by Richard Lee
In this blog I talk about Slow Internet and what you could do to
improve outcomes. There are a number of factors that may affect
why you're experiencing slow internet.
By "slow" I mean that its normally faster than what you've been
experiencing. So here are some factors that will discuss that
may be the cause of slow internet.
There are a number of good internet speed tests out there. I'd
usually recommend Ookla although there are others too from
likes of Telstra and iiNet.
Notice that the speed of the ADSL/NBN connection is normally assymetric.
ie the upload speed is normally much slower than the download speed.
Its designed this way because when you browse the internet, you normally
download much more data than you would upload.
So what sort of factors would cause the internet connection to slow right
down? Well here are a few that we shall discuss:
- your ISP Plan and Speed could certainly affect it. If you're still on ADSL look
to upgrade to NBN. You could boost internet speeds from 4,5,8Mbps to 25, 50 even
100Mbps! Thats going to make a world of difference
- your Modem/Router Bios / hardware may have an effect on the speed you're getting
check your Modem/Router user manual on how to update the BIOS
- if you're using WiFi make sure that you're in a good reception area and there's no
undue interference between your router and your location. Having to go thru more
than a few walls, or even metal objects nearby such as furniture and equipment can
have a detrimental effect. You can walk around with your laptop and notice where the
signal is good to best.
Even glass windows can play a detrimental effect on WiFi signal especially double
glazed. For these reasons and more ensure you've placed your WiFi modem/router at
an ideal spot in your home or office. Higher up is usually better for optimal signal
- ensure your computer is within reasonable range of the WiFi router. Generally the best
reception is within 10 metres (more if you're using special powered WiFi Router) of
your WiFi router. The further away you are the less the signal strength and the slower
the internet connection.
- plug your computer into an ethernet wall port (or network cable going back to your
modem/router) instead of using WiFi if feasible. That can make a world of difference
due to the limitations of WiFi signal and signal attenuation over distance.
- if you're using an older WiFi router to extend the network that can definitely impact
performance. For instance the older N WiFi standard is many times slower than the
newer AC Wireless standard. In theory the faster wireless speeds shouldn't affect
internet speed should it? Thats because we're talking about transmission speeds of
300Mbps for N and ( 1300Mbps for 5GHz band or 450Mbps for 2.4GHz band of AC ).
Those speeds are many times faster than internet download speeds. However if
you're using the older router to extend your primary internet router there would be a
latency associated with transferring the signal to a wireless repeater device. So using a
faster, newer wireless router can improve internet speed.
- no. of users can impact the internet speed. For example if you've got a user or users
who are downloading large data files such as a compressed program or other data that
would certainly impact on the speed of the internet being shared on the same
- change DNS servers can have a positive impact although it would only be noticeable
the very first time you access a particular website. For example if you're using Optus
you might want to use Optus DNS servers as they may be closer to you and give a
better response. This would be normally configured for workstations that get their IP
address automatically. However this would also depend on how the modem/router is
- computer performance can play a major role. For example if you're using a older
slower PC with Pentium 4 CPU and 1Gb of RAM. You wouldn't expect to get the same
download speed as a faster Core i5 more current system running Windows 8 or 10. So
the system specification and even if its been optimised can play a part in Internet
- check to see if there are any bandwidth hogging apps that may be running on your
computer. You can do this by clicking on the bottom right ( ^ symbol )of the screen to
show what apps are running. Also Ctrl-Alt-Del is another way to do this. Some of these
apps may be doing downloads. Also keep in mind that Windows 10 is generally
expected to do downloads in the background and that can play a part as well.
- check your network's configuration. Having too many switches connected in cascade
between your computer and your modem/router can degrade internet performance.
Another contributor is the use of Powerlines. Although they are a good idea to extend
the network, they may not work optimally at transferring data across the power lines
and so performance degrades and it affects internet transfer.
- check your computer for any malware. Malware can definitely slow your system down.
It can also prevent you from accessing the internet.
- contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to see if everything's ok from their end. You
could also upgrade your service to a faster speed although it would cost you more.
- lastly if you've tried all the above as applicable and still not seeing an improvement,
contact us. We can troubleshoot and fix all kinds of networking issues.
You can use our website to log a support request.
In this Blog I've talked about various practical ways of overcoming slow internet speeds.