Whether you’re using a computer network for leisure or work, you might run into problems. Your internet connection may run slower than normal, or devices may fail to communicate at all. This can happen due to any number of reasons, and to correctly address your issue, you need to locate its cause. Learn about these factors that could affect your network performance.
Degree of Network Usage
The more data you try sending or receiving simultaneously through your network connection, the more likely it is to slow down. This is because it has a limited bandwidth, which caps the amount of information that can go through your network at once. When you have many devices connected to the same network, they may end up competing for bandwidth and functioning sub-optimally as a result. Performing actions that use a large amount of bandwidth, such as video streaming, can also affect your network performance negatively if the network is not equipped to handle it.
Interference of Objects and Signals
If your network is wireless, physical objects and other nearby signals could interfere with device communication. Wi-fi networks send and receive signals through radio waves. These waves can weaken or dissipate when they encounter barriers made of certain materials such as metal, water, and concrete. You may need to change the position of your router or device so that these materials do not get in the way. Radio waves from other electronics, such as microwave ovens and phones, can also interfere with your network connection, as can neighboring wi-fi networks.
Distance Between Devices
A simple factor that could affect your network performance is the distance separating your devices. In general, signals diminish as distance increases. Place your wireless router in an area where it can easily connect to devices inside of your home or building. However, despite your efforts, you may experience times in which certain areas are too far to pick up a reliable signal. Even wired ethernet networks are susceptible to the effects of distance. After exceeding the maximum Ethernet cable length of 328 feet, just about any cable will be unable to carry information effectively from a router to a computer.