4 Annoying Causes of Slow Loading Speeds and How to Fix Them

This story is part of home tipsCNET’s collection of practical tips for making the most of your home, inside and out.

Is there anything more awkward than realizing you’ve been talking to a frozen person? zoom screen for an unknown number of seconds? “Sorry, my internet is down” or something like that is the common response, but it’s probably more than just your internet “down.” It is probably due to slow and irregular loading speeds.

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Us trust loading speeds for more than you think. With video calls, Online gamepost on social media and online shopping are just some of the ways we use the upload side of our internet connection. When your upload speeds aren’t up to par, these tasks can be frustrating or outright impossible.

So what should I do? run a few good speed tests to see what kind of upload speeds you’re getting. If it is less than 10 Mbps, your connection may not be able to meet your needs. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to improve your loading speed. As a bonus, these tips can also improve your download speed for an overall better connection. (For more, check out the best place to put your router to speed up your internetand our picks for the best wifi routersthe best mesh routers and the best wifi extenders.)

Read more: The best internet providers of 2022

You signed up for slow upload speeds

unless you have fiber internet, your upload speeds will be significantly slower than your download speeds. The majority cable, ADSL Y satellite internet providers don’t even advertise upload speeds alongside download speeds, in part because they’re so much slower.

For example, Spectrum Internet speeds are advertised as up to 300 Mbps, 500 Mbps, and 940 Mbps. Those speeds are implied to be download speeds, but what about your upload speeds? You’ll have to dig a little deeper, like checking the fine print or calling customer support, to find out that the upload speeds for those plans are 10Mbps, 20Mbps, and 35Mbps, respectively.

That’s nothing against Spectrum, since most cable Internet providers, including Helmsman, Optimum Y Xfinity, have similar upload speeds and also don’t display them as prominently as download speeds. The same goes for DSL and satellite internet, which can come with upload speeds so slow they’re not even considered broadband (less than 3 Mbps).

How to fix an internet plan with slow upload speeds

The best thing you can do is find out what the maximum upload speeds are for a particular provider or plan before you sign up. As mentioned above, you may have to read the fine print or plan details to find them. Don’t subscribe to a plan with upload speeds that don’t meet your needs if other options are available.

If you already have internet service with slower upload speeds than you’d like or need, consider upgrading to a faster plan. It will likely cost a bit more each month, but the improvement in upload speed, and the boost it will give your download speeds, may be worth the extra cost. Again, be sure to check out what your new upload speeds will be before upgrading to a new plan.

Change provider is another option, especially if fiber optic service from providers such as AT&T, bond of the century, google fiber either Verizon Fios is it availabe. Fiber technology supports the necessary bandwidth for symmetric or nearly symmetric upload and download speeds. So if you sign up for a 300Mbps planyou can expect upload and download speeds of around 300 Mbps over a wired connection.

You’re using Wi-Fi and agree to reduced speeds

Wi-Fi is an alternative to a wired connection, not your own separate Internet service. If you use a Wi-Fi connection, expect upload and download speeds to be slower than what your provider sends to your home.

Range and signal obstructions can also be problems when using Wi-Fi. The further away you get from your router, or if you move to a different room or floor, your upload speeds may be affected.

Depending on the quality of your equipment and how far away you are from your router, using Wi-Fi can reduce your speeds by 50% or more.

Read more: The best Wi-Fi routers of 2022

How to fix slow upload speeds over Wi-Fi

A wired Ethernet connection will almost always give you a faster and more reliable connection. Try using a wired connection if you need fast and stable charging speeds for an important meeting or school project.

Obviously, a wired connection isn’t always practical, and Wi-Fi is much more convenient, so Wi-Fi is often your only option. Some ways to improve your Wi-Fi connection include reboot the router, move it to a better placerepositioning the antennas (if applicable) or moving closer to the router.

An equipment upgrade is also an effective way to improve your Wi-Fi speeds. If you’re not sure where to start when shopping for a new router, check out our list of the best Wi-Fi routers. And for better Wi-Fi connectivity throughout your home, consider upgrading to a dual band mesh router system.

You are running multiple upload tasks at the same time

In the same way that too many connected devices can affect your download speeds, too many devices charging at once can slow down your upload speeds.

There is only so much bandwidth available. When you have multiple uploads in progress at once, they compete with each other. In the case of upload speeds, which are often significantly slower than download speeds, it only takes a couple of devices to break upload speeds.

Zoom, for example, may require upload speeds of 3 Mbps or more for a clear and reliable connection. If you have multiple video calls at once, all over Wi-Fi, your upload speeds may not be able to keep up with the demand.

How to fix congested upload bandwidth

While concurrent meetings or class participation may be unavoidable, try to stagger meetings and limit the number of connected devices where possible.

In addition to strategically scheduling meeting times to accommodate everyone in your household, make sure your the router is configured to transmit 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. There’s likely to be less clutter on your 5GHz band, allowing for better connection quality and faster charging speeds.

Plus, upgrading your internet plan or provider to one with faster maximum upload speeds will help ensure there’s enough to go around.

You have reached your monthly data limit

Believe it or not, uploading files and participating in video calls contribute to your monthly data usage, just like downloading files or streaming TV. Depending on your provider, exceeding your data limit may result in accelerated speeds for the remainder of your billing cycle.

This is likely only a problem if you have satellite internet. HughesNet Y Viasat will drastically reduce speeds once customers have exceeded their monthly data allotment. Certain cable and DSL Internet providers may also have data caps, but most will charge an overage fee instead of capping your speeds.

How to fix accelerated loading speeds

If you have a monthly data limit, it’s best to monitor your activity throughout your billing cycle to avoid going over it. Most providers have an app and/or website that allows you to track your data usage.

HughesNet allows customers to purchase additional data “tokens” or blocks of data that will return their speeds, upload and download, to normal until the end of the billing cycle or until the aggregated data is used up. Viasat doesn’t come with this option, but most may come with a higher data allotment than HughesNet, depending on the plan you choose.

Of course, your best option is to choose a internet provider without data limit or at least one that does not increase its speed by exceeding its limit. However, you’ll still want to monitor your data usage, as excessive data usage could violate your term of service agreement, which can lead to service interruption.

Looking for more ways to improve your Internet connection? Visit the CNET Internet Center Page for more articles on all things Internet in your home. And for more tips and tricks for the home, be sure to check out our CNET Home Tips Section.

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