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Have you gone through the agony that comes when you end up staring at the buffering wheel, after being excited for the new season of your favorite show all day and finishing your work early, only to relax with a TV favorite? It feels frustrating, doesn't it? Well if it makes you feel any better, you are not the only one who has experienced this.  We have all at some point in our lives faced slow internet. Although, it is bearable once in a while, having to endure a slow internet speed constantly means you need to do something about it.

The first step is to understand how slow your internet is. You might have noticed internet service providers routinely use the term ‘up to' when they talk about internet speed, for example, up to 25 Mbps. They do so because internet speed is affected by many external factors before it reaches you. Thus, even with the best internet plans, speed that is advertised is not that same as what is available when you use the internet. You can check how much speed is delivered to you compared to how much you are paying by using an online internet speed test tool.

What May be Making Your Internet Slow?
Once you are done with the test, and have an idea how slow the actual speed is, the next step is to figure out why this may be happening. From among the several reasons that could be affecting your internet speed, the most common ones are listed below:

Outdated Equipment
Sometimes the issue is not with the speed of the internet itself, but the devices being used. Not all laptops or PCs have the right software to support high-speed internet, especially the ones which are a few years old. Also, if you are not using a modem, router or a combo gateway device provided by your ISP, it may be worth checking if these key devices are still compatible with your internet service. Fast evolving technology makes equipment become outdated much sooner nowadays. Also, it is important to change your router every four to five years as with time heating up leads to internal wires getting damaged, until it reaches a point where it can no longer support a high-speed internet. This is why before you blame your internet service it is better to check if your device needs an upgrade.

How Far is the Wireless Router from You?
If you have placed your router in the basement while working on the third floor, it is not the internet service that is to be blamed but the placement of your router. Walls, doors, and other obstacles whether electronic or metal, can hinder the speed of your in-home Wi-Fi. This is why the placement of the router is very crucial. You must ensure the Wi-Fi router is placed centrally in the house so that the signal distributes evenly in all directions. If you must work farther away from the wireless router, you can make use of Wi-Fi range extenders to enhance the signal strength and eliminate dead zones.

Virus Threats
If you experience extremely slow internet out of the blue, your device might have a virus. Viruses corrupt the internal programming of your device and in most cases also take a toll on your internet speed. So make sure you have an anti-virus installed and updated at all times.

Too Many Connected Devices
This is the most common issue, especially at times when everyone is at home. The more the number of devices connected to your internet connection, the more bandwidth you need. Not many people may know, but websites like Netflix and YouTube use more bandwidth compared to non- video downloading sites. Since these sites are commonly used in every household, users often end up with slow speed when connected simultaneously.

What Are You Using the Internet for?
Some sites are slow by themselves, whereas some activities generally need more time. For example, if you are downloading a very heavy file you cannot blame the internet for taking time. Similarly, if you are using a VPN, it will eat on the speed of the internet due to high levels of encryption. This is why before coming to any conclusion about your internet speed you should pay attention to the things you are using it for.

The Speed is Not Enough
It is not always the external factors that may be corrupting your internet speed. Sometimes your requirement exceeds the speed of your internet package and you need to change it. If that is the case, we’d recommend you look for a service provider which not only offers high speed internet, but affordable packages. This way you can upgrade your slow internet to match your requirements without breaking the bank. One such example is that of Cox Internet Packages.

Package

Cox Internet Preferred

Connection

Cable

Max Downloading Speed

150 Mbps

Max Uploading Speed

10 Mbps

Data Allowance

1.25TB

Price

$59.99/mo. for 12 months with 1-year svc. agmt. and Easy Pay

Another point you need to keep in mind while picking your internet service provider is to check for availability. Not all providers service all regions. At times, the most popular option may not be the one available in your area. So, if you live a bit far from the urban and suburban regions, opting for a satellite internet service may be the best option for you, compared to a slow DSL or an almost obsolete dialup connection.

Satellite internet can be a little pricey, however plans from providers like HughesNet bring great value for your money. That is why HughesNet makes for a popular choice for rural America in particular. It offers download speeds up to 25Mbps with data allowance ranging from 10GB to 50GB. Upload speed with HughesNet is as high as 3 Mbps. And, thanks to HughesNet Gen5 tech, latency level is much lower too.

How to Fix Slow Internet?
Once you figure out why your internet speed is acting up, you can look for an appropriate solution. As we mentioned earlier, it may be the hardware that requires an upgrade; may be it is the anti-virus that you must update; perhaps you need to enhance signal strength by replacing your router in a more central space or using Wi-Fi range extenders; or it is in fact your internet consumption that is the problem and you need to upgrade to a higher speed.

In addition to these fixes, here are a few tips which can also come handy when you are trying to improve the speed of your internet connection.

Restart Your Devices
Sometimes a simple restart can fix a lot of problems. Do that with your connected device(s) and also with your modem and Wi-Fi router. Unplug the modem, router or gateway device. Wait for a few minutes and power them back on. This helps clear the working memory of the device, and start afresh with tasks.

At times, modem and router configuration settings can also cause an issue, and it is worth looking into whether or not each is configured to match the manufacturer’s recommendations. Changing the Wi-Fi band’s channel sometimes does the trick.  

Connect to the Modem via Ethernet
If you think your wireless router could be acting up and not letting you get the delivered speed, connect your device direct to the modem via an Ethernet cable. If the speed improves, it’ll be clear the problem lies with the wireless router.  This may be impractical as you will no longer have the freedom to move around, but it will temporarily fix your problem. And, also help identify the source of the slow internet speed.    

Close Unnecessary Tabs & Apps
Often we forget to close tabs and apps we are no longer using. These continue to use up bandwidth and disrupt the internet speed.

Manage Your in-Home Wi-Fi Network
When there are more than a couple of devices running on the same network, it is better to keep a tab on all devices. This can help achieve efficient internet consumption. It is quite like managing the traffic for optimum usage of your internet connection speed, while keeping an eye on network is security and privacy.  

Call Your ISP’s Customer Service
As annoying as it is, sometimes calling customer service is the only option you have. Not all problems can be understood by the layman user. Especially, if the issue is technical in nature. So, after you have tried and tested all these fixes without much luck, the best thing would be to get in touch with your service provider.

Change your service provider

A little upgrade never harms anybody. It is not practical to use the same internet service provider despite poor quality service. With time quite as you change your devices, your ISP also calls for an update. Below is a list of three signs that tell you to start looking for other high-speed internet service providers, so that you can stream with ease. After all, times have changed and so have patterns of internet consumption.

However, the struggle does not end when you decide it’s time for an internet service upgrade, rather that is just the beginning. Soon you will find yourself confused by offerings from multiple service providers. To make that part of your journey easier we have listed some of the fastest internet service providers for you below.

ISP

Speed

Starting Price/mo. for 12 months

AT&T Internet

0.8-940 Mbps

$35.99

CenturyLink Internet

15-940 Mbps

$49

Windstream Internet

200-1000 Mbps

$37

Frontier Internet

6-940 Mbps

$27.99

Spectrum

100-940 Mbps

$49.99

Mediacom

60-1000 Mbps

$39.99

Grande

300-940 Mbps

$35.99

RCN

25-940Mbps

$19.99

Wave

100-1000 Mbps

$39.95

Xfinity

25-2000 Mbps

$24.99

WOW!

200-1000Mbps

$49.99

 

Slow internet speed is not just irritating but a waste of your money. And, can also get you into several problems such as late submissions and unmet deadlines. This is why once you start feeling your internet speed is not enough for you, don’t torture yourself more and choose a better and faster option.