The occasional network slowdown is the bane of every internet user. If your connection lags on a regular basis, though, you may have a more serious problem. Check these things immediately:

  • Ask your service provider (ISP) if they are experiencing any outages or difficulties.
  • Run virus and malware/spyware scans on your computer.
  • Make sure you have fairly recent equipment. Older routers and network cards are not equal to bandwidth requirements of the modern Internet.
  • Make sure people aren’t using your wireless router without your permission. If needed, change your password or improve the security on your router.

Assuming that none of these are your problem, you’ll want to check out the networking guide below to see what the matter is.

Why Is My Internet So Slow?
Click image to open interactive version (via Networking Research Center).

  • Most of the time it will be a matter of using too many high-bandwidth applications at once. If you need
    more bandwidth, consider buying a better router.
  • Streaming audio and low-definition video, like YouTube, doesn’t take that much bandwidth.
    However, streaming in HD or sharing video over something like Skype, especially with multiple
    users, can really take a bite out of your connectivity.
  • More devices connected to one router means more bandwidth consumed. Seems simple, but
    there you have it.
  • Some older routers simply cannot handle high-bandwidth applications because they weren’t
    designed for it.

Refer to the graphic for more info on which applications take the most bandwidth, but be sure to check out both the downstream and the upstream sections, as they are actually different.


Outreach Coordinator. Snowboarder. Caffeine Enthusiast. Cyclist. I like puppies. I love using insulin - so I can eat Cheetos. Follow my Tweets! @jimmydaugherty

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