Things that can slow down your internet speed

January 26th, 2022
Things that can slow down your internet speed

Fast internet speeds are now more important than ever to keep up with productivity and entertainment requirements. With multiple web-enabled devices in the household, it is essential to make sure you have fast and reliable internet speeds.

Slow internet connections and drop-outs can be a cause of great frustration for internet users especially if they are trying to work from home.

If you do not want to experience slow internet speed at home, you must know their different causes so that you can deal with them appropriately. Here are just a few examples.

1. Too many users on to the same home internet connection

When multiple people connect to the same home internet connection the speed or bandwidth of the connection is shared between all the people. You can think of it like a water pipe, if someone is having a shower upstairs the water pressure downstairs may not be as good as the water “bandwidth” or pressure is shared.

This effect is more dramatic if multiple people are trying to stream video at the same time. The connection may not be able to handle the download speed of all the video streams and may cut out.

We wrote a guide on what internet connection speed you need which you can read here.

2. Too many devices on the same internet connection

Similar to having too many users, having too many devices on your home internet connection can cause issues and slow everything down. Each connected device such as security cameras, smart home systems including light bulbs, computers, gaming consoles, phones etc use some bandwidth and if you add them all up, it can be a considerable amount.

Some wireless routers have a limit of how many devices can be connected at the same time. This limit is usually 25 to 30 devices and as this limit is approached, performance can start to degrade resulting in slow internet.

3. The connection in your area is unreliable

Your internet connection’s reliability is vital to ensure that your connection is always accessible. You would not want to be in the middle of an online game or doing some important work when your internet stops working due to unreliable connections.

Your internet connection is only as good as the cable that runs from your house to the main internet connection on your street. If this cable is old or in bad condition it could really slow down your internet connection.

To determine if this is the case at your house, you can use our broadband speed tester to see if your actual internet connection speed is as good as what you are paying for.

If you find that your speed is lower than what your plan is capable of, it is worth contacting your internet provide to see what the options are. They may be able to send out a technician to inspect your setup and investigate further.

4. Wi-Fi signal strength may be poor

The position of the Wi-Fi router in your house can have a massive effect on the quality of your home Wi-Fi.

Most modern Wi-Fi routers can transmit data at two different signal frequencies:

  • 2.4Ghz signal which is labelled as “b/g/n” type Wifi
  • 5Ghz signal which is called “ac”

What’s the difference between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz signals? Basically, 5Ghz is faster but 2.4Ghz can penetrate walls better and travels further.

In order to maximize your Wi-Fi signal strength, you need to minimize the number of objects and barriers between your computer or device and the Wi-Fi router. For example, a concrete wall or floor may be enough to stop your Wi-Fi completely or slow it right down.

5. Your Wi-Fi channel is congested

If you live in a city or highly populated area there may be many Wi-Fi signals from neighboring houses or apartments that overlap your Wi-Fi signal and limit the performance of your Wi-Fi connection.

One solution that may help this problem is to change the channel that your Wi-Fi is broadcast on. To do this you will need to consult the manual for your router and login to the router and adjust the Wi-Fi channel settings.

Conclusion

If you are experiencing a slow internet connection, check for the conditions mentioned above and try to identify the problem. If you are not sure how to check the different factors, contact your internet provider, and they will be able to help you.

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