Apr 04

Top 7 reasons for slow internet speed

Why am I suffering from a Slow Internet Speed

I get a lot of calls from customers asking me why they have a slow internet speed when they are paying for super fast connections as they put it and there could be a variety of reasons why you are suffering from a slow internet speed. Some of them are simple reasons such as a faulty filter or a missing filter that cost very little but on other occasions it could be something more complex like the internal wiring of your home.

Obviously there are also some reasons for a slow internet speed  that are out of your control but if you at least know the cause of the problem you are half way to getting it resolved.

So lets  look at the top 7 reasons for slow internet speed and the ways you can try to fix your slow internet connection. For your information you can get a rough estimate of your internet connection speed as a starting point by using a speed tester to check for slow internet speeds

Slow interent connection1. A program is using your internet connection

The most common cause of a slow internet speed suprisingly is because a program on your computer or another computer on your network is using the connection. Firstly check that you don’t have any file sharing programs running on your computer and that programs such as windows update are not doing their daily updates.

Then check there is no other computer in the house running things like P2P software or performing other downloads that could be causing you to suffer from slow internet speeds. Also check that there are no other devices in the house using the connection such as iPads, Xbox, PS3.

Before looking at other steps it is recommended you turn all other devices off and test your connection again to see if there is any improvement.

2. Malware or virus infection

A virus or malware infection can use system resources and also use your internet connection thus causing you to have a slow internet speed. Performing a full malware and virus scan should clear up the infection if there is one and fix slow internet connections

You can find tutorials on how to remove malware at: Best Malware removal tools and Free anti virus programs

3. Router

A lot of slow internet speed complaints I deal with on a daily basis are due to problems with the router (The bit of hardware your ISP provides to connect you to the internet). The router deals with all your internet traffic and we tend to leave them on for long periods of time.Although designed to be on for long periods in my experience it is a good idea to give them a reboot on occasion to “clear out the cobwebs” You will be surprised at the number of times a reboot of your router can fix a problem.You should have an on/off switch on your router but if not just unplug the power supply for at least 5 minutes and then reconnect it and wait a couple of minutes for it to connect itself back up to the internet. BT home hub

If that does not resolve the issue it is sometimes a hard reset that is needed on the router. Warning this wipes all the settings from the router and resets it to factory settings. Be sure you have all your login details to hand to set the router up again.

The reset is normally a little button on the back of the router that needs to be pressed and held for 10 seconds (usually requires a pen or paperclip to press) refer to your manual for more information on how to factory reset your router.

If you still have no luck and are confident enough and have a spare one swap the router over to a different one to see if there is any improvement.

4. Problems at the telephone exchange or with your ISP slowing your internet connection

Most internet service providers have some kind of service status via their website and if you have some internet service it is always a good idea to check there. Normally this is titled service status on their website and will tell you of any outages or problems they are having on their network which could cause a very slow internet connection.

If you cannot find a problem there then it is worth checking if  there isany work on your  local telephone exchange or if there are any reported faults. There are a few places you can check things like this just use the links below. (UK)


It is also worth checking that your exchange is not becoming overloaded as this is often a cause of slow internet speeds. If your exchange becomes too busy you will notice a slowdown in internet speed at busy times. If this is the cause of your problem there is little you or your ISP can do about the very slow internet speeds at busy times it is pretty much a waiting game for BT to increase capacity.

If when using the tool below you get either an amber or red report this means you are highly likely to see your internet speed slow down at busy times. (Generally this is between 4pm and 11pm)


Although this is not updated daily it does give you an idea as to what the problem could be. The part you are interested in is the VP capacity. Click for further details and you will be presented with a screen similar to the following. (click to enlarge)

Exchange - slow internet conenction

5. ADSL Filters

If you are using an ADSL connection you need to have filters on your phone line. This is not just the one that your router connects to but every phone socket that is used in the house. An ADSL filter looks similar to the one below.

Internet ADSL filter If all sockets do not have one of these filters then this can cause slow internet speed complaints in most homes as well as noise on your voice calls. If all sockets have a filter it may also be worth trying to change the filters these can be picked up for £2 or £3.
US In-line DSL Filter w/ Splitter UK ADSL Splitter Filter – Genuine BT Product

6. Wireless network not secure

This is not as common as it used to be since most suppliers started adding wireless protection as default on their routers but it is still a problem that I come across on a regular basis and can be the cause of reduced speeds on the internet.

It is shocking and dishonest but your connection could be used by someone other than you if it is not protected which means you will suffer from a slow internet speed. If your wireless connection is unsecured it allows anyone with a wireless laptop or other device to connect to your network and use the internet connection that YOU are paying for.

It also has serious security concerns as you don’t know what practices people could be performing on your connection. By securing you wireless network a password is required to log on to the network which means if the password is not known there is no access to your network.

You can secure your wireless connection by altering settings in your router. Unfortunately there are so many different routers we cannot cover them all but in most cases you can follow similar steps to the steps below.

  1. Enter your routers address into the top bar of your browser. This is normally something like or but can be a range of numbers. Check your router manual or the bottom of your router.
  2. You will then be asked for a Username and Password. Again check the bottom of your router or your routers manual. Usually it is a combination of one of the following unless you have changed it admin:password, admin:admin, admin:[no password]
  3. You then need to find the wireless settings option. In this section you will be able to set the type of protection as well as the password for the network. The image below is an example of this (click to enlarge)

Slow internet speeds wireless unsecure

7. Internal wiring

Another common cause of a slow internet speed  is the wiring inside the premises. If you are connecting your router to an extension socket (for example upstairs) try to connect the router to the master socket in the house and leave it there for 48 hours to see if there is an improvement in the speed. If there is an improvement you know that the problem is with the wiring or socket of the extension and you can then replace the wiring or socket.

If you still have issues and it does not resolve the slow internet speed issue when connecting to the master socket it could be that the master socket is faulty or there is a problem with your line where it comes into your house. Your telecom provider is responsible for anything from the back of the master socket to the pole and it is there equipment so it is not recommended you mess with it. If it is on your side you could try replacing the socket if you are in the UK with a NTE5 compatible ADSL filtered faceplate

If you dont want to go replacing parts your best course of action is to contact you ISP but beware of callout charges if it is something that you are responsible for as these can be considerable.

These are 7 of the most common cause of a slow internet speed in your home but there are many other issues that it could be. If none of these suggestions resolve you slow internet speed than it may be worth contacting your ISP or a computer professional to help resolve the internet speed issues

1 comment

  1. Pete Goumas

    It’s such an annyoing thing when my interent speed slow down, thankyou so much to share 7 reasons that cause slow speed of internet and I suffered in past with router and virus infection problem.
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