Are you tired of waiting for your web pages to load at a snail’s pace or dealing with constant buffering while streaming your favorite shows? A slow internet connection can be frustrating and disrupt your productivity and entertainment, which is why we’re here to help!
Why is my internet slow?
There are several reasons why your internet could be operating at less than optimal speeds. We’ll address these common issues as well as other lesser-known issues in this article.
1. Your setup is faulty
Where you place your router matters; setting your router near physical barriers can significantly impact the quality and reliability of your internet speeds and Wi-Fi connection.
The more centrally you place your router, the better your home’s internet connection will be. Avoid placing your router near windows, enclosed spaces, or the basement. If you need to move your router, put it in a central location in your house, like the family room or office. Moving your router even just a few feet can make a significant impact, saving you from endless connection problems.
2. Conducting multiple activities at once
Trying to complete too many tasks at the same time can cause slow speeds. Thankfully, there are several simple ways to mitigate congestion on your home network that don’t involve kicking your family members off the network so you can attend a ZOOM meeting.
- Utilize Quality of Service – Quality of service (QoS) is a feature that empowers you to dictate the prioritization of specific data types within your network. For example, if you stream shows frequently, QoS ensures that your streaming data receives top priority, granting it access to the available bandwidth first. As a result, you can enjoy seamless playback without interruptions.
- Clean up your connection – Conducting a simple sweep of all the devices connected to your network is an excellent step. Use your network to load your router’s web interface and view the network map. You’ll see all connected devices and whether they’re active so that you can disconnect the ones not in use.
- Get a guest network – Sharing your Wi-Fi password with guests when they visit is okay, but too many guests can lead to slower speeds and security risks. Establishing a second guest network allows you to limit the amount of bandwidth guests get—and prevents the spread of malware to everything you use.
3. You exceeded your data cap
Many wireless internet providers include data caps in internet plans; once you meet your data cap, your speeds slow to a crawl. On the other hand, satellite internet providers charge for internet use by data rather than speed. With a Kinetic by Windstream wireless home internet plan, you can easily monitor your data usage in your online account.
This scenario is very similar to a phone plan. For example, a phone plan has a data package that resets each billing cycle. If you max out your plan’s allotted data, you’ll experience a slower connection than usual.
4. Your devices are outdated
Outdated devices can undoubtedly lead to a slow internet connection. Your laptop, tablet, phone, or gaming console may be unable to process today’s Wi-Fi speeds.
If your desktop or laptop is experiencing speed problems, consider power cycling the device. This simple action clears the device’s memory of unwanted clutter, refreshes the connection, and eliminates unnecessary processes and temporary files. Speed issues often arise from an overwhelmed processor, but a brief power cycle involving a complete shutdown for approximately 30 seconds can help the device “clear its head.”
Other things that can slow your device down include:
- Outdated software
- App downloads
- Outdated drivers
- Too many open browsers
- Too many open applications
Regularly check your devices to ensure their operating systems are up-to-date by allowing auto-updates, and keep your antivirus software current.
5. Your provider’s network is congested
Similar to traffic on your home network, your ISP is also susceptible to network congestion.
If the network congestion gets too bad, internet service providers may throttle internet speeds in your area to reduce traffic on the network.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can control, and we certainly don’t advise asking your neighbors to end their video calls so that you can stream your favorite show in peace. But there are practical steps you can take, such as scheduling your gaming and large downloads during off-peak hours.
6. Your internet plan is slow
You may need a different plan if you’ve looked into all the above factors and still have a slow internet connection.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), internet speeds can be categorized as advanced, medium, or basic. Advanced speeds are defined as 25 Mbps or higher, while medium speeds range from 12 to 25 Mbps, and basic speeds range from 3 to 8 Mbps. Anything below these thresholds does not qualify as high-speed internet.
However, determining a “good” download speed for your home depends on your family’s internet usage patterns. Generally, your speed requirements increase as you engage in audio, HD videos, and interactive activities, such as FaceTime or MMO gaming. Additionally, the number of simultaneous connections within your household affects the ideal speed for a seamless online experience. For further information, check out our blog post on determining your home internet needs.