Despite Internet connections being faster than ever, chances are if you live in a typical house, you have experienced home Internet lag issues at least once in your lifetime. The reason behind lag isn’t that Internet speeds are going down, but rather that more devices are using increasingly large amounts of bandwidth. In most homes, there typically is a single bandwidth pipe which is then connected to a router and split among all the devices in the house. Streaming videos, playing online video games, having multiple mobile devices running continuously, and more all are common activities which can easily use up all the bandwidth in a home, leading to significant lag.
There are many causes of lag on computer networks, such as Internet traffic load, online application load, weather, and interference from other systems. These factors make it somewhat complex to resolve Internet lag in one shot.
The Importance of a Bandwidth Test
If you feel that you are having home Internet lag issues, your first course of action should be to use an Internet speed test to measure the speed going to your computer and mobile devices. If the speed seems to be reasonable, it might be possible that the lag on your computer is due to malware or other infections on your system. On the other hand, if the speeds seem to be low for your Internet plan, you will want to contact your Internet service provider and request that they send an engineer to test your connection.
As mentioned earlier, most homes rely on a single bandwidth pipe to provide Internet to every device in the house. In most cases, however, you’ll also be sharing bandwidth with the other Internet subscribers in your area. Over time, the infrastructure can deteriorate, requiring the Internet provider to make adjustments to restore your Internet speed. Additionally, as more subscribers are added to the network, the service provider needs to determine where to allocate resources. This is why lag typically occurs only during peak hours when resource usage is at its height. Regularly running a speed test can help you detect any patterns in your Internet lag and help you determine when you should contact your Internet service provider.