Internet Connection Issues

A slow internet connection can be caused or contributed to by several different factors. Old lines, service provider issues, wireless interference and server congestion can all lead to slow loading and difficulty accessing content on-demand, something that is becoming ever more unacceptable in our information age. Below are a few causes, as well as some ways to prevent or solve them.

Line Speed

Your line speed dictates the maximum rate that data can be retrieved from the internet as well as sent to other devices on the internet. Service providers generally refer to these as download and upload speeds respectively. It outlines the maximum performance your connection can achieve, though in reality speeds will be lower due to your laptop/device processing power, others accessing the same line and whether you are accessing via a wireless or hard line connection.

Server Congestion

In spite of the quality of your connection, you may still experience issues if the site or content you are trying to access is hosted, or stored, on a server that is receiving high volumes of traffic. Servers, like your own internet connection, have maximum speeds at which they can send and receive data. This is referred to as server band width, and if a higher proportion of traffic is accessing the site than the server is designed to handle, the site can be slow to access, or crash completely. This is not a result of your own connection, though if you are trying to access a high profile site that you know generally tends to handle large amounts of customers/visitors, you may wish to double check your connection to ensure all is in order. If it is, usually waiting a little while to try to access resolves the matter.

Connection Type

The type of connection you are using will also impact the quality of service. There are three types that are typically available; Dial-up, DSL, and cable. Cable fibre optic broadband is by far the best available, and is the option you should most consider if the service is offered in your area. Dial-up connections are the oldest connections available, and they are also the slowest. Speeds generally tend to be 35-60 Kbps, assuming a good quality phone line and, in the case of wireless use, a fast modem to distribute the signal. Other Causes

When using a fibre optic connection issues can also be caused by interference from other wireless devices, such as mobile phones, wireless home phones etc. If you are accessing your connection via wireless and experience issues, ensure no other devices are blocking your access. For example, a wireless router and wireless home phone can operate at the same frequency, and as a result your connection to the router can be blocked. Proximity to power lines, microwave ovens, and other sources of electromagnetic waves can also cause issues. If the devices can't be separated sufficiently, try plugging your hard line connection into your laptop to avoid the interference entirely.

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