Nobody likes slow internet speeds. Slow internet speeds cause delays, lead to errors in online transactions, and decrease your overall enjoyment of the service. Online games become unplayable due to lag, video conference calls are intermittent, and video streaming gets stuck in endless loading screens.
When your internet speeds are less than stellar, the first reaction is to blame internet providers. While they can usually pinpoint the issue, the truth is that there are several factors at play that could be affecting your internet speeds that could not be because of just “poor service!”
Here are three factors that could be causing your slow internet speeds:
1) Internet Service Plan
Internet speeds today are measured in terms of megabits per second (Mbps) and two directions: upload and download speed.
Upload speed refers to the rate by which you can transfer data from your computer to the internet. In contrast, download speed measures how quickly you can transfer data from the internet to your local computer.
Usually, upload and download speeds vary depending on your internet plan, but you’ll pay higher for a higher-speed internet connection. Ideally, you’ll want to have blazing fast upload and download speeds.
However, most people use the internet for streaming content and browsing websites, so lower-end plans may prioritize download speeds over upload speeds. If you are experiencing a less than stellar experience while uploading content, try looking up your specific internet plan and determine whether your plan has a bottlenecked upload speed. If yes, the only way to improve the experience is upgrading to a higher-speed internet plan from your internet provider.
2) Local Connection Issues
Sometimes the internet connection itself may not be the problem. Before calling your internet provider, inspect the following:
You could be paying for the fastest internet connection possible but still end up with a lacklustre experience because of a slow device. Older or malfunctioning computers and smartphones themselves will have trouble rendering content, regardless of internet connection speeds.
– Number of Devices Connected
Wireless routers can typically accommodate 255 users at any given time. The number can seem outrageous and exceed the needs of any typical home. However, this does not factor in the bandwidth requirements of each device and its user.
In other words, the router could theoretically accept 255 users—but only if none of them open a social media app, stream videos, or play games at any point in time. Depending on the bandwidth limits of your internet plan, the realistic number of users might be less than 10.
The modem is a device that converts the analogue information travelling via the phone, cable, or fibre line into a digital form that your computer can use. While the basic protocols remain the same, older modems are not designed to handle today’s faster speeds.
The router is the main device responsible for connecting your devices to the internet. If you’re using wireless internet, the distance between your device and the router, and the presence of obstructions, such as concrete walls or wooden doors, can all affect the strength of your internet connection.
– External Factors
The website or service you’re trying to access could be experiencing slowdowns as well. Anything, from exceeded bandwidth limits and technical errors to a DDoS attack, could be causing the slowdowns.
You can easily test this by pulling up other apps or going to another website and see if the experience gets any better. If it does, then the problem is most likely localized to the first website or service that you tried to access.
If you’re unhappy with your current speeds and are fairly certain that none of the other factors listed above are influencing your connection, then you can take the matter with your internet provider. Report the circumstances of your connection and see whether they can do anything to improve your speeds. If not, then consider switching to a different provider.
Alberta Communications is a reliable WiFi service provider in Alberta. We serve both residential and commercial services by delivering superior wireless internet services. Contact us today to request a site survey.