Author Topic: Slow Internet Connection  (Read 243 times)

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Offline Adrian the Goat

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Slow Internet Connection
« on: August 30, 2016, 11:43:27 pm »
Does anyone here have any suggestion as for what to do about my internet connection? Where I live, my parents pay for the maximum amount of download speed we can get here which is three megabits per second. I've noticed here recently that it's extremely slow. I can't even watch YouTube videos with the speeds I was getting. From my interney test just now, it says I'm only recieving 0.15 megabits per second. I used to get about one megabit per second, but it keeps getting worse. The internet hardly ever works here anyway. Outages are extremely frequent. Unfortunately, I can't swith provider because I live far out in the county, five miles from the city limits. This is absolutely ridiculous though. When my parents or I call our service provider, Windstream, they supposedly fix it. By fixing it, they really just reset it which isn't even effective anymore. Does anyone have any ideas on what to do about such a lack of service?
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Offline Vlad

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Re: Slow Internet Connection
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 12:09:33 am »
Yes!

Speed issues with internet frequently have to do with hardware and local set-up rather than provider-side errors. There are several of these that could be killing your speeds. Notice these all have to do with wireless internet; if you are having speed issues with wired connections you either have a bad router or the problem is indeed on the provider's end.

A major problem in my setup has been interference. Lots of consumer electronics run on the 2.4GHz wireless communication frequency typically used for wi-fi. We also live in a suburb and the neighbor's wireless networks all overlap our own- I can access 12 separate networks from my laptop when sitting in my room. You mentioned you were in the country so interference may be less of an issue, but if you have a smartphone there are a couple good apps to measure wireless interference and see what channels on the 2.4GHz band are most congested. If your router has that function, you can then switch to a less populated channel. Aside from that, upgrading to a dual band router is a MAJOR help in boosting wireless performance. Your devices will have to have dual band receivers to be able to use the 5GHz band and benefit from it, but most laptop and desktop computers can be upgraded with better wireless cards.

One extremely common reason for poor performance is that the wireless router provided by the internet company... well, tends to suck. A lot. If you're like my family and AT&T requires you to use it, you can still upgrade the router by plugging it in to the old one with ethernet and using the old router as a network bridge between the provider and your new router. Just make sure to disable the wireless on the old router to avoid confusion and signal interference. The provided router may be old enough to be on an older wireless protocol- this would be the letter representing the generation of IEEE wireless protocol it complies with, usually preceded by 802.11. Your router should be at least 802.11n compatible, but upgrading to an 802.11ac router may significantly improve speeds. Like dual band, this technology isn't utilized unless both the router and the receiving device have 802.11ac transmitters.

If you are having slow speeds when plugged directly in to the internet with an ethernet cable, I would first double check that it isn't the cable- failing cables can do this sort of thing and it's tricky to pinpoint- but it is in that case most likely that your router is dying or the internet company is at fault, which in either case you should be able to get their help with it.

Hope that helps! I'm a freelance computer technician and I've provided on-demand technical support to several small businesses, so I usually know my stuff. If someone else thinks I don't know my stuff I'd be happy to be corrected!
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Offline Adrian the Goat

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Re: Slow Internet Connection
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 10:22:33 pm »
I called Windstream today about the issue to see whether or not they could fix the issue. They verified that it wasn't due to interference. They updated the modem's firmware, and they even rebuilt the line for us. Despite the hour long phone call I had, they could do nothing to fix it. They said that we live too far out for them to be able to do anything about it, and that they can't improve our internet any further. I did a speed test just now and it's only running at 0.12 megabits per second. I'm trapped with this atrocious speed because of where I live. No other service provider covers my area, and as I said, Windstream refuses to perform any type of further assistance. My parents pay for a three megabit per second connection, yet we get nowhere near that. Windstream even said that they pay for the standard package, but we can't get it. I honestly have no idea on what to do. Several of my school assignments, my writing, and of course my social life and gaming are all online. I can barely log into FurryTeens and Kik now. All I can say is thank you for trying to help, Vlad.
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Offline Vlad

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Re: Slow Internet Connection
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 11:15:35 pm »
Oh... I'm really sorry to hear that Adrian, I guess it must be their fault then. It's really hard to live without reliable internet these days... Hopefully they can get things fixed, maybe ask to speak with someone higher up in the company? If you're not getting what you're paying for you should be entitled to some help from them, or at the least a steep reduction in your bills. If it's possible, I guess you could try and find some place in town to spend time that has free internet, like your school or your public library, and hang out there... if you have a bicycle or some other form of self-transportation you could probably spend a decent amount of your time there instead of home.

Hope things get figured out for you soon, keep in touch with us when you can!
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Offline Fozz Poloski

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Re: Slow Internet Connection
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2016, 07:30:06 pm »
Try upgrading your home network
New modem/router
New ethernet cable
It may help
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