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Why is My Internet So Slow All of a Sudden

Omkar Phatak Nov 24, 2018
If you are being bothered by the question of why your Internet has suddenly slowed down. The possible causes of a sudden slowdown, and the ways in which you can troubleshoot the problem effectively are discussed here.
A sudden Internet slowdown can be an extremely frustrating experience, when you need to wait for several minutes, for just your Gmail account to get loaded or when Facebook takes an eternity to log you in. Not surprisingly, the most common SOS call on online forums, is about a slowing Internet connection.
Having gone through Internet slowdown situations, quite a few times in the past, I think I can tell you a thing or two regarding what might bring down your connection to a crawl. The problem may have its source in a hardware or software issue. Let us take a look at both kinds of causes, in the following lines.

Why is My Internet Suddenly So Slow?

Every data packet, that is delivered to your computer, through the Internet connection, travels a long way from the web server hosting it, to your computer.
The speed with which it's delivered to your computer, depends on a lot of factors, which includes the bandwidth of the connection you have, the usage of bandwidth in your local area network, your router and modem configuration, and your computer hardware. Here are the prime reasons for a sudden slowdown.

Computer Viruses

In most cases, when people complain about a slow Internet connection, the culprit is a computer virus that has spread to the system from external sources like an external storage device, through email, or through websites.
Computer viruses like worms and trojans can bring down your connection speed drastically. They compromise your system and use your Internet access bandwidth, which causes a sudden slowdown in the speed.
The only way to get rid of these malicious programs and restore the speed of your connection, is to install an antivirus software and thoroughly clean the entire system. Make sure that your computer operating system's firewall is turned on and your antivirus software is regularly updated.
It will effectively act as a bulwark against hacking attacks, that are directed towards your Internet connection. So, running a full system scan and cleaning out viruses may solve your slow connection problem effectively.

Adware and Malware

Another new breed of malicious programs are adware and malware. They invade your computer and use up its bandwidth, to bring the connection speed down.
You need antivirus software with special malware and adware protection, along with Internet security, to keep your system clean and your connection working at high speeds.

Website Server Overload

If you find that only one or two websites are taking a lot of time to load in your web browser, the problem may not be at your end at all.
Due to the high level of sudden traffic, a web server gets overloaded and the download speed of the pages automatically slows down. In such cases, you can do nothing other than wait for the web server to speed up again, in its operation.

Peak Activity On Network

If you are using a cable, DSL(Digital Subscriber Line), or dial-up connection, your total local area network bandwidth is shared with hundreds or even thousands of other computers.
If all of them start using a large share of the bandwidth at the same time and you have a sluggish copper cable based network, the connection speed is bound to slow down. In this case too, you have no option but to wait for the bandwidth usage peaking to pass, or buy more bandwidth.

Hardware Problems

Another reason might be hardware-level problems. A slow modem with low data transfer speed, combined with a wireless router with outdated firmware, may lead to a connection slowdown.
Upgrading to a modem, with high data transfer speed and a latest 802.11n wireless router, will solve your slow connection problems, if you also go for a raise in bandwidth.
Any one of the given factors or a combination of two or more factors may have brought down the speed of your connection. Computer viruses are the most likely cause of a sudden slowdown and the best way to fix the problem is to get the best antivirus software, to run a full system scan.