The Speed Test

Why is my internet slow?

Regardless of the type of service that is used to connect with the Internet, there are several factors that can bring even the most robust connection to a crawl. Here are some examples of elements that can produce slow Internet service, as well as some solutions for these factors.


Perhaps the most common situations that can result in slow Internet service is the present of a virus on your hard drive. Computer viruses can be transmitted in a variety of ways, most commonly through an attachment to an email. The computer virus will integrate into key programs on the hard drive and silently use up a great deal of resources. By diverting some of the resources to running the virus, an Internet service slow down is inevitable. Fortunately, installing virus protection and removal software will help to remove viruses from the hard drive, as well as prevent new ones from infecting the system. As part of the task of preventing slow Internet service from occurring, it is important to make sure the antivirus software is updated regularly.


Along with viruses, there is a wide range of programs created to grab control of software on the hard drive and use it without the knowledge of the system owner. Programs of this type are often referred to as Trojans, since they can creep in before they are ever detected. Along with worm viruses, Trojans use up resources and create an Internet slow down that will be noticeable. The typical Trojan is acquired by opening email attachments, allowing the program to grab the address book and begin to send out more infected attachments to every email address on the hard drive. Antivirus software updates usually identify new Trojans and viruses, and can remove them from the system, provided that the Trojan is not configured to shut down the system if removal is attempted.

Spyware and Adware

Spyware and Adware are relatively innocuous programs that silently download when web sites are visited and are used to track the Internet activity of the user. The collected data is normally used in developing marketing campaigns and creating email texts. Unfortunately, spyware and adware also use up resources that can slow the system down a great deal. Removing the programs will reverse the incidence of slow Internet service, and make it easier to enjoy a more robust speed.

Speed and Duplex issues

Network connections have a few ways to negotiate how fast to talk. They options are 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1000Mbps, 10000Mbps. The negotiation process is called auto negotiation in the network world. All of these connections also have the option of full duplex or half duplex. Duplex means you can send and receive at the same time. Half duplex means that you can either send, or receive at any given time. If you connect to a switch that is only a 10Mbps connection with your 10/100 network card, you will more then like go to half-duplex witch causes collisions and will slow your internet down.

ISP Issues

Not all reasons for slow Internet service are due to clandestine programs and viruses infecting the hard drive. In some cases, the ISP is the origin of the Internet slow down. Routers and servers used to provide the service may be overloaded or experience a technical issue that temporarily slows down the speeds provided by the Internet Service Provider. This is true for high-speed solutions as well as for dialup service providers. At other times, the origin of the slow Internet service may be the local phone connection. Depending on the number of connections that the local phone company multiplexes on the wires that make up the system, there may simply not be many resources available to establish the connection. This is often the case in rural areas, where there are limited options when it comes to Internet connectivity.

Only as fast as the Fastest link

One final reason for a slow loading of a web site will have nothing to do with the speed of the connection or the programs running on the hard drive. If the current level of traffic volume to the site is very high, and the server hosting the site cannot handle the traffic, the perception is often that of slow Internet service. However, this is not really a case of a slow Internet connection, but an overwhelmed server. Generally, if the user will simply back off and visit the site at a later time, the site will load much faster on the follow up attempt.

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