Is your computer running slowly? It might be your Internet connection!

Posted Sunday, June 5th, 2011 at 2:44 am by: admin No Comments  

We frequently hear the complaint, “My computer is running slowly”. When we dig into the actual symptoms, many times we find that it’s not so much the computer that is slow, but rather the Internet connection. Web pages are slow to load, downloads drag on longer than expected, and videos get stuck ‘buffering’ for what seems like forever.

Sometimes the cause is congestion or trouble at the website you are trying to reach, but sometimes your own local connection might be slow for some reason. A quick and easy way to check your connection health is to visit one of the many ‘Internet speed test’ websites online. These sites measure both the upload and download speeds of your connection. This is a quick way to see if you are getting the speeds you expect (and are paying for).

Popular speed test sites:
http://speedtest.net/
http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest

ISP specific speed tests:
Verizon / Frontier:
http://my.verizon.com/micro/speedtest/broadband/

Comcast:
http://speedtest.comcast.net/

QWest:
http://speedtest.qwest.net/

Remember though that you will rarely get the ‘maximum’ speed that your ISP advertises. For example, I pay for a 12M down / 4M up connection from Comcast but when I run the Comcast speed test, my results come back at 10M / 3M. This doesn’t signal a problem though – as long as your results are ‘close’ to what you are supposed to get chances are your connection is fine. If my results had come back 2M / .5M then I would probably just reboot (unplug the power, wait 30 seconds, then plug it back in) my router / modem to start with – this simple step will clear up many ‘slow Internet’ problems.

About admin

Chris Benson has been building custom PC systems and providing troubleshooting and consulting services for over 15 years. His area of expertise centers on the capabilities, configuration, and troubleshooting of a wide variety of operating systems and has a deep knowledge in all kinds of software.

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