Slow Internet connections are a very common and frustrating problem; however, figuring out why your Internet is having issues can be very difficult since there are a number of factors that can contribute to the problem. One of the best ways determine where your issue is coming from is to use the speedtest.org Internet speed test. Doing so can help you determine if your issue is a slow computer, a problem with your Internet service provider or if your router is causing the problem.
You will receive two test results: a download and an upload speed. Your download speed is usually 10 times greater than your upload speed, so it is normal for your upload speed result to be small. Your results will be displayed in Mb/s, and you should compare these with your promised connection speed from your ISP.
Should you find that your download and upload speeds are not in range of what your ISP promises, either your computer is running slow, which is slowing down your Internet, or you need to upgrade your connection speed with your ISP. However, if you find that your connection is significantly slower than what your ISP is supposed to provide you, you should do some more testing to figure out where the issue is coming from.
It is likely that you have a router that allows more than one computer or device in your home to get online. To determine if your router is the problem, you will want to connect a computer directly to your cable or DSL modem and then run an Internet speed test again. If you are still experiencing slow speeds, the issue is more than likely with your Internet service provider, and you should contact them for repair.
On the other hand, if you find that your Internet connection speed jumps up when you bypass your router, your issue is either with your wireless connection, the router itself or another computer on your network. To check for wireless issues, you should connect your router back to your modem and then physically plug your computer into the router using an Ethernet cord. Run another Internet speed test and check the results. If they are low, you may need a new router or there may be a problem with one of your other devices. If they are fast, you probably need to adjust the wireless settings on your router. Most of the time changing your wireless channel will fix the issue, and if you are not sure how to do so, contact your router manufacturer.
To see if your problem is your router or another device on your network, you should keep your computer plugged into your router and turn off all other devices. This will include tablets, cell phones and gaming systems that use the Internet. Run another speed test. If you find that you are still having problems, your issue is most likely with your router. However, if you see an increase in speed, one of your devices is either using all of your bandwidth or causing network issues. Turn each device on your network back on one by one and run a speed test after you do so. When you see a drop in your connection speed after you turn a particular device on, you will know which one is causing the problem.
Running an Internet speed test at speedtest.org can also help you isolate intermittent issues and help your ISP determine where a problem is. You may find that particular times of day or particular days are better than others. By recording times that are problematic, you can help narrow down the source of slow connection issues.