Internet Throttling: Your ISP Might Be to Blame for Your Slow Wi-Fi Speeds

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

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There are many reasons why your internet could be moving slowly. It might be because of an outdated router or a less-than-ideal router location. You might be able to solve slow speeds with an easy fix, like upgrading to a mesh network (which also has to be set up in the right spot) or simply restarting your modem and router. But if you’ve already attempted many of these tried-and-true methods and your internet speeds are still subpar, the issue might be something your internet service provider is intentionally doing: bandwidth throttling.

Yes, you read that right. Your ISP could be making your Wi-Fi slower on purpose. Because of a 2019 Supreme Court decision in which the court declined to hear an appeal on net neutrality, ISPs can still legally stifle your internet, limiting your broadband if you’re streaming more TV than they want and serving slower connections to websites owned by their competitors. 

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One solution to slow Wi-Fi (if it’s caused by internet throttling) is a virtual private network
. Basically, ISPs need to see your IP address to slow down your internet, and a good VPN will shield that identity — though this comes with some limitations and downsides, which I’ll discuss below. We’ll walk you through how to tell if throttling is to blame and, if not, what to do about fixing your crummy Wi-Fi. (You can also learn more about how to get free Wi-Fi anywhere in the world.) 

Step 1

First, troubleshoot your slow internet connection

So your Wi-Fi is slow and you think your service provider is throttling your connection. Before you jump to those conclusions, it’s important to run through the usual troubleshooting list: Check that your router is centrally located in your home, reposition its antennas, double-check your network security and so on. If you

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Your Mesh Router Is in the Wrong Location, and It truly is Slowing Down Your Wi-Fi

This tale is aspect of 12 Times of Recommendations, encouraging you make the most of your tech, dwelling and wellbeing in the course of the vacation season.

I’ve used the previous couple of yrs at CNET tests and reviewing Wi-Fi routers, and if you will find 1 detail I have realized, it truly is this: In most houses, the most significant way to make improvements to the Wi-Fi connection is to upgrade to a mesh router.

The reasoning in this article is very simple. Common routers set out a Wi-Fi signal from a solitary issue in your residence, but mesh routers use numerous products to put out a usable signal from several details in your property. That will make them extra like a group of routers that work alongside one another to relay your site visitors again to the modem. It is a considerably better tactic to residence networking, specifically in large, multistory homes, in which a traditional, solitary-stage router will probable leave you with useless zones in the rooms that are farthest absent. They can even make a important big difference in more compact houses, particularly if you have any lifeless zone rooms where by speeds are not as speedy as you would like.

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Most mesh routers are rather easy to get begun with: Just hook up one particular product to your modem with an Ethernet cable, plug it in and then observe the guidance in the system’s app. From there, you can need to have to choose spots for the remaining satellite extenders, which are also from time to time known as nodes (or “Points” if you might be a Nest Wifi user). Continue to, you are going to want to place some considered into where you place the things, as their certain area will make a substantial influence on the system’s effectiveness. Listed here are some guidelines to keep in head as you go. (You can also test out our

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Why Is My Wi-Fi Down? 5 Common Reasons, and How to Fix It

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

There’s really never a good time for your Wi-Fi to go out: Whatever you’re using the internet for at the time (streaming TV, gaming online, working from home or some combination of it all) comes to an abrupt and frustrating halt. An internet outage could also knock your Wi-Fi security cameras, smart light switches and other connected devices offline even when you’re away — not ideal.

While there’s not much you can do about an internet outage when you’re away from home, troubleshooting and resolving the occasional service disruption can be fairly quick and simple. Here are the most common reasons why your internet might go out and how to fix the problem, if possible. Spoiler alert: It’s not always the fault of your internet service provider. (For more Wi-Fi tips, check out why your router may be in the wrong place, and how to find free Wi-Fi anywhere in the world.) 

Most common causes of home internet outages

Here are some of the top causes your internet may have dropped — we’ll dive into solutions for each below.

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1. Modem/router malfunctions

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2. Inadequate speeds or equipment

3. Hacking or network issues

4. Bad weather

5. ISP service outages and network congestion

Narrowing down the exact issue can take a bit of investigating and troubleshooting. Start by verifying the connection issue isn’t specific to a single website, server or device. 

If you’ve lost your Netflix connection halfway through a show, check to see if other streaming services are still accessible and working. If so, the problem likely lies with Netflix and not your internet connection. If you’re having an issue connecting to other streaming services, it could be that the smart TV or streaming device is to blame. Try streaming on another device, if possible, to verify that an

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How to share your online relationship in excess of Wi-Fi in macOS Ventura

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Slow Wi-Fi? This Might Be the Problem

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

Is your internet suddenly moving super slowly? It might be due to an outdated router or a less-than-ideal router location. Your connection issues may need only an easy fix, like upgrading to a mesh network or simply restarting your modem and router. But if you’ve already attempted many of the tried-and-true methods and your internet speeds are still subpar, the issue might be something your internet service provider is intentionally doing: bandwidth throttling.

CNET Home Tips logo

Yes, you read that right. Your ISP could be making your Wi-Fi slower on purpose. Because of a 2019 Supreme Court decision in which the court declined to hear an appeal on net neutrality, ISPs can still legally stifle your internet, limiting your broadband if you’re streaming more TV than they want and serving slower connections to websites owned by their competitors. 

Shopping for a faster internet speed?

We’ll send you the fastest internet options, so you don’t have to find them.

One solution to slow Wi-Fi (if it’s caused by internet throttling) is a virtual private network
. Basically, ISPs need to see your IP address to slow down your internet, and a good VPN will shield that identity — though this comes with some limitations and downsides, which I’ll discuss below. We’ll walk you through how to tell if throttling is to blame and, if not, what to do about fixing your crummy Wi-Fi. (You can also learn more about how to get free Wi-Fi anywhere in the world.) 

Read more: Best Internet Providers of 2022

Step 1

First, troubleshoot your slow internet connection

So your Wi-Fi is slow and you think your service provider is throttling your connection. Before you jump to those conclusions, it’s important to run through the usual troubleshooting list: Check that your router is centrally located in your home, reposition its antennas, double-check your network security and so on. If you want to read about more ways to optimize your Wi-Fi, check

Read More... Read More

Your Router Is in the Wrong Spot. Here’s Where To Move It for Faster Wi-Fi

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

A reliable internet connection at home is pivotal — but Wi-Fi can be frustratingly finicky. Despite paying monthly fees to an internet service provider, and even if you’ve had a router professionally installed, you may still find yourself spending too much time watching your phone, laptop or streaming device grind away as it tries to stay connected. 

That’s a massive headache if you work from home, if you’re trying to install smart home gadgets, or if you just want to unwind with some Netflix at the end of the day.

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The good news is there’s an easy way to optimize your Wi-Fi network and address these issues, and it’ll only take you a few minutes. 

There are a lot of factors that determine internet speeds and while there are a few tricks or guidelines you can follow to improve the overall wireless speeds and coverage in your home, one of the most crucial factors is the location of your router. And note, the best place is not always where the technician set it up. So keep reading to learn about the best place in your home for your router and other tricks for faster Wi-Fi. You can also check out our picks for the best Wi-Fi routers, the best mesh routers and the best Wi-Fi extenders.

Find the right router for your space

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First things first: It all starts with choosing the right router or other equipment. Not all routers are the same and the size and layout of your home will determine what type of wireless network you need.

For most apartments and smaller homes (under 1,500 square feet), a single wireless access point should suffice. That said, if your router is several years old, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer model with support for 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi

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