Slow Internet? Here Are 9 Possible Causes

Slow Internet
Shawn Stewart

Shawn Stewart

Mr. Stewart has 25 years of experience with hundreds of international, commercial, military, and government IT projects. He holds certifications with ISC2, Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, ITIL, Novell, and others. He has a Masters in Cybersecurity, a Bachelors in IT, a Minor in Professional Writing, and is a published author.

Why is the Internet so slow? We pay for 100 Megs; why is my maximum download speed under 10? I just want to download one small file. Why does it take so long?

Sound familiar? Several things can cause slow Internet. Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.

Slow Computer?


Deleted Your Temp Files This Decade? Did you know if you don’t clean out your temp files, they can slow you down and take up extra network space? Learn how to remove temp files!

Is your Antivirus really up to date? Sure, it updates itself and scans itself, but certain programs require you to manually update patches. There are several free programs you should be running as well to keep you safe on the Internet, like SpyBot ( and MalwareBytes (

Disconnected Network Drives? If you are on a network, every time you need to download a file, the system searches your drives for a destination. If you have little red X’s on drives (visible in My Computer), Windows has to time out before presenting location options. If you don’t need it, right-click and Disconnect.

Network Problems?

Courtesy of

Too Many Devices? Properly size your equipment to the amount and type of devices you have. With the Internet of Things (IoT), every device needs a connection. My house has nearly 20 network devices (phones, tablets, televisions, streaming services, computers). Learn more about Device Bandwidth!

Are your voice and video crappy? Find a device that supports Quality of Service (QoS). This creates an express lane for your real-time traffic, like voice and video. If your streaming service is jerky or the quality is low, you need a more suitable solution.

Slow Connection Speeds? Wired connections will always be faster and more reliable than wireless. Use 1 Gigabyte connection when possible. If you are on wireless, ensure you’re on the latest and fasted band. AC is capable of up to 216 Megabytes. Many people still have B, G, or N, which is limited to as little as 1.375 Megabytes. Learn about WiFi protocols!

Internet Connection?


Bits or Bytes? Internet Service Providers have two-speed designations, Megabytes (MB) and Megabits per second (Mbps). One (1) byte equals eight (8) bits. If you have 80 Megabits per second, your actual download bandwidth is 10 Megabytes, which is how computers calculate and show download speeds. If your home or office has moved to the Cloud, nearly ALL traffic goes across the Internet. Do you have enough Internet bandwidth?

Bottlenecks? You have one connection to the Internet. Using Quality of Service (QoS) queues built into business-class devices, the system creates a fair system to ensure real-time data, like voice, video, and streaming, always have an express lane, and other more forgiving data types like email can wait.

Bandwidth Hogs and Filtering? That guy streaming acid metal videos is eating your bandwidth and slowing everyone else down. Many business-class routers connecting to the Internet offer the ability to rate-limit or completely block certain unproductive traffic. Use this in conjunction with content filtering to limit your liability from what employees or family members can access on the Internet.



Do It Right!

While it is possible your Internet Service Provider is the cause of your network degradation, the problem likely lies in your own internal systems. Misconfiguration and undersized equipment are the primary causes of Internet slowdowns. The best advice is to buy the best equipment for your needs and hire a professional to configure, monitor, and manage the infrastructure.

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