Struggling with slow internet on your computer can be seriously annoying. And, if you're one of the 42 percent of people who are working from home right now, sluggish internet can make the difference between making and missing an important work deadline.
If your Web searching has slowed to a crawl, it's only natural to wonder, "Why is my internet so slow on my computer?" That's especially true if you aren't completely familiar with the inner workings of your computer—which most people aren't.
Turns out, there's a wide range of potential issues that can be slowing down your computer's internet. Some are fixable, and some are "out of the user's control," tech and cybersecurity expert Chuck Brooks, president of Brooks Consulting International, tells Yahoo Life. Here's what could be behind your computer's slow internet, along with some potential fixes.
#1 Why is my internet so slow on my computer? You could have too many cookies.
Cookies are text files with small pieces of data that are used to ID your computer as you surf online. You pick up more cookies as you visit more websites, and all of those cookies can eventually slow you down, Brooks says. Deleting the cookies can speed up your internet.
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#2 Why is my internet so slow on my computer? It may be the website's issue.
It's easy to blame your computer when your internet is slow, but Brooks points out that there can sometimes be an issue with a particular website you're trying to access. "internet servers and websites can experience operational issues and can be the subject of bots or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks," he says. (DDoS attacks, in case you're not familiar with them, are cyber attacks on a network that try to disrupt internet service.) Sometimes, you can even have a slow computer because plenty of other people are visiting the same website or sites as you, he points out.
#3 Why is my internet so slow on my computer? Your Wi-Fi router could be subpar.
Your Wi-Fi router beams internet service around your home, allowing you to pick it up when you're within range. But not every router is up for the task of giving you quality service to all areas of your place. If that seems to be the issue, Brooks says that you, "may consider getting a Wi-Fi router booster or cable as a stronger signal may augment your current speed capabilities." (For what it's worth, boosters are relatively inexpensive.)
#4 Why is my internet so slow on my computer? You may need to upgrade your internet service.
If you find that your internet is consistently slow, it's time to check in with your service provider. "Check your existing subscription with your internet service provider," Brooks says. "You may need to upgrade your speed." Upgrading to the fastest service your provider offers may only cost a few more dollars a month—and it could make a huge difference.
Why is my internet so slow on my computer? It could be time to upgrade your PC.
While this isn't a first or even second solution, sometimes a slow computer comes down to having a PC that's not up for the job. If you've tried other fixes and you're still struggling, Brooks suggests giving your current computer the side eye. "Consider upgrading to a better PC that has more functionality and horsepower, especially if you regularly stream media or do gaming," he says.