Common, Everyday Internet Problems and Their Solutions
Nothing is more annoying than dealing with internet problems when you’re trying to get your job done. Waiting an hour for a video to download, staring at a blank screen while it loads at a glacial pace, or having an important call with a client drop isn’t just frustrating—it can seriously harm your business.
But what are some of the most common internet problems? What will they mean for your business? Perhaps most importantly, how can you overcome them so that your business can keep moving forward and develop a competitive edge? We have the answers you need.
What Are Common Internet and Wi-Fi Problems?
If you’re facing slow internet speeds, there are a few common reasons that could be to blame, and usually they’re a pretty simple fix. Here are some of the main ones:
The Problem with Access Point Spacing
One of the most obvious causes of slow internet speeds is being too far from the router or access point. This is because the further you are from the router, the more unreliable the connection will be.
To fix this problem, simply move closer to the router. If the router is located in a different room or on a different side of the office, try working from that area and see if that fixes the issue. If this is a consistent problem, it’s probably a good idea to move your router.
Try to position the router higher (for example, up on a shelf), away from other devices that could interfere with its connection, and in a central location in the office without any obstructions. Having objects and materials such as metal, stone, brick, or glass between your computers and the router can interfere with your signal.
The Problem with Insufficient Bandwidth
Another common cause of internet connection problems is a lack of bandwidth. Bandwidth is a measure of how much data can be transmitted through your internet “pipeline” per second. This means that if you have a small pipeline and are trying to stream a video in HD (an activity that requires a lot of data), your internet speeds may slow down because your pipeline isn’t big enough to funnel all that data at once. A larger internet pipeline would allow more data to funnel through at one time, resulting in a faster connection.
Having too many devices can bog down your bandwidth, so disconnect any that you aren't actively using. Malware can also take up your bandwidth (plus put your business’ data at risk), so you'll want to regularly scan your system for viruses so they can be identified and handled as quickly as possible.
While these small fixes can help, if you don't have enough bandwidth for your needs, you’ll still have slow internet speeds—so it’s important to know how much bandwidth your business truly needs and pick a plan that aligns with that number. You may also want to account for future growth in your bandwidth requirements over the next year or so.
The Problem with Insecure Networks
If your network isn’t secure, anyone within its range could be using your internet signal. This can bog down your network and create security risks.
A simple way to improve your internet speeds and prevent others from leeching off your network without your permission is to increase your network security. There are a few ways to do so, such as disabling your network sharing, adding a strong password to protect your wireless network routers (and sharing it sparingly), and/or installing a firewall to prevent viruses.
If you have customers or clients coming into your office regularly, you can create a separate network with a different password for guests to use when visiting.
The Problem with Inefficient Browsers
The solution here is simple—switching to a specific web browser optimized for faster internet. For example, Firefox offers extensions that will block advertisements and pop-up windows, which can cause internet lag that slows down your usage speeds.
The Problem with Obsolete Equipment
At the current speed of technological advancements, wireless network hardware can become obsolete after just 3-5 years. So, if it’s been a while since you've installed your WiFi router and you're starting to experience internet problems, outdated hardware could be the culprit.
It’s likely time to purchase new hardware. While this can be a large up-front investment, it will certainly pay off in the long run when you can access the online tools you need to do business and drive revenue!
The Problem with Out-of-Date Software/Firmware
Having the right hardware won’t be helpful if you don’t keep it updated. Outdated firmware can lead to "sticky client" behavior, which means a device will automatically connect to a certain access point, even if there is one available closer to connect to. This results in slower internet speeds, hindering your access to online files and applications.
Make sure you are regularly updating your firmware! Firmware updates come with improvements like bug fixes, improved security patches, and other enhancements. These will help optimize how your users and devices interact with your access points and vice versa.
The Problem with Bad Hardware Installations
Even if you have the right hardware and update it regularly, you can still face internet problems because of a poor installation. If you simply stick the access point to the wall and call it a day without quality checks and optimization, it can lead to slow internet speeds later on.
Before installing any hardware, you need to consider your access point types. For example, if you got a model with external antennas (directional), make sure they are all pointing in the right direction. Wi-Fi signals will shoot outward from the antenna, so if you place the access point next to a wall, under a desk, or with the antenna pointing away from your desired coverage area, you’ll experience slower WiFi speeds.
On the other hand, if you chose a model with internal antennas (omni-directional), its access points will provide 365 degree coverage. While this gives you more flexibility on placement, if your office has very high ceilings (20+ feet), the access point will struggle to reach your devices if installed on the ceiling. So, when it comes to hardware installation, you should use a trusted expert who knows where access points should be placed depending on the size and layout of your office.
How Internet Connectivity Problems Can Cost Your Business
Internet connectivity problems aren’t just a nuisance—they can actually end up costing your business big time. Here are five major results of internet problems:
1. Poor Customer Experience
Modern consumers expect fast page loads and near immediate customer service responses. In fact, 57% of users will abandon a page if it doesn’t fully load in three seconds, and just a one second delay in response time can result in a 7% decrease in conversions.
