How to Cure Slow Internet on DSL

By Joanne Mendes

DSL Internet should be a fast and reliable way to connect to the Internet. However, sometimes the connection becomes slow and muddy. Often the problem lies at the Internet provider's end and is quickly fixed. However, if your DSL connection has been slow for a few days in row, the problem may be at your end, either in your telephone/DSL line connection or in your computer. There are a few ways to easily troubleshoot a slow DSL connection.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet connection
  • Phone line

Troubleshooting Phone Line Problems

Step 1

Disconnect all phones, fax machines, answering machines, alarm systems and anything else that uses the phone line in the house. Leave only the computer modem plugged in. Turn your computer on and open a browser window. Check your computer's DSL speed by opening 2 or 3 windows at a time or by playing a video. If your DSL is back up to speed, reconnect the other phones and devices to the phone line, one at a time. Go back and check your DSL speed after each device is connected to determine which one is causing the line interference. Replace the interfering device or disconnect it when using the Internet.

Step 2

Follow the phone line from where it leaves the modem to the phone jack. Somewhere near the phone jack the line should go into a little plastic box, this is the line filter that should have been installed when the DSL was installed. If you don't see a line filter, purchase one and install it. Check your DSL speed to see if the problem has been resolved.

Step 3

Replace the phone line that connects your modem to the wall jack. Often kinks or tiny cuts in the phone line can cause enough interference to affect DSL speed. Buy a phone line that is just long enough to span the distance from the modem to the wall jack. Long coiled phone lines greatly increase the risk of interference noise.

Step 4

Contact your phone company if the phone line troubleshooting tips fail. Ask to run a line check to quickly determine if the problem lies in your connection to the main hub or if there is too much static interference in your line. The company is responsible for connection problems after the line leaves your home. The company is required to repair it free of charge.

Troubleshooting Computer Problems

Step 1

Run a complete computer security scan overnight using a good anti-virus program. Also run a program specifically designed to detect spyware, there are quite a few reputable free programs available on the Internet. Make sure to update the anti-virus program and the anti-spyware program before running the checks. Clean out all of the problems found during the scans. Restart the computer and check the DSL speed.

Step 2

Check the age of your computer. Many older models simply don't have the power necessary to run at DSL speeds. One way to determine if this is a problem is to open a program that requires a lot of RAM, such as a graphics program or a word processing program. Now open an Internet browser and begin to watch a video or listen to music online. Go back to the open program and see if it will perform a function, like opening or saving a project. If it freezes or takes a very long time to perform, lack of power is your problem. The only way to solve this problem is to upgrade the RAM or replace the computer with a newer model.

Step 3

Shut down any file sharing programs that may be running on all of the computers in the house. File sharing slows down Internet connections dramatically. If this is the problem, limit file sharing to the overnight hours or create a schedule so that file sharing doesn't interfere with online time.

Step 4

Contact your Internet provider as a last resort. The provider will be able to check if the problem lies in your modem or your computer's Internet configuration. Most of the time this will fix the problem remotely but the representative may need to send out a service technician. Depending on the problem, the company may charge you for repairs.