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Causes of a Slow Internet Connection

A webpage that takes forever to load is the ultimate nemesis of a fast-paced life! With almost everything linked to the Internet these days, it is imperative to have a fast Internet connection, or suffer from regular bouts of frustration. In this Techspirited article, we tell you what can slow down your Internet connection, and, more importantly, what you can do about it.
Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.
―Rupert Murdoch
Indeed, in an age when it's all about speed―be it success or even survival―how can you let something as basic a utility as your Internet connection slow you down? However, no matter how many service providers you switch, or whatever network friendly location you keep moving that router of yours to, the inevitable always manages to take place―despite all your best efforts, there are days when the Internet speed just won't pick up momentum, as if inspired by the proverbial tortoise!
Anyway, that reminds me, did it ever occur to you that the Internet speed is the slowest when you need to get that crucial information for your project the most? Did you ever notice how the webpage loads at a creeping pace when the latest subject of your romantic interest texts you that he/she is online and wants to chat? Ah, well, that's some real life relativity I would say! Seems like we're drifting―the following segment tells you all the possible reasons behind a slow Internet connection that contribute towards your misery at the hands of information technology.
What Causes a Slow Internet Connection?
There are a lot of reasons behind the singular issue of slow Internet speed. While most reasons do not call for any sort of alarm, certain causes may harm your computer if instant diagnosis is not done, and damage control is not resorted to immediately.
  • Your Internet server may be facing a traffic overload, making your connection slower. This often happens during certain peak hours.
  • The problem may be with your browser. If it has too many add-ons, its performance can get weighed down by so many unnecessary programs running together.
  • You are getting less bandwidth than what is there in your service agreement.
  • The router cables may have become loose and this can cause signals to be lost.
  • The router and the OS on your computer may not be compatible with each other.
  • Your computer could be infected by malware which eats up your bandwidth without you realizing it.
  • Too many programs or applications running on your computer simultaneously slows down the overall performance speed of your computer including the speed of your browser.
  • The type of connection also makes a difference to Internet speed. A DSL connection is faster than a dial-up connection and a cable connection is faster than a DSL one. A FiOS (fiber optic service) connection is, by far, the fastest among all types of Internet connections.
  • Check the condition of the telephone wiring in your home. Damaged wiring causes the modem to pick up stray connections and cross signals, and it will have to keep sending the signals over and over till uninterrupted transmission is established.
  • If your computer and modem are old, you may need to upgrade their settings to get a better speed. You can download and run an optimizer software on your computer for this purpose.
  • Internet speed is often determined by your proximity to the access point. Hence, the farther away you are from the wireless router, the slower your speed will be. This is especially applicable in Wi-Fi enabled campuses, or a Wi-Fi enabled office environment.
  • Cluttered, overloaded RAM is also a common reason for the Internet, as well as the entire system, running slow.
  • Last but not the least, Internet cookies and temporary Internet files can also slow down your Internet speed.
To improve your Internet speed, you should:
  • Close unnecessary programs on the computer, or end idle tasks when browsing the Internet.
  • Clear cookies and delete temp files to lighten the burden on the browser.
  • Run anti-virus programs regularly after each session on the net to make sure your system is safe and you get full bandwidth the next time you log in.
  • Keep the computer hardware and router firmware upgraded to prevent outdated settings from slowing down your browsing sessions.
If none of these work, call the customer care number of your service provider and get your connection professionally troubleshot. After all, you don't pay for that connection to go through those painfully long page loading moments.
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