Is the internet too slow? Try this speedup trick

Right from the start, the internet was very slow today. Instead of the fast responsive world wide web, pages were appearing noticeably more slowly in the browser window and some websites were even producing errors. It would sometimes take two or three tries to connect to a website and get a page. Even common sites like Facebook could produce errors saying they were not available. Have you ever had days like this? The solution for me was very quick and easy and it might work for you too.

My first thought thought was that the computer was at fault. This theory can be checked by using another device to access the internet and downloading some app updates on the iPad was very slow too. It took much longer than it should have to download each one. Usually apps update at lightning speed with my fast internet connection, but not today. This meant that it was not the computer that was faulty, but the internet connection itself.

There are websites that can check the speed of your internet connection and a favourite is speedtest.net. It has a network of servers around the world and it automatically finds the one nearest to you that has the best response time (called ping).

You can then run the speed test, which is just one button click and it takes only a minute or so. The results confirmed that the internet connection was running much more slowly than normal. It reported a download speed of just 5 Mbps, which some people might not think is that slow, but I have a fibre optic connection that is normally much faster than this.

The speed also felt much slower than 5 Mbps too, and even at this speed, websites should not time out and fail to load. There was clearly some other problem and it was not just the speed.

The solution was simpler than you might imagine and I switched off the router, waited a few seconds and then switched it back on. When the speed test at speedtest.net was run again, the internet was back to normal.

 Speedtest.net internet speed

A download speed of 37.48 Mbps is average for me. Although my connection is fibre optic, the last few hundred yards are copper cable and it's quite poor. I'm happy with the download speed though and uploading runs at around 7 Mbps, which is reasonable too.

I don't know why a router should suddenly slow down to a fraction of its normal speed, but the fact is that occasionally it does. It works for months without a problem and then it needs restarting to refresh it. Switch off, wait a minute, switch on and everything is back to normal.

Whether it is buffers, logs, caches or whatever, a reboot clears the problem and speeds up the internet. Try it. Take the speed test, restart your router and take it again. It might recover lost performance.


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