For apartment dwellers who depend on their connection to the Web, it’s a drag when a slow one seems to stop time online.
With a little bit of know-how, you can troubleshoot a solution when the information superhighway leaves you on the side of the road. Keep these details in mind.
Consider the time of day
Time of day is a typical culprit – one that you might be able to avoid. Joining a lot of people online at once can tax servers and slow down overall response time. If you happen to be connecting at a peak hour – say, in the early evening – you can expect slower loading. Consider what you are doing online, as well. Streaming video or music is more of a burden for the connection than sending an email.
Consider your computer
Maybe your own machine is contributing to the frustration. An older machine, especially one with less memory or a slower chipset, might not play well with the Web. Or perhaps your computer is not optimally set to connect with the Net. Too many open programs, large active downloads, or even virus activity could slow you up significantly.
For all its convenience, connecting wirelessly can pose its own set of challenges. For one, many devices in the typical household operate on wireless frequencies, and these devices compete with each other over airwaves. (When you live in an apartment community, you may even see several of your neighbors’ networks listed on your device. The walls aren’t keeping all these wireless signals from intermingling!) One simple thing you might try is moving your router to sniff out a better signal.
More tips regarding your apartment utilities:
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Consider your hardware set-up
If you find you cannot connect at all, ask yourself the basic questions: Is everything plugged in and turned on? Are your electrical outlets in working order? A bad modem or out-of-date router software or firmware all might contribute to connection problems. If you suspect one of these culprits, contact your service provider for specific advice regarding your particular set-up.
Possible solutions for a crawling Web
Before you give up and read a book, there are a few fairly straightforward things you might try to stoke your time online.
- Try another browser. If the particular browser you’re using seems slow, try a different one. Firefox and Google Chrome are good choices.
- Simplify what you’re doing online. Close extra, unneeded programs or tabs, or avoid streaming or downloading if these activities are especially slow.
- Start a virus check. It never hurts to run your virus protection program to search for any unwanted virus visitors which may be clogging up your connection.
- But don’t be afraid of harmless cookies! Set your browser preferences to enable cookies. The computer kind won’t add to your waistline, and they just might speed up your computing experience by helping your machine remember your personal preferences on various websites. (You should, however, be wary about the sites you visit!)
- Check your browser toolbar. An unexpected change in the look of your browser might mean you have inadvertently downloaded a piece of software which has changed your interface, like a new toolbar. While the change may not be malicious, tracking still might slow your computer’s performance.
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Zurijeta