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  2. Internet
  3. DSL
  4. Why does my internet feel slow?

Why does my internet feel slow?

Does your internet seems slow or laggy?   Especially since COVD-19?  There are many reasons this may be the case that may or may not be your ISP.

When we are working, a video call with colleagues becomes pixelated, with delayed audio. Watching the latest Netflix show and it gets interrupted and buffered.  Video game updates take ages to download. In the worst cases, the connection drops altogether.  AARGH!

What’s causing your slow speeds? Your internet provider or your wifi equipment at home? Here’s a method to figuring that out.

  • Download an internet speed test app on your phone, like Speedtest by Ookla (free for iPhones and Android phones).

  • Stand physically close to your wifi router and use the app to run a speed test.

  • Move to a room farther away from the router and run the speed test again.

  • Compare the results.

Less than 10 megabits a second is pretty slow. Speeds of about 15 megabits a second are sufficient for streaming high-definition video; more than 40 megabits a second is ideal for streaming lots of video, 4k video, and playing video games.

If the speed test results were fast near your Wi-Fi router but slow farther away, the problem is probably your wifi router.  If speeds were slow in both test locations, the issue more likely your internet connection.

If you have pinpointed that the problem is your router, the bad news is that you may have to buy new equipment. The good news is that there are many approaches to improving your Wi-Fi connection.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • How old is my router? If it’s more than five years old, you should definitely replace it. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission removed restrictions that had limited the wireless transmission power of Wi-Fi routers, allowing new routers to be 20 times more powerful than they were before. Upgrading to a newer router will probably be one of your most life-changing tech purchases.

  • Where is my router placed? Ideally, your router should be in a central location in your home so that the signal covers as many rooms as possible. In addition, your router should be out in the open, like on top of a shelf, not hidden inside cabinets or under a desk, to beam a clear signal. You should also avoid placing the router near objects and materials that cause interference, like large fish tanks or anything metal.

  • How big is my home? If you have a home with multiple stories and lots of rooms, and your Wi-Fi is weak in some areas, the best solution is to buy a wireless “mesh” network system. It’s a system of multiple Wi-Fi access points, including a main router and satellite hubs, that lets you connect multiple wireless access points together to blanket your home with a strong internet connection.

    My favorite mesh systems are Google Wifi and Amazon’s Eero, which start at $99 for a single router and can be bundled with additional access points. In general, I recommend mesh systems even for smaller homes, because they are fast and very easy to install.

  • Are my other devices slowing down my connection? Gadgets with slower internet technology can slow down speeds for all your other devices.

    For example, the iPhone 5 from 2012 uses an older-generation Wi-Fi standard (802.11n). Newer iPhones, from 2014 and later, use a faster wireless standard (802.11ac).

    Let’s say you own a new iPhone and your teenager owns the iPhone 5. If your teenager begins downloading a video on the iPhone 5 and then you start downloading something on your iPhone, the older phone will take longer to finish before the signal frees up for your phone to download at maximum speed.

    As a remedy, many modern Wi-Fi routers offer settings that can give specific devices a priority for faster speeds. Consult your router’s instruction manual for the steps. In this hypothetical example, you would want to give your new iPhone top priority and move your teenager’s old iPhone to the bottom.

  • Are my neighbors slowing down my connection? In apartment buildings crowded with gadgets, the devices’ signals are fighting for room on the same radio channels. You can see what radio channels your neighbors’ devices are using with scanning apps like WiFi Analyzer. Then consult your router’s instruction manual for steps on picking a clearer radio channel.

    This step is tedious, and many modern routers automatically choose the clearest radio channel for you. In general, replacing an outdated router is the most practical solution as they do more things automatically.

If you have determined that Succeed.Net internet service is the root of the issue then call 530-674-4200.

When you call, ask a support agent these questions:

  • Why are my speeds slow? Usually a support agent can analyze your internet performance history and possibly make setting changes to speed up your connection.  If there is something wrong with the connection or equipment it may require an onsite visit from a technician.

  • Does my ISP provided equipment need to be replaced? For fixed wireless it is a radio (located on your roof or tall structure) and for DSL it’s a modem connect to your phone line.  These can become outdated and occasionally need to be replaced. If the support agent confirms the equipment is old or faulty they will usually schedule a technician to come a replace the equipment for wireless, but for DSL it’s something you can buy at Walmart or Amazon.com

  • Can I buy faster speeds? Your provider may offer packages with more bandwidth meant for higher-quality video streaming and faster downloads. Ask about your options, sometimes there are promos or lower pricing for faster speeds!  Old internet plans are usually always slower.

As a last resort, you can turn to backups. Many modern cellular phones come with a hot spot feature, which turns the device’s cellular connection into a miniature Wi-Fi network. (Apple and Google list steps on their websites on how to use the hot spot feature on iPhones and Androids.)

Updated on May 21, 2020

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