Slow Internet Isn't Always Your Provider

in #dreemer2 years ago (edited)


Remember the days of dialup connections? The satisfying screech of the modems connection and the blazing speed of 56kb modems? Pretty slow by today’s standards. The first modem I ever used was 300baud… could have walked it faster.

Over the last several months I’ve been experiencing my connection slowing down. At times it felt like I was back to those old dialup days. I live in a rural area. Actually in a sort of pocket where even getting TV hookup is a challenge.

There’s no cable connections available. Satellite is expensive and often doesn’t have reliable speeds. I considered myself lucky to be right on the edge of the coverage area for a DSL connection when I got it several years ago. Until local infrastructure is upgraded, my options are very limited.

Watching the connection speeds getting slower was bad enough. Then the connection started dropping several times a day. I called the provider and we tried a few things to check the modem and lines in. Everything seemed okay. It’s older tech they told me, its going to be less efficient over time.

The best I could hope for was a housing development in the area forcing an infrastructure upgrade. I can live with what I have. I like living in the country with few neighbours around. Gotta take the good with the bad.

Recently I read an article on Medium where the author was gushing about the new iPad mini released earlier this year. I’m not in the market to replace my mini just yet but I was curious what it offered. As I was reading through the specs there was a reference to WIFI 6. I’d never heard of WIFI 6 so off I went to have a hunt.

The last time I added a router to my network was about 10 years ago. As long as it was working, I never really thought about it. You know, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it sort of thing. Assuming the router I had on my network was the current standard when I bought it, I as using a WIFI 4 router which came out in 2009. WIFI 6 was released in 2019.

According to the reading I did, WIFI 6 would give me:

  • faster data transfer speeds
  • more efficient switching between 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks
  • better handling of interference and more range
  • better handling of multiple device connections on the same network
  • more secure connections

Off I went to check on prices. If I could find a reasonably priced one, I’d try it. I found one and placed the order. The day before it was to be shipped, it occurred to me I should also check out the Ethernet cables. Would be kind of crazy to get a more efficient router and then hook it up to out of date cables.

Sure enough, the Cat5 cables I had connected to my router were out of date. The new standard is Cat8. I would need two short ones. One to connect my cloud drive to the router and one to connect the router to my modem. Order placed, all would arrive together.

The equipment arrived last Friday. I decided to do the replacements in two stages, replacing the cables first. After I shut the network down and rebooted, I saw an immediate improvement in speed on the network between my devices. The transfer speed from my laptop to my cloud drive was up to 10x faster. But, my connection still dropped a few times.

Saturday afternoon I setup the router. I haven’t had a connection drop since. Today I tested my connection speed using some of the online utilities. My download speed is up about 50% over what it was before changing the network equipment.

So, if you’re struggling with connection speeds and reliability. Check your internal equipment to be sure you’re current. Might be money well spent to upgrade.

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Wow, this is fantastic! Good to know that you were able to solve the problem yourself! Kudos! 😃

So happy to hear it all worked out and you are now zipping along :D

nothing better than a speedy network setup, wifi6 and wpa3 is the way to go if you have a need for wireless and hardwired even better, many different vpn's and a bit of TOR in there maybe for good measure. i'm always trying to upgrade my networking. especially when i'm on the move.

Even though I don't shift around much in the house from where I do most of my work, I do like being able to just up and shift to another room if I want to, so WIFI is central for me. If I was into livestreaming hardwired would help speed and stability.

Excellent article. I have worked in IT, owned a computer repair shop in Washington state from 2006 till 2013. The last ethernet cable standard for me was Cat6 lol. We never think about replacing our routers, switches, etc... until service fails. Excellent advice. :-) Will be sharing this article with my tribe :-D

yeah it was funny that poking around the specs for an ipad led to the solution LOL