A list of common reasons for reduced internet speed in small-medium sized offices
If you’ve ever experienced a slow Internet connection at work, you know just how frustrating it can be. Crawling speeds can bring productivity to a grinding halt. If you want faster Internet in your office, you’re certainly not the only one! Fortunately, this frequent issue has several possible solutions. Here at True North IT, we use the best industry practices for small business network management to keep our clients online. Here are a few common causes for slow Internet speed in small businesses, and what you can do about it:
1. Using Hardware Provided by Your Service Provider
Despite the good intentions of your Internet Service Provider (ISP), there’s a chance that the router/modem they have supplied you with is not the best equipment choice for your business. While this basic equipment does provide access to WiFi, these standard-issue routers and modems are not typically equipped to handle interference that can come from neighboring businesses or networks. Using an upgraded router and wireless access point can bring you faster speeds by optimizing your wireless channel usage. As a bonus, an upgraded router can improve your network security.
2. Using Old Hardware
Is your company using outdated wireless access points or a network switch that’s been gathering dust for a decade? This older equipment wasn’t made to accommodate your modern bandwidth – it just can’t keep up! Using outdated hardware that runs old protocols (or has limited capacity) is going to slow your Internet speed. We’ve even seen old wiring cause problems! If you’re not sure what’s “too old” and what’s “still good”, have your IT consultant review your network setup and make sure it’s up-to-date.
3. Bandwidth Overuse
With the blazing fast speeds we have grown accustomed to, it can be a challenge to remember that there’s only so much bandwidth to go around. We’re using more data than ever before, and when too many people are using too much data at the same time, it brings the entire network to a crawl. There’s a chance that your plan doesn’t provide enough bandwidth for your business, but it’s more likely that your business needs more effective bandwidth management strategies. There are bandwidth management tools and techniques that can be enabled on most common network equipment that can help your business prioritize your limited bandwidth for things like phones and payment processing, while de-prioritizing bandwidth for Social Media and non-essential services. Implement bandwidth management tools to help keep your network focused on what’s most important, even when employees might be distracted by other activities.
4. Computer Application Usage
Are your computer applications slowing you down? If the Internet is running slowly on just ONE computer, while everyone else seems fine – this can sometimes be an issue that’s caused by the applications on the computer. If the internet is slow on ALL computers, then there’s a good chance it’s a network issue. Having multiple demanding software applications open (like the Adobe Creative Suite) can slow your whole computer down and give the impression that it’s slow Internet instead. Close all of your open applications, restart your computer, and then run a speed test, to troubleshoot whether this it the cause of slowness.
5. Inappropriate Wireless Access Points
Does your business use wireless access points that are optimized for your business demands? Not all hardware is created equal, and there’s a huge variance in the quality and capability of equipment available on the market today. A router meant for “home” use is probably not going to meet the needs of your business. Over the years, we’ve found great hardware for our clients that is both affordable for small businesses, and REALLY FAST! This “business” grade equipment is built to handle your bandwidth and the multiple users that use it all day long. Ask your IT consultant to make sure your equipment setup is optimized for your business.
Want to learn more about getting your business up to speed? Contact True North IT today to discuss your support needs.