Why is my download speed so slow

Updated at 02 May 2022

There are many reasons why slow internet speeds could occur. It could be out of date, or it could be too distant from your computer or TV. These fixes can be as simple as restarting and upgrading your router or enabling mesh networks. Bandwidth throttling could also be a reason for slow Wi-Fi.

Your slow Wi-Fi connection could be caused by something straightforward. Perhaps you need to move your router or add a Wi-Fi range extender. This article will show you how to determine if your Wi-Fi is throttling and what to do to fix it.

In short, here are possible reasons why is your download speed so slow: you have a data usage limit from your Internet provider. Or, your Wi-Fi router is too far from your device. Or, there are many clients(devices) that use the same Internet conncetion, hence, causing it to slow down. Or, those clients decrease the stability and quality of your Wi-Fi router's signal.

why is my download speed so slow

Troubleshooting slow internet connections

Your Wi-Fi connection is slow, and your service provider may be causing it. Before you leap to conclusions, go through the standard troubleshooting checklist: make sure your router is located centrally in your home, reposition its antennas, double-check your network security, etc. Then, check out our suggestions for more ways of optimizing your Wi-Fi.

See also how to use mobile hotspot without using data.

Test your internet speed to verify if your download speed is slow

If you find out there are no simple explanations for your internet problems, you can take a more detailed measurement of the health and performance of your Internet.

Start with a basic test using any online tools for that(e.g., Speedtest). This will test your connection speed and show you if your ISP provides consistent performance regardless of what content you access. The measurement isn't perfect, but it's an excellent place to start.

test your speed to understand why is your download speed so slow

Fix your download speed

This is the tricky part. Even if your provider throttles your Internet speed, there may not be much that you can do. Many Americans live in areas with ISP monopolies and duopolies. This means that you may not be able to find a better provider. Here are some valuable suggestions:

To maintain consistent speeds, you may use VPN. Although a VPN cannot fix a slow connection or any other issues causing it, it can reduce throttling by unscrupulous ISPs.

If they continue to throttle your internet, call your provider. Although it might sound old-fashioned, and we cannot guarantee long-term results, providers had always responded positively when our author used such tactics.

fix internet speed to understand why is your download speed so slow

If the problem is yours, you can usually fix slow Internet connection speed(at least, try to). Sometimes, a simple restart of your modem or router (or all-in-one wireless gateway) can speed up your internet connection. However, slow speeds could also be due to problems at your provider, which you can't fix.

If your router or modem is not functioning correctly, it will cause a speed bottleneck. The same applies to wireless gateways. In addition, equipment that is older than necessary may not be able to support specific internet protocols. Slowdowns can also be caused by equipment damage such as bad ports and components.

There are several ways you can ensure that your network runs at its best. Our guide will help you find and fix the weakest links in your network. We'll start with the basics, but we'll go into more detail as we continue to explore our guide.

Potential problems that could cause slow Internet speeds

Many clients that use your Internet connection

Maybe you have multiple devices that download something over the Internet? For example, if you and the other roommate use Steam simultaneously over the same Internet connection, it may cause the slow download speed on Steam. Tha same applies to slow download speed on Chrome browser, YouTube, etc.

Your Internet may slow down when you have too many people online at once. This is a sign that your data plan doesn't allow for enough devices. First, take our internet speed testing to determine if your ISP offers the fastest internet speeds. Then, consider upgrading if your results are within your plan speed.

You have a set amount of bandwidth in your internet package. If there is more data than the bandwidth available, it can cause traffic jams. Your internet connection is like a road leading to your home. Your house can be reached by one car worth of internet data or people.

Multiple cars must line up to reach your house if they are trying to get there. If more cars arrive than the others, the wait time and line will get longer. Upgrade to a faster internet service compatible with your family to increase your bandwidth. Suppose your internet connection slows down when multiple users use it. In that case, the internet plan that you signed up for years ago may not be enough.

