If you’re a regular internet user, you know there are few things as frustrating as attempting to use your connection and experiencing buffering and lag during the day. Small hiccups are to be expected, but regular issues with your internet connection can make you wonder why you’re paying a consistent price for inconsistent speeds.
Before you call tech support, check out some typical problems that may be causing your internet connection to slow down during the day.
What are some of the common culprits?
A decrease in internet speed happens more frequently during the evening: most users are online during the time from 7-11 p.m. known as “internet rush hour.” However, a speed decrease during the day could also take place. Here are multiple reasons and how you might address them:
Heavy network traffic
Even if you’re browsing outside of internet rush hour, you may still experience the effects off heavy “connection traffic.”. Connection traffic refers to the competition between users and devices for bandwidth on your internet connection. Just like a highway or interstate, the more users and devices share your network, the more congested it becomes.
Cable internet subscribers share bandwidth with other users in their area and will be more susceptible to heavy network traffic in and outside the household.
Take some stress off your network by disconnecting internet-connected devices that are no longer in use or are using up bandwidth unnecessarily. Mobile phones, smart home devices, smart TVs and gaming systems are just a few of the devices that could be congesting your network.
You can also switch to a channel on your Wi-Fi with fewer connected devices. Most routers have both a 2G and 5G connection, with the 5G channel being the fastest. Switch to your 2G channel which is more likely to have fewer devices and less congestion.
Router or modem troubles
Your router and modem’s key responsibility is to manage your network and this job requires regular maintenance to keep the equipment in proper working order. If you have a 2-in-1 router/modem device, you’ll only have to worry about maintenance for one piece of equipment, but if you have two separate devices, pay attention to them both. Your router and modem must work together to manage your network and deliver your Wi-Fi signal.
- Regular restarts – There’s a reason why your IT technician’s first suggestion is to restart your device. Your router is like a computer and rebooting can solve a lot of short-term problems and give your device a chance to update.
- Close proximity to your Wi-Fi connected devices – The closer your internet-connected devices are to your router, the better your connection. Place your equipment in a central location of your household, free of interference from other electronic devices and obstructing objects.
- Strong login information – A router already comes with default information, and this information is common knowledge with well-known models. Change your login credentials to something more difficult and random to prevent hackers from accessing your network.
- Up-to-date hardware and software – As you add more internet-connected devices and users to your network, make sure your router has the capacity to keep up. If you’re having issues maintaining a steady Wi-Fi connection around the house despite extenders and positioning, it may be time for a hardware or software upgrade.
One of the most common symptoms of malware, viruses and other malicious programs is a decrease in the quality of your computer’s performance. As it infects your files and starts to infiltrate your system’s functionality, malware also uses your bandwidth to do so.
Run an antivirus program with auto-updates and scans so your system is constantly securing itself. Some internet service providers offer free antivirus software with a subscription to internet service.
Incompatible connection type
Your internet connection type is one of the first ways to make sure your internet activities are compatible with the speeds you require. Each connection type has a different way of transmitting your data and is better suited for a certain level of internet usage and type of activity. For example, fiber-optic and cable connections typically offer internet speeds that far exceed satellite and DSL connections.
More specifically, satellite connections offer speeds from 500 Kbps to 25 Mbps, while DSL speeds range from hundreds of Kbps to millions of Mbps, according to the FCC. Cable connections offer speeds from 1.5 Mbps to 2,000 Mbps, while fiber-optic internet can exceed cable by hundreds of Mbps, depending on your provider.
Call now to see what provider options are available in your area. If you have access to cable or fiber-optic internet service, consider switching internet providers at your earliest convenience. An internet connection that’s better suited for your internet activities could be an easy solution to faster internet.
In some cases, your internet service provider may be responsible for a shift in your internet speeds. “Throttling” refers to the practice of limiting bandwidth or slowing a connection during certain online activities or after a data cap has been reached. If you’ve been noticing a clear connection between activities like streaming, gaming and large file downloads to a decrease in internet speed, throttling may be to blame.
Take our speed test today to see how much speed you’re receiving compared to initially advertised speeds. Remember to close out of high bandwidth activities like online games and run your test during a time of the day when external influences are least likely to interfere. Global internet usage is heaviest between 9 and 11 p.m.