Slow Internet Connection can be caused by any number of reasons. Below is a short list of some of the more common reasons your Internet connection may be slow. As mentioned at the bottom of this page, there is no magic program or tweak to increase your overall Internet speed, and reading this can help you know why.
The most common reason your Internet may not be performing sufficiently could be due to spyware and viruses. Spyware interferes with your browser by taking over most of the attention of your Internet connection. It also keeps tabs on your keystrokes, which is why certain functions and actions may seem delayed. The more spyware infecting your computer, the worse the problem becomes. Make sure you have security software installed that can scan for and remove spyware.
Viruses install computer codes (almost like a standalone program) and attempts to reproduce until it’s taken over your computer. The first sign of a virus is often in your Internet connection. This is because most viruses are sent via e-mail. The rate in which a virus multiplies causes extremely slow computer performance overall. Keep your anti-virus software running at all times.
Sometimes there’s nothing “bad” going on with your computer and your connection is still extremely slow. This could be caused by massive download or upload hogs running on your computer. If you’re uploading or downloading multiple files to a site or online storage, your bandwidth can be greatly reduced, causing a slower Internet connection. For programs like this, you can sometimes set a bandwidth cap in order to continue enjoying adequate Internet speeds.
Every now and then, your modem or router is causing the issue. You can always restart your connection to see if the problem is resolved. There are also troubleshooting options with your provider. You may require a replacement for your equipment in order to solve the issue.
Slow Internet connection
If you are using a dial-up connection or a modem, this will be much slower than any broadband connection or connection you may be using at work or school. If you are using a modem, no matter how fast your computer is, the speed of the Internet will remain the same or very close and can cause some users to believe their computer is slow.
If a broadband connection is available in your area, and you would like a much more enjoyable experience on the Internet, we highly recommend getting it. See the broadband definition for additional information on this term and the broadband available.
Tip: If you are using broadband consider an alternative broadband solution if available. For example, Cable is much faster than DSL. Also, Cable companies such as Comcast offer boosts in some areas that can give your connection even more speed.
Your Internet connection may also be slow due to connection issues. You can perform an Internet speed test to determine if you are getting the speed you should be getting. If your download speed is significantly lower than the speed you should be getting contact your ISP and ask them to run a line test to determine the cause of the speed loss.
Note: Many connections (e.g. Cable, DSL, and wireless broadband) have a slower upload speed in comparison with the download speed. If you are having issues with uploading (e.g. doing a video chat) it is a slow upload speed and not the download speed.
Site or download
Depending on the web page or website you are visiting or the download you are receiving, your Internet connection may appear to be slow. The composition of the page or site, including text, images, and videos make a difference on how fast your Internet speed appears to be.
If you or someone else in your house is doing more than one thing on the Internet, your Internet will appear to be slower. For example, if you or your kids are downloading a game, movie, music, or playing online games your browsing experience is going to be slower.
If the overall speed of your computer is slow or has performance issues with doing tasks such as watching videos, it may appear as if your Internet connection is slow. If you have another Internet device (e.g. a smartphone or tablet) that can connect to your Internet use it to test the Internet to see if is your Internet or computer having the problem.
The location of the web page you are visiting can also determine the speed of the Internet. If you are accessing a web page that is in a different part of the world, it will be much slower than a page that is hosted closer to your location.
Network or site maintenance
If your Internet service provider or the host of the website is performing maintenance on their network, computers, or network equipment, this can cause speed related issues.
Amount of visitors on a site
A server and website can only handle so many users at once. If hundreds, thousands, or millions of people are trying to visit the site at the same time, that page will be much slower and, in some cases, pages may not even respond or load.
Check your computer for a virus or malware infection. Internet speed can be reduced because viruses and malware are corrupting essential operating system files using up system resources (memory) that would otherwise be for Internet function.
Third-party programs and tweaks
No matter how many web services or programs you see advertised, there is no magic program or tweak that is going to increase your actual overall Internet speed.
There are some tweaks that can be done and some programs that can help with the speed of downloading certain files or increase your local network speed (not Internet). However, no software program will increase the overall speed of your Internet connection.
Some programs such as download managers can help get downloads faster by downloading bits of the downloaded file through different connections. However, this does not increase your Internet speed or browsing experience and will not work with all Internet web pages.
You or your ISP is under DoS or being attacked
Although not a common situation, a slow Internet connection can also be caused when you or your ISP is being attacked, e.g. a DoS attack. With a DoS attack, computers and routers become so overwhelmed with requests that it causes your connection to be slow or time out. If you believe you are under such an attack, contact your ISP for additional recommendations. If it is your computer that is under attack, one way to escape these attacks is to change your IP address.
Check with ISP for improved performance
Some broadband providers also offer different tiers of service. If your Internet has always been slow, call your provider and see if they offer a boost or business plan for increased speed.