Why Is My Internet So Slow?

After turning a few things off and then back on again, you might learn that it’s not you, it’s them.

Don’t worry, it’s happened to us, too: You’re wrapped up in blankets, eating popcorn, and sippin’ on some kombucha while streaming a marathon of The Voice. Just as you ask yourself “Is Adam Levine’s five o’clock shadow on daylight savings time?” your laptop starts acting a fool and brings up that loading circle of death.

Why is your internet so slow all of a sudden? Don’t worry: if you’re left speechless by slow internet, we’ll help you get The Voice back quick.

Check your phone, computer, or other device first

Narrow down your problem quickly by seeing if only one device is affected. If you were watching on your laptop, grab your phone and Google some Kelly Clarkson lyrics—are they pulling up slow, too? If not, then maybe it’s just your computer.

If the internet on your phone is acting slow as well, turn your Wi-Fi off to compare speeds to your wireless data plan.

As always, try restarting the device in question. If that doesn’t work then try the following:

  • Check for updates, viruses, and malware.
  • Delete some old or unused programs.
  • Say goodbye to the 72 selfies that got under 10 likes on Instagram.
  • Use your positive force to clear out anything that might bog down your device.
Light Bulb icon
Pro tip: Try different browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
Maybe an update caused an error, or maybe the services you’re trying to use made a change. If they all run slow, it’s not your browser.

If your internet is slow on each device, then your internet or Wi-Fi settings may be the culprit.

How to fix slow internet tips

We don’t want to get overly technical. These tips are meant to be quick fixes:

  • Restart and troubleshoot your modem and router: This quick fix solves a lot of issues immediately. If weird lights are blinking, try turning the router off and on again, then consult your equipment’s manual or the company’s website if that doesn’t work.
  • Remove wireless interference: If your Wi-Fi router happens to live inside a refrigerator, you may want to get it out and away from any thick steel walls or other potentially interfering materials.
  • Amplify your Wi-Fi signal: Make sure the force is strong with your router. Some Wi-Fi extenders cost about $20–$30 on Amazon.
    Hide Yo Wi-Fi: Set a password to protect your internet and your people from your neighbors or anyone else looking to get a free ride—they’re snatchin’ your bandwidth up.
  • Upgrade your equipment: If you bought your equipment a few years ago, go ahead and treat yo’ self to a new modem or router on Amazon.
  • Add-ons need to back off: That plug-in that turns every image into a picture of Gwen Stefani might be too much for your browser to handle. She ain’t no hollaback girl, so give her and your bandwidth some space.
  • Watch your background and watch your apps: Sometimes you don’t need to put different wigs on CeeLo while you watch The Voice, so quit any programs or background tasks that may be dragging your overall speed down.
  • Torrent-ial downpour: Torrenting can really suck the life out of your download speeds, so save it for night time when everyone’s asleep.
  • Consider an ad-blocker: Ad-blockers may prevent popup ads, animations, and videos, which could save you some valuable download time.
  • Scan down: Running a system or virus scan can severely limit your computer’s performance, so save it for a time when you’re not watching CeeLo offer his beautiful critiques.
  • Erase your history: Browser cookies can slow your computer’s performance over time, much like real life cookies and your body, so maybe it’s time to delete them.
  • Check for coax splitters: With your cable connections, go direct where possible, If you can’t avoid splitting a coax, try connections individually; if they are fast, then you need a new or higher quality coaxial cable splitter.
  • Try another DNS Server: A Domain Name System helps your computer figure out how to get to websites, sometimes these servers go down quicker than a tone-deaf cover of Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer. If that’s the case, switch servers.

Do VPNs slow down your internet?

Yes. VPNs have a tendency to add an extra layer of slow to everything, but it’s more about bogging down your PC than it is the VPN actually slowing down your connection. Not sure what we’re talking about? Read our review about VPNs.

Why does my internet slow down at night?

Because you’re lonely, time moves slower at night. That and sometimes internet service is busier due to more users on the network (don’t worry, we all get them late night “gotta surf the internet” blues).

We will say it’s good to check your internet speed at Speedtest.net at different times during the day and night. You might find certain windows of time are just no bueno for building Maroon 5 playlists on YouTube. But it might just be that your provider throttled your speed.

Maybe it’s not you

If you’ve tried our 10 easy ways to speed up your internet connection and still are having no luck, remember: there are things out of your control like website performance problems or provider outages or a limited network bandwidth.

Call your ISP to see if anything’s awry on their end. The network might be down, which means you should probably just go outside and look at nature for a while.

Get a new internet provider

If at the end of the day, your internet is still going way too slow for you to feel the mojo, then maybe it’s time you made a switch to another provider.

Popular internet service providers
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
Verizon Fios$39.99$79.99*200940 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity Internet$19.99$299.95152000 MbpsView Plans
Frontier FiOS Internet$29.99$199.99501000 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Internet$39.99$50^5100 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* w/Auto Pay + taxes. Equipment charges may apply.
For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
for 24 months with 2-year agreement. Actual speeds may vary. Installation, equipment fees, Internet Infrastructure Surcharge, early term, taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions.
^ For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Find the best Internet Providers in your area.

If you need help deciding which internet service to get, check out the following articles:

Best Satellite Internet Providers
Best Internet Providers
Best Internet For Gaming
Fastest Internet Providers
Best Internet For Streaming

  • Katherine Elizabeth Lawrence

    don’t forget good ole squirrel chew. that attenuation is NUTS.

    i hate myself