Why is My Internet Slow?: How to speed up your Internet connection.


The factors that affect your Internet connection speeds are analogous to the factors that determine how fast you can drive your car!

Business is moving at the speed of light, literally!  But to be as competitive as you can be, you have to have the right Internet connections for your business.

To understand the reasons why your Internet connection may be slow, it is useful to think of it in terms of trying to maximize your speed while driving (every analogy breaks down eventually, but this one is useful to understand several concepts).  Your ability to drive your car fast is dependent on several factors:  The road on which you are traveling, the amount of traffic on that road, the car you are trying to drive, and the ability of the driver.  Each is analogous to things that affect your Internet connection speed.

The Road:  We all know that the quality of the road will affect the speeds that can be hit while traveling on it.  World speed records are set on wide open salt flats.  New, well-maintained, multi-lane highways with no speed limit might be the next best thing.  But we all know that most roads are not like this.

In the world of Internet connectivity, the “roads” are comprised of the pathways upon which signals travel.  Fiber optic cable and wireless connections have become the standard, but there are different sizes of fiber for those who have it (many people do not yet have access to fiber optic cables) and not all wireless connections are created equal.  Some connections are like traveling down an old two-lane country road with a 35 mph speed limit!

When we are called in to improve a company’s Internet connection, one of the things we always assess is the “road”.  Who is the Internet Service Provider (ISP)?  What are they supplying?  What kind of cabling/connections are there between the ISP and the company’s suite or space?  How is the signal being distributed throughout the space?  Regardless of where the impediments are, we can upgrade the quality of the “road” for you.

The Traffic:  We all know from experience that if there are too many cars on the highway, we are not going to move fast.  How many times have we been stuck in traffic wishing there were ten more lanes on the freeway?

In the Internet world, this is analogous to the amount of bandwidth being used, versus the amount available.  Most businesses today need at least 100 MB, upload and download, and many need more than that.  But even if your ISP is providing you with a lot of bandwidth, you may still find things to be slow if your demands for bandwidth are high.

There are many ways to either reduce bandwidth usage or increase the availability of it.  One of the first things we do when working with companies to increase Internet speeds is measure the current bandwidth usage and assess what that usage is for.  Sometimes, “traffic” can be reduced by simply changing a few insignificant things.  Sometimes we find that bandwidth is being eaten up by security issues – spyware, malware, etc.  A good cleaning and good security measures can often increase speed.

Of course, even if we reduce bandwidth usage now, it is likely to increase in the future.  In fact, some experts have predicted that bandwidth usage will increase for most companies by at least 50% every couple of years!  So, what’s usually more effective is to add more lanes to the highway.  In other words, we often need to increase the bandwidth that is available.

The Car:  Your Internet access is only as fast at the internal network and the hardware on which you are operating.  Just like driving a go-cart on the Autoban, having the best Internet access, with incredible bandwidth, does not help much if your network is not configured properly or does not have the right components in place.  This is true whether it’s wired or wireless.

Often, when we are called in to increase a company’s Internet speed, we find that we can double, or even triple the speed simply by redesigning their IT network.  If the hardware in your network is more than three or four years old, it is likely to be slowing you down.  Sometimes, the hardware is fine, but it is not configured properly.  This is often the case with wireless connections – there are often things that are interfering with the signals.  A little bit of time on our part redesigning the configuration of your network can often pay huge dividends.

The Driver:  Even if you put the latest Lamborghini on the Autoban, with no traffic in sight, it won’t go fast if my grandmother is driving it!  (No offense meant to grandmothers.)  The driver is analogous to the software you are running and how it’s configured.  For instance, sometimes, a few changes to your browser and its preferences can speed things up significantly.  As was already mentioned, the right kinds of security can eliminate malicious programs that can slow you down.  Old versions of some software also have similar effects.  Bottom line:  Properly configuring your devices and managing the software on them can make a world of difference.

Regardless of which one of these, or combination of these, is needed to increase your Internet capabilities, we can get it done for you.  We have the expertise and the experience to guarantee better Internet for your business.

To figure out what you need and how we can get it done for you, ask us for a comprehensive IT assessment.  During this IT assessment, we will learn all about your business, both current and future plans.  We will also test your current systems and determine all of your bandwidth needs, both now and in the future.  Based on the IT assessment, we will design the ultimate systems for you and increase your ability to operate at the speed of light over the Internet.

See what we can enable your business to do, schedule a comprehensive IT assessment today!
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