There are several things that can slow down your internet connection. Before coming to the conclusion that you need a new router or that your internet service provider (ISP) is no good, you should monitor internet speed you are getting and do a little trouble shooting to figure out if there are any other reasons that your internet is slow.
Viruses, Spyware and Adware
You may have viruses, spyware or adware on your computer such as the so-called Internet Speed Monitor. These malicious programs will not only significantly slow down your internet speed but will also slow down your computer. Internet Speed Monitor is malware that gets installed on your computer and then bombards you with pop up ads when you are trying to browse the internet. The result is greatly reduced internet speed. Removing these parasites is probably the most important step you can take to improving your internet speed as they eat up your system’s resources and bandwidth.
Monitor Internet Speed by Checking Who is Using your Bandwidth
The first thing to check is who is using your bandwidth? Think of bandwidth like a freeway with 2 lanes. If lots of people are driving on the same freeway, traffic will flow more slowly as cars get backed up. If many people are driving on your freeway (your bandwidth) your internet will similarly be slow. The first place to check is in your own home. Children are notorious for downloading every game, movie or music file they can find. Check who is downloading or using bandwidth intensive applications on the internet. When you see your kids playing a computer game, don’t assume it’s an application on your hard drive. Many games today are played with other users across the internet and they use a lot of bandwidth. Beware of other applications such as VOIP phones, watching movies online or listening to music. All these types of items will use a chunk of your bandwidth.
Next, determine which of your neighbors is connecting to the internet through your router. If your router has not been secured, anyone can connect to it. Not only will this drain your bandwidth, it is also a security risk. Anyone with the willpower can cause damage to your computer through an unsecured network. Your neighbors don’t always connect to your router intentionally. Some wireless cards are set to automatically connect to the closest available network. Your neighbor may not even be paying attention that they are connecting through your router and therefore draining your bandwidth. To secure your router you need to log into your router’s setting page through a web browser. Your router’s instruction manual will tell you what IP to enter in your web browser in order to get to this page.