Is It The ISP Or Your Home Network?

Slow internet performance can be confusing to troubleshoot, especially if you've had to call technical support more than once. Sometimes, resetting the modem or restarting the computer helps, or there may be an outage with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). In some cases, the problem might be with your computer or home network. If you want to do more than sit through the instructions at technical support, here are a few troubleshooting points that go beyond basic cable checking and resets.

Start At Your Computer

Whether your internet is slow or constantly disconnecting, you'll want to check your current activities first. Make sure that every website or service is having the same issue because you may be dealing with one website or service having problems on their side. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about a website having internal problems other than contact their administrator if you have their contact information.

If everything is performing poorly, make sure there isn't any excessive downloading or uploading on the network. This means more than downloading a file on your computer; any video streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, music streaming or activities on other computers on your network can contribute to slow performance. Your internet plan is a pool of resources that all computers on the network share, so if someone is taking more than their fair share, that could be the problem.

Some viruses could cause slow performance while downloading illicit files or by simply slowing down your entire computer. It may look like the internet is slow, but it could be your entire computer.

Are you using wireless internet? Even if you've always had a decent internet speed over wireless, check a wired internet connection to see if both wireless and wired are slow. If it's just the wireless network, there could be local interference that requires an Internet Service Provider's technical team to pay a visit. It could be someone else's modem signals, new radio signals or even a wireless mouse interfering with your signal, which can be worked around.

It Could Be The ISP

Problem occur at every layer of the internet and with every ISP. If you can't find the problem in your home after intensive troubleshooting, call your ISP to find out if there's any local problems.

Common local ISP problems occur during storm seasons. Lightning can strike a power pole supplying power to the local distribution office, or an otherwise unnoticed electrical fire could burn through the cabling for your neighborhood. If you're the only person who uses the internet for more than checking email and basic web browsing, you might be the only one who bothers to report the issue in a timely fashion.

Have you ever seen signs warning people to dial 811 before digging? One of the many reasons for this warning is because underground transit cabling for internet service can be struck while digging. Although shielded, it's not difficult for a cable to be cut by a sharp shovel, backhoe, excavator or other digging tools, resulting in a problem specific to your area.

For more information, contact an IT service or ISP in your area.