Sometimes, you get out of bed in the morning very slowly and feel the need for a cuppa before being able to work to full speed, right? Have you noticed that your connection to internet can often be similar?
There is no REAL excuse as to why this should be the case but there CAN be reasons why it is, anyway. The first and cheapest (though sometimes the most time consuming) way to check this out for a home or small to medium business user is to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and see if there have been problems at their end. Sometimes this is the reason for a slow connection and there is nothing you can do other than to wait or if this has been happening a lot, move to a reliable ISP (see Recommendations on this site). However, more often than not, the problem is at the user's end (your end). It can range from Trojans/viruses/malware of some sort to something more innocuous but nevertheless disruptive. For example:
- Do you have more than one phone line connection to your modem if using ADSL up the phone line to your modem? If so, something could be faulty in the wiring. The best way to do a test not requiring computer skills is to pull every other phone line using device out of the socket other than the modem. Did this fix the problem?
- Do you have an ADSL router that also allows wireless networking connection (about 30 metre radius and not to be confused with wireless broadband which is a whole different issue) and for example, allows you to sit anywhere in the house with your laptop/device not physically connected to anything? If you have this, is your wireless networking secured by at LEAST a password? If it is fully open, then anyone who can receive the signal can use YOUR connection and can be slowing it down. If someone else is using it for illegal purposes from a laptop/device in a car nearby and then they drive off, the authorities can still trace that back to YOU. This is why your wireless networking needs to be SECURED. Did this fix the problem?
- If using wireless networking as in point 2 and it is secured, how many people are using it all at once? What is the capability of your modem and the wireless devices that attach to it? Eg, do you use N band for wireless networking? If you use G band, that is slower than N and if B or A then it is so slow you need to replace it. If using the top of the range but still slow, how many people in your house - and devices such as Tivo can also use this - are using it at once? The more using it at once, the slower it goes. The best analogy for this sort of slowdown is to think of a tap and a hose coming from it that divides at a Y junction, the left side going to a hose with a trigger nozzle and the right side to a sprinkler. While the hose with the trigger nozzle is turned off, all the pressure goes to the sprinkler but use the hose and the sprinkler output drops dramatically. This is the same sort of thing that happens with Internet connections. The more you attach at home through the one router and are using at the same time, the less speed you ALL experience. If someone stops using internet then the speed for the rest of you goes up. So if you have a lot of people using internet, it may pay to either up the speed of your connection (if possible) or arrange a timetable of use to avoid conflicts. Did this fix the problem?
- Do you have wireless BROADBAND? That is the sort of wireless that you can use in a large part of Australia without physically connecting to a modem. If it is a phone you are connecting through or a wireless broadband dongle, it actually IS your modem. Did you know that wireless broadband works off your provider's mobile phone towers? Depending on where you live, what sort of interference you have etc, the reception goes down. In some areas, one mobile phone company has better overall performance than does others. If you know this to be true in your area, you are better using the wireless broadband also from that same provider. However, the worse the signal, the slower your internet connection. At best, the speed of wireless broadband using 3G or lower is up near the top you can get from ADSL1 so you definitely get a LOT better speed on a connection that is working well with ADSL2+ for example. Note that if you are in a good reception area using 4G then your speed WILL be faster than your ADSL2 modem. If it isn’t, then you need to be asking your provider why it isn’t. If speed of downloads is critical to you, wireless broadband 3G or lower or 4G where reception is not good will never be your friend. Did this fix the problem?
If none of the above information has helped, you need PC Handyman to come to your premises (work or home) and investigate where the problem may lay. You can use the contact form to email me or phone me on 0410-478-279.