Slow Internet

Slow Internet can be caused by a wide variety of issues, some that can be easily resolved, others can be harder. Try going through the list below.

Possible Cause Explanation and Potential Solutions
Peer to Peer Filesharing These programs by their nature can consume vast amounts of bandwidth and cause slow speeds if their connection settings have been left as default. Check for any programs left running in background on all your devices, especially those of teenagers who will tend to configure filesharing software to their best advantage, to the detriment of everyone else sharing the connection. If you have persistent problems, CMIT can install a specialised Router that can more fairly share/prioritise the available bandwidth and/or implement time of day rules.
Viruses/Malware Ensure that you have up to date Anti-Virus software installed and that your hard disk is regularly scanned. Viruses and other malware can consume significant bandwidth if they are attempting to send Email Spam or DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. CMIT has successfully used AVG Anti-Virus software for over 16 years and never had a Virus problem. Other Anti-Virus products, particularly Norton and McAfee have given rise to a number of issues with CMIT clients' PCs over the years and these are actively discouraged.
ISP Throttling or lack of capacity Some ISPs may either implement bandwidth throttling or simply not invest in sufficient bandwidth to satisfy all their customers needs at peak times. This will usually be observed as significantly different speeds achieved at different times of day. The only solution is to complain to your ISP and if it doesn't get better, move to a different ISP. CMIT's experience in NZ has shown Snap (now 2Degrees) was by far the best ISP for speed, it remains to be seen whether the takeover by 2Degrees will alter this. Vodafone and Spark (in no particular order) are next best, with most others trailing a long way behind. Some smaller/specialist ISPs can offer very good speeds, but these can vary considerably too and it's harder to give specific advice.
Faulty/misconfigured internal cabling If you have a fault or misconfiguration of your internal phone wiring, this can have a significant effect on ADSL/VDSL connections. It is best for the DSL router to be as near where the line enters the premises and never use phone extension cables. CMIT has regularly doubled bandwidth by removing unnecessary phone extension cables. Other issues with internal cabling would require a site visit to determine the problem. DSL filters are usually required, but too many can cause issues, a DSL Spliter at the entry point is the best solution.
Adware Be careful about installing "free" software or software from unknown sources, this may often have an "Adware" payload which can slow down not only your Internet connection, but can also slow down local applications too. Some Adware can be extremely difficult to remove and it is sometimes necessary to completely re-install the Operating System. If you haven't learned yet that there's "no such thing as a free lunch", installing "free" software will eventually burn you.
Too many browser windows open Many websites with advertising or rapidly changing content can cause significant bandwidth usage even when minimised or idle, so don't leave too many open.
Atmospheric conditions If your Internet connection is via Satellite or Wireless, you can have periods of "rain fade" or "sun fade". Rain fade, as its name suggests, is caused by heavy rain. Sun fade, generally only affects Satellite connections and usually only occurs when the Sun is directly in alignment with the Satellite and your receiving dish, it usually only happens twice a year and usually for no more than a few minutes. If there is extreme Sun Spot activity this can also affect Satellite connections. There is nothing much that can be done about either of these conditions, but if they happen regularly, it may be due to an issue with your receiving dish or antenna and may be worth having your ISP check it out.
Trees/Buildings If your Internet connection is via Satellite or Wireless, there must be clear line of sight between the receiving dish/antenna and the satellite or transmitter. Anything in this path can degrade the signal and lead to slow or intermittent connection.
Low memory If your PC is low on memory then both Internet and local applications can be slowed down. For MS Windows v7 and later, really 4GB is an absolute minimum, 8 or 16GB will give improvements, but more than this is not normally required for home or office use, except in specialised servers. Windows XP 32bit can only access up to 3GB of memory, so no point in adding more, the 64bit version can access more (8GB?).
Browser type and/or version Different browser types, e.g. FireFox, Chrome, Internet Explorer/Edge, Safari, are constantly in a state of update and flux. Sometimes one will lead the pack for a while then lag behind. For a long time FireFox was best, but recently Internet Explorer/Edge has caught up or surpassed FireFox. CMIT's experience with Chrome has never been good and Safari is in the middle of the bunch.
Wireless Interference If you are using a local WiFi connection, then wireless interference in the local environment can be a big factor in slow Internet. The interference can come from a number of sources, e.g. Microwave Ovens, Cordless Phones, Wireless Speakers, Bluetooth devices, Baby Monitors, the list is very extensive. CMIT can help diagnose interference issues and recommend measures to eliminate them.

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