Why is my internet slow?
A common question we get from our customers is; “why is my internet slow?”. A variety of factors can cause a decrease to internet speed.
Two of the main factors which we would like to focus on in this post are;
- The upgrading of infrastructure which supports internet services.
- The other factor, directly related to infrastructure, is how we actually utilize the internet today.
Are you doing the Sloth struggle or running with the Cheetahs?
As a business Internet Service Provider ourselves, we monitor thousands of US based internet service connections, both copper and fiber based.
Slower internet speed is a trend we have seen more and more of recently with business internet connections.
It’s not an isolated issue based on location or carrier dependent either. Internet service connections are slowing down across the country.
Essentially, internet service speeds are ‘maxing out’. Obviously this can be a frustrating experience when you are trying to get things done, or supporting multiple end users.
So, why is my internet slow and what’s causing it to slow down?
The problem is two-fold;
- Internet backbone providers have been frantically and vigorously upgrading infrastructure to satisfy the higher demands of customers. Often, they are implementing multiple 100 Gigabit backbones, but certainly multiple 10 Gigabit backbones. Disruptions from these upgrades can cause slow downs.
- These upgrades are essential to meet higher demands from cloud services, streaming and other utilities now available (and expected) from today’s internet service users.
What are the outcomes of improved network infrastructure?
Around 2 years ago, where we used to see speeds on the long haul at a max of 20mbps, we now see speeds frequently topping 50mbps.
For example, this recent internet speed test to New York City from San Francisco, was 49mbps download and 10mpbs upload;
How does slow internet affect end users?
Where a 20mbps upload and 20mbps download internet connection was once more than adequate for a business, it suddenly starts maxing out as multiple users go to cloud based services such as dropbox, amazon, YouTube, etc.
Now more than ever, 50mbps or 100mbps internet connections do not only make sense, they are a requirement.
Apart from upgrading internet service speeds, what else can you do?
An alternative to an upgrade of internet service speed, is a firewall or managed router, which can be used for traffic shaping (sometimes referred to as ‘packet shaping’). This piece of hardware is setup to ‘shape’ traffic, based on destination and source.
This allows an IT department (Technician, IT Manager or Network Engineer), to prioritize traffic to a cloud based provider, perhaps the CRM SalesForce, Google, or dropbox, over other traffic, which may be less important.
Meraki, Sonicwall, Draytek, and other vendors, all support traffic shaping based on source and destination IP addresses.
Andreas Glocker, CEO