Why is the internet so slow on my computer? 5 fixes to try

·4-min read
Struggling with slow internet? This could be the solution. (Getty Images)
Struggling with slow internet? This could be the solution. (Getty Images)

Struggling with slow internet on your computer can be seriously annoying. 

In its annual survey in March, Which? found that 69% of internet users had experienced an issue with their connection in the past year working from home, many wasting 30 minutes a day trying to sort out their sluggish internet issues.

If your web searching has slowed to a crawl, it's only natural to wonder, "Why is my internet so slow on my computer?" That's especially true if you aren't completely familiar with the inner workings of your computer—which most people aren't.

Turns out, there's a wide range of potential issues that could be slowing down your computer's internet. 

Some are fixable, and some are "out of the user's control," tech and cybersecurity expert Chuck Brooks, president of Brooks Consulting International, tells Yahoo Life. 

Here's what could be behind your computer's slow internet, along with some potential fixes. 

1. You could have too many cookies.

Cookies are text files with small pieces of data that are used to ID your computer as you search online. You pick up more cookies as you visit more websites, and all of those cookies can eventually slow you down, Brooks says. Deleting the cookies can speed up your internet. 

System Mechanic is a software package that ramps up your computer's performance by helping to hunt down and troubleshoot computer issues, including getting rid of unnecessary internet junk like cookies. The software also helps to optimise poor WiFi connections and opens up storage space on your PC to let you surf at fast speeds again.

For just £3.90 a month, System Mechanic will keep track of the inner workings of your computer and ultimately help it run faster. You can even try a 30-day free trial period before deciding to become a subscriber.

2. It may be the website's issue.

It's easy to blame your computer when your internet is slow, but Brooks points out that there can sometimes be an issue with a particular website you're trying to access. 

"Internet servers and websites can experience operational issues and can be the subject of bots or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks," he says. (DDoS attacks, in case you're not familiar with them, are cyber attacks on a network that try to disrupt internet service.) 

Sometimes, you can even have a slow computer because plenty of other people are visiting the same website or sites as you, he points out. 

3. Your Wi-Fi router could be sub-par.

Slow internet on your computer? It could be your Wi-Fi router. (Photo: Getty)
Slow internet on your computer? It could be your Wi-Fi router. (Photo: Getty Images)

Your Wi-Fi router beams internet service around your home, allowing you to pick it up when you're within range. But not every router is up for the task of providing quality service to all areas of your home. If that seems to be the issue, Brooks says you "may consider getting a Wi-Fi router booster or cable, as a stronger signal may augment your current speed capabilities." (For what it's worth, boosters are relatively inexpensive.)

4. You may need to upgrade your internet service.

If you find that your internet is consistently slow, it's time to check in with your service provider. "Check your existing subscription with your internet service provider," Brooks says. "You may need to upgrade your speed." 

Upgrading to the fastest service your provider offers may only cost a few more pounds a month—and it could make a huge difference.

5. It could be time to upgrade your PC.

Slow computer? Maybe it's time to upgrade your PC. (Photo: Getty)
Slow computer? Maybe it's time to upgrade your PC. (Getty Images)

While this isn't a first or even second solution, sometimes a slow computer comes down to having a PC that's not up for the job. If you've tried other fixes and you're still struggling, Brooks suggests giving your current computer the side eye. 

"Consider upgrading to a better PC that has more functionality and horsepower, especially if you regularly stream media or do gaming," he says. 

Buy it: System Mechanic | try for 30 days free, then £3.90 a month

Watch: 5 easy ways to improve your WiFi