The network of your provider is overloaded

Cable internet subscribers might experience slowdowns at peak times when everyone in their area is online simultaneously. This is similar to traffic on your home network but on a much larger scale. This is where you and your neighbors are competing for the same bandwidth. Your internet provider might throttle internet speeds in your region to alleviate congestion.

It is impossible to control the frequency of internet use in your area. We don't recommend asking neighbors to log off so that you can zoom in peace. However, there are some ways to get around this problem. Schedule media and game downloads outside of peak hours. It is possible to switch to a different provider that has fewer subscribers than you, but that can be hard to find.

overloaded network causes your download speed to be so slow

Fiber internet is the only internet type not affected by network congestion in an area. In addition, fiber infrastructure can carry more information than any other internet type, so customers don't have to wait as long as they want.

Your router is not receiving a strong Wi-Fi signal

Wi-Fi signals can be affected by distances and walls. A weaker Wi-Fi signal can lead to slower speeds and more frequent disconnects.

If your connection is slow in one room but works well close to your router, you can determine if signal interference or weak Wi-Fi signals are the problems.

First, make sure you check the placement of your router to fix weak Wi-Fi. Your router should be in a central, elevated position away from any obstructions that could affect Wi-Fi signals, such as walls and Bluetooth speakers).

slow wi-fi causes download speed to be so slow

You may need to replace the router with one that has a more extended range or better coverage.

Check out our guide for long-range routers if you want better Wi-Fi coverage. This guide covers both standalone and meshes Wi-Fi routers, so you can determine how to get the best internet access in every corner of your house.

Slow and outdated software

Your internet connection might not be the problem, but your device. Unfortunately, your tablet, smartphone, computer, or gaming console may be outdated and not capable of processing Wi-Fi speeds today.

The old but beloved PlayStation Vita handheld console can support speeds up to 150 Mbit/s because it uses Wi-Fi 4. This speed will vary depending on which router it connects to and what security protocol it uses. Vita will not experience speeds exceeding 150 Mbps.

slow software that causes download speed to be so slow

Turn power on and off on your laptop or desktop can help speed up your computer. This will clear your memory and refresh your connection. It also removes temporary files and unnecessary processes. Speed problems are often caused by an overworked processor. A quick power cycle, which involves reducing the processor to its minimum for 30 seconds, will "clear its head."

The following are some other things that can slow down your device:

  • Too many applications open
  • Too many tabs open in your browser
  • Software that is out of date
  • Drivers that are no longer relevant
  • To install updates, the operating system must be rebooted
  • Patch downloads
  • App downloads
  • Malware

You can avoid overloading your computer's CPU by closing any unused programs and browser windows. Allow auto-updates to keep your operating system current and your antivirus definitions up-to-date.

You may also like an article on how to fix corrupted data on PS4. But to speed up your PS4 download speed, you may use the same methods you've used for PC or mobile.

Type of internet connection

You can choose from various technologies that internet providers use to deliver your connection. These include fiber, satellite, or DSL. Of course, the type of internet connection will affect your speed.

Satellite internet transmits internet signals from a base station to a satellite to a receiver at home. Satellite internet can be slow because all information must travel so far both ways.

DSL internet uses telephone lines to transmit data. The infrastructure is often a bit older, so it can't handle as much bandwidth as a fiber connection. As a result, DSL internet speeds are just above 100 Mbps, and electrical signals tend to decrease in quality over long distances.

DSL is slower than cable internet because it uses the same coaxial cables as cable TV. Cable internet speeds can reach up to 1,000Mbps. However, the cable is more susceptible to network congestion in high-traffic periods due to its overall "shared infrastructure".

Fiber-optic internet has been around since the dawn of time and is the fastest type of internet. Fiber uses laser pulses or LEDs to transmit your internet data. This makes it less latency than all other internet types. Fiber can carry more bandwidth than DSL or cable and offers speeds of up to 2,000 Mb/s. It is less susceptible to network congestion and can provide equally high upload and download speeds.

DSL and cable are both the most popular internet types, while fiber is rarer and more expensive. Satellite works best in rural areas, where other internet types are impossible.

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