Why are my speeds slow?
Before asking yourself why are my speeds are slow, its best to understand how your connection to the internet actually works. The internet is designed to allow you, the end user, access applications and information that is physically located elsewhere in the world.
You can watch a show on Netflix that is stored on a server in another country and view it all within seconds of pressing play on your remote. An amazing concept when you really think about it. Instead try to think of your internet connection as a road. You can drive up to 100 Km on a national road but is it always possible to achieve that speed? You may take the same route to work every day but is it always the same journey, the road doesn’t change but users and traffic do. Some times of the day are busier than others and sometimes your speed is controlled because other traffic is causing you to slow down.
The internet works the same way for every Internet Service Provider. A shared infrastructure that connect people from A to B. And it’s not just about the route the traffic has to take, sometimes your device can be the reason you can’t hit those speeds.
Depending on the Wi-Fi card on your device you may only reach certain speeds. Your laptop’s Wi-Fi receiver will be much stronger than your Smartphone’s due to the size alone. Older devices may have an older outdated Wi-Fi card. You can find out more on this on our WiFi support page.
Speeds can vary for a number of other reasons:
- Poor Wi-Fi Coverage.
- The Plan you have signed up for.
- Issues with your hardware e.g. High Memory Usage, Low Ram, a Slow Processor.
- Anti-Virus software slowing down your PC or Laptop.
- Is another user in your home hogging all the bandwidth?
- Is a neighbour connecting to your Wi-Fi?
- How many devices are connected to your network
- Your Internet Service Provider’s fair usage policy.
- Windows updates downloading in the background.
- Have you recently added a new device like a streaming box that uses IPTV?
Its best to check what devices are connected to your network and see what data they use before wondering why your speeds are slow. You can also run a speed test or check your data usage by logging in to the Ivertec Customer Portal.
There are hundreds of Speed test apps available online. One we recommend is www.speedtest.net by Ookla as they also have an app for Android and iPhone.
While this is great for quickly showing off how fast your connection is to your friends, speed tests can be misleading.
Speed tests work by downloading a file from a server to determine how quickly the file is received. Your PC or smartphone displays this in real time using a bar or a chart to show your max download speed. The same applies to calculate the Upload but in reverse, the file you downloaded is now being sent back to speedtest.net servers.
As mentioned above Speed Tests work by downloading a file from a server to see how fast the connection is by measuring how quickly the file is received. There are multiple servers that you can test to, the closest being the preferred option.
This is where the problem lies. A speed test server is stored on another company’s network. If that network can only handle a small amount of connections at one time due to bandwidth constraints, then your speed test will be slow. You might have full speeds at your property but the test itself is slow.
Another issue with speed tests is the device itself. If your PC or laptop is slow, then your Speed Test may be slow. The Speed test tries to show you a real time result of the speed and can only go as fast as your device lets it.
The final issue with Speed tests is how they are performed. If you are testing over Wi-Fi and you are too far from your router, then your results will be low. A speed test beside the router could show 100Mb but a speed test taken when you have one bar of Wi-Fi reception could show as low as 1Mb or 10Mb.
1) Tests that are completed over Wi-Fi (e.g. Smartphone) are not an accurate measure of the speed of your broadband service.
2) Before you run a speed test online, disconnect the cable connected to the WAN port on your Wi-Fi router. Connect this same cable to your laptop/PC. In some cases, this cable needs to be plugged into your Wi-Fi router to establish an internet connection. If this is the case, disconnect any other device that is connected to your router with a cable e.g. TV box or PC. Turn off the Wi-Fi antenna so only you are connected to the router via a cable connection.
3) If you have performed some cabled speed tests to multiple servers and find your broadband is running too slow, please contact our technical support staff by emailing email@example.com or calling our office and a member of our technical support team will get in contact with you.
4) Ensure no other devices on your network are online while you are running a speed test as they may affect the results.
5) Ensure that the laptop/PC is not running any applications that may be downloading/uploading data (E.g. check Windows Updates, disable Anti-Virus updates, etc.)
Do you ever wonder why Internet Speeds are always advertised as up to values? The reason for this is that users are part of a shared infrastructure and therefore using a contended service.
A contended network means that you (the user) are sharing the internet network with all the other users in the area. Now this doesn’t mean that your connection will drop to a snail’s pace when the kids are off from school and using up all the bandwidth. This only happens on badly managed networks…at Ivertec this isn’t an issue.
You may ask, why do we have to share our speeds? The answer is, shared networks are everywhere you look. The road you drive on is there for everyone to use and you can drive as fast as you are allowed. If the roads are busy than you may have to travel slower than you like.
That’s why speeds vary in the evening time during peak usage. When everyone is on the road at the same time we call it rush hour traffic, and your journey is far slower than a quiet time of the day.
Maxing out your connection means that you are using up all of the speed that is available to you. This is dependent on the plan on which you have subscribed to. For example, if you have subscribed to the WiFibre 30 plan, the maximum speed your connection can reach is 30 Mbps. You can “max out” your connection by using only a couple of devices if they are requesting too much data at the one time. If two people in your home are streaming Netflix in Ultra HD this may be “maxing out” your connection because Ultra HD Netflix could use between 20-25Mb when you may not realise it.
No. You can download as much data as you want. However, to best manage our network, we do operate with a daily fair usage policy to ensure that all of our customers are receiving an equal level of service which will produce consistent fast speeds. You can find out more about our daily fair usage policy by clicking here.