There are few things more frustrating to hardcore Internet users than a sluggish broadband connection. After all, the entire purpose of paying more for broadband is to get faster speeds than DSL. So where are those speeds? And is there anything to be done about a lethargic Internet connection?
While there are some things that you can do to maximize your broadband speed, other issues are unfortunately out of your control. But before you begin to experiment with boosting your speed, it’s important to note that when people mention high-speed Internet, including broadband connections, they’re usually mentioning potential speeds. So when your provider sold you that speedy broadband connection, they were using theoretical numbers that represent the best case scenario. That’s why it’s essential to shop around before settling on an ISP for your broadband service. Talk to your neighbors and do some online research about the fastest and most reliable providers in your own area before you sign a contract.
Of course, even carefully researched providers sometimes develop technical issues beyond your control. For example, DSL users will notice that the distance from their provider’s data center will have a significant impact on their Internet speed. Because DSL travels through copper lines, the farther you are, the more the lag. Unfortunately the only way to fix this issue is to physically move closer to the DSL data center.
Broadband cable Internet customers may notice a sluggish connection during certain times of the day, especially if they live in a densely populated city. During the afternoon and evenings, a high volume of data moving through cable lines can slow your connection speed as more people are trying to get online at the same time. You can avoid this by switching your internet usage time to mornings and nights when possible.
If you find that your usually quick broadband connection has suddenly slowed unexpectedly, your first call should be to your Internet service provider. They may be performing routine maintenance or broken lines, in which case the issue is temporary and repair itself within a few hours. Also, if a particular website refuses to load in a reasonable amount of time, try opening a new tab and going to a different site. If it loads normally, then the problem is with the site itself, and not your Internet connection.
Finally, before giving up on your broadband connection, make sure that the problem isn’t, in fact, your computer. Run a virus scan, check for malware, spyware, adware and other bugs that could be slowing you down. Defrag your computer and empty the recycle bin. Sometimes, a simple fix can speed you up more than you realize.
Sam Jones, the author, has been re-examining his broadband choices after having an incredibly poor connection speed from one provider.