There are many different reasons why your Internet may be running slow. The type of connection you have ultimately determines how fast or how slow your Internet is going to be. With DSL, cable, and even FiOS growing and dial-up dying at an exponential level, many are left to wonder why their Internet is still going so slow. The health of your computer can affect your Internet connection. Spyware and viruses can definitely cause problems, but your Internet connection speed can also be affected by add-on programs, the amount of memory the computer has, hard disk space and condition, and the programs that are running. Keeping up to date with your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are a must these days. New malicious software is created and spread every hour of every day. As these viruses get more complex, luckily so do the anti-viruses. Putting your anti-virus on automatic updates is strongly recommended.
Something else you may want to try is another browser. Internet Explorer is not the only option even though many people think it is. There are a few other really great browsers out their that may give you a boost in browsing performance. Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera are all great free alternatives to Internet Explorer.
If you’re using a wireless connection, you may be suffering from signal interference, which requires your computer to constantly resend messages to overcome the interference. Household appliances and even your neighbors’ wireless networks can interfere with your wireless connection. To avoid slow Internet connections due to signal interference, reposition your router for better performance and change your Wi-Fi channel number.
Internet speed ultimately depends on the service provider. Your ISP may change their network’s configuration, or suffer technical difficulties, that inadvertently cause your Internet connection to run slow. ISPs may also intentionally install filters or controls on the network that can lower your performance. Don’t hesitate to contact your service provider if you suspect they are responsible for a slow Internet connection.
Unfortunately, there are events and conditions that are outside your control. Even with a fast connection, external factors, such as busy websites or spreading computer viruses, can slow the entire web. Popular websites can become overwhelmed with users. For example, when a television commercial mentions a website, many people might try to visit the site at the same time. If the website isn’t prepared to handle the traffic, you might encounter delays.
During times of heavy computer virus outbreaks, the Internet can slow down. Many viruses spread by causing computers to send out hundreds or thousands of copies of the virus. This can slow the Internet by sheer volume. You can see what major outbreaks are currently happening by visiting your antivirus vendor’s website, or the Security at Home website.
Local Internet congestion can also result in slower-than-normal connection speeds. These slowdowns occur when many people try to connect to the Internet at the same time, and they occur most often at peak activity times, such as after-school hours when students get home and connect to the web. If you’re on a corporate network, general network and proxy server use can affect your Internet performance. Most network administrators monitor Internet use, and will try to keep people from doing things like downloading large files during peak hours. If you find that your Internet access is slow at times, you might discuss it with your network administrator.
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