The purpose of this article is to share with readers how to troubleshoot common problems relating to a slow internet experience. Several things might be the cause of a slow connection, including, a faulty wireless or network card, a faulty modem, a rogue application or malware, the internet service provider (ISP), excess network connectivity, or undersized circuit. This guide will show you how to troubleshoot and solve each of these problems.
Fix Slow Internet Problems – Faulty Wireless or Network Card
How do you know if you have a faulty wireless or network card? You might suspect you have a faulty wireless or network card if you have other devices on the network that are not having issues with the internet. That can be a clear indication that the problem is local to the computer experiencing the issue. From there, you can run a simple test like Packet Loss Test – Test Your Connection Online | DeviceTests. If you’re on a Windows device you can perform the following steps to be sure:
- Press the Windows key
- type in cmd and open Command Prompt
- In Command Prompt, ping the IP address of your default gateway (modem). You can find this by typing ipconfig.
- Look at how many lost packets you have. If you are losing packets, you likely have a bad wireless or network card.
If you are on a wireless network, you could move closer to the modem and try this process again to see if there is improvement. Packet loss on a wired connection can also happen if you are on an ethernet line and over 300ft away from your modem. Network cards are relatively inexpensive and can be an easy repair.
Fix Slow Internet Problems, Application or Malware
If you have tried testing your local network using the method above for testing your wired or wireless connection and found that it was fine, then there is likely another culprit. If you only have one device on your network that is slow, then it is an issue with that device. You can follow these steps to continue troubleshooting a slow PC internet connection.
- Press the Windows key
- Type in Resource Monitor
- Go to the network tab and filter by Total
- If there is an application or process that is causing issues, right click on it and select End Process Tree
If that does solve the slow internet problem, you can stop this process from starting either by uninstalling it and removing it from your computer or opening Task Manager >> Startup and remove it from starting it up with the computer.
Fix Slow Internet Problems – ISP Connectivity
Unfortunately, when it comes to solving problems with your ISP or internet connection, you must rely on them. You can prove if its on their end by following the steps above by opening command prompt and using ping. Instead of pinging the default router, you can ping a public IP address like Google (188.8.131.52). If you experience packet loss there, but not when pinging your modem, there could be an issue with your ISP. You can also run tracert (trace route) from the command prompt to help you find exactly where the issue lies.
You can use this information if you call into your ISP and start a trouble ticket. It might not actually be your ISP, but the connection on the service you are trying to reach. If that’s the case, you could let the service provider on the other end (e.g. a website or application provider) know there is an issue with their internet. Most likely however, your ISP will need to deploy a tech or you may need to replace your modem/router.
If your internet connection is being maxed out because others are streaming movies or using network-heavy applications, then your network can be bogged down and likely you will have to upgrade before you see an improvement.