Slow Internet? Let’s Walk Through It
One of the most common (and frantic!) calls we get at the Fluid IT Services Help Desk support line is when a customer’s Internet connection has slowed down.
We know how frustrating that can be, of course. Technology is light-years away from dial-up modems, now – we expect our Internet connection to be fast enough to keep up with business in this always-on market. When your Internet is slow, you simply can’t get things done. We completely understand.
But there are so many reasons why an Internet connection can slow down. And as frustrating as it is, we do have to ask you a lot of questions when you call in. These questions help us gauge the situation and make more effective recommendations to fix it.
Here are some of the typical questions we ask, and why we ask them.
When did this occur?
This gives us a timeframe to consider. Sometimes high Internet traffic volume or even a cable company’s broken line can be a culprit.
What program, if applicable, is this slowness occurring in?
If it’s only happening in one program, this helps us eliminate an overall Internet issue and narrow down on the issue with that particular program.
What internet browser are you using? Do you have any add-ons that could be slowing your performance?
Internet browser companies are often more interested in adding functionality (and keeping your attention) than improving your Internet speed. Sadly, sometimes their updates and add-ons can slow you way down.
How old is your computer?
Like a car, a computer wears out over time and your ride gets…well…bumpier.
When is the last time you restarted?
Don’t strangle us for asking this one. You would be amazed if we told you how many people call us without rebooting their computers first. When you’re in a panic trying to get a project done, sometimes simple steps like this one are easy to forget.
Is it only that website? Can you test with http://msn.com or http://microsoft.com? (These are two high-profile pages with multiple points of data.)
Again, don’t strangle us for asking this one. It’s common for sites to slow down during high-volume traffic periods – and yes, sometimes more than one site can slow down at the same time. We’ll have you check a handful just in case.
When is the last time you scanned for malicious files? Or did a full antivirus scan of your entire hard drive?
We hope this isn’t the problem, because viruses and malware can do a lot of damage. Check out our post on 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Protect Your Data for more information on how to prevent these attacks.
Last time you installed Windows updates?
Windows usually prompts you when there are updates – but sometimes those prompts fail. It’s a good idea to check for updates when you are having any kind of computer issue.
How many processes/services are running at startup? How many are you currently running?
Running too many processes or services can slow your system down right off the bat.
How much hard drive space do you have left? How much RAM is in use?
Oddly enough, when your hard drive space runs low, your computer’s speed slows down. Even if you have a little bit of space left on that hard drive, clearing out some unneeded files and emptying your recycle bin can help immensely.
We hope this gives you some insight as to why we ask the questions we do when someone calls us with an issue like a slow Internet connection. We’re a small business, just like you, and we know how frustrating this problem can be. We welcome you to call us at 866-542-3077 – we would love to help you with any of your computer issues.