With our faster Internet speeds, outdated equipment may not be able to keep up. Your internet speed heavily depends on your network equipment, such as the router or cable. For example, an ethernet connection is generally more stable and quicker than Wi-Fi. If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection, your internet speed might decrease as more devices connect to the same network. Last, but not least, your online work might be slowed down by the hardware of the computer itself – for example, if you have a weak processor.
If your computer is plugged directly into your router, or if you’re lucky enough to have Ethernet cabling throughout the house, it’s worth checking the cabling. While electrical cabling might last for 50 years or more, network cabling has undergone several important upgrades that affect the speed it can carry data.
Technology has forever changed the world we live in. We’re online, in one way or another, all day long. Our phones and computers have become reflections of our personalities, our interests, and our identities. They hold much that is important to us.
The easiest way to check is to look at the cable. You should see a Cat number specification somewhere:
- Cat-5 is the oldest and slowest network cable still in use. Performance is limited to 100 Mbps.
- Cat-5e is the most commonly used network cables today; supports Gigabit Ethernet (1,000 Mbps).
- Cat-6/6a is fastest network cabling in common usage and supports up to 10 Gigabit (10,000 Mbs).
If Cat-5 cable is used on your computers or as the backbone of your network, your Ethernet cable may be slowing down the Wi-Fi. Network cables can also be quite delicate. Use a cable tester to ensure each of the eight wires inside the cable is still connected to the other end.
Solution: Replace any Cat-5 rated or broken cabling you find with Cat-5e or Cat-6 rated cables.