Slow Internet? Why it Will Never Go Away

It’s one of life’s aggravating moments – waiting for a slow web page to load as you watch your browser’s progress bar crawl across the screen at a snail’s pace.  You think to yourself, “if only I had more bandwidth, this wouldn’t happen”.

Everyone has had experiences with slow internet, but do you know what can cause them?

Slow internet does not always mean you need to buy more bandwidth, although that’s often a simple explanation that many people and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) default to.  In reality, your internet connection’s bandwidth is only one of many factors that can cause a momentary or prolonged slowdown in internet speed.

Every time you access something on the internet, a signal is sent from your device, over your Local Area Network (LAN), across your internet connection to your ISP’s equipment, through a network of servers and switches broadly referred to as “the internet”, where it is handed off to the content provider’s ISP, and finally to the content provider’s servers where whatever you were trying to access resides.  Amazingly, when everything is working smoothly, all of this happens within milliseconds.

However, with all of these variables, it’s no wonder things go wrong from time to time.

Let’s take a look at ten points along your internet path and the possible issues each may be having:


Your Local Area Network (LAN)

1. Computer
  • Too many programs running
  • Infected with malware
  • Inefficient or improper configurations
  • Not enough processor/memory resources
2. LAN Cabling
  • Low quality cable or jacks
  • Damaged cable
  • Loose or faulty connections
3. Switches
  • Inefficient or improper configuration
  • Not enough processor resources
4. Firewall
  • Inefficient or improper configuration
  • Inadequate processor/memory resources
  • Overly aggressive antivirus settings
5. Router
  • Inefficient or improper configuration
  • Inadequate processor/memory resources

The Public Internet

6. Your Internet Connection
  • Not enough bandwidth
  • Errors on copper, cable or fiber loops
  • Unreliable connections
7. Your Internet Service Provider
  • ISP’s Processor Overloads
  • ISP’s overly aggressive Virus/SPAM filtering servers
  • ISP’s other customers consuming large amounts of bandwidth
8. The Public Internet
  • Processor Overloads
  • Congested Paths
  • Data “packet” paths can vary based on time of day
9. Content Provider's ISP
  • Content filtering servers used by ISP overloaded
  • Content provider’s ISP’s other customers using large amounts of bandwidth

Content Host's Server

10. Host Content Provider's Server
  • Processors, operating system or application overload
  • Configuration not efficient

An issue with any one point along the path above can cause a slow internet experience. Please contact us if you would like to learn more!

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