What are the Most Common Causes of Slow Broadband?

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  • Written By: Amanda Piontek
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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Broadband Internet is a high speed connection that allows users to browse the Internet without interrupting the use of their telephone line. When Internet speed is reduced, users might experience symptoms such as extended download and upload times or choppy, interrupted streaming. Broadband speed can also be affected by the number of users in the neighborhood, or proximity to the provider. Some other common causes of slow broadband are malicious software (malware), peer-to-peer file sharing, and bad or poorly connected network cables.

Computers with a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connection might experience a weak signal if they are not in close proximity to the central office. Likewise, cable Internet service speed can decrease as the number of users in the immediate vicinity increases. Bit rate is the rate at which bits of information are transferred from one location to another. Dial-up Internet service provides a transfer rate of less than 56 kilobits per second (Kbps), while broadband greatly increases that to 768 Kbps or more. Although even slow broadband offers a high speed advantage when compared to a dial-up connection, work flow is compromised when websites won't load or download speed is reduced.


Speed issues can also signify a problem in the computer that needs to be corrected. Malware is one major internal cause of slow broadband. It can infiltrate the computer to cause harm, collect information without the user's knowledge, and disrupt the computer's performance. Types of malware include computer viruses, worms, adware, and spyware. Utilizing a firewall and running anti-virus and anti-malware programs to detect and remove malicious software are a few important ways to protect a computer against the attacks that cause slow broadband.

Another potential cause of reduced speed is a problem with the network cables. Network cables are used with the computer to transfer data over the network. A cable that is loose, damaged, or has degraded over time can result in deterioration of broadband speed. In this scenario, replacing or tightening the cables can improve the quality and speed of the Internet connection.

Slow broadband is not always caused by a physical problem with the equipment. The type of broadband usage can also result in sluggish performance. Peer-to-peer file sharing is a configuration where individuals make a portion of their system available to other users within the network. Constant file transfers in a peer-to-peer network use a high amount of bandwidth, resulting in slow speeds across the broadband connection.


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Post 2

@Logicfest -- In my neighborhood, the broadband slows to a crawl when a lot of people are using it (we have cable). When you share that particular broadband connection with a lot of people, it can slow down.

The solution? More nodes that so more people can log on and not have to deal with a bunch of slowdown. A node, of course, is a place where people connect to the broadband network.

Post 1

We used to have problems with our DSL all the time and found out the trouble was that one of the phone jacks in our house was suffering from a bad connection. For some reason, that jack gave our DSL connection fits when the phone on the bad connection was used.

We eventually wound up removing that bad phone from the jack. That cleared up our problems.

I hope that story helps someone who has a DSL problem and can't identify what is causing it.

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