Wi-Fi Speed Low: What Could Be The Reason For Slow Or No Internet?


A hand holding a cellphone

Are you having a problem with your Wi-Fi which renders you unable to use the internet properly?

Well, we all have been there…

That feeling of extreme annoyance when your internet speed just crawls at a slower speed than the snail in your garden. Constantly loading the screen with seemingly no end to it. Video buffering. Or the holy message of “there is no internet connection” while you’re checking your Wi-Fi connection.

Surely, they are annoying as hell. But still, in order to fix the problem, you need to know what exactly causes the problem in the first place.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the top 12 reasons why your Wi-Fi might be exceedingly slow and how to fix them.

Let’s dig in…

Building Materials

A hand holding a cell phone

Surprisingly, one of the many reasons you’re having annoyingly slow Wi-Fi is probably your home’s building material. RF signals such as Wi-Fi, radio waves, and mobile networks can be easily blocked by several building materials such as dry wood, cement, brick, alloy metal, etc.

As a result, if your home or apartment has a considerable open layout, the Wi-Fi network can easily reach your devices and boost your internet speed. Meanwhile, if the house you’re staying at has thick walls, a large number of furniture, and energy-absorbing glass, it might block the network causing an extremely slow network.

Old Router

A desktop computer sitting on top of a desk

Do you have routers that are over 5 years old and still using it for your internet usage? If yes, it’s no surprise that your internet speed is extremely slow. Router models that are more than 5 years old might not keep up with the latest standards such as 802.11c. Also, it might not be able to support 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bandwidth simultaneously.

So, in order to solve the slow internet problem is to change your ancient routers right away and bring one enabled with the latest Wi-Fi technology. After all, surfing the internet using an iPhone with an old router is the same as having a luxury car with punctured tires.

Your Device’s Distance From The Router

The Wi-Fi signals you use to surf the internet come to your devices directly through the router. So, naturally, the more your distance from the router is, the weaker the signals will be. And as a result, your internet speed will be much slower.

To get the best results, the general rule of thumb is to keep the router in the middle of the home or somewhere closer to the place you use the internet from most of the time.

Therefore, if your home is bigger than usual or has multiple floors, then you might need to use a Wi-Fi extender in order to have a decent internet speed in the furthest places.

Weak Router Antenna

A person standing in front of a laptop

Today, many Wi-Fi routers have at least one external or detachable antenna. And they’re there for one single reason: to make the router upgradable. Therefore, when you detach your old antenna and upgrade it with a new one, this obviously gives you more range, higher network speed, and increased efficiency.

So, if your antenna is getting weak for your use, just make sure you get a superior antenna with multi-directional coverage with extended range to fix your slow internet problems.

Old Device

Sure, when you’re getting a slow internet speed, most of the time it’s the router’s fault. But that might not be the case all the time. Different kinds of tabs, cell phones, and computers have different kinds of internet capability that affects the speed of the internet.

So, even if you have a high-speed Wi-Fi router, if your devices are incapable, the internet speed is bound to be slow. And it’s even more evident if the device is older than 5 years far lagging behind the latest Wi-Fi technology.

You might like to ride a horse, but in the city, you would eventually have to switch to a car or bike if you want to reach your destination faster and more efficiently. It’s time for you to make an upgrade.

Bandwidth Consuming Apps

A person sitting at a table in front of a computer

If both your router and your device are working alright, then it might be your apps that are slowing the internet down. A few apps can really eat up a lot of your Wi-Fi bandwidth causing the internet to slow down for every other device or app.

For example, the online shopping apps and online file storage apps may run in the background eating away a lot of your data. Many apps even keep refreshing all the time even when you’re not actively using them.

In order to prevent that, make sure you always toggle off background data usage for the unused apps.

App Updates

Did you update your app to its latest version? If not, then these apps might work really slow even if you have a super-high-speed internet connection. The software companies always push forward new app updates to ensure the apps work perfectly. So, if your app isn’t working as fast as it used to be even after rebooting your phone, you might need to update your app now.

Malware And Viruses

There are many malware and web sources that might impact your device negatively and even temper with your Wi-Fi speed( you can check in your Wi-Fi speed test). Suspicious email attachments, unsecured websites, unsafe apps, and many more.

Downloading a computer virus or malware from those questionable sources can severely impact your device and it usually affects your device’s security and performance. Therefore, you must always keep this malware and viruses away from your devices.

Keep your OS up-to-date, install an antivirus program, and follow the basic internet safety protocol to keep those harmful programs away and keep your device safe.

Too Many Connected Device

Before you pull your hair out of frustration because of the slow internet, let us ask you a few simple questions.

How many people are in your home? And how many devices do you own that use your home’s Wi-Fi to keep working or surfing the internet? Do you have any smart devices like smart LED lights, smart speakers, smart locks, and even security cameras relying on Wi-Fi?

Add all these numbers to get a clear idea of how many devices are constantly using your Wi-Fi first. If the number is simply too many, then there’s no surprise that you’re having trouble with slow internet.

Many of these smart devices use up a lot of your bandwidth in order to stay up-to-date which results in an overload on your Wi-Fi router. And that’s the very reason why your internet speed test is showing you a poor result.

Make sure you use a Wi-Fi plan with enough bandwidth to support all the devices or reduce the number of devices that use Wi-Fi in order to have smooth sailing.

ISP Downtime

Sometimes, it’s neither your router’s nor your devices’ fault that you’re having an extremely slow internet connection. Sometimes, your slow internet might be the result of a short ISP downtime which can happen every once in a while. It just happens a few times no matter how incredible your ISP is.

And sometimes, so many people use the internet in a limited area of coverage that it is no different than Monday morning during the rush hours which leads to network congestion. And that happens especially during the lazy weekends.

At that time, when everybody in your neighborhood who is using the internet from the same ISP stays online, network congestion is bound to happen. And this ultimately leads to a slow internet. We’re all in the same boat at that time.

Wi-Fi Stealing

If everything seems fine and yet your internet is extremely slow, it might be the result of Wi-Fi stealing.

In order to prevent that, first, make sure you keep your Wi-Fi password protected. If you don’t password protect your Wi-Fi, it will be the same as keeping your front door flung open 24/7 while you’re sleeping.

Second, make sure your password is strong. Keep your password at least 8-digit long with a combination of numbers, alphabets, and special characters. Keeping your Wi-Fi password as simple as “123456” or “password” is the same as inviting people to steal your Wi-Fi instead.

Keep these things in mind to keep other people from stealing your precious Wi-Fi bandwidth and enjoy fast internet.

Digital Interference

Digital interference may cause your internet speed to pummel down and it might happen for several reasons such as wireless signals from other devices like radio, cell phones, microwaves, and more. Even if Wi-Fi uses a different signal frequency, wireless signals such as radio waves might still interfere with it.

On the other hand, if you’re using an older router that uses Wi-Fi at 2.4 GHz frequency, it might overlap with other 2.4 GHz frequencies from other electronic devices.

Therefore, make sure you connect your Wi-Fi with the 5 GHz band in order to prevent these unwanted overlapping and network congestion and enjoy faster internet.

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