The most irritating part is when your surfing around on the Internet and then suddenly your computer begins to slow down or comes to a complete halt for absolutely no reason at all. But before you become irate and wanting to place your boot through the monitor screen, or decide to phone your Internet Service Provider and demand an explanation, here are a few troubleshooting tips that you can try out first.
What you first need to do is make sure that the actual power on your DSL or cable based modem and router are on. Make sure that the router, which is connected to the modem, is still functioning properly by checking if all of the usual LEDs lights are still on and flashing. When it is flickering or blinking away, then that means there’s activity from the power source and modem.
Rebooting The Modem And Router
What you want to do is turn off or unplug both of your router and the cable or DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) modem completely so all the lights go off.
Then wait a few minutes so it can reset itself. Begin by first plugging in the power to your modem first. The modem is the one that’s directly connected to the cable or DSL source.
Once all of the lights are flashing on the modem, then replug the power cord back into the router and wait for all those lights to begin flashing. Once the lights on both devices are on, then try your Internet browser again.
What this is known as is “power cycling,” since what your essentially doing is jump starting the two devices by completely powering them off and then plugging them back in again.
Doing A Broadband Speed Test
What you may want to try next is testing your Internet connection by using what’s known as an online broadband speed test. This online test will indicate the current speed of your ISP’s broadband network speed that’s fed to your modem and computer.
It’s recommended that you run it a few times to see if the strength of the bandwidth changes at all during the course of the day. The majority of these usually free online speed tests will display both the upload as well as the download speeds. Just go to Google and search for “Broadband Speed Test”
If the speeds happen to be lower than what’s been in the past or what you expected, or what you’re ISP claims, then you should be phoning your Internet service provider and hopefully they should be able to fix the problem.
Multiple Users On The Network
If you have multiple computers or users who are sharing the same Internet connection, then it’s completely possible that there’s not enough bandwidth to go around for everybody.
For instance, say that your office or home has recently began using cloud computing for all of your CRM (customer relations management), emails, and file backups.
If everyone on the network happens to be using these Web dependent services at the same time, this along with the other regular work related Internet browsing, the amount of bandwidth which is provided by your ISP could be maxed out and you may need more.
There are other Web based functions and applications which eats up a lot of bandwidth as well, such as if you use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or videoconferencing software.
So if you feel you don’t have adequate bandwidth or it’s too slow for your business needs, then you’ll need to contact your ISP regarding the options which they offer that suits your growing business demands.
Potential Viruses Or Malicious Spyware
If your computer has somehow contracted a virus or picked up spyware from any recent downloads, they can cause your Internet browsing speed on your computer to potentially slow down.
What some of these viruses will often do is spread itself by sending copies of themselves by piggy backing the email that you send, which will absorb your bandwidth as well as slow down the performance of your computer.
If you happen to have spyware on your PC, these malicious programs are able to monitor what and how you browse online, and at times even track your keystrokes. They will then report back to their “master” somewhere on the Internet with what it finds. Yes, they are that sophisticated without you ever knowing.
So to prevent these unwanted viruses and spyware to ever take residence on your computer, make sure that all your devices which are connected to the network are always actively running a reliable self updating Anti-Virus security solution.
If Everything Is Okay Then It May Be Time For An Upgrade
So after troubleshooting all of the potential solutions and you find that your ISP speed and your bandwidth are fine, and that there are no viruses or spyware on your computers or network, then the Internet connection may be slow because of your computers hardware system.
For instance, is the Internet slow when using your most aging computers while your brand new laptop or tablet PC’s in your office aren’t experiencing any speed issues. Usually, the hardware requirements for most Web applications are pretty modest, such as requiring just a 1GHz processor on the computer or just 256MB of memory.
So if your current antiquated PC doesn’t meet these basic standards, then it’s most likely that your computer is just too old and it may be time for an upgrade.
You can easily find out the speed of your PC’s processor as well as how much memory it has by clicking on the “Start” tab in Windows and then right-clicking on the “Computer” tab. Next, select “Properties” which will display what hardware your computer has.
Although this may be just the basics of troubleshooting a slow Internet connection, following these steps should solve the majority of the problems which causes network speed drops and computer slowdowns.
If the problem still persists, then contacting or switching your ISP provider to one that’s more reliable should solve the problem.