Download Speeds - Website Loading Slow?
Often we hear from computer users that their website or another website that used to load very fast is now loading slow. Sometimes users notice a difference in their download speeds from the past. For instance a visitor may purchase mp3's at websites like Amazon or Itunes which used to download very fast, and now they are downloading slow.
There are many reasons websites load slow or mp3's, pdf's or other downloadable documents may not be loading as fast as they used to. I'll go over a few of these possible factors today.
- Internet Connection Speed or ISP (Internet Service Provider) - Often the provider of your website connection will throttle your download speed in order to save resources for their other customers. Some cap the speed while others throttle the throughput or bandwidth. This can happen especially during busy hours of the day or when many folks get home at night - during peak hours.
- Wireless Router Configuration - changes to your wireless router settings can have an effect on your internet speed and latency with your connection.
- Viruses - One of the biggest culprits to website browsing and download speeds are viruses. Viruses can infect your browser, computer, email and anything else. Some of these viruses, malware/spyware or trojans will actually send data to and from other websites silently taking up valuable connection speeds. You can avoid viruses by not clicking on links in emails from users you don't know, emails from people you do know that look suspicious or websites that are unfamiliar. Also don't download anything from the internet that is free unless you know what you are downloading is free of viruses. Just because a website advertises that a download is "virus-free" does NOT mean that it is.
- Browsers and Settings - When IE (Internet Explorer), Chrome, Firefox, Safari and other browsers upgrade - sometimes they change your settings. Often they will install toolbars of third parties to caputre user data. Sometimes when this happens, your new browser upgrade actually comes with 3rd party connections that slow down your browsing or download experience. When you upgrade your browser, avoid checking any boxes for "free toolbars" or even "safety" add-ons - because often they slow your browsing speed.
- Operating System Changes - When you make changes to your computer, often these changes can result in 3rd parties using your internet connection to send and receive data - or to keep your "software" up to date in the background. Windows is notoriuos for upgrading silently in the background, but many other software packages do this as well. HP for example will install printer upgrade sofware that runs in the background. If you don't configure this to not occur - you will take up memory and possible internet connection resources.
- Anti-Virus Software - Although ironic, anti-virus software is one of the biggest culprits of internet slow down. Because viruses have been built so maliciously and creatively - anti-virus software providers have had to create more "tentacles" so to speak attaching themselves to not only every part of your operating system to protect you, but also to your browser. Although I don't suggest to not have an anti-virus program, I don't use one myself. The loss in productivity was too great, so I just keep a clean computer. I don't click on any links that look spammy and I stay away from foreign websites that are not well known.
There may be other things that can slow down your computer and internet connection - but these are some of the most common. Remember - the best way to keep your computer and internet running fast - is to not mess with it. If it's not broke - don't fix it. Unfortunately - most of the "breaking" is sometimes out of our control when 3rd parties upgrade us.