Internet Connections

Why is my Internet connection so slow?

No matter how fast your Internet connection is, there are times when things can slow down to a crawl. This article will help you sort out what kinds of things can go wrong, learn what you can do about them, and discover how to get the most from your Internet connection.

Test the speed of your broadband connection here.

Speak to your Internet Provider to test your telephone line, they can tell you if there is interference on the line which will affect line speed. It’s also a good time to see if you can get a reduction in your bill if you threaten to leave them.

Make sure that you have the router plugged into the master socket if you are using a telephone line, and that extension cables are kept to a minimum as they can reduce signal quality and speed.

If you have the choice of USB connection or Ethernet, always use Ethernet, as this will eliminate any issue with USB drivers.

Computer woes: spyware, viruses, and other programs

The health of your computer can affect your Internet connection. Spyware and viruses can definitely cause problems, but your Internet connection speed can also be affected by add-on programs, the amount of memory the computer has, hard disk space and condition, and the programs that are running.

Two of the most frequent causes of poor Internet performance are spyware and viruses. Spyware can slow your system by interfering with your browser and monopolizing your Internet connection. Spyware monitors your Internet use and keystrokes, which adds delays. The problem is compounded when there are multiple spyware programs running at the same time. If the problem is severe enough, you can lose connectivity altogether. To get your Internet performance back, you should regularly run an antispyware program to clean out any spyware infestation. For more information, see Scan for spyware and other potentially unwanted software.

Computer viruses can also cause poor Internet performance. When a virus infects a computer, it installs computer code which will attempt to propagate itself, usually by sending copies of itself through e mail. Some viruses can multiply at the rate of hundreds of e mail messages per minute, which leaves little computing power and Internet connection bandwidth for anything else. Viruses often do not give any obvious indication that they are running, so it is best to run your antivirus software at all times. For more information about dealing with viruses, contact us now.

Browser add-ons also cause performance problems. Browser add-ons are programs, such as multimedia add-ons, search bars, or other programs that usually appear on your browser’s toolbar. Many browser add-ons can add to a rich browsing experience, offering multimedia or specialized document viewing. However, some add-ons can slow your Internet connection. If you suspect that add-ons are causing slow performance, try starting Internet Explorer in Add-ons disabled mode. Add-ons are disabled only for the session, but if you find your performance improves, you can use the Add-on Manager to turn them off permanently. To access the Add-on Manager from Internet Explorer, click Tools, and then click Add-on Manager.

Like all computer programs, Internet Explorer requires a certain amount of computing power, memory, and disk space to run efficiently. Every webpage you view is first downloaded to memory and then saved to temporary disk files. Running another program that is using lots of memory and computing power can compete with Internet Explorer and cause delays. If you find your Internet connection running slowly and you have other programs running, try closing them. If you want to run several programs, consider increasing the memory you have on your computer. Low disk space can also cause performance problems. You can increase your disk space by deleting Internet Explorer’s temporary files. For a full System Health Check, contact us.

Outside factors that affect connection speeds

Unfortunately, there are events and conditions that are outside your control. Even with a fast connection, external factors, such as busy websites or spreading computer viruses, can slow the entire web. Popular websites can become overwhelmed with users. For example, when a television commercial mentions a website, many people might try to visit the site at the same time. If the website isn’t prepared to handle the traffic, you might encounter delays.

During times of heavy computer virus outbreaks, the Internet can slow down. Many viruses spread by causing computers to send out hundreds or thousands of copies of the virus. This can slow the Internet by sheer volume. You can see what major outbreaks are currently happening by visiting your antivirus vendor’s website, or the Security at Home website.

Local Internet congestion can also result in slower-than-normal connection speeds. These slowdowns occur when many people try to connect to the Internet at the same time, and they occur most often at peak activity times, such as after school hours when students get home and connect to the web.

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