Answering the question of what causes WiFi to be slow - 3 main reasons

Oct 05, 2022 - Views: 480

Rating:4.9 - 50Votes

We all suffered from slow WiFi. It is frustrating and needs to be fixed. However, you can not fix a slow WiFi connection if you do not know what causes WiFi to be slow. In this article, we will give you 3 main reasons for slow WiFi speeds and how to fix them.

Buffering videos

Buffering videos

Your WiFi signals can not reach the device

Building material is blocking WiFi signals

Building materials are one of the most significant interferences for your WiFi. WiFi uses radio frequency (RF) signals, and RF signals are easily disrupted by metal, concrete, wood, and other building material. If you have thick walls and large furniture, WiFi signals will have trouble reaching your phone or PC.

You should place your router in an open place to fix this problem. Putting your router higher can also help you with WiFi signal coverage.

Place your router in a open place

Place your router in a open place

The router is too far from the phones or laptops

Your router is the source of WiFi signal. Therefore, if you are too far from the router, you can not get a fast internet speed. Generally, the best place for your router is in the center of the house. You may need WiFi extenders to extend WiFi signal coverage for a bigger house.

WiFi channel interference

Do you live in an apartment, and everyone uses the same internet service provider (ISP)? If so, all of the routers may use the same channels. In this case, WiFi channel interference can happen, making your internet speed drop drastically.

You need to access your router settings and change the WiFi channel to fix this problem.

How many people are in your household?

How many people are in your household?

Too many devices transferring data via WiFi

How many people are in your household? I will assume that you have 4 people in the house.

If each owns one smartphone and one laptop, there are already 8 devices connecting to the internet. We also have smart house devices, gaming consoles, and many other things that consume internet bandwidth. Many smart products consistently download and upload in the background, making your internet speed slower.

If you want to prioritize specific devices, you can limit others’ download and upload speed using Quality of Service settings.

Software problems

Out of date firmware

If your devices have out-of-date firmware, they can not perform well and make your internet speed slower. Therefore, you should update your phone, router, and modem firmware if new versions are available. By updating the devices, you can fix the bugs and help them perform better. 

Open too many applications on your computer

If you open too many tabs on your browser, edit videos, and play online games simultaneously, you are putting a massive strain on your device’s CPU and RAM. This behavior will slow down your computer’s performance and make your internet slower. If your computer is not that strong, you should turn off some applications for a smoother performance.

Using too much bandwidth on your phone

Turn off Data Roaming

Turn off Data Roaming

Some apps, such as email clients and file-syncing services, can also hog the connection and continuously use data in the background. Many apps are constantly refreshing even when not in use. You can use your app settings to toggle Data Roaming off to fix this.

Read also: Why is the WiFi on my computer so slow?

Viruses & Malware

You can get viruses and malware from unauthorized websites, unknown email attachments, and questionable apps or software. Depending on the malware, they can have different consequences for your computer. 

In general, most of them run in the background to steal data, making your computer and internet speed slower. Keeping your operating system up-to-date, installing an antivirus program, and using good old common sense can help you avoid trouble.

Hardware problems

Old Router

If your router is older than 5 years old, you should consider replacing it. Older routers may not support 802.11ac/WiFi 5 nor provide dual-band support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Therefore, you can experience a strong WiFi signal but slow speed.

Let’s put it this way, having the newest iPhone and Sam Sung Galaxy being served by an old router is like having a hypercar with the cheapest tires you can find.

Old & dusty router

Old & dusty router

Many routers have external or detachable antennas for one reason: upgradeability. Installing a more powerful antenna provides more range and speed. You need to ensure that you get the correct type of antenna for your router.

Physical Cable Problem

A loose cable connection can worsen your internet performance, like a marathoner with a bad ankle. Sometimes, you should check your cable jacks, retighten them and ensure the cable is not bent. If possible, inspect the line from the wall to the cable box outside. Any physical wear and tear will do the same for your internet speeds.

See more: Strong wifi signal but slow speed


Now you can understand what causes WiFi to be slow and know how to fix the problem. If you need to know more about internet tips and tricks, please visit our blog for more informative articles - MySpeed.

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