If you find yourself screaming at the computer screen while you wait forever for websites to load, maybe it’s time to find out why your internet connection is so slow.
Luckily, there’s a free tool to help you do some of the detective work on your own!
Read more: How to see everything Google knows about you
Take this free test to check your internet speed
Go to SpeedTest.net and click “begin test” to find out your download speed and upload speed in just a matter of seconds. If you’re using Wi-Fi, connect your computer directly to the modem using an Ethernet cable for better results.
You may want to run the test twice to see the difference between a wireless and wired connection.
Now that you have the results of your speed test, log in to the account with your service provider to see if you’re getting what you’re paying for.
For example, if you pay for up to 75 Mbps and the test says 20 Mbps — something’s up!
What could be slowing down your internet
There are at least six factors that could be slowing down your high-speed internet service, according to AT&T:
- Age of your computer: Some older devices may need additional memory to get the best speeds.
- Distance: The speed you experience is affected by the distance from your computer to a website, as well as the path, speed and capacity of the website’s connection to your network.
- Obstructions: Where is your Wi-Fi gateway located? Walls containing studs, metal pipes and glass surfaces can all cause noticeable slowdowns.
- Popular websites: The problem may not be on your end. It could be the result of an overloaded website.
- Viruses: If you have any viruses or unnecessary software running in your computer’s background, it may reduce the amount of processing power and speed available for data from the internet.
- Software: Your computer might need updated software, such as an operating system patch.
What you can do
In addition to addressing the issues mentioned above, AT&T suggests reducing the number of connected devices, resetting your modem/router, rebooting your computer, clearing your cache and running fewer applications.
If these steps don’t improve your performance on the test, it may be time to make a call to customer service.
We should mention that SpeedTest.net isn’t your only option. Netflix recently introduced Fast.com, which lets you easily compare results to SpeedTest.net.