Access to the internet is something we take for granted while we have it and despair over when we don’t. It’s also an expense that we need to factor into our budget and thus has to be taken seriously as a cost. If you’re not getting the kind of speeds you were supposed to get when you started paying, it might be time to find out why.
Change your settings
The first place you should look for an immediate fix is at your wireless network if your computer is connected wirelessly to your router. Most routers operate through a different number of wireless channels. Sometimes, wireless channels get congested and getting back up to speed can be as simple as changing those wireless channels. You can usually find instructions on how to find your wireless settings by looking in the user manual for your router, or by getting in contact with your service provider. While one of the simplest problems to fix, network channel quality can vary regularly, so you need to get comfortable with getting in there and changing it often.
Change your DNS
If you’re having trouble accessing the internet at all or it’s too slow to use reliably, then you might need to look at the servers that you’re using. By default, you’ll be using your internet service provider’s domain name system. Changing your DNS can but isn’t guaranteed to give you access to faster servers than your net providers can supply. You can try them out by finding the DNS servers fastest and closest to you. Much like the wireless channel you use, the DNS can be changed from your router interface.
See the numbers you’re getting
Internet speed can feel faster and slower with some big differences. If you want to really make the best judgments, however, then you should look at speed testing sites that can give you all the details you need. Your ping, your download speed, and your upload speed. Those facts can help you go to your network providers and make a more informed complaint. With the numbers handy, you might have more ground to bargain for an upgraded router or skip past the steps that aren’t applicable to you.
As you might imagine from the point about finding the best DNS servers, the geographical location of your router makes a big difference. If you’re in a location that doesn’t have great access to the internet or a nearby DNS, you might not have a lot of options. However, you can compare the kind of speeds you see from speed testing sites with the national broadband map. Test and see how close you are to what the average is, as well as what is advertised by providers. Spotting a discrepancy can rule out location as being a consideration.
You’re out of range
Location on the map isn’t the only thing that matters. Location in the building compared to your device is just as important. In general, the closer the router to your device, the better. It’s even better still you can connect via Ethernet instead of wirelessly. But you don’t necessarily have to accept that. Wifi range extender reviews can help you find out how to boost the wifi signal throughout your home or business. Extenders can make it so that your walls and floors aren’t a barrier to your internet access anymore.
Your signals getting interrupted
The barriers of distance and different rooms aren’t the only things that can impact the kind of speeds you see on your devices, however. Just as important are the materials and circumstances that might otherwise interrupt your system. For instance, keeping the router within three feet of other electronics can block your wifi connection. Bluetooth devices and even people around the device can have as much of an effect. Keeping the area around your device clear is important. Your neighbor’s wifi signals can also cause some disturbance, so situating your router way from walls you share with other homes can help, too.
It’s all clogged up
Congested channels are a big concern. Peak times of net usage in your area can result in a much slower connection speed for you. There’s little you can do about your neighborhood’s internet use, but the reason your device’s access is so clogged up might be a little closer to home. By monitoring the bandwidth usage of your network, you can see which devices might be using the most data. If someone in the home is running BitTorrent all day or they’re suffering any of the issues mentioned in the next few points, then they could be the reason everyone else is experiencing such a slow connection.
The computer is infested
One of the issues that can cause a computer to not only use a ton of data but have a much slower experience on the internet is malware. There are plenty of viruses and spyware that can steal your bandwidth. Bots that run in the background, connecting to private servers, for instance, or viruses that send out thousands of spam email from your device. You need to keep all your devices protected from malware with firewalls, antiviruses and antispyware software.
Your operating system might be the issue
They’re a lot less malicious on the surfaces, but your choice of operating system might very well be the reason your bandwidth is getting so voraciously eaten up. Windows 10, in particular, is a common recent culprit. A recent update comes with a peer-to-peer update service that keeps you ever connected to the Microsoft servers. While this service is supposed to help them identify and better fix issues with your device, in most cases, it can have a terrible effect on the internet speed. There are a lot of ways an OS can disrupt your connection, so look at some of the services that would better serve you if they were disabled.
Simply put, there are a lot of different things that contribute to seeing worse speeds than you would like from your internet. But with some thorough troubleshooting, the vast majority of those problems can be solved easily enough.