So, internet problems can mean you’re missing out on potential customers and revenue. For this reason, it’s essential for your business to have a fast, reliable internet connection. Without it, you won’t be able to respond to customer demands and inquiries fast enough—driving your customers right into the hands of the competition who can.
2. Reduced Productivity
According to studies, slow internet speeds lose each employee an entire week of productivity each year. That’s right—a full week of productivity for every member of your team. Imagine what they could have done with all that time! When your employees are facing constant internet problems, they can’t work to their full potential—resulting in a reduced employee ROI and lost revenue opportunities.
3. User Frustration
Nothing is more annoying than sitting and staring at a blank screen or waiting around for a file to download that you need before you can move on to your next job task. Internet connectivity problems can increase frustration for your employees, which won’t only negatively affect their performance, but also their engagement, motivation, and morale.
4. An Unreachable Cloud
More organizations than ever are trusting the cloud with their mission-critical files and applications. If you’re going to make the switch, it’s essential to have reliable access to those cloud-based systems that are fueling your business and driving revenue.
Many of the applications that modern businesses rely on throughout their day-to-day operations, such as Google Drive, Microsoft 365, and POS (Point-of-Sale) systems, are cloud-dependent. This means they rely on a strong internet connection. So, you’re constantly bogged down by internet problems, you and your employees won’t be able to access those applications—meaning downtime that results in wasted labor costs and lost revenue.
5. Wasted IT Resources
If your business constantly has internet problems, it means your IT staff will be spending most of their time dealing with them. This is frustrating and annoying for them, plus is a drain on resources—especially since the national average salary for an IT employee is $92,158.
Eliminating internet problems means your IT staff can focus on higher-value tasks, such as implementing new software that will enhance your business processes and protecting your confidential business data from cyber threats. This is a much better use of their time and their high salary.
The Importance of Internet Connectivity for Collaboration Tools & Cloud App Efficiency
More and more organizations are “moving to the cloud” because of benefits including:
- Decreased IT costs
- Increased flexibility
- High scalability
- Improved data security
- Enhanced collaboration, communication, and brainstorming
- Boosted efficiency
- Streamlined business processes
- More mobility for remote workers
All of these benefits can help your business develop a competitive advantage in today’s highly-saturated, competitive business landscape! Leveraging the right collaboration tools and applications is especially beneficial for modern, mobile organizations that have lots of remote employees or various office locations. Utilizing these tools through the cloud allows your people to access the information they need to do their jobs—no matter where they are working from or what device they’re using.
However, a cloud transformation won’t be successful if you don’t have reliable, secure access to the cloud-based applications and collaboration tools your teams rely on to do business. After all, if you don’t have enough bandwidth and fast enough internet speeds, you won’t be able to actually use these tools at the speed necessary to maintain a competitive edge over the competition. For this reason, it’s incredibly important that you have secure, reliable, and fast internet speeds!
The Importance of Internet Connectivity for VoIP and Video Calls
A reliable internet connection is crucial for your phone system if you are using a VoIP or regularly leverage video conferencing. Why? The internet is the backbone of a hosted VoIP phone system, and a strong internet connection is essential for streaming video. This means even if you have the best hardware (such as phones, routers, and computers), it won’t matter if your internet is not working.
A short internet disruption may seem like just a minor inconvenience when you're doing a routine task like sending an email to a coworker, and you may think a few technical glitches during a video call are no big deal. But, over time, these disruptions can become very frustrating and end up adding up to a lot of downtime.
Additionally, even a few seconds of downtime can seriously disrupt business operations, especially for customer-facing businesses and departments, like a call center or customer service hotline.
How Much Internet Uptime Does Your Business Need?
Internet uptime is the percentage of time that an internet service provider’s (ISP’s) internet service is active. The uptime guarantee that's right for your business will depend on a number of factors—the main one being how essential the internet is to your day-to-day operations.
Here are a few questions that can help assess your internet uptime needs:
- Do you have critical operations or processes that rely on internet connectivity? If so, how many? How often are they used?
- How does your internet connection impact your ability to deliver your product and/or services to your customers?
- What type of online activities do you need to support on a daily basis?
- How do your customers typically reach you (for example, is it via chatbot, email, phone, etc.)?
If you use a cloud-based phone system such as a Hosted VoIP or rely on video calls, your internet uptime will have a huge impact on your entire business. Hosted VoIP requires a working internet connection to make inbound and outbound calls, which means internet connectivity issues can hinder your ability to make business calls.
Plus, all the additional features of your business phone system (such as voicemail and call forwarding) will depend on an active internet connection as well. So, if your business relies heavily on the internet, you should aim to have a 99.999% uptime guarantee from your ISP.
Enhance Your Internet Connectivity with AVAIL
Is your business constantly plagued with internet connectivity issues, dropped calls, or slow, spotty access to cloud based applications? Don’t let these kinds of pesky internet problems prevent you from getting the most out of your investment in the cloud.
AVAIL Technology Solutions is here to help you overcome these challenges! We provide the internet reliability you need for simplified, uninterrupted access to cloud applications, plus offer personalized support and outcome-based results along the way.
Ready to say goodbye to internet problems and hello to a successful cloud transformation? Reach out to one of our experts today!