The broadband speed you receive is dictated by a number of factors. Most important, of course, will be the package that you obtain, and the package you obtain will be selected to a certain extent by the type of user you are.
Types of Users
Light users can probably make do with 512Kbps connection speeds, which is 10 times as fast as dial-up. Medium users probably require 2MB to 4MB and heavy users can benefit from packages offering 4MB upwards. It’s possible nowadays to get theoretical Internet speed of 100MB and more, and this offers amazing speed that will transfer data between the Internet and your device faster than you possibly could have ever imagined. So what causes the delays in the speed?
Distance From Exchange
The largest determinant of the speed that you actually receive compared to the potential speed available to you is how close you live to the exchange. As you go further from an exchange, there is more cable through which data must pass, and the speed degrades. Broadband in London will likely be closer to an exchange than broadband in rural Hampshire. This does not apply to fibre-based broadband as speeds remain constant along the cable.
Exchange Contention Ratio
The level at which the exchange is being used will also have an impact on your connection. If lots of heavy downloads are being done by dozens of users, then your connection will slow down. Some ISPs use a ratio that limits the number of people per exchange to a level of around 50:1. Some Internet service providers prioritize the bandwidth you receive by the package you buy.
Multiple Users In Your Home
Wireless broadband provides the opportunity for multiple users to use the same broadband connection. The more users, the more bandwidth being taken up through their various activities. Lots of people streaming video or music will slow down your connection.
The Quality Of The Cables And The Modem
If the cables or micro filters being used are either poor quality or faulty, this could affect the speed of Internet. The capacity of your modem and your cables may limit your Internet.
Unfortunately for UK users, heavy rain and bad weather can affect the speed of your Internet.
Instability from Disconnections
If your connection has been disconnected for any reason, it can take a while for your Internet to regain stability. Disconnecting on a regular basis, such as turning off at night, is a bad thing for your connection and it can take 2 or 3 days to resume normal service.
Viruses And Other Pests On Your Computer
Viruses and other adware and spyware can slow down your Internet. They mainly do this by slowing down your PC rather the connection itself, but also can impact on the bandwidth by uploading and downloading in the background.
The Websites Themselves
Websites that are getting massive use can put demand on the server which limits the response times for the visitors. This can mean slow website performance and even website freezing.
Peak hours, between 6PM and 11PM, see more people online and this can slow the Internet connection speeds. Doing heavy duty activities outside these times can mean better performance.
So there you have it, some of the things that slow down your Internet connection; some within your control and some less so.