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Regardless of the type of service that is used to connect with the Internet, there are several factors that can bring even the most robust connection to a crawl. Some of the most common include malware like viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware, and technical issues.
Perhaps the most common situations that can result in slow Internet service is the present of a virus on your hard drive. Computer viruses can be transmitted in a variety of ways, most commonly through an attachment to an email. The virus will integrate itself into key programs on the hard drive and silently use up a great deal of resources. By diverting some of the resources to running the virus, an Internet service slow down is inevitable. Fortunately, installing virus protection and removal software will help to remove these programs from the hard drive, as well as prevent new ones from infecting the system. Antivirus software should be updated regularly.
Along with viruses, there is a wide range of programs created to grab control of software on the hard drive and use it without the knowledge of the system owner. Programs of this type are often referred to as Trojans, since they can creep in before they are ever detected. Along with worm viruses, Trojans use up resources and create an Internet slow down that will be noticeable. They are typically acquired by opening email attachments, allowing the program to grab the address book and begin to send out more infected attachments to every email address on the hard drive. Antivirus software updates usually identify new Trojans and viruses, and can remove them from the system, provided that the malware is not configured to shut down the system if removal is attempted.
Spyware and adware are relatively innocuous programs that silently download when web sites are visited and are used to track the Internet activity of the user. The collected data is normally used in developing marketing campaigns and creating email texts. Unfortunately, these programs also use up resources that can slow the system down a great deal. Removing the programs will often help speed up Internet service.
Not all reasons for slow Internet service are due to clandestine programs and viruses infecting the hard drive. In some cases, the Internet service provider (ISP) is the origin of the slow down. Routers and servers used to provide the service may be overloaded or experience a technical issue that temporarily slows down the speeds provided by the Internet Service Provider. This is true for high-speed solutions as well as for dialup service providers.
At other times, slowness may be caused by the local phone connection. Depending on the number of connections that the local phone company multiplexes on the wires that make up the system, there may simply not be many resources available to establish the connection. This is often the case in rural areas, where there are limited options when it comes to Internet connectivity.
One other reason for a slow loading of a web site will have nothing to do with the speed of the connection or the programs running on the hard drive. If the current level of traffic volume to the site is very high, and the server hosting the site cannot handle the traffic, it can seem like the Internet as a whole is running slowly. This is not really a case of a slow Internet connection, however, but an overwhelmed server. Generally, if the user will simply back off and visit the site at a later time, the site will load much faster on the follow up attempt.