Is Your Wi-Fi Slow? Your ISP Might Be to Blame

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

Is your internet suddenly moving really slowly? It might be due to an outdated router or a less-than-ideal router location. Your connection issues may need only an easy fix, like upgrading to a mesh network or simply restarting your modem and router. But if you’ve already attempted many of the tried-and-true methods and your internet speeds are still subpar, the issue might be something your internet service provider is intentionally doing: bandwidth throttling.

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Yes, you read that right. Your ISP could be making your Wi-Fi slower on purpose. Because of a 2019 Supreme Court decision in which the court declined to hear an appeal on net neutrality, ISPs can still legally stifle your internet, limiting your broadband if you’re streaming more TV than they want and serving slower connections to websites owned by their competitors. 

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One solution to slow Wi-Fi (if it’s caused by internet throttling) is a virtual private network
. Basically, ISPs need to see your IP address to slow down your internet, and a good VPN will shield that identity — though this comes with some limitations and downsides, which I’ll discuss below. We’ll walk you through how to tell if throttling is to blame and, if not, what to do about fixing your crummy Wi-Fi. (You can also learn more about how to get free Wi-Fi anywhere in the world.) 

Read more: Best Internet Providers of 2022

Step 1

First, troubleshoot your slow internet connection

So your Wi-Fi is slow and you think your service provider is throttling your connection. Before you jump to those conclusions, it’s important to run through the usual troubleshooting list: Check that your router is centrally located in your home, reposition its antennas, double-check your network security and so on. If you want to read about more ways to optimize your Wi-Fi, check out our suggestions.

If you’ve run through the laundry list and your Wi-Fi is still chugging slowly, move on to the next step.

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Step 2

Test your internet speed

 

Norton

Step 3

Find a reliable VPN

 

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Step 4

Compare your speed with the VPN

Next, test your internet speed somewhere like Fast.com or Speedtest.net. Compare the results with the same test when your VPN is active. The use of any VPN should cut your speed considerably, so the speed tests should show a discrepancy, with the VPN-active speed being notably slower than the VPN-inactive speed. But a VPN also hides the IP address that providers use to identify you, so if your speed test with the VPN is faster than without the VPN, that may mean your ISP is targeting your IP address for throttling.

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

OK,

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What need to I do if my computer system constantly is slow or freezes?

Pop quiz: How normally do you want to restart your computer system for greatest efficiency?

Here’s a trace. If you only do it when your equipment crashes or requires to update, that’s not ample. Faucet or click on for my recommendation for trying to keep your laptop joyful.

It is disheartening to deal with a slow, lagging computer day in and day out. Faucet or simply click for six easy strategies to velocity up an old Computer system.

Often the difficulties are more acute. If your personal computer is unresponsive, slow down and observe these ways:

Restart very first

Okay, this stage is apparent, but there is normally confusion here. Some people today imagine they have to pull the computer’s power plug or flip the swap on the ability strip. As a substitute, hold the computer’s ability button for five to 10 seconds to power it off.

A couple points can happen future when your laptop or computer comes back again on:

1. Laptop begins fantastic

If the pc starts off up wonderful, don’t just move on devoid of next imagined. This is an outstanding reminder to back up your important facts if a serious difficulty is on the way. In any other case, you could obtain by yourself scrambling by more complicated strategies to get data files off a useless computer.

Want help?Here’s what you will need to know about backing up like a pro.

If your computer does freeze again, hold examining.

2. Computer system asks you how to boot

When restarting, the pc could possibly reveal an mistake with Windows and inquire if you want to begin normally or in Secure Method. Pick to begin Home windows generally. Then back up your info and see if it freezes again.

If Windows fails to boot typically three periods in a row, it will enter Automated Repair Method. Below you can boot into Risk-free Mode. To do so, interrupt the boot-up method. Before Home windows finishes loading, push down on the power button for 4 seconds to interrupt the approach.

If this is the next time your laptop or computer has frozen, pick out to boot in “Safe Mode with Networking.” Consider utilizing the laptop like this and see if it freezes again.

If it doesn’t freeze in Risk-free Method, it is very likely a software trouble.

GET Smart: Windows 10 tricks the professionals use all the time

3. Laptop freezes once again right away

If the laptop or computer freezes again immediately after booting, no matter whether in usual mode or Safe and sound Mode, you could have a really serious software package or hardware dilemma. It is most probable a hardware dilemma, although.

4. Your computer system is examining the disk

There could be corrupt data on your tough travel, and the pc is seeking to repair that data. If so, it will begin with a check out disk. You mustn’t interrupt this system, or you risk further details loss.

The system can consider any place

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