Slow internet is dreadful. When we’re at home, it’s only a minor annoyance. However—as you know—slow internet for a business can lower productivity and employee morale.
BYOD (bring your own device to work) is becoming very trendy, and as your company expands, your Wi-Fi network infrastructure may no longer be able to support the number of connected devices.
That’s why it’s important to figure out whether your company’s internet is being slowed by the Wi-Fi network, or the internet provider.
You can do this by comparing internet speeds between Ethernet-connected devices and Wi-Fi connected devices.
But First, Reboot Your Modem and Router
Before we get carried away—reboot the internet modem and router. See if the slow internet goes away. If you don’t know how to do this, read this excellent router & reboot guide from Lifewire. Occasionally, internet modems and routers can become bogged down, causing slow internet speeds. It’s simple, but important, that you do this before moving ahead.
Running Internet Speed Tests
Finally, let's start out with running a test at speedtest.net on a Wi-Fi connected computer. Make sure you write down the download speed from the test results. Run the test several times to get an idea of the average speed.
Then, find a computer connected directly to a router with an Ethernet cable (if you don't have one, you’ll need to hook a laptop up to one of the Ethernet ports located in the back of the router with an Ethernet cable). With the Ethernet connected device, run the speed test several times and write down the download speeds again.
If the Wi-Fi device speeds are significantly slower than the Ethernet device speeds, there's a problem with the Wi-Fi network infrastructure—not the internet provider.
Solving Wi-Fi Performance Problems
Wi-Fi can be performing poorly for a number of reasons. If this is your problem, consult this guide on fixing Wi-Fi problems that we wrote in the past. Unfortunately, solving Wi-Fi problems is outside the scope of our article.
Solving Internet Provider Problems
If Wi-Fi isn’t your problem, it doesn’t mean your internet provider is completely at fault (unless they are restricting your bandwidth during peak usage times). In reality, your company internet doesn’t have enough bandwidth to support its current internet habits.
You can either change your company’s internet habits, or upgrade your internet plan for more bandwidth.
To change your company’s internet habits, you might want to set up content filtering on your network to restrict access to unnecessary, bandwidth-sucking websites.
Regardless of what you do, you need to inform your internet users. They cannot use company internet as if it was their own personal internet connection. If they aren’t currently using a piece of software, they need to get in the habit of closing out of it to free up the internet. Almost all software will utilize internet in some way or form.