Nothing can be more annoying than the slow Internet. Imagine you are working on research, but the website you are trying to reach will not load; or you want to watch a movie, but it stops every 2 seconds; or maybe you are having a Skype lesson and it keeps disconnecting.

No matter what you are doing online when the Internet is lagging, even the most patient people tend to go crazy. While you may know how to reduce Skype connection problems, to save your nerves and help you prevent similar situations, we are sharing 5 things that slow down your Internet speed.

Test your speed

Before you start investigating, you need to know your real connection speed first. To find it out, perform a Speedcheck test. Make sure to run the test several times at different hours, because at certain periods there are more active online users and the load is higher, so it is normal for the speed to drop a little bit.

1. Old equipment

If the speed is slower than advertised by your provider, it is possible that the equipment you are using is at fault. The first thing to do is to try it out on different devices to see if you have the same problem with just one or all of them. If your computer is connected to the router via the Ethernet cable, the age of the latter may affect your Internet speed as well. Older network cables have limited performance, so it may be time to invest in new ones.

2. A big number of connected devices

The bigger the number of devices that are connected to your network, the more it will be reflected on your Internet speed. Besides the usual suspects, such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, there are many other gadgets that may be sending or receiving some data, which adds up to the load. Smart TVs, wireless boxes, game consoles, wristwatches, and other devices silently eat up your bandwidth and cause your connection speed to slow down. So you might want to disconnect most of them and use only those that you need at the moment.

3. Signal interference

We are surrounded by WiFi signals and Bluetooth waves. It is especially true for densely inhabited areas. The drawback of this is that different routers and networks that are located in your vicinity interfere with your WiFi signal. To avoid that you can try changing your WiFi channel or simply repositioning your router. The closer your device to the router is, the better.

4. Background programs

You may have overlooked them, but open programs and applications on your device affect your connection speed, too. Even if you do not see it right away, many hidden processes are running in the background and using your resources. And when your bandwidth is being consumed by other programs, only a limited amount is left for your time online. As one of the troubleshooting steps, open your Task Manager or Activity Monitor (depending on the OS you have installed) and kill the processes you do not need.

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5. Viruses

Besides harming your system, viruses and other types of malware also upset your online activity. Once your device is infected, malware programs generate a huge amount of  traffic without you realizing it. That is why it is so important to have security software installed on all your devices and stay away from suspicious links and websites. If you’re a total novice, take some time to check antivirus reviews websites like before installing any computer software package.

In conclusion

These are the main reasons that reduce your Internet speed. Now you know what to look out for and how to investigate in case your connection is slow.