What affects internet and download speed

Example of an internet speed test report

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Example of an internet speed test
Example of an internet speed test
Example of an internet speed test

Factors that affect Internet speed

We have heard it and experienced it many times, slow internet speed. But why is the internet slow when the provider you just signed up with told you the internet would be fast? You download songs, you download movies and sometimes they are downloaded in seconds, and other times they take minutes and sometimes even hours reminding you of the days of dial up internet.

There are several factors that can slow down your internet speed, in this article we will look at the most common causes.

One of the contributing factors that can affect internet speed is what is using the internet connection. With technology evolving fast and many of us running wireless devices from phones to tablets that use the internet allows the connection to be worked more often from checking email to even making phone calls. A lot of homes and businesses have digital phone service even, which also uses our internet connection.

Internet speeds can vary. A provider may tell you that your speed is 3 Megabytes, or a cable provider may even tell you that you can get speeds of 8 Megabytes, but that is the speed the internet provider is going to give you. If you have two computers online streaming movies for example, a third computer downloading a file or streaming a song is going to more likely have problems. The internet speed is reduced by the other computers already streaming a movie.

Another example is similar to what was just mentioned and that is too many people online. Your internet providers have multiple servers and systems to manage internet traffic, but if too many people get online at once, it will slow things down, the only advantage to this however is for everyone to stay online and get the page or file they want instead of getting disconnected from the internet.

A great way to verify that your internet connection is near or at the standards your internet provider gives you is to do a speed test, wwww.speedtest.net is an example of a website that will measure your internet speed. If you are asked to choose a server near you, be sure you do exactly that, as the closer the server is to you, the more accurate the reading is. You can also ask our internet provider if they have their own website to measure internet speed which will provide even greater accuracy as the speed will be measured on their network instead of multiple third parties.

Finally sharing your internet connection is another common factor. Some folks in apartments or dorms will share their internet connection with others, but sometimes we tend to think with the speed our internet provider is giving us we can have many people using the internet connection, and furthermore your friends may tell their friends how to use your internet connection and what you thought might have been an extra person or two using your internet, might end up being 8 or 9 more people. If multiple people are online at once with their computers, their Ipods, their cell phones, your connection will be affected grealty.

In conclusion if you notice your internet speed is slow take into consideration how many items in your home or office could be using the internet at the same time you are, look at the number of people on computers, what they are doing, how many wireless devices are using the internet connection. Don't underestimate the person using them or the size of the object. A cell phone can use just as much internet then a laptop computer, a desktop computer, and don't forget the TV and your DVR boxes from the cable company, yes those use the internet too. VoIP or digital phone service also requires using the internet. In today’s technology a fast or big internet connection can get used up very quickly. If you feel you have narrowed down or don't have much using the internet, conduct a speed test. Your internet connection may not be perfect, and sometimes a slow internet connection can be the result of the speed your internet provider has committed to giving you. If you are downloading a file, consider the time of day you are online (after school, election campaigns) and also consider if the program or file is popular, enough people could be downloading the file with you causing a bottle neck to slow down the download process. Don't be afraid to explore the option of speaking with your internet provider about speed test results and what can be acceptable or even if the hardware they provided you needs to be checked. Some internet providers will tell you the speed can be slightly slower, but if your speed is 50% less (for example) then what you were told, and you have a difficult time loading web pages or receiving email, you should speak with them for further troubleshooting.

Comments 2 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, thanks! I will do all you mentioned, and its great info, really appreciated your help, nell


rnewco profile image

rnewco 4 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working