Slow internet is nothing less than plain frustration, and even you might be a victim of it despite having premium data plans. The phenomenon is frequent enough to have you scratching your head asking, “why is my internet slow?” While several factors can cross off your list, causing slow internet speeds, or you can consider yourself a victim of ISP throttling!
ISP throttling is every netizen’s problem worldwide. But for the US, the slow death of net neutrality is why ISPs have the complete freedom to monitor and throttle their internet connection. That slow speeds you face at that specific time of the day or during regular streaming or torrenting! Yeah, that’s your ISP throttling your connection.
And no, changing to a higher-paying plan or changing your ISP is not a solution! Whether you are in the USA using Verizon, Comcast/Xfinity, Spectrum, or CenturyLink or living in some other country, every ISP throttles, and the only solutions are the ones mentioned down below!
How to Get Rid of Slow Internet Speeds?
Before opting for any measures to increase your internet speed, you must first run a speed test to ensure whether the issue is with your device or your internet. Once you have assured that your ISP is at fault, this is where a VPN comes to the rescue.
However, you might be experiencing slow internet due to several other reasons. If you have successfully ruled out that ISP throttling is not an issue, try one of the following methods to get rid of slow internet speeds:
1. Change Your Router’s Location.
You may be shocked by how much the location of your router might affect the speed of your internet connection. You want to select an area in your house that is off the ground and conveniently accessible.
Physical obstacles such as walls, doors, or huge metal appliances, may also be a significant factor that might slow down your internet connection all of a sudden. Hence, you might want to relocate the router or other objects so that they do not interfere with the path connecting your router and your devices.
2. Rebooting Your Router
After a while, your router may become inefficient. Restarting your router is the most straightforward method of resolving many connection issues.
If you find yourself having to restart your computer regularly, you might want to schedule a regular or weekly reboot to maintain its performance.
3- Firmware Upgrades
You may want to evaluate whether you need to upgrade the firmware on your modem or not. Such evaluations ensure that your router is devoid of complications and operating efficiently.
If your modem requires it, run a firmware upgrade, which will offer free and immediate enhancement to the functioning of your modem and improve the overall user experience. Upgrading firmware also takes care of any bugs present and provides further protection against vulnerabilities.
4- Antivirus Scanning
Protection against viruses and malware is critical for optimal operation. Viruses and malware may cause your whole system to slow down, including your internet connection speed.
Establishing a healthy environment for each device would be best by installing highly rated antivirus software and keeping it updated. It would be best if you run antivirus scans at least once a week.
5- Wired Connection
If you are in the midst of some urgent work and your internet speed has slowed down suddenly, you might want to opt for linking your computer through a wired Ethernet cable.
The speed decrease is because wired connections consist of a closed environment where you can control the parameters. Whereas when using a wireless connection, the environment and thus the performance is constantly fluctuating.
6- Remove Signal Interference
Wi-Fi signal interference is caused by appliances in your house or workplace interfering with the Wi-Fi signal. It often happens due to electronic equipment that produces radio frequencies such as radios, televisions, monitors, etc.
You might want to remove them from the area you are used to sitting and then check your internet performance.
Why Is My Internet So Slow All Of a Sudden?
As mentioned above, ISP throttling is one of the most common causes of slow internet speeds. Sure several other reasons may contribute to slow internet speeds, but ISP throttling is the one that feels unfair!
While this practice is now legal after net neutrality, ISP throttling has been an issue long before such a bill was even passed. Paid prioritization has long since been one of the leading causes of ISP throttling, first introduced by Verizon.
Without net neutrality, ISPs worldwide can choose whichever websites/platforms they get to speed up or slow down.
But how do ISPs throttle your internet? Your public IP address is your online identity, and your ISPs can track and monitor your activity using it. Therefore, your regular torrenting and streaming activities are visible to your ISPs. They throttle such activities using specific bots and filters, all for the sake of maintaining their network traffic or, as mentioned, due to paid prioritization.
When it comes to the USA, all operational ISPs have “ISP throttling” splashed all over their names in several ways, such as:
- Comcast/Xfinity: acknowledged employing congestion management technology for slowing down heavy user activity.
- AT&T: The ISP is also under severe accusations for ISP throttling with its users verifying throttling in peak hours and has also faced FTC fines
- Verizon: Its reputation has been tainted ever since news of Verizon throttling Netflix and YouTube specifically came up.
- Spectrum: It also has a history of throttling your connection during peak hours and is accused of restricting available bandwidth.
If you are a subscriber of these internet services, you should opt for various preventive measures to eliminate ISP throttling.
What other reasons are there for my slow internet speeds?
It might be possible that you are facing some other minor issues that contribute to a slow internet speed on your phone, such as:
- It’s possible that your router has turned outdated and isn’t capable of functioning effectively.
- You might’ve located your router at a distance from your device, resulting in an issue with your Wi-Fi signal.
- The devices on your network might be overloading your bandwidth. It often results in a significant decline in the operation of your router.
- A poor DNS server might also significantly slow down your internet.
- You might even face poor signal intensity due to your weak connection.
To get completely rid of ISP throttling and increase your internet speed, you can install a reliable VPN that will encrypt your data and hide your IP address, making you completely anonymous on the internet.
How Does a VPN Help In Fast Internet Speeds?
