“Why is this computer running so slow?” It’s a common complaint. The question is whether it’s your computer or your internet connection.
You may feel your computer is moving at a snail’s pace, but it used to be cheetah-fast! You’re going to want to identify and address the issue to get back up to speed. Yet it’s hard to know whether to blame your computer or the internet, especially now that so many computer applications rely on internet connectivity.
So, how do you determine whether it’s your computer or connectivity that’s the problem? If you are having the problem only on one device in a network, you can guess it’s the computer not the connectivity. Otherwise, think about when you are having slow woes.
If you notice programs are taking longer to load up, your computer may not be up to the task. Running large applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, or some accounting packages can cause slowdowns. The hardware may be overwhelmed. You may not have enough available storage space. Sometimes your computer’s parts are simply too old and not fast enough.
Even a new computer could be the problem if it’s an inexpensive one. Or perhaps you didn’t get enough random access memory (RAM). Your computer needs RAM to run applications or games; it’s the short-term memory of the computer. This is where the computer loads all the things it thinks it might need soon so that it can process them quickly. Without enough available RAM, the computer has to work harder (and slower) to get the results you want.
No wonder common advice for people dealing with slow computers is to invest in more RAM. If your device is less than five years old, you can often upgrade the RAM inexpensively, or switch to a solid-state drive (SSD). An SSD reads and writes differently than a traditional hard drive, which allows it to access information faster.
Meanwhile, buying a replacement computer may be the answer if your device is more than five years old.
Then Again, Maybe It’s the Internet Connection
On the other hand, you might notice computer slowness when online. Web pages might be slow to load, or you might be waiting ages to access YouTube videos. If the lag is happening on only one website, it could be that site’s problem. Otherwise, internet slowness could be a provider problem. Or you might have a poor connection.
One way to confirm a connection issue is to check your internet speed. A site such as fast.com or speedtest.net can measure your speed, then you can compare it against the connection speed you’re paying for. Don’t know that? Check your service bill. You may have a slow internet speed plan. Maybe you haven’t changed it in years but have added many more devices. In that case, you’ll want to call your service provider about an upgrade … or confiscate the kid’s devices when you want to stream a favorite show.
When testing, you are looking for a speed of at least 10 Mbps. Anything below that, and you’ll start seeing slowdowns and start hearing the complaints from all corners of the house. To put that in perspective, Netflix needs at least 5 Mbps to stream in HD.
Other Tidbits to Tackle Slowness
You might also try rebooting your computer or your modem and router. If you leave these running all the time, never actually turning them off, they can get stuck in a slow rut. If you’re on Wi-Fi, that could also be the root of your problem. Maybe you’re on a network with too many users making demands. For instance, if everyone in your family is streaming on their devices, expect a slowdown. You might be in a signal dead zone. In that case, you could look into a Wi-Fi mesh network.
Ultimately, there are many reasons for a slow computer or internet connection. Don’t get stuck with a tortoise of technology. A managed services provider can find the root cause and get you running faster. Contact us today at 863-606-8349, that's 606-8FIX!
Managed IT Services is a maintenance program which bundles services such as IT Support, Network Security, Systems Administration, Cloud Services Management, and Data Security. We tend to group backup and general data protection, data loss prevention, and data security under our Data Security service—5 years ago we would have referred to this as data mobility, but now data is growing and moving around our planet so quickly that we struggle to remember what cloud storage service a document is stored in.
Right, right…but what does that mean? Well, let’s start at a high level and make our way down until we can see our spot on the beach—you know, the one with a lounge chair and your favorite drink.
Today, your IT support may be like a Prairie Dog; popping its head up when something needs to be fixed or a virus or some other malware needs to be removed (dare we say a ransom paid or backup data restored, with incident response procedures to ensure the data is viable). The goal of Managed Services is for that Prairie Dog to be constantly vigilant and equipped with the tools and expertise to drive off predators or play the role of medic when called for. Okay; tactical Prairie Dog, got it.
Instead of being reactive, Managed Services is the constant oversight of your IT services by an external organization. It is monitoring, maintenance, and self-repair of networks, hardware, servers, and software to keep your business’s data protected and available to allow your team to deliver outstanding customer service, deliver product on time, build the right product the first time, you name it.
Usually, one or more employees find themselves “pitching in” for the IT role. While this is helpful in the moment, it takes away focus from their primary role and technology is always an afterthought. When things get really complicated, a call goes out to another resource or consultant to bring your service back online. You can open QuickBooks again? Great, until the next time an outage occurs. Be prepared for a 3 to 4-hour staff meeting until the IT guy is available and makes the corrections to get the services running again.
What if your servers, workstations, network, and business applications were monitored 24×7? Taking a more proactive approach ensures the technology you rely on has improved up-time. Beyond monitoring, IT Protectorate reviews trends and automates processes designed to keep your systems running smoothly.
With our focus on your technology operations, IT Protectorate can provide insight to your strategic planning. Keeping track of your assets, cloud services subscriptions, software licensing, and device configurations can be a daunting task. We’re able to keep track of this data in our specialized systems and provide you with summary reports that will help plan the future of your business.
A proactive approach will prevent IT problems before they occur, ensuring your technology is as reliable as the service you provide your customers. Allow us the opportunity to assess your network and work with you to establish a reliable IT maintenance program for your business.
What do you expect from the technology that helps run your business? Is it a benefit or a burden? We believe your success is our success and strive to help guide our customers through their digital transformations. Most importantly, we get you thinking about defining goals and setting clear intentions. This helps develop realistic expectations around the digital systems that help employees clock in or look up information to ensure they deliver quality customer service.
The first question is what are we trying to accomplish? How are we going to measure the success of this implementation? What does success mean to us?
Having walked our customers through countless upgrades, hardware failures, and data recoveries, we’ve found that clients with clearly defined goals use their technology to its fullest. Translation: thinking about the value of your data or what your customers need from your database means we can recover exactly the data you need from the exact day two weeks ago that you needed it. Or, when a customer calls in needing a serial number from an air conditioning system, pool pump, or hydraulic jack they purchased from you four years ago, they happily get that serial number quickly and think of you the next time they need your products or services.
What are your biggest operational challenges? Where would you like to see the most improvement? Thinking through these questions will help you define your businesses goals regarding the technology that helps store and retrieve data for you and your customers.
Elroy is the man behind the scenes; writing posts, checking status of servers, managing networks and endpoints, and enjoying coffee in his favorite spots in Lakeland and Winter Haven, FL.