Frequently Asked Questions

2. Why Is My Internet Suddenly So Slow?
It's Not Your Connection, It's Someone Else's..

Just because a speed test reveals your connection is capable of certain data rates doesn't mean you'll always get them. For example, if your connection provides 5mbps downstream, the server you're connecting to has to provide the same speed upstream just to you. You're not the only one connecting, so that's a lot of bandwidth. Major sites do have crazy amounts of bandwidth and can match your speeds on numerous occasions, but many will not. This doesn't mean there's something wrong with your connection, but that the server you're connecting to cannot match your speeds.

How can you tell?
If your speed test looks good that's one sign.

Are the regular sites you visit slow?
Compare a few of your regular sites - are they all slow or just one?

Do the download speeds from regular sites you use appear less than normal?
Again, compare a couple of regular sites you use.

Perhaps...You Left BitTorrent On (or Other Downloads)

If you have multiple computers (or a NAS) in the house, you might forget you've left a bandwidth hog like BitTorrent running. BitTorrent seeds (uploads) files you've finished downloading to a potentially unlimited number of people for an indefinite amount of time. Downloading, at least, will stop when the file arrives. In the event you don't have files adding themselves regularly through automation, you don't have to worry about a drain on your downstream connection. Uploading, however, can take a big hit if you forget to turn BitTorrent off.

You can solve this problem simply by checking anytime your connection seems slow, but if you regularly forget that won't help much. Fortunately, most BitTorrent clients — like uTorrent, provide bandwidth caps and scheduling. Using caps allow you to always limit the amount of your upstream and downstream connection that BitTorrent can use. Just give your client a number—say 100kbps—and it won't exceed that amount. Scheduling takes that a step further by applying those caps or stopping all traffic at specific times during the day. If you only want BitTorrent running while you're at work, you can limit its activity (or stop it altogether) by setting a bandwidth schedule in your client's preferences. Using either method, you'll avoid surprise drains on your internet connection.

While you have a few choices of BitTorrent client on Windows, uTorrent is hands down the best…

Of course, BitTorrent isn't the only thing that bogs down your connection. Lots of other apps can run in the background and slow things down, either briefly or for quite awhile. Apps often automatically update themselves. App Stores and programs like Steam can causes a big bandwidth drain when downloading several updates, for example. Be sure to check on everything capable of utilizing your connection in the event a slowdown occurs.

Your Router Isn't Doing Its Job...

Routers are tiny little computers that manage your network. Sometimes they require a bit too much of themselves and cause problems. That's why many routers require a regular restart. Sometimes we can easily fix this problem, but other times you may just have a bad router. Unfortunately, routers often don't fail by completely dying. Rather, they'll stop working well and you won't notice immediately. If your router turns into a declining dud, we'll check it and where necessary replace it.

 Last updated Tue, Mar 1 2016 11:20pm

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