With work from home (WFH) arrangements in place, home Internet networks are taking strain. If you receive an error message that your Internet is unstable during an important Zoom meeting or your Netflix connection is buffering longer than it usually does, it is time to investigate the reasons for your slow Internet.
There are several reasons why your Internet might seem to be slow, including problems with your modem or router, or there may be too many devices connected to your network that are congesting your bandwidth. It may also be an issue with your Internet provider in your area. Slow Internet could occur when customer demand exceeds the capabilities of your Internet provider. Whatever the reason, there are several steps you can take to possibly rectify the problem:
- Confirm that you are suffering from Internet congestion
You could run speed tests and record the results which could help present a compelling case to your Internet provider. Setting up and managing your home Wi-Fi correctly can also greatly help boost your speed.
Make sure your PC is connected directly to your modem via a cable and not via Wi-Fi or through a router, as this will leave your results open to debate.
Ensure that only your PC is active on your home network and deactivate Wi-Fi devices like your mobile phone or tablet, turn off video game consoles and make sure nothing else is connected while you undertake the tests. Perform a speed test at regular intervals during the day over the period of a couple of days. It should take around one minute each time.
Compare the recorded ping values and download and upload speeds to determine if they have changed dramatically throughout the course of the day. If there is a dramatic difference between daytime and night-time speeds, you may very well have a congestion issue. A high speed during the day proves your wiring and home infrastructure is not the problem.
- Ensure the problem is not at your end
Rule out that the problem is not on your end by checking your hardware. Should you have several devices connected, do speed tests on all of them to determine if they all show some slowdown. If not, it may be the hardware or software of a specific device.