Comparing network connections on your devices, especially if they share the same network could leave you puzzled. We explore the possible causes for the discrepancy in internet speed and the steps you can take to fix this. By first analyzing the problem, you can easily identify and troubleshoot the specific cause of the slow internet on one computer and work towards resolving the issue effectively.
Everyone appreciates a fast, lag-free network. When our internet is slow, we all have a problem. You could be facing slow browsing, video buffering or loading speed issues, or even worse, game stuttering and lagging on your PC. We will dig deep into this problem and show you possible problem areas that may be causing a slow internet connection in one computer. At the same time, another runs optimally and ways of resolving this.
Latency refers to the delay or lag experienced when data travels from its source to its destination over a network. Reducing latency is essential for a smooth and responsive user experience. Latency can play a significant role in affecting the overall speed and responsiveness of online activities. Here are some ways latency affects user experience:
- If latency is high, it can result in slower page loading times, making the browsing experience feel sluggish and less responsive.
- In online gaming, even a slight delay can noticeably impact gameplay. High latency can cause actions performed by the player, such as shooting or moving, to be delayed, resulting in a frustrating gaming experience.
- Latency affects real-time communication applications like video conferencing and voice calls. High latency delays in transmitting audio and video data can disrupt conversations.
Analyzing a slow internet connection
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you analyze a slow internet connection:
- Check other devices
Determine if the slow connection is specific to one device or affecting all devices connected to the network. If it’s only one device, focus efforts on that particular device.
- Restart your devices
Begin by restarting your modem, router, and computer if you are experiencing slow internet. Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve temporary issues.
- Test the speed
Conduct a speed test using an online tool to measure your internet connection’s upload and download speeds. Compare the results with your subscribed plan to determine if you’re getting the expected speeds.
- Check for network congestion.
If your internet speed is consistently slow during peak usage hours, it may be due to network congestion. Switch between the available networks to find out which is causing a lag.
- Inspect hardware connections
Ensure all cables connecting your modem, router, and devices are securely plugged in. Damaged or loose cables can cause connectivity issues.
- Scan for malware and viruses.
Perform a thorough scan of your device using reputable antivirus or anti-malware software. Malware or viruses can consume bandwidth and slow down your internet.
- Optimize your browser
Clear your browser cache and cookies regularly—Disable unnecessary browser extensions or plugins that may impact internet performance.
- Check WiFi signal strength.
If using a wireless connection, verify that you have a solid and stable WiFi signal.
- Update firmware and drivers.
Ensure that your modem, router, and network adapters install the latest firmware or driver updates. Outdated firmware or drivers can impact internet performance.
- Check for bandwidth-consuming applications.
Check for any background applications or processes that may be consuming bandwidth. To determine which applications are the heaviest users, take the following steps.
Step 1: Go to settings on your PC
Step 2: Click on Network & Internet
Step 3: Click on Data usage
Fixing a slow internet connection
By now, you likely have figured out where your problem lies. You can take the following steps to fix the slow internet on your computer.
i. Get a dual-band router
A dual-band router can help address slow internet issues by providing better performance and reducing interference where WiFi networks are congested.
ii. Switch from WiFi to LAN
An ethernet connection gives consistent speeds with low latency and is not affected by congestion like WiFi.
iii. Reset the network adaptor
This reset is like hitting the refresh button on your connection. Resetting the network adapter can help resolve various connectivity issues, but it’s worth noting that it won’t fix problems related to hardware malfunctions or configuration errors. Here’s how you can do this.
At the bottom-right of your screen, right-click on the network icon. You can also navigate here from settings.
Step 1: Click on Open Network & Internet settings.
Step 2: Ensure you’re on the status page.
Step 3: Scroll down and click on Network Reset.
Step 4: Close any running applications on your PC.
Step 5: Proceed to Reset now.
A prompt will pop up informing you that you’re about to be signed out, followed by a restart.
You’ll have to sign in again on all your networks, hopefully with a better connection.
iv. Close or temporarily turn off background processes or applications consuming bandwidth
These background processes consume your bandwidth, such as software updates, cloud backups, and file downloads. This leaves fewer resources for other tasks like browsing the web or streaming content. Reviewing and managing the bandwidth usage of background processes and applications is recommended. Close or temporarily turn off these applications to see if it improves internet speed.
v. Check Hardware connections
If using an ethernet connection, check for any visible physical damage on the cable. Consider replacing any worn-out wiring. Try using a different cable to see if it improves the connection.
vi. Upgrade the RAM
Although it is not the sole determining factor, RAM (Random Access Memory) impacts the ability of your PC to handle multiple tasks and optimize the overall performance. Upgrading your memory will potentially result in better internet speed and responsiveness.
Comparing network configurations and system performance between slow and fast computers can provide valuable insights into the cause of the disparity in internet speeds. Taking the steps prescribed in this article and ensuring updated software and drivers can help resolve the issue and strengthen your internet connection.
It’s also good to note that some problems are out of your control, such as downtime of the ISP servers. This can only be resolved by your provider. If the issue persists, it would be better to change providers.