Are you pulling your hair at searching for the answer as to why is my internet so inconsistent? We have the solutions you’re looking for!
We assume that you’re experiencing incredibly unreliable internet. If it falls off at random times or is always terribly slow, you know something is wrong with your connection or equipment.
You are experiencing inconsistent connectivity because of slow to no internet speeds. Your WiFi signals are not that robust enough, which can be caused by modem or router issues. Dead spots, outdated equipment, and even your internet provider can cause these connectivity problems.
Now that you have a good idea of your internet inconsistencies, let’s look at the sources of these issues before moving on to the troubleshooting guide.
There are several reasons why your internet speed can get inconsistent. It can be fast one time but painfully slow most of the time.
You want to examine the wiring, and your equipment as changes to these can greatly impact your speeds.
Here are the problems that have the biggest impact on your internet speeds:
1. Overloaded network
Your routers can’t handle an unlimited of connected devices. Having too much can affect the performance of your router and greatly affect the speeds of everyone.
2. Internet provider
Problems can occur with your internet provider and affect your connection speeds. There are instances when their network infrastructure needs repair or maintenance work that can slow down your internet.
3. Gateway issues
Modems and routers can also affect your internet speeds. Outdated firmware or minor software bugs will give you inconsistent speeds.
4. Network configuration
Your router will offer you the versatility to control your network. However, setting some of these wrong will affect your overall connectivity.
Now that you know the causes of your inconsistent internet speeds, we can now proceed to the troubleshooting steps so you can fix this as soon as possible!
Before we delve deep into the different troubleshooting steps that will resolve your issues, do not forget one simple solution that has the potential to save you hours of headaches.
Restart your modem or router. If the problem is temporary, this will do the trick.
In case you still experience inconsistent internet connection and speeds, we can now move on to more advanced steps:
The first thing you need to look at is the number of connected devices you have. Most of the time, this is not the most obvious of causes.
However, you’re likely connecting more than 10 devices to your network if you think about it.
The list is endless: a couple of smartphones, laptops, TV, smart cameras, doorbells, and others.
Most modems and routers, especially those from your provider, can only handle a limited number of connections.
Here’s how to reduce the number of devices on your network:
- Turn off your Smart TV and streaming devices when not in use.
- Turn off your game console after playing.
- Disconnect unused devices from your WiFi network.
- Shut down your laptop after work.
Note: Sometimes, sleep mode is not enough, and you want to do a full shut down of your devices.
Pro Tip: If you really need to connect all devices to your network, consider getting a mesh system to spread out the connections between a couple of devices.
Since you have already performed a restart of your modem or router, it didn’t work. You want to do a more thorough one that includes discharging the power from your networking devices.
Sometimes bugs and glitches can occur to your router’s software, and the quickest way to resolve them will be to discharge it completely.
On top of your modem or router, you also want to do this to all your other devices, so you flush out the issue in one go.
Here’s how to power cycle your networking devices:
- Turn off your modem and router.
- Turn off WiFi repeaters, mesh equipment, switches, and others.
- Turn off computers and laptops connected to your network.
- Unplug all these devices for at least 2 minutes.
- Plug them back in and turn them on.
Tip: You will need to wait for your devices to power up, so be patient as your internet will not be back up right away.
If your WiFi is located where several people can see it, consider checking the device list. Some could gain access to your WiFi and use it to constantly download large files or even use it for illegal purposes.
It’s better to be safe than sorry by taking a quick look so you can block these devices.
Here’s how to remove unknown devices from your network:
- Log in to your router using the web browser.
- Navigate to Network or DHCP settings.
- Look for the Connected devices list.
- Search through the devices and figure out what’s not yours.
- Select the unknown devices to you and add them to the blacklist.
Note: Change your WiFi password to a more secure one to prevent others from connecting to your network.
Pro Tip: While you’re in your router’s dashboard, consider hiding your SSID by going to your WiFi settings and clicking on Hide WiFi.
Now that you have weeded out bandwidth hogs from your network, you also want to control the speeds of the connected devices.
Your router comes with a QoS or Quality of Service setting that allows you to set speed limits for certain devices or actions.
Here’s how to set up QoS on your router:
- Log in to your router’s dashboard via a web browser.
- Go to Advanced,
- Select QoS setup.
- Activate QoS and set up priority rules.
Note: Depending on your router, you can set up priorities by applications or IP address.
If none of the steps are helping with your inconsistent internet issue so far, you want to update your router’s firmware.
Older versions can develop incompatibilities that can cause your internet to slow down or disconnect from time to time.
Glitches can also occur and develop, and the best way to resolve them is to update your router’s firmware to the latest version.
Here’s how to update your router:
- Go to your router manufacturer’s website.
- Navigate to the Support section.
- Download the firmware for your model.
- Go to your router’s dashboard via a web browser.
- Go to the Update section and Upload the firmware from your computer.
Note: Wait for the update process to complete, then restart your router, so the new version of the firmware takes effect.
Clearing the network cache on your router can free up space and allow it to try new connections.
However, there is only one way to remove it: reset your router back to its factory settings.
Performing this does resolve many problems, including one where you experience inconsistent internet.
Here’s how to reset your router:
- Make sure your router is plugged in.
- Look for the reset button at the back of your router.
- Use a pin or paperclip to press and hold it down.
- Wait for the router to power down and release the button.
- Wait for your router to start up.
Note: Resetting your router means clearing up everything, including the settings. Be prepared to set up your network again after the reset process.
If none of these troubleshooting steps resolve your issue, you can always contact your internet provider for more assistance.
At this rate, the problem is on their end, like a broken outdoor cable or their system is undergoing maintenance.
Read Next: Why Does My WiFi Speed Fluctuate So Much?
Now that you have an answer to why is my internet so inconsistent, you can take the necessary steps to resolve it as quickly as possible.
These are easy enough steps to perform independently, even if you do not have any technical expertise.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.