10 reasons why your Wi-Fi connection is so slow

Image courtesy of Zdenko Zivkovic at Flickr.com

The Internet browsing experience through wireless signals (Wi-Fi), depends less on factors related to the speed you have paid for, and more on construction factors, number of devices, and network stability. The main problem of this technology is produced by cases of slow performance and bad coverage. Actually, one of the main concerns of users who do not have extensive experience in the use of Internet, is that sometimes Internet is going slower than they expect. This may be because of an improper installation of the wireless network, which, in general, produces low speed; but it may be thanks to a poor coverage or a poor distribution of equipment in physical space. However, sometimes slow Internet is caused by browser extensions or installed programs. (For learning how to speed your Wi-Fi connection, click here.) This post is about the common problems that make Internet connections run slower than expected. Let us check it out.

1 . Network Intrusion

If the connection is slower than usual you should check the number of devices connected to the network. If you are sure about the number of connected devices, perhaps strangers have access to your Wi-Fi network and you don’t even know it. If you want to know who’s the intruder, download the software Wireless Network Watcher and then install it on your computer. Open the program and press the green button (play) to start the scanning process. If the program doesn’t show anything, then: Select Options \ Advanced Options \ mark the network card in which you have an IP assigned. Click OK. On the main screen, on the left lower side you can watch the software scanning the network with all combinations available IP’s. When it is done, you’ll get a list of names, IPs, MACs… and more information. The important thing is the MAC address. With this information you can log into your router and block access to a particular MAC. If you have doubts about your neighbor hacker wireless network, use this program and then close the discriminating access to the MAC.

2. Configuration of browser and operating system

Generally, the initial configuration of browsers allows seamless connection to Internet. Check for proper navigation Settings or Local Area Network (LAN): maybe the Proxy it is not enabled.

3. Wi-Fi saturation channels

Most wireless routers use the 2.4 GHz frequency, which has 11 channels of transmission and they overlap each other, affecting the speed of navigation. Most modern routers use the 5GHz band, which brings 40 channels without overlap between them. Be careful, not all devices are able to see this frequency. This post by Don Burns about the best routers you can find will be very useful.

4.  You have installed a browser bar.

Some download sites force you to download an advertising bar. You change the home page and make it work more slowly. Try not to download this kind of bars and be aware of the downloading conditions (and clean your browser.)


Slow and Cheap_wi-fi_internet_donald burns_telecommunications
Image courtesy of Jim Whimpey at Flickr.com

5. Number and old devices

At home, many devices compete for access to the wireless signal, so the number of devices that affect the network performance. So, you must also consider the technology of each device, maybe you navigate with an old equipment 802.11 a or 802.11 b, and the browsing speed is reduced thanks to that.

6. Malware

This is the most common cause. The internet connection may be affected by spyware and / or other viruses that consume your broadband silently, affecting the speed at which finally surf.

7. Modem installation

During the installation and configuration of the modem, the technician must select the best location for the best connection quality, always thinking about from which places you’ll usually connect. Avoid moving or reconfiguring the facility that performs the technician.

8. Physical obstacles

Walls, doors and windows can affect the wireless connection. The number of walls and the material of windows are obstacles that can damage the signal. Most modern modems use MIMO, and generate multiple routes to propagate the signal.

9. Distance and Interference

Household size can influence the coverage of wireless. The distance between the modem and the place where navigation is performed can affect your experience. In addition, other electronics, such as microwaves, baby monitors or neighboring routers, may affect wireless surfing because of interference.

10. It is not a router issue

Sometimes it is not your speed network what fails, but the pages that you are visiting, the RAM of your computer or the video card. There are websites that require high speed to work well, as they have a lot of animations in Flash, banners and pop-ups that make it slower to load.


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