By Mike Timmermann, clarkhoward.com
If you find yourself screaming at your computer screen while you wait forever for websites to load, maybe it’s time to find out why your Internet connection is so slow.
Luckily, there’s a free tool to help you do some of the detective work on your own, and it might save you a call to customer service.
Take this free test to check your Internet speed
Go to SpeedTest.net and click “begin test” to find out your download speed and upload speed in just a matter of seconds. If you’re using Wi-Fi, connect your computer directly to the modem using an Ethernet cable for better results.
Now that you have the results of your speed test, log in to the account with your service provider to see if you’re getting what you’re paying for. For example, if you pay for up to 75Mbps and the test says 20Mbps — something’s up!
What could be slowing down your Internet
According to AT&T, there are at least six factors that could be slowing down your high-speed internet service.
- Age of your computer – Some older devices may need additional memory in order to get the speed you want.
- Distance from your computer to a website and the path, speed and capacity of the website’s connection to your network.
- Obstructions – Where is your Wi-Fi gateway located? Walls containing studs, metal pipes and glass surfaces can all cause slowdowns.
- Popular websites – The website’s server might be overloaded.
- If you have any viruses or unnecessary software running in your computer’s background, your speed could be reduced.
- Software – Your computer might need an operating system patch.
What you can do
In addition to addressing the issues mentioned above, AT&T suggests reducing the number of connected devices, resetting your modem/router, rebooting your computer, clearing your cache and running fewer applications.
If these steps don’t improve your performance on the test, you’ll have to call customer service.
We should mention that SpeedTest.net isn’t your only option. There’s a good chance that your service provider has its own speed test tool. And Netflix recently introduced Fast.com, which lets you compare results to SpeedTest.net.
For more information follow this link, clarkhoward.com