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Monday, 20 April 2015 16:42

Top 5 Internet Troublemakers

 

Is your computer slowing to a crawl?  Does your internet suddenly “drop” when you’re online? Are you tired of those annoying pop-ups?  Nothing can be more frustrating than paying for internet service that you can’t use! And while it’s completely logical to think “My service is horrible! It never works right!” - there are actually a number of culprits that can cause your internet to be slower than a herd of snails traveling through peanut butter. Thankfully, we’ve created a “Top Five Internet Troublemakers” list to help you along the way.

1. Outdated Hardware:  If your computer is more than about five years old - chances are it doesn’t have the necessary tools to keep up in today’s fast paced internet scene. If you’re running Windows XP or Vista it’s time for an upgrade. And don’t forget the other ‘hardware’ in your home - Modems & Routers.  In order to keep up with the accelerated rate of technology, we recommend replacing your modem no less than every four years. And if your wireless router has “bunny ears”, it’s probably time to update that too. The best routers today are an “N” series; older “G” series routers could be holding you up. Keeping your hardware up to date is the first step to ensuring good internet connectivity.

2. Software Issues: Keeping your computer clean from virus’ and malware is a must. These sneaky little annoyances can cause repetitive pop-ups, slow loading internet pages, and can be a security threat to your computer. Check to see if you have multiple search toolbars (such as Bing or Ask.com) on your homepage. These will also contribute to a slow-loading internet experience. Make sure you have real-time virus protection and don’t forget to run a malware scan weekly (we recommend Malwarebytes and Windows Defender)

3. Local Network Issues: If your device is connected to your home network wirelessly (via Wi-Fi), there could be something interfering with your wireless connection. Wireless dimmer switches, wireless doorbells, home security systems, and even electric fences can operate on the same frequency as your wireless router, and could be causing your internet connection to drop sporadically. Remember, wired is always more reliable than wireless.  If you can run an Ethernet cable to connect your device, then do it!  You won’t regret it!

4.  Bandwidth Limitation: Perhaps the most common reason behind slow and intermittent internet, is when users hit their bandwidth limit. In other words, one is trying to use more internet than they are subscribed for. This scenario often plays out in households that stream online video (such as Netflix or Hulu). It can also occur when there are too many users online at the same time.  Think of your internet connection as a freeway. Every member of your household is driving their own vehicle in the same direction.  When someone drives an 18 wheeler (streaming video), they might take up an entire lane. This could cause slow traffic speeds, and even a traffic jam.  And when the traffic jams - connectivity drops.  We recommend a speed of at least 10 Mbps (which is like a three lane freeway!) in order to keep up with the busy online traffic of most households. Remember, our internet plans are unlimited. The term “Mbps” is a measurement of speed, not usage.

5. Other: Of course, if you still think your internet is sluggish, there just may be a problem that is outside of your control. In this case, please don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 Internet Support.  Or, if you need help with cleaning up a device we do offer remote PC Repair - starting at $49.95.

Ultimately, if your internet isn’t performing as it should, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Here at ATC, we take pride in providing service AFTER the sale.  We’d be glad to offer phone support, on-site technician support, or anything else that you may need. Bottom line - if you’re having problems - we’re here to help you fix it!  Just give us a call.