What Causes Slow Internet

If you’re like most people, you expect instant connectivity to all of your favorite content online. But the smarter our devices get, the more bandwidth they hog, the slower we each find our internet to be. And unless you plan on paying for enterprise level service, it’s not like you’re going to wake up one morning suddenly flush with bandwidth.

Not to worry. Staples has released the helpful networking guide below with a few solutions to your bandwidth woes.

Click image to open interactive version (via Networking Research Center).

The first section, “Bandwidth Killers,” applies a critical eye to some of our favorite programs, including Skype, Google Hangouts, Netflix HD, YouTube and Pandora, to demonstrate just how much bandwidth each program hogs as it downloads and uploads rich information. If you use these programs frequently, consider using only one at a time. (Hey, you shouldn’t be watching Netflix while you’re in a Google Hangout meeting anyway).

Software, however, is not the only culprit. In the second section, the infographic examines the role of multiple devices all trying to stream those bandwidth killing programs at the same time. While it may be difficult to get the rest of the family on board, consider limiting the number of smart phones, tablets, computers and televisions running demanding programs all at once. With more and more people using the cloud (read about it in this cloud computing guide by the folks at Xero), it is becoming more and more common for personal devices to become even bigger bandwidth hogs.

And of course, as the last section of the infographic shows, having the right router for your unique manner of internet usage is an essential part of securing speedy internet. That basic G router may have seemed like a cheap investment at the time, but if you absolutely must stream multiple HD videos to multiple devices at once, you’d be better off going with a higher end AC router. Unless, of course, you enjoy watching Netflix buffer every two minutes.

Though there are many more tips than just this, this infographic provides a solid beginning for figuring out just why that internet of yours isn’t as fast as it used to be. So start tracking down those bandwidth hogs and making some changes.

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