Troubleshooting internet connection performance and speed issues

I have recently been helping my in-laws troubleshoot an underperforming cable internet. Whilst the nature of cable internet is different to that of ADSL that because it is a “shared” connection between you and your neighbours, the circumstances surrounding actually getting to the bottom of their performance and speed issues took a significant amount of time to resolve with an unexpected result!

Whilst it is acknowledged that cable internet can be slow at times (especially slow after school or work!), between tests conducted my in-laws, their internet service provider (ISP) and myself, we identified that their performance were much slower than it should be. Even as they tried to perform the speed tests, we found it sometimes it wouldn’t even run! Strongly, this occurred at the same time they changed their plans, so we asked the question, as your speed been downgraded?

Following a number of conversations with their internet service provider, advising that they hadn’t been downgraded, and as a result them performing a range of tests and diagnostics, it was identified that there was technical fault on the connection in the street, so this was corrected over the course of a week.

Even after this cable was repaired, the performance did not improve. The ISP provided a replacement modem which they promptly installed. Again, the issue continued. The ISP even delivered another replacement modem on a separate occasion in case the second modem was at fault, but again the internet speed did not improve after it was installed.

After another lengthy conversation, the ISP acknowledged that the cause was on their end – not from a technical fault as originally thought, but that of their own equipment being overwhelmed by the advent of the new video streaming websites. They claimed that were about to commission new hardware to accommodate their growth and demand in these services.

Whilst for a home user this trouble this may been bearable, it is difficult for a small business or not-for-profit organisation to stand such issues. If you are experiencing internet connection performance issues similar to this, we strongly suggest speaking to your ISP as quickly as possible to get your speed and connection looked at and resolved as quickly as possible. Alternatively, if you do not have success, it may be time to change your plan or even ISP itself.

On a side note, we have recently noticed ISPs increasing bundling of their telephone and internet services, which often saving you money but actually putting you onto less performing connections. At the same time, they have introduced the ability to pay for increases your internet speeds. We strongly disagree on purchasing these options unless they are willing to assure you of the stated speed most of the time.

If you need a hand, please feel free to contact us to engage our Consulting computer solutions.