General Question

killertofu's avatar

Internet speed slow: upgrade router or change provider?

Asked by killertofu (115points) November 2nd, 2009

my roommates and i (with little computer knowledge) have a basic 54mbps Netgear router with RoadRunner cable. several computers connect to it via WiFi, including an Xbox 360 (ethernet) for online games and Netflix streaming videos. our speed and connection is poor. should we upgrade the router, change service providers, or both? also there are ~6–9 other routers nearby in our apartment complex. after changing the WiFi channel to a different channel than surrounding routers, our speed increased but not drastically.

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14 Answers

iRemy_y's avatar

try changing the Internet you use. i have a very fast Internet connection, but i used Internet explorer. wrong choice… one of my friends moved me onto opera, and i love it! it runs at least twice as fast as Internet and has a feature, called turbo. this feature will change settings so that the Internet will run much faster on slow connections but will slow down fast connections. i personally leave it on auto. if you are using a mac, however, you shold be using safari. thats all i can help with. try out opera and see if there are any changes

BhacSsylan's avatar

Ouch. It sounds like you’re simply putting a lot of bandwidth on your cable, especially with gaming and streaming video. Your router may be old, but I’d think you need a new provider, or a new plan (some providers have scaled plans, with more bandwidth for more $$$). This can be costly, though, so if you’re using IE I’d highly suggest trying opera or firefox first, as IRemy_y said. If that fixes it, cool, but otherwise look into a plan with higher bandwidth.

Dr_C's avatar

I’d try calling your service provider’s tech support. They might have info concerning rates of speed in certain high-traffic areas or about the possibility of upgrading your hardware.

killertofu's avatar

what providers would you recommend? where can i search for various providers in my area. we dont want DSL because of its slower speeds. tech support is horrible and receive no help. at one point we were losing any internet connectivity approximately once a week.

MrGV's avatar

If your connection is poor it’s most likely your router I would prefer to use a Linksys over netgear anyday….

ragingloli's avatar

stop torrenting all the time :)

Jack_Haas's avatar

Thy the speed tests and diagnostic tools at (nothing weird to download and install on your computer, it’s all java based)

Don’t let the domain name fool you, they’re not just about dsl. You should find out what’s wrong with your setup very quickly.

If the tests don’t detect any problem with your line you can compare your results with real-world measurements recorded in your area. You can then see how your provider compares with others.

dpworkin's avatar

Don’t forget, you guys are dividing the bandwidth among yourselves. At any rate, it is unlkely to be your router – test the speed with a cabled, solo connection.

filmfann's avatar

You have a lot going into your router. That bottle-neck is causing your problem. Changing providers won’t help.
@pdworkin has a good test for you. Go to DSL SPEED TEST

killertofu's avatar

Linksys routers seem more expensive, and in my experience less reliable than Netgear. How are Belkin routers?

the speedtests gave me 411 kilobytes/sec download and 45 Kb/s upload. its about 5pm here, so speed doesnt seem too bad. then again we aren’t doing anything online at the moment.

Pandora's avatar

I can verify that gaming can slow your computer down. My daughter use to play WW Craft and it ran fine on her computer but dragged mine to hell.

jerv's avatar

Remember, even 54mbps (like 802.11g) is faster than most internet connections, so the router is rarely a bottleneck.

Response moderated (Spam)
vinaysa's avatar

Due to any one of the following reasons your internet gets slow down ;

1. Local network is overloaded
2. Malware or scareware on end users computers
3. Bad connection

You can use the following tips to make your internet connection as fast as possible :

1. Clear cookies from your browser
2. Close unwanted background tasks when you are working with the internet .
3. Scan your internet by using standard Anti-virus software
4. Reset your modem and reconnect with the internet.
5. Test your internet speed often by using
6. change your internet data plan

First of all, try the above steps . If the steps are not working , you can change your ISP .

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