Can My Neighbors Slow Down My Internet?

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Can My Neighbors Slow Down My Internet?

Slow internet is an issue that people face on daily basis. While discovering the causes behind it, one question that many people ask is “Can my neighbors slow down my internet?”

The answer to this is a yes. Your neighbors can slow down your internet connection both intentionally and unintentionally.

Since most of the internet connections such as DSL or cable are shared, that means you and your neighbors are on the same connection. When they use their internet a lot, resultantly, your internet connection will slow down. That is why the internet speed usually drops down during peak hours.

Now if we look at how they can do it intentionally, then one of the reasons could be that they are hijacking your internet connection. That might seem odd, it is more common than you would have expected.

That additional traffic to your network can cause it to slow down. The best way to get rid of it? Change your Wi-Fi password and never share it with anyone.

However, if your internet is slower than usual, there is a greater chance that it might not be because of your neighbors as several other reasons could be behind it. In this article, we will identify those reasons so that you can troubleshoot your internet easily whenever there is an issue.

Common Reasons behind Slow Internet Connection

Though the reason behind a slow internet can be different as per your connection type and situation, some of the most common causes include:

Data Caps

If your internet speed is suddenly slower than usual, it could be because you have reached your monthly data limit. Due to that, your internet provider is throttling your connection and the internet speed has reduced significantly.

This is a very common reason as most of the providers offer services with data limits. Moreover, the only way you can avoid that is by signing up with a provider that offers unlimited data with all its plans.

If that is not a possibility, for instance, if you live in a rural area – choose a service provider that offers at least 1 TB of data every month. Options such as CenturyLink internet would be able to provide you with such plans. Since that is a sufficient amount of data for a regular household, chances are you will not face any problems.

Connecting Too Many Devices

Another common reason behind a slow internet connection is connecting too many devices with your Wi-Fi. Think of your bandwidth as a pie. Whether you cut it into six pieces or ten, the size of the pie will remain the same. However, cutting it into ten pieces would mean that everyone is getting a lesser share.

Similarly, the bandwidth we sign up for is limited and divided among all the devices on the network, connecting too many devices would mean that every device is getting a lesser share of that bandwidth.

Therefore, if your internet connection is slowing down, disconnect all the unnecessary devices and restart the router. You will surely see a positive change in speed.

Location of Router

If you mainly connect your devices with the internet via Wi-Fi, the location of the router would play an important role in the internet speed. The places with better signal strength would have better speed while the ones where the signals are weak would have slow internet speed.

You might have already noticed that if you move from your room to the area where the router is located, the internet speed improves significantly. On the other hand, if you move away from it, the speed slows down instantly.

That is because the Wi-Fi signal strength becomes weaker when they have to pass through walls, furniture, and other obstacles. That is why it is always recommended to place your router in the room where you spend most of your time.
Moreover, if possible, connect your devices via Ethernet rather than Wi-Fi. That would improve the speed as the distance doesn’t affect the Ethernet connection.

A Slow VPN

Since most people are working from home these days, VPN has become a necessity. VPN is software that encrypts your internet connection and masks the IP address for additional security.

To connect to the corporate networks, that is usually a general requirement.
However, this also slows down the internet connection because of IP masking and encryption. One way to improve the speed with a VPN is to change your location. Though that’s not a permanent fix, it mostly works.

In case it doesn’t work for you, the second option is to choose a premium VPN. The speed reduction with a premium VPN is usually not that much and you will be able to get a good speed compared to free options.

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