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A slow Internet connection might not be your fault. Even the fastest broadband connections can be stifled by any number of factors. If you work from home or rely on it for your business, it can be devastating. Fortunately, most of the things that can cause your connection problems can be solved from the comfort of your own home.

1. Computer Worms

The Internet is a dangerous place - this is well known. People are less likely to click on anything with flashing lights or pornography simply due to the risk of getting a computer virus. Internet or Computer worms are particularly vicious, as they can spread and infect every computer on the network if left unchecked. These works can end up congesting your Internet speed, consuming it for their creator's purposes.

The solution lies in an anti-virus program. Keep it up to date and run it regularly or when you feel that your system has been infected.

2. Router Settings

An improperly configured router can result in drastically reduced Internet speed. Check the router's manual and consult with your ISP to find out what your router's settings should be. Keep track of any changes you make to undo any settings that end up making things worse.

3. Your Browser

Internet Explorer is a serviceable browser, but it is far from ideal. People who spend their time online a lot should use a different browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. See which one works for you best. Firefox, for example, is a memory hog, while Chrome is particularly light and can work on computers with a limited amount of RAM.

4. Signal Interference

If you're connected to your network via Wi-Fi, signal interference might be responsible for your sluggish Internet speeds. Just about anything can interfere with the signal. Other wireless networks, cordless phones, and even mirrors can all cause interference.

You can either move your router to a better position to see if it helps, or rearrange the way certain pieces of furniture are placed. You may also have to consider that there is no way to fix it, aside from connecting your computer to the router via an Ethernet cable, as thick walls may be the source of the interference.

5. Equipment Failure

Your slow Internet speed might be a result of faulty equipment. It might look like its working because you're still connected, but the faults in your router or modem will cause dropped connections, resulting in slower browsing and disconnections.

Try to isolate the problem. For example, you can try to connect your computer via Ethernet cable to see if the router is the problem. You can also try borrowing a modem to either confirm or remove it as the issue. Once you've found out what's causing the issue, you can either have the offending product repaired or replaced.

6. Programs Running in the Background

Check your computer for programs running in the background that could be responsible for your slow Internet connection. Peer to peer programs, for example, are notorious for running as fast as they can, congesting your network in the process. If you want them running while you surf the Internet, you can set limits on their download and upload speeds to give you more leeway in terms of internet speed.

7. Your Internet Service Provider

A lot of the problems that can come up regarding your Internet speed may actually come from your provider. If you can't figure out what's causing your sluggish speed, you should talk to your ISP. Ask if they're having technical difficulties or if they changed their settings. Worst case you can scratch them off as the cause of your Internet woes.

8. Your Computer

Your computer might be the cause of your problems. If your computer cannot cope with your Internet speed, it will slow it down. You need to make sure that it is well maintained and up-to-date in terms of drivers and peripherals.

One of these should solve your Internet woes. If not, consult with professional. There may be something wrong that only a technician can detect and repair. It is best to do it soon, in case it is a problem that will only get worse with time.