ISP throttling may cause your internet speed to slow down all of a sudden significantly. However, one way to overcome the issue is by using a reliable VPN connection. A VPN is one of the most prominent solutions to many of your online issues, especially when they are concerned with your IP address.
VPNs hide your IP address and encrypt your internet traffic so that your ISP won’t be able to throttle your connection. Moreover, VPN servers located globally also help in extensively increasing your internet speed. The more servers a VPN service offers, the less crowded they will be, ensuring that you can avail of an uninterrupted online experience.
Some of the best fastest VPN providers can help you eliminate ISP throttling, as well as slow internet speeds.
Why is my download speed so slow when I have fast internet?
Let’s be honest; a fast internet connection is not exactly cheap. So when you’re paying good money for high-speed internet, it’s entirely reasonable to get frustrated if you don’t receive it.
If your Netflix starts lagging amid an episode, then your internet connection might not be providing enough download speed to support consistent playback. Such occurrences might be another drawback of the absence of net neutrality. Other streaming platforms might be paying the ISP to slow down Netflix so they can benefit from it.
Again, a VPN connection is a reliable solution since your ISP can not see your streaming activity on Netflix. Moreover, you can try various alternative measures to increase your download speed. For instance:
- You might try disconnecting other devices from your network that might be overloading your router.
- Consider connecting via Ethernet for a private and faster connection.
Some of the main issues for slow download speed despite having a fast internet connection are as follows, along with their solutions:
- Bandwidth Hogs:
Internet applications that use up all of your existing bandwidth either through downloading or by uploading data are bandwidth hogs. Among the most common perpetrators of bandwidth-hogging are syncing platforms such as OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
Other offenders include BitTorrent clients, online distribution services such as Stream, and some cloud-based anti-malware software. To mitigate their consequences, you may restrict the amount of bandwidth these apps are permitted to use. However, there is always the option of just killing them.
- DNS Server:
Once a DNS server gets overcrowded, it takes an awful lot of time for web pages to launch on your device. Your ISP is usually responsible for providing DNS servers, and they may use them to limit your access to specific websites.
However, you may use tools such as Google Public DNS or OpenDNS to change DNS servers.
Why is my Internet So Slow on my Phone?
Slow internet speed on your phone might waste a lot of your time that you might’ve utilized doing something else. You might even face severe loss as the slow internet binds you.
For instance, you might suffer academic loss as your Zoom video calls might be out of sync. The reason for this may be that the upload speed of your internet is not enough, or it consists of high latency. You might opt to use your router’s QoS to prioritize video calls in case of urgent need.
Some other reasons for your slow internet speed on your phone, along with their solutions, are as follows:
- Multiple browser tabs
When there is an excessive amount of traffic on your data connection, your internet speed will suffer. If your 4G connection/ Wi-Fi speed is sluggish, you should remove background apps and tabs to avoid overloading the connection.
- Browser Cache
Your mobile browser saves your data files and information in its cache, enabling it to launch the web pages you often visit more promptly. It might improve your overall online experience, but once your browser cache reaches its limit, it will cause your phone to slow down all of a sudden. Hence, you should clean your browser cache frequently to maintain your phone’s internet speed.
Latency is considered as the amount of time it takes for your data to travel from your device to its target and then return. A higher latency results in significant lag while you are surfing the internet or streaming. Latency might be especially aggravating while you are playing games online or making video calls.
Online advertisements also lead to a substantial rise in latency issues, which results in a considerable delay in the loading time of ad-supported sites.
Unreliable applications might be spying on your phone and even infect it with viruses. Such apps take up your resources without your knowledge and cause your internet connection to decrease significantly. Installing efficient and robust antivirus software may help you prevent this.
Why is my iPad so slow on the Internet?
Most of the causes and solutions listed in the above section apply to iPads as well. However, recently iPads have been facing a lot of connectivity and slow internet connection issues. Here are some of the reasons your iPad is slowing down once you connect it to the internet.
- Ad Blocker: If your iPad slows down mainly while surfing online, but your internet connection is satisfactory, it might be due to the websites you browse. The greater the number of ads on a web page, the longer it takes for the page to load. Consider opting for an ad blocker to eradicate this issue. Ad blockers prohibit advertisements from loading on online sites, resulting in web pages loading more rapidly in Safari.
- Background App Refresh: Even when you aren’t actively using an application, Background App Refresh enables it to update its content. Hence, they are still consuming vast amounts of data, which is why your iPad and your internet connection might become slow. Therefore, you should turn off this feature so that your iPad may operate a bit more effectively.
- Factory Default Settings: As a last resort, you might want to restore factory default settings to get rid of all the modifications on your iPad. Before you begin, make a backup of all of your essential data from your iPad’s storage to either iCloud or even iTunes so that you may retrieve it later if necessary. Doing this will eliminate your internet speed issues to a large extent.
If the problem persists, it’s most likely that the router/modem is responsible for it.
We live in a world where technology has made almost everything accessible through just a click within a snap of our fingers. However, if the tool that makes this connection possible is lagging and has issues, technology ceases to seem advanced. But just like every problem in the world, the slow internet also has several solutions. The most important of them is to install a VPN and antivirus software and keep your router at an appropriate place. You might also directly refer to your ISP and sort things out with a better internet plan.