For many of us, a smartphone is the main means of access to the World Wide Web, so the speed of the Internet on a mobile device is very important. However, at times the speed of mobile Internet can be significantly reduced, which is reflected in the slow loading of pages in the browser, downloading files or delays in playing video and audio. Such situations can arise for a number of reasons, for example, due to improper location of the home router, problems with the public Wi-Fi network or problems with the service provider.
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Slow Internet – Poor Wireless Home Networking
The improper location of your home router is one of the most common unstable or weak wireless signals. The range of the Wi-Fi signal is approximately 150 m in terrain without barriers and 50 m indoors. Large physical objects (walls, doors, floors, etc.) can block the signal, so if you are at a great distance from the router, for example, in the farthest room or outside the house, the signal strength is significantly reduced. You should not place the Wi-Fi router in niches, closed cabinets or behind any bulk (thick, wide) objects.
The strength of the Wi-Fi signal can be checked by the icon in the status bar on the smartphone – if it is “full”, it means that the signal is powerful and the speed of the Internet has a different reason, and if it is “empty” – the signal is weak. Try to get closer to the router and your internet speed should increase. If the signal is still weak, then you have placed the router in the wrong place.
In addition, the Wi-Fi signal level can be checked using various applications. The closer the signal level to zero, the better, for example, a value of 43 dBm is better than .57 dBm.
Internet slows down – Wi-Fi network congestion (change channel)
Another reason for the slow Internet may be overload in the Wi-Fi network. Routers transmit a signal on a specific local channel, however, if your neighbors’ routers use the same channel, network congestion occurs and as a result, the Internet speed drops for everyone. This can be a significant problem, especially in multi-apartment buildings, where a large number of routers are located in a relatively small area. In this situation, it is worth using utilities that scan nearby Wi-Fi networks and determine the channels they use. This way, you can figure out which channel in your environment is the least used and configure Wi-Fi accordingly.
In the cases indicated in the screenshots below, to configure Wi-Fi, select channel 11, 12, 13 or 14:
And in this case, channel 11 is overloaded:
Unfortunately, we could not find such an application for iOS, we provide links for Mac and Android:
Slow Internet on iPhone – home appliances can be a source of interference to a Wi-Fi signal
Microwaves, wireless doorbells, telephones, and other equipment can interfere with signals from routers operating at 2.4 GHz. Most modern routers support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency.
In the latter case, the wireless signal is less susceptible to interference, so it is better to change the router settings to work in the 5 GHz band. But first, make sure that all your devices support this frequency. Routers that do not support two or three ranges will not be able to switch between them, so you need to choose one frequency. If you still decide to stay in the 2.4 GHz band, make sure that the router is located away from devices that can cause interference.
Internet slows down – you are connected to a slow network
One of the most obvious reasons for the low speed of the Internet is connecting to a slow network. In a home network, other applications and devices that share bandwidth between themselves can affect the speed of the Internet. Broadcasting movies, downloading videos, or installing operating system updates that your relatives, friends, or neighbors who use your Wi-Fi hotspot can affect Internet speed.
When using a public Wi-Fi network, Internet speed may vary. There are a huge number of public Wi-Fi networks to which a mobile device is arbitrarily connected. The connection may remain even if you are in the coverage area of another network. That is, if your favorite coffee house offers excellent Wi-Fi, this does not mean that you will be connected to this network every time.
In this case, you can specify the priority Wi-Fi networks in the settings of your iPhone or Android smartphone. Thus, the device will always be connected to the selected wireless networks and only as a last resort to other free Wi-Fi access points.
In order for the iPhone or iPad to automatically connect to the selected network, go to along the path Settings → Wifi, select a network and set the switch Auto connect in position Included. Accordingly, the position Turned off will prevent the device from automatically connecting to this Wi-Fi network.
Weak internet – you are using a slow VPN service
Cybersecurity experts recommend using a VPN when connecting to free Wi-Fi networks. Such services encrypt the connection between your smartphone and access point, preventing data interception. However, not many people know that VPN applications can affect the speed of the Internet, especially free ones. If you see a slowdown, try temporarily disabling the VPN and see if the situation changes.
Most of the best VPN providers release paid apps for the iPhone and Android, which offer faster speeds than free alternatives and are also more secure.
Slows down Internet on iPhone – poor 3G / 4G coverage
Most owners of mobile devices prefer to use Wi-Fi rather than mobile Internet in order to save money and battery life. 4G is positioned as a high-speed mobile Internet, but this is not always true. Various factors can influence the signal strength, for example, the distance to the nearest cell tower, where you are (outdoors or indoors), and even weather conditions. In some cases, you will have to return to the slower 3G Internet, and in some, even be left without it.
For example, you live in a large city and constantly use the 4G LTE network. Accordingly, in the iPhone Settings in the section Cell data → Data options → Voice and data You set the LTE (4G) parameter, but on the weekend you left for the outskirts of the city, where the 4G signal is very weak. In this case, you need to switch the iPhone settings to work with 3G or 2G.
Slow internet – your smartphone is not efficient enough
Slow internet may be a sign that your smartphone is not up to the task. For applications and websites to work over the years, more and more resources are required, so the hardware of outdated or budget smartphones with less productive processors and a small amount of RAM can “slow down” when processing web pages or graphics in an online game. As a result, it seems that the speed of the Internet has decreased, although in reality this is not so.
Similar problems can be observed even on brand new expensive smartphones, if you work with a large number of applications that consume significant amounts of traffic. Obsolete or poorly written applications can also slow down your smartphone, so use new versions of programs, uninstall unnecessary ones and keep track of which applications you allow to run in the background.