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What to do if Your Internet is Slow

A common question that always gets asked is “How do I make my internet go faster?”. Before this question can be answered there are several pieces of information we need to determine why your internet is slow and how the issue can be addressed.

What you need to know:

  1. Who is your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  2. What plan are you on (this will tell you you download and upload speed you pay for)
    • Is your plan Cable, Fiber, DSL, etc.?
  3. The modem you have
  4. The router you have (if applicable)
  5. How many devices are using your internet connection

The two big pieces here will be knowing who your ISP is and the plan you are on. To check your current speeds, to compare against your plan, use www.speedtest.net. Some ISPs, depending on their offerings, may not be able to deliver a fast enough connection for your needs or, if they do, it could be too expensive compared to other options.  If your ISP is good and you are on a fast enough plan you will then need to check to see that your modem supports the speed of your connection.  If you are renting a modem from the ISP then they should have provided an appropriate modem. If you own your own modem then you will be responsible for replacing it if it cannot support you connection speed. If your modem is ok then you will need to check your router. What speeds does your router support? Does it need a firmware update? What brand is it, and what is the model?

If the service and network equipment check out you will then need to see what devices are on your network and what all they are doing. Do you have multiple devices that are always streaming video at the same time? Do they need to stream at the same time? What is your bandwidth usage? Can you adjust the behavior and usage of the devices on your network to reduce their usage? Maybe you have now discovered that your usage is exceeding your plan limits.

Another factor to look at is the speed of the network card on your device. For most devices you will not be able to do much with this but for desktops and laptops you have the ability to either add a better wireless card or, for desktops, add an internal PCI device with a NIC (network interface device) – in this case a better network port (ethernet).

A note for businesses: You will want to ensure you are on a business class internet plan from your ISP.  These plans have speeds designed for business needs.

The above information is a guide to help you determine and perform basic troubleshooting on your internet connection to see if you can make it faster. Please contact us if you need further support with your connection and we would be happy to help you out.

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