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Why is my Internet so Slow?

You click on a link, and your computer opens a blank screen. After two or three minutes, you get an error message. Your streaming television is buffering. We have all been there. You have slow Internet. 

Luckily, several solutions exist. This checklist will guide you through several options to speed up your Internet. First, check to make sure your modem/router password is strong and unusual. You could always have a neighbor sucking away some bandwidth. Another idea is to power down your entire system for a minute or two and then turn it all back on. 

Newer routers are also usually the best routers for multiple devices. This is great if you have a family of tech-hungry users at home!

But aside from this, what else can you try? Read on to find out.



Upgrade your router or modem

Your Wi-Fi device may just be old. These days, old and outdated happen faster than you may think with computer equipment. Call your Internet provider and ask them if your make and model runs well with their equipment (no good using an old Wireless N laptop on a Gigabit Internet plan!). If not, it might be time for a trip to the store to get a new one. 

All the objects that use your Wi-Fi system are limited by the top speed of your router and modem. If you have the newest technology plugged into an older, slower router it will run slowly. Some newer routers come with a Quality of Service feature. This allows you to prioritize which devices have first (and faster) access to your bandwidth and which can run with slower speeds.

If you live in a large house, you might want to investigate a Wi-Fi mesh networking system. These systems set up several signal repeating access points throughout your home. That way you are always at a location with strong Internet access.

Check with your Internet service provider

Visit the website of your Internet service provider (ISP) or call them. You may experience slow internet because they have traffic congestion. Remember that, generally, between 7 pm and 11 pm are the highest traffic load times. They may also have temporary outages or other problems. Another option is that the problem is on your end – you may be using more data than you purchased from them. If so, upgrading your Internet plan might solve the problem.



Wi-Fi Bands

Wi-Fi devices generally run on two frequencies: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Often, your devices will be set to 5GHz because that frequency is faster and has less traffic from other devices. 2.4GHz has a greater range. You may be able to improve speed by switching further away devices to 2.4GHz and keeping ones closer to your router at 5GHz.

Change location of modem or router

Your modem or router should ideally be placed near the center of the area in which you want Internet services. Often, these devices are placed in a corner where the wires enter your house. If your Wi-fi devices are not centrally located, you might want to move them to a more centralized place. Check your speed both near the router and far from the router. If your speed is fine close but bad on the far side of the house, moving the router may be your best bet. 

If your home is large or has lots of walls covered with books and mirrors etc, your speed may increase with a wireless range extender. These small boxes plug into a wall electricity socket. Place them about halfway between your router and where you are experiencing signal difficulties. They will relay back and forth between the router and you, potentially making your Internet faster.

Upgrade drivers

Drivers are the software programs that allow outside devices to interface with your computer. Just as hardware ages, these drivers age as well. Go to your router/modem’s brand website. Most have a program that will detect out-of-date drivers and replace them with new ones.

Sooner or later, you will have slow internet. When that happens, these tips are the easiest ways to get more speed out of your system.