Internet speed issues

Many of our customers are suffering in silence due to intermittent issues affecting their internet speed.  In this post we're going to give you some of the common causes of internet speed issues and teach you how to find out what the heck is eating up all your bandwidth and data allowance.

Some common causes for internet speed issues on a mac:

1. Photostream Syncing

If you're noticing intermittent slow downs in your internet speed it's likely photostream is the cause. The photostream service can hog internt bandwidth for long periods of time while it updates your photostream from your other devices.

2. Buggy programs

If you've noticed your speed problem occuring around the same time as you installed a new program, it's possible that program may be the cause. Try backing up the data for that particular program and then uninstall it. Once done, use the testing methods outlined below to see if your problem has been fixed.

3. Viruses

Viruses can do horrible things to your computer and your network including sending rubbish data over your network. This data can clog up your network causing it to slow down. If using a mac we reccomend using Sophos antivirus to scan your mac for viruses. You may be surprised by what you find!

4. Faulty network cards

Faulty network cards can have the same affect as viruses and send excessive rubbish data accross your netowrk causing it to slow down.

5. A faulty modem or router

Modems, routers and switches can have problems from time to time. Some of the main issues for internet speed issues related to modems and routers are:

+ Improper configuration

+ Faulty network ports

These devices are especially suceptible to power surges and are know to develop issues with age.  

6. A problem with your ISP

Internet service providers have problems from time to time. Some common issues are, malfunctioning network equipment, network overload and maintenance. It's always a good idea to check your ISP's services status for your area before wasting hours on hold.

7. Poor line quality (ADSL)

Phone lines degrade over time - The older the lines in your area the more likely you are to have issues cuase by corrosion and water logging among other things. Test everything you can internally before getting involved with checking phone like quality as it's usually quite a long process.


So now that you are familiar with some of the common causes of slow internt on your mac, here are some tools to help you diagnose the issue.

1. Rubbernet - Local Traffic Monitor

The rubbernet app allows you to monitor and sort all network traffic coming in and out of your mac based on applicaton. This helps you to see exactly which applications are using data, how much and when. Applications such as photostream upload and download large amounts of data. Using rubbernet at the time your internet is slow ill help you determine if an application is the cause.

2. Ping - Network Utility

Using the ping command found in the network utility application will tell you how quickly your are able to send and receive small amounts of data. Pinging your router will help you determine if there is a slow down within your network. Ping times inside your network should be no more that 3 milliseconds. Ping times to an outside source such as should usually sit around 20 - 30 milliseconds depending on your internt connection quality. Higher ping times suggest active use of your network or a fault between your computer and the device being pinged. Dropped packets suggest a more severe issue.

3. Traceroute - Network Utility

Traceroute is used to mapping the path from one location to another. Like ping, your are contacting a source device and seeing how long it takes to reach it. Tracerout however gives you information on the ping time for every device or hop inbetween your network and the source device showing you the ping times of every relay along the way. This is helpful for finding a delay cause by a device along the way.

4. gives you a readout on your current internt connection speed. This tool is useful for monitorng your internet speed and helping to build a clear picutre of you internt performance over time. 

We hope this information has helped, please feel free to contact us for further help or information on fixing your internet speed.