Troubleshooting slow internet speeds

Posted on 2012-09-12
Last Modified: 2012-09-18
Hi all,

Can someone recommend the basic steps on troubleshooting a slow internet connection when users at a particular site complain that web browsing is slow, etc.

I understand that you normally run speed tests (not always reliable) and ping tests to websites users are saying are slow and checking the response times.

What other basic tests can I run to troubleshoot?
Question by:Mikoyan_2010
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    Buying (cheaply) or using one of several freeward Network Traffic Monitoring software tools will be your easiest path to answering any questions you have related to network traffic / bandwidth concerns.

    Here is a page that should help with advice / perspective on the topic:

    Also, don't forget that 'internet' performance doesn't always correlate to your environment. Bottlenecks anywhere along the path will slow down the user's experience. Websites accessed by users could also be slowed by your Internet Service Provider (purposefully or inadvertently due to fluctuations in their customers' usage) or simply by the server / network environment of the hosted website.
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    by:Jerry Miller
    You can take a look at the TCP Optimizer on as well. It will examine the TCP settings on a particular PC and give you a couple of different options on configuring it correctly.
    LVL 25

    Accepted Solution

    1- Have you considered a virus outbreak? Scan your windows environment, so look at your Antivirus or Firewall software to see if they  report any abnormal issues.
    2- Check a duplex mismatch between switch and network adapter, the connection will work, just poorly, but network performance will suffer greatly, with throughput dropping.
    3-  Check if you have server backups occurring during production hours or any other activities.
    4- Check network cables in your LAN. This will result in FCS Errors on the switch ports or network adapters.  
    5- Check the client configuration to see which DNS server it is setup to use, Try setting  DNS to use OpenDNS
    6- Do a ping -t <IP> , see if you get packet lost
    7-  I use Cacti, it  is a brilliant software to narrow down the problem; others could help GroundWork Monitor Enterprise Hyperic HQ Icinga Nagios N-central op5 Monitor openITCockpit OpenNMS HP OpenView BMC PATROL ProactiveNet Performance Management Shinken IBM Tivoli CA Unicenter WhatsUp Gold Zabbix Zenoss Enterprise

    8- Check the CPU/Mem on your switches and routers.
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    Step By Step Procedure is

    1. ISP

    IP / Subnet / Gateway & DNS
    IS it Leased Line or Broadband    
    What is the Speed (Ex:  4MBPS  ( 1:1 )

    Then Check the Bandwidth on Single PC / laptop  as ISP providing the good bandwidth or not.

    2.Good Router Selection & Configuration.

    3.Website Content Filtering feature is available in router. And Logs / Reports can  generate from Router ...?

    4.How Many Users / PC's on the network...?

    5.Have configured the AD integrated DNS server , means for good Internet speed require the Internal DNS Server Cache.

    6. Proxy Server Installed..?

    7. Now Monitoring internet Usage

    Please try this Current-ware Browser Control & Browser Reports , You can check with 20 Days Trial applications.

    Vijay kadadi
    LVL 25

    Assisted Solution

    As said above; there are many variables that may contribute to slowness including client's machine, client's isp, hosts' isp, hosts' server, etc.

    Here's some sites with worldwide tests, at least they claim that:
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    There are so many variables to slow internet/intranet communications that you can't really ask a broad question like this and expect to get a focused answer. The best answer to your question is:

    ASK MORE QUESTIONS to your users. They are the ones experiencing the slowness. They have to get more specific with you.

    Ask these questions to help pinpoint the issue:

    How many users are affected?
    Is the slowness intermittent?
    When you say "slow", how long does it take you to access
    What about internal communications, like to the office web site?
    Is printing and file access slow?

    The more specific they get, the more focused you can be on troubleshooting. Then, you can tailor your tools and troubleshooting to divide and conquer the root problem.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    by:Jerry Miller
    Something else to look at when you are experiencing slowness. See if you can access the same site via IP address instead of DNS name. You could have a DNS issue on your network.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for input guys

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