If you use the internet regularly, you’ve probably noticed that your connection slows down during different times of the day or week. But what causes these fluctuations in speed and why do they always seem to happen when you need the internet most?
In a word, traffic.
Think of your internet bandwidth as the speed limit and your internet speed as the flow of traffic down “the information superhighway.” Highways can get jammed up with traffic, and so can the internet. However, while commuters tend to hit traffic going to and from a nine-to-five job, internet users usually see slowing in the evenings after everyone gets home.
When is internet rush hour?
Many internet connections seem to slow down weekdays between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays. The capacity of those connections doesn’t actually decrease, but they slow down because high traffic levels cause delays.
Much of this traffic likely comes from streaming. Streaming video from sites like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu takes a lot of data. So when you and your neighbors stream video at the same time (like on nights or weekends), all that required data jams up the network in your neighborhood.
You may have experienced a similar effect if you’ve ever tried using your phone at a concert or sporting event. With an arena full of people using the network in a concentrated area, the network can slow to a crawl. The same concept applies to your neighborhood.
Why does my Wi-Fi slow down at night?
Your household may be attempting to use more data than your equipment can handle.
This can happen if you live in a household with more than three people, or with people who use multiple internet devices at once. This equipment overload essentially creates traffic jams in your home network.
Sometimes you can fix this by resetting the equipment or dialing in the equipment settings. Upgrading your equipment may also solve the problem. If you decide to replace your equipment, we have lots of information to help you pick the right router and other home Wi-Fi equipment.
OCCOM—Optical Communication Expert
Occom is an Internet service provider dedicated to delivering faster fibre and mobile services and faster support. Occom has been praised by tens of thousands of satisfied residents and businesses, and our products have attained commendation from industry experts. As one of the fastest growing telcos endorsed by top global and Australian financial media, Occom has set the bar for exceeding Aussies’ expectations towards customer service. Occom’s young, passionate and professional team will keep on pushing the boundary for what is possible in the future.
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