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Why is My Internet Slow? [Slow Internet Speeds Explained]

Podcast version of this episode:

Episode Contents:

  • 00:37 - What is the best way to test your true internet speed?
  • 01:07 - What are some of the main reasons for slow internet speeds?
  • 01:59 - How much/speed of internet do you need?
  • 02:51 - Suggested speeds based on internet activity.
  • 04:09 - How can you make sure you’re getting the fastest internet possible? 
  • 05:29 - What is the latest WiFi technology to increase internet speeds?

Transcript:

Ken Lane:  
Hello everyone again and welcome to another episode of Business Solutions Academy by JD Young Technologies. My name is Ken Lane. In this episode, we're going to be addressing some common questions about slow internet speeds. Ken — we're going to be speaking with Ken Palmer. Ken is the Manager of Geeks to the Rescue, which is JD Young Technologies' computer repair division, open to the public in Tulsa [OK] down at 61st & Memorial in Eton Square. So, Ken, thanks again for joining us.

Ken Palmer:  
You bet.

Ken Lane: 
Okay, Ken — firstly, what is the best way to test your true internet speed?

Ken Palmer:  
The best way is with a web browser. You can go to speedtest.net. And they will test all your computers — even your cell phones — and they'll report back to you your megabytes per second [download and upload speed]. Other ways — you can go to Google. Go to google.com, search for "speed test," and they'll do the same thing.

Ken Lane:  
Awesome. So, what are some of the main reasons for slow internet speeds? What are the most common reasons for those?

Ken Palmer:  
Common reason for slow internet speeds is going to be antiquated devices. Using your router that's from the year 2000 is not going to work here in 2021. Same with your computers. If you have an old computer running [Windows] XP, it's just not going to be up to snuff. So, don't use an old router. Stay within three to four years on your router. That will ensure that, if you do run into any slowness, it's not hardware-related. It's likely something [to do] with your service provider or from your operating system.

Ken Lane:  
Okay. For those looking to either upgrade their new internet service, or get a new router, or something like that, I've heard that there's a common question of, "Well, how much internet do I actually need — depending on my usage of the internet?" So, how would you recommend that somebody determines how much internet they need?

Ken Palmer:  
That's a really good question. You know, as diverse as internet speeds are, families are the same way. You take a single person in an apartment is not going to need a gig of internet speed versus a family of eight, and — everybody has a phone, everybody has a laptop, everybody has a tablet. You're really going to need to bump up your megabytes per second from your service provider.

Ken Lane:  
Okay. So, what would be some of the suggested speeds depending on either how many people you have or what kind of internet browsing you're doing?

Ken Palmer:  
Right. If you're doing a streaming service, such as Netflix or, or Hulu, or even YouTube, at that — they're going to require to stream a minimum of five megabytes per second. And plan on having a little congestion in between there. So, double that at 10 megabytes per second. That's very reliable. 10 megabytes per second is very reliable. You shouldn't have any bottlenecks at that point. A larger family? Yeah, you're going to need to get their maximum package or everybody is going to be complaining about slow internet — which as far as speeds, they go as far as five meg[abyte]s on it to a gig[abyte].

And some are even faster. They've come out with now fiber[optic connections] to the house. If that is an option, and it's within your budget, do definitely do that. If your office is running slow and everybody complaining, we see a lot of companies springing a lot of money just to have the fiber[optic connection] installed so that those bottlenecks are gone.

Ken Lane:  
Okay, awesome. So, what are some simple ways to ensure that you're getting the very fastest internet possible for what, either plan you've suggested, or hardware you have? What's the best way to get the fastest internet possible?

Ken Palmer:  
Good question. LAN (local area network cable) or ethernet is going to be your fastest option. There's no interference for signals with a LAN. The drawback is though, it does require hardwiring. A lot of houses are not wired for ethernet. So, it's going to cost you upfront to have those cables installed, but there's not going to be any slowness or drops. So, if you can't do that, you'll have to use the WiFi.

To alleviate slowness with that, upgrade your router, stay current with that hardware. And you can also install access points which will take your single broadcast signal from your router and multiply it by however many access points you have. We see a lot of people where that's their best option — is to get those access points, spread the internet signal and everything goes a lot smoother.

Ken Lane:  

Okay, I've also kind of heard some murmurings about new WiFi technologies that not everybody knows about — that are either up and coming or that are available right now. What are some best-suggested WiFi technologies that you'd recommend for people trying to maximize their speed?

Ken Palmer:  

The WiFi 6 is relatively new. That's out — available now. Not a lot of people are using it due to cost — or they just don't know about it. And what the WiFi 6 is going to do versus probably the WiFi that you're using now is that — think of it like, whenever you're using a cell phone, and you hear the dropped calls, or people talking, or it gets kind of scrambled. Well, that's interference. And the WiFi 6, its main job is to eliminate that interference. It does it a whole different way. Its broadcasting, transmitting, and receiving is totally different than the WiFi that's out there now. Slowly, it's becoming adopted, but it is available if you want that.

Ken Lane:  
Awesome. This has been great information for getting our internet up and going faster. I bet all the people working remotely — not only in offices but working remotely — certainly appreciate this because I know that it's been putting a lot of tax on a lot of people's internet connections around the house. So, thank you, Ken.

Thank you for joining us. And viewers and readers, thank you for joining us for another episode of Business Solutions Academy from JD Young Technologies. To learn more about Ken's work with Geeks to the Rescue, which is JD Young's computer repair division, you can visit geekrescue.com. As I mentioned earlier, you can find a full transcript and podcast version of this episode in the description. For similar educational pieces like this and literally hundreds of other business solutions topics, make sure to visit the Resource Center at jdyoung.com/resource-center. If you're watching this on YouTube, and you learn something new or you enjoyed yourself, make sure to give this episode a like and subscribe to the Business Solutions Academy. To listen to episodes like this on the go, look up "Business Solutions Academy from JD Young Technologies" in your favorite podcast player. My name is Ken Lane from JD Young Technologies and we'll see you next time. See you, Ken.

Ken Palmer:  
Always happy to help. See you, Ken.

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