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Troubleshooting slow internet

May 12, 2020

So, your internet is playing up. You've run Speedtest, you've called your ISP, and still it's crawling along at a frustrating 5 Mbps (or slower!) - even at 3am!

Before you pull out your remaining strands of hair, go through our internet troubleshooting check list to make some sense of the situation and know where you stand.

As with all troubleshooting, there's a methodology, and the key thing is that you start from the inside and work your way out.

If the steps here don't work then give us a call, and we'll help from there.

  • Restart everything; your computer, the modem, everything - just because that's what IT people tell you what to do, and it sometimes works
  • Use multiple computers to test the wifi, in case one has a hardware issue
  • Connect a computer to your modem with an ethernet cable. You may need an ethernet adapter, as most laptops don't come with them these days
    • If ethernet doesn't work then it's your modem or service, so contact your internet service provider (ISP)
    • If ethernet works then the issue is your wifi, so continue the troubleshooting
  • If you're on a Mac then buy WiFi Explorer or get the free Wifi Explorer Lite from the App Store, and if you're on Windows then download Wifi Analyser, to examine the wifi network
  • There are 2 wifi network radio ranges
    • 2.4 GHz: the older standard with slower speeds but longer reach, which tends to be crowded
    • 5 GHz: the newer standard with faster speeds but shorter reach, which tends to be empty
    • NB: 5 GHz WiFi is not the same as the mobile 5G network
  • If the network is crowded
    • Change the wifi channel (this will need to be done on the modem)
    • Change to 5 GHz (and change the wifi channel there too, if needed)
  • If that doesn't work then move the modem to another location entirely
  • If all that doesn't work then it's likely a hardware issue

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