Troubleshooting for a Slow Internet Connection
6 Quick Fixes for the Busy Business Owner
Your business productivity and success probably relies heavily on the internet. It may even be a mission-critical part of your operation. So, if your internet connection develops a problem, or fails to deliver the speeds you need, you need to fix it – and you need to fix it fast. Below are six troubleshooting tips that any small business staff without IT expertise can use to improve a slow internet connection quickly.
- Know Your Speeds. First, visit your internet provider’s website and find out what speeds your plan is supposed to deliver. Then visit Speedtest.net and run a test of your actual internet speed. If the speeds match up, there’s no problem with your network, your devices or the connection. The problem is you have a slow internet plan. The simple solution is to upgrade your plan to higher speeds.
- Check Your Hardware. Before you do anything else, reset your modem and router by turning them off and on again, and see if that fixes the problem. If not, check the other computers on your network to see if their internet connection is also slow. If only one computer is slow, the computer is the problem. If all the computers are slow, it’s most likely the router or modem. You may need to adjust the settings, check the connections or buy a new device.
- Avoid Signal Interference. Signal interference on your Wi-Fi can cause your internet connection to perform poorly. To avoid this interference, you can try repositioning the router closer to your devices or away from physical obstacles, like walls and floors. Your signal may also be affected by other Wi-Fi devices in neighboring buildings, or other wireless appliances nearby, such as cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors or garage door openers. You can also try changing your wireless channel.
- Run Anti-Virus Software. Viruses, spyware and malware are malicious programs that can secretly infect your computer while you’re surfing the Web. If your network is infected, a virus can generate network traffic without your knowledge – and that will slow down your internet speed. Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date and running to identify and remove any viruses from your network. If you don’t have anti-virus software, get some immediately! There are plenty of free and subscription-based programs that can detect, remove and prevent these viruses.
- Stop Programs That Hog Bandwidth. It’s not always a virus that hogs bandwidth. Many popular and productive applications consume more than their share of network resources – for example, games, video and music streaming and file sharing. Try quitting or pausing some of these programs. Also, check for programs that are running undetected in the background. Computers often download necessary updates in the background. You can configure your computer to schedule these downloads when you’re not using your network.
- Call Your Internet Provider. If your troubleshooting efforts do not fix your lagging internet connection, call your internet service provider (ISP). The problem could be on their end. Also, your provider’s technical support can walk you through other troubleshooting procedures. It may be something simple that you can do from your location, like switching your directory server setting, called a DNS. Or you may need a service tech to visit your location.
One last thought. If your internet provider cannot fix the problem, or your internet performance is inadequate even after the fix, you should consider upgrading to a faster internet plan or possibly a different internet provider.