Slow internet connection, 7 solutions

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Pau Monfort
@paumonfort
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Tips for solving slow internet connection problems at home. Broadband router configuration errors, wireless interference, or other technical problems adversely affect the speed and stability of your Internet connection. Diagnose and fix the causes of your slow internet connection yourself, before seeking potentially expensive technical support.


1. Stop background programs that are reducing bandwidth

Some software applications, such as Windows Update and other software updaters, run background processes hidden behind other apps or minimized to the system tray, where they silently consume network resources. These applications are designed to do useful work and should not be removed from the device.



Games and other programs that work with video require significant bandwidth. When they are running, they limit the bandwidth available to other apps. Check your computer for background network activity as you troubleshoot slow internet.

Other network activities could affect overall bandwidth. A smart TV, a camera that constantly streams HD video, and smart speakers that play music can slow down your internet speed.


Many games run downloaders that update the game without further intervention or approval from you. If your download speed suddenly seems slow, find out if your favorite game is downloading a few gigabytes of patch files.

2. Slow internet connection? Avoid signal interference

Wi-Fi and other types of wireless connections often malfunction due to signal interference, which requires computers to continuously send messages to overcome signal overlap.


Your neighbors' appliances and wireless networks can interfere with your computers. Relocate the router for better performance and change your Wi-Fi channel number. In general, the closer the device is to the router, the better the Wi-Fi connection.



To confirm if wireless interference is the reason for the slow internet connection, connect a computer to Wi-Fi to measure performance. Then, connect the same computer to the wired network and note any changes in performance.

If the cable allows for a better connection, the problem may lie with the wireless connection. Instead of moving the router, consider a mesh network setup or Wi-Fi signal booster.

Large, dense objects like fireplaces block Wi-Fi signals more than walls. A device close to a router, but blocked by a barrier, may not connect properly.


3. Make sure your router and other network equipment are working

When routers, modems, or cables are malfunctioning, they do not properly support network traffic at full speed. Some technical problems in network equipment adversely affect performance even though connections can still be made.

To troubleshoot potentially faulty equipment, temporarily rearrange and reconfigure your equipment by experimenting with different configurations. Try systematically bypassing the router, swapping cables and testing with multiple devices to isolate slow performance on a specific system component. Then, decide if it can be updated, repaired, or replaced.

4. Beware of worms and other malware

An Internet worm is a malicious software program that spreads from one device to another across computer networks. If one of your computers becomes infected with an Internet worm or other malware, it could spontaneously generate network traffic without your knowledge and cause a slow Internet connection.



Keep running antivirus software up to date to detect and remove worms and malware, or try third-party malware removal software.

5. Check your modem settings to speed up your connection

As the hub of a network, a broadband modem can be responsible for a slow Internet connection if configured incorrectly. For example, setting a router's MTU incorrectly leads to performance issues if it is set too high or too low.

Make sure your router settings are consistent with the manufacturer's documentation and your internet service provider's recommendations. Records all changes made to the router configuration so that you can undo them later if necessary.

6. Check if your network speed is slow

From time to time, run speed tests to check the quality of your internet connection. These tests reveal whether the outbound connection of the local computer is compromised. If you get decent throughput in a speed test but your computer's connection to the internet still seems slow, the problem may lie with your computer (for example, active download sessions or you have maximized memory, disk or disk usage. CPU on your device).

If your computer is running consistently more than 80 percent usage for system memory, disk input / output, or CPU cycle, your computer may struggle to maintain optimum performance. Network slowdowns follow, not because the network is problematic, but because the computer is overloaded.

To check relative resource usage to determine if another component is affecting network performance in Windows 10, right-click the Start button, select Task Manager, and select Performance. On a Linux computer, use the top command. On a Mac, open Activity Monitor.



7. Contact your Internet Service Provider

The speed of the Internet ultimately depends on the service provider. Your ISP may change its network configuration or have technical difficulties that inadvertently slow down your Internet connection. ISPs can also install filters or controls on the network that reduce network performance.

Don't hesitate to contact your service provider if you suspect they are responsible for your slow internet connection.

Different types of internet connections offer different trade-offs. If you have a DSL connection and experience slowdowns during peak evenings and weekends, it is possible that many connected families are using the same access point in your neighborhood.

Further Reading:

  • Slow Wi-Fi / Internet connectivity issues on Samsung Galaxy A20
  • Slow Wi-Fi / Internet connectivity issues on Samsung Galaxy A40
  • iPhone XS Max - Internet is slow - What to do
  • How to speed up the internet using CMD
  • Discovery + not working, 13 solutions

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