Are you having trouble getting the speeds you are paying for from your Internet Service Provider (ISP)?  Sometimes it can be difficult to troubleshoot the problems that may be causing your internet woes.  That's why we made this guide that will help you be able to quickly find out the reason you're not getting the speeds you need.  As IT specialists, we've worked with hundreds of different networks and we can help you find out the best way to get your connection working at its best.

Common Network Problems and Mistakes

There are some common problems that users run into when setting up a new network.  When building out a new network, it's important to first get your needs and equipment in order.  Ask yourself if you have the right equipment for the speeds you expect.

There are a few essential pieces needed for a basic network layout:

  1. The Modem is what converts the internet signal from the demarcation point into your internet signal.  The demarcation point is where your internet provider's line ends and yours begins.  Normally, your ISP will provide you with a modem, but you can also purchase one of your own so long as it is compatible with your ISP.   The benefits of using your own modem is that you have more control over your network.  You can also utilize modems with multiple channels which offer smoother and faster speeds than those provided by your ISP.
  2. The Router/Firewall is the next essential piece of your home or business network.  Routers route the internet signal from your ISP to the various computers throughout your network.  Most routers also can provide a wireless signal for your users and guests.  Most issues that you may find on your network may involve a configuration setting in your router.  Some routers may not provide you with the speeds you need.  If your router is older and you're not getting the internet speeds you are expecting, you may need to purchase one with a higher throughput.
  3. A Switch is the next most common network equipment you will find in your network.  Although not essential in smaller networks, switches offer a huge amount of utility to your network.  Although a switch can not provide DHCP addresses like your router can, it does offer the functionality to expand your network.  If you're not getting the local transfer speeds you expect, it may be due to your switch.  New switches almost always offer gigabit speeds, however, older ones only went up to 10/100.  Sometimes issues can arise when two switches are plugged into one another, creating a loopback.  This can cause a lot of problems and headaches.  If you find yourself running out of ports on your switch, it's best to simply replace the switch with another one rather than adding more onto the network.

Keeping your router's firmware up-to-date is one great way of ensuring that you get the speeds you're expecting to get and, also, the security that your firewall and router should be providing.  Slow speeds can be due to a lot of factors, and hackers gaining access to your computers through exploits in your network could be one of the causes for slower internet speeds.  Ensure that none of your computers are running any software that you don't recognize.  If you notice several workstations are infected with malware or spyware, it may be that a firmware update to your network may block these potential threats in the future.

Our trained technicians have seen all assortments of networks - from homes, to consumer grades, and even enterprise level business networks.  If you're having trouble getting the speeds you're paying for, contact us today so we can help you with all of your computer and network needs.