What Determines Internet Speed?

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At its simplest, internet speed is the number of bits that can be transferred in one second by your internet connection. A megabit is one million bits, and a gigabit is one billion bits. Internet speed is measured as Mbps or Gbps. The user who just browses will mostly measure speed in Mbps while someone working from home, or a gamer may measure their speed in Gbps.

This explanation applies equally to uploads and downloads. Uploads are data that you transmit (e.g. saving data in the cloud or sending an email), and downloads are data that you receive (e.g. downloading or streaming a movie).

A slow internet speed means that you cannot use the internet in a smooth manner as you will experience lags and buffering. Is it a problem if your internet speed is too fast? Yes, because you are probably paying for more speed than you need and should get a cheaper service.

Slow Speed Caused By Many Users

During peak hours, such as weekends, public holidays, and after returning home from work on weekdays, the internet speed slows down. This is because too many people are logged on to the same network at the same time. Public WIFI networks experience this problem too. If your local supermarket provides WIFI for its customers, the network will be slow when there are a lot of shoppers, many of whom might be logged on. In cities, internet speeds will be faster, such as when fiber was installed by this National City internet provider.

Hardware Issues

The internet speed on a home or office network can be affected by the network equipment itself, including the modem and router. An ethernet cable is similar to a telephone line, so it is more stable and therefore faster than WIFI. The latter can be affected by bad weather or even a truck going past. The more devices that are connected to a network, the slower it will be. And then your desktop or laptop might be contributing to the problem through a weak computer processing unit (CPU).

Software Issues

While working on your computer, you may open numerous apps that continue to run in the background, slowing your speed down. Your backup might be set to backup your files while you are working. Check your settings and change this to a more suitable time. Sometimes, your computer will run auto-updates at random times. Delete add-ons and plug-ins in your browser that you don’t need. Remember to clear your cache and browser history. All these factors affect your internet speed.

Tips For WIFI users

If the distance between your router and your devices, such as your desktop, is too far, your internet speed will be slower. A wireless repeater can solve this problem. It works by copying the signal and doubling it; it is placed between the router and the device that is experiencing low speed. Metal and water (e.g., an aquarium) can act as barriers that reduce your signal, so avoid having these between the source and your computer.


Malware and viruses run in the background where you can’t see them. They do not need your authority to connect to the internet. Ensure that you have good internet security and not simply anti-malware or anti-virus. These will remove viruses when they are already on your computer, but internet security will protect you online and while browsing to prevent a virus or malware.

Work through these solutions to improve your speed and if this doesn’t make a huge difference, speak to your internet provider about increasing your speed.

Written by Frederick Jace

A passionate Blogger and a Full time Tech writer. SEO and Content Writer Expert since 2015.

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