixed line connection. For mobile internet which is wireless in nature, there is no cabling and the modem is inbuilt. Hence in an internet connection, there are several areas where things can go wrong and step-wise troubleshooting is essential. Below are the troubleshooting steps that should be followed to check your slow internet speed.

Steps to diagnose slow internet speed

  1. Try opening different websites: When you feel that your internet speed is slow while opening a website do not judge it by using a single website only. Try opening multiple websites and check if the slow speed issue persists or not. If your internet speed is slow for all the websites, then you can conclude that in general the internet speed is down. But if the internet speed is slow only for a particular website then it may be a problem with that website server alone.

  2. Check websites on different browsers: Sometimes a particular browser which you normally use in your PC to open websites may malfunction due to some errors in it or due to software problems. Hence they tend to operate slowly. A good practice when the internet speed is slow is to open the same website in a different browser and see if the speed issue is still there or not. Normally we use Google Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer on our PC so it is good to check your websites in these browsers.

  3. Check the cabling: Once you have confirmed that your internet speed is slow after checking multiple websites, next comes the cabling part. If you are using a fixed line internet at home, then please check network cable connected to the back of your modem / Wi-Fi router and see if there is any loose connection. If your internet is through a phone line, then you also need to check the telephone cable connected to your wall port for any loose connection. It is a good idea to remove the cable, clean the ports and then again fix it tightly. If you are using internet by connecting LAN cable to your PC, then you can also check for the loose connection at your PC end. If you are using the mobile internet, then as such there is no cabling and this step is not applicable.

  4. Reset your modem: Again, if your using fixed line internet connection then you can switch off your modem/WiFi router and switch it on again and see if the internet speed improves or not. Sometimes there may be a synchronization problem of the modem with the far exchange and power cycling solves the issue at times.

  5. Diagnose WiFi-related problems: If you are using internet through WiFi, then there can be a problem related to your WiFi connection which is causing the slow speed. Since WiFi is wireless it is prone to interference from neighboring WiFi networks which causes the drop in connection quality. To troubleshoot if it is a WiFi problem or not, you can connect LAN cable from your modem to the computer and try to surf. If your internet speed is good with the cable then it is definitely WiFi that is causing the problem. You can then check the WiFi settings of your WiFi router by logging into router admin webpage which generally can be opened by typing http://192.168.1.1 in your web browser. Login to the admin panel by typing default username and password given by your ISP. Now check WiFi channel frequency setting and try to change to different WiFi channel frequency and see if it improves the speed or not. Sometimes changing to different frequency can help as WiFi interference is frequency selective as it depends on frequencies being used by your neighboring WiFi networks whose signals which are causing interference.

  6. Check Modem/WiFi router: Also you need to rule out problems in your modem/WiFi router hardware. If you have a spare old modem/ WiFi router with you then replace the existing one with it and see if it solves the problem or not. If it does the than it is problem with your modem/WiFi router hardware. In case you do not have a spare modem then you can borrow from your friends/ neighbors for some time to check the problem.

  7. Check WiFi router range: Sometimes based on the location of WiFi router at your home and your location, you may be getting weak signal range due to the large distance which may also result in poor internet speed. So check WiFi signal strength on your PC and if it is poor you need to reposition yourself or the WiFi router so that you get good signal strength and then check whether the internet speed is improved or not.

  8. Check PC related problems: Sometimes software problems in your PC or laptop also can cause slow internet speed. If a lot of web pages are kept opened simultaneously in your PC then it consumes a lot of RAM. So now if you try to open a fresh webpage there will be lack of RAM and webpage loading may take time. Sometimes network interface card driver of your PC or laptop can also malfunction creating problems in internet connection. So always check if the internet speed is slow only on particular PC or it is also same in other PC/laptops or mobile devices. If it works fine on other devices then you need to get the problems in your computer rectified. Never judge the internet speed based on single computer.

  9. Reboot the PC or mobile device: Sometimes just rebooting your PC or mobile devices does a trick in rectifying software related problems. So it should be the first thing to do if you suspect PC or mobile software problem.

Conclusion

If after following troubleshooting steps you find that your problem is not solved and still you are facing the problem with internet speed. then it may be a problem with your ISP. This problem can be either at your building premises wiring and ports or it can be on the exchange side or intermediate wiring and ports between your residence and exchange. In any case, you need to call up your ISP customer care to assign a technician to solve the problem. Also, it is important that most of the above steps are applicable if you are using the fixed-line broadband internet at your home. For mobile internet, no cabling and WiFi router etc is involved so troubleshooting steps will be less.


Comments

Author: umesh16 Apr 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

A very exhaustive and detailed article on the basic self-diagnosis of a poor internet connection. The user can definitely use these tricks and tips for resolving the problem in their home computer systems.

Many times the problem is in the laptop or computer itself and by cleaning the disk or removing the unwanted clutter from the computer or laptop hard disk, the problem can be resolved.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao16 Apr 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

The author has given the possible reasons for the slow speed of internet connection. Another reason for this slow internet is the number of units connected. In our houses these days every member has at least one cell phone which will be connected to the wifi for internet browsing. Another issue is at least one or two laptops or also will be on always because someone or other will be working on this internet. So because of this multiple devices connection also there is a chance that the internet will become slow in our computer. In such case, we have to stop some of the devices and see whether the speed increased or not. This problem we faced in our house number of times. In such case, we can't even complain to the service provider also. Sometimes we will be connecting our smart TV also to this wifi which will make other devices to get slow.

Author: Natarajan19 Apr 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

Sometimes, what the internet providers claims may not be true. We would have signed up for 50 Mbps but actually, we may be getting only 30 Mbps. There are programs that can tell us the average speed we actually get (speetest.net.in, testmy.net, myspeed.trai.gov.in)

Good speeds need good amounts of free memory space, up to date software, minimal background running programs or apps and a good antivirus program. Generally, multiple users are equated to less speed but even if we have 2-3 users at home and one of them has opened multiple sites/ is downloading/watching a stream in a movie or has an old computer, then also the speed will be affected.

At times, a closed space with walls having plenty of obstructions, metal pipes, thick glass etc can also slow the speed. If the very popular websites having an overload is being accessed by us, then the speed will be lower. Internet speed is also variable during different parts of the day.

An erratic or a sudden slow down of speed in one laptop/desktop while the other users on the same network are having good speeds, would indicate that our device has a virus.

Author: John Deo Stm15 Jun 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

No Internet Service Provider (ISP) is stable or offer lightning speed internet connection. I test my connection test with speed tester. However the speed is no more than 2.0MBs to 5.0MBs. For downloading big files like 1 to 3 GB, some websites reduces the speed for normal users whole premium go for unlimited speed that gets up-to 5MBs and above in cities. On the contrary, remote areas signal strength is very weak compared to cities internet connection speed.

I have tried all the tips and tricks as a geek and I discovered nothing changes because signal strength and speed are already very poor in India as compared to foreign countries like UK, USA and China.



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