If you’re dealing with slow internet speeds and wondering, “why is my router slowing down my internet,” we’re here to help. The best router should provide the fasted internet connection possible and support multiple connected devices at once. So if you’re dealing with slow speeds and your internet service provider isn’t to blame, your malfunctioning or outdated router might be the issue.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • If your router is outdated, it may not support faster speeds from your ISP.
  • Ensure you’re on the appropriate frequency band (5 GHz) if you want the fastest wireless speed.
  • Ensure your Ethernet cables support high bandwidth internet because older cables will not offer the same transfer rate as modern cables.

How Your Router is Throttling Your Internet

A router sits between the modem internet access from your ISP and the devices in your home. Unfortunately, this means that a shoddy router will create a bandwidth bottleneck, limiting your internet connection’s maximum speed.

If you’re having router power issues, check out our guide on why your Wi-Fi router keeps turning off. Otherwise, read on to see all the ways your router is slowing down your internet.

Insider Tip

If your router has a 5 GHz frequency band, it will give you the best internet speeds for your wireless devices.

Old Firmware

Routers sometimes require firmware updates to maintain network speed. Keeping your router updated to the newest firmware version will result in consistent speeds and more secure network traffic. While you’re updating your router firmware, secure your entire network by learning what a WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) is.

Router Components are Broken

Check your Ethernet ports to make sure they are in working condition. Move your PC’s Ethernet cord to a different port and perform an internet speed test if you’re on a wired connection. Your initial port is either dirty or damaged if you see improved speeds from a separate Ethernet port.

Old Ethernet Cable

Modern network cables can pass along as much as 10Gbps, but older Ethernet cables cannot support faster speeds. So if you haven’t updated your network equipment in a while, you may want to start with your Ethernet cables.

Router is Outdated

Modern routers offer more bandwidth than ever before, even over wireless connections. In contrast, an older router can’t take full advantage of a faster internet plan if it isn’t rated for a high enough bandwidth. You should replace your router every two to three years to keep up with modern electronic devices.

Wrong Frequency Band

Most modern routers are dual-band routers, meaning they support multiple frequency bands. The typical frequency bands are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. If you’re experiencing slow Wi-Fi, you may be connected to the slower frequency band, 2.4 GHz. Disconnect and look for your network name followed by 5GHz, and that will bring you the fastest speeds.

F.A.Q.S

Can a new router speed up my internet?

A new router can increase your download speed and offer extended router settings to get the most out of your wireless or wired connection.


What to do if your speed lines up with the advertised speeds?

Suppose your internet speed test showed that your slower speeds result from a bad router. In that case, it’s time to either buy a new router or check your Ethernet ports for better connection speed.


How Important Is My Wireless Router to My Internet Speed?

Your wireless router is the most critical factor in internet speed next to your Internet provider’s maximum bandwidth. For example, if your router only allows 100 Mbps, but your plan is for 300 Mbps, you’re paying for an extra 200 Mbps you cannot use.



STAT: You will see about 5% to 10% less bandwidth speed than you pay for if you run a speed test during business hours. (source)

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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