Frustrated by slow downloads on your PC? Read this now
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Check out these four reasons why your computer has slowed down. (Photo: Getty)
We've all been there - what a quick PDF download is supposed to be becomes a test of patience and determination. Does the download take three minutes or 30? Some days you don't have time to roll the dice: you want the downloaded files to take less time than creating a full model of the Golden Gate Bridge, for example.
With that in mind, we've rounded up a few reasons why your downloads and your computer in general have slowed down.
A security issue can cause your PC to slow down. (Photo: Getty)
Reason # 1: A security problem
What's the old saying about hating to bring bad news? Well, that certainly applies here. "Your speed could be affected if your systems were infected in any way," Richard Roth, founder and general manager of technology solutions company Progressive Tech, told Yahoo Life. "Hackers will use your systems to send spam emails and steal yours." Socialize, track websites and browsing habits, and deliver invasive and targeted ads. Consider professional support for your laptops and desktops, factory settings for your mobile devices, and a replacement network system like one of the new mesh network systems. "
Taking the time to check your system can improve the download speed. (Photo: Getty)
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Weak WiFi can cause your computer to move slower than usual. (Photo: Getty)
Reason # 2: a weak wifi signal
Once you've ruled out any security issues, it's time to look at your WiFi signal and test your internet. This could explain slow downloads. Roth recommends an internet speed test. "Run speed tests on a mobile device right next to the main modem / router / access point," he says. "Test further afield and see if the speeds stay reasonable."
Although there are several tests available, Roth said it is worth trying Google's internet speed test as the test will tell you whether the connection is getting weak or slow.
Roth adds: "If possible, test a hardwired connection to see if there is a speed difference between the WiFi and the connected computer. An older laptop is ideal for this, as new computers often no longer have plug-in internet."
You can use Internet connection tests to determine your download speed. (Photo: Getty)
Reason 3: a slow connection
A slow internet connection is often responsible for slow downloads. “In many residential areas there is only a limited or only one option for an Internet provider,” explains Roth. “In rural areas, there is often no connection other than cellular and satellite options, which can be slow or unreliable and make testing difficult.” Roth recommends testing regularly and under a variety of conditions. "If the connection is slow, you will need to call to increase your speed with the current provider or find another provider that guarantees you a faster connection."
Roth suggests using Google's internet speed test to check your connection. "To do this, you first need to know what speed you are getting," he says. “Take the speed test and see what you get. Compare that to your bill which shows what speed you are paying for.” He adds, “The goal is to make sure you get what you are getting for You paid first. "
However, Roth suggests checking out the other slow download reasons on this list before calling your provider. "It's important that you troubleshoot before calling your provider," says Roth. "An IT support company can help with testing or on a call with your provider."
Too many devices connected to your internet can cause devices on your network to slow down. (Photo: Getty)
Reason # 4: Too Much Traffic on Your Wifi
"Most people don't keep track of every device on their network, especially given the amount of smart home devices and various connected devices in use today," emphasizes Roth. "Think thermostats, phones, tablets, security cameras, smart TVs, etc. Any connected device can potentially slow down and is always sending and receiving data."
To find out which device is the data eater, Roth recommends testing one device at a time. “Accurate testing means using only one device with no other devices transmitting or receiving during the test,” he says. “If you have a small number of devices, turn them off. If you have an entire smart home, one option is to reset the WiFi password and after troubleshooting, reconnect with the new password. "
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