Why is my internet slow sometimes?

Things to check

Network issues

Check the Network Status page to see if we’re aware of any network issues, updates or maintenance that might be causing slow speeds.

Your signal strength

The more bars your phone, tablet or modem gets, the faster your internet is likely to be. Your distance from the tower and things that physically obstruct the signal (eg. walls, buildings, hills, weather conditions) can result in lower coverage and slower speeds.

To get the best speeds, use your device in a spot that gives you the most coverage bars. If you’re inside, this will usually be near a window.

Internet traffic

Accessing things on the internet is a bit like driving on the highway - the more people on it, the slower your speed is likely to be. Peak times are usually between 4pm and midnight in metropolitan areas, so it’s common that speeds may fluctuate a bit more if you’re connected then. Some websites aren’t cut out for high traffic either so this can also affect how quickly you’ll be able to use them at peak times.

Distance from the website’s physical location

The further away you are from the place the website 'lives' in the world, the longer it’ll take for it to reach your device. This is often referred to as “latency” or “ping” and is measured in milliseconds.

Your device

Its operating system, available memory (RAM) and settings can impact on your connection speed. Some devices are capable of faster internet speeds too. If you’re using 4G and have a Cat 4 device, you might notice faster speeds than someone using a Cat 3 device. On 3G, some older devices aren’t capable of connecting to 3G+ either.

Issues with your device’s software can also affect your connection. If your device is running slowly or isn’t performing how you’d expect, here are some things to try:

  • Check it there’s a software update available for it. Software updates often contain bug fixes for performance issues so installing the latest one may help
  • If no update is available, try backing it up and restoring it to factory settings. You’ll find instructions to restore factory settings on many devices in our interactive user guides

4G vs 3G

If you’ve got a 4G device and move from 4G coverage into a 3G coverage area, you’ll likely notice a dip in your internet speeds. If you’re in an area where there’s low 4G signal, your device may also automatically switch between 4G and 3G.

Wi-Fi sharing

Your internet connection can only go so fast so if you share it between multiple devices using a Pocket WiFi or Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone, you might notice a dip in speeds. This is especially common when two or more connected devices are doing something that’s fairly internet heavy at the same time (eg. streaming videos).

Apps and programs running

Some apps and programs on your device might hog your internet connection and RAM, causing other things you're using to slow down. On computers, peer-to-peer clients, operating system updates and anti-virus software often do this. If you’re using a mobile device, something like downloading an app in the background while you’re streaming video might affect how quickly it loads.

Wi-Fi interference

If you’re using a Pocket WiFi or Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone, there’s potential for other devices to interfere with your Wi-Fi connection and slow down the internet speed to your connected devices.

Surrounding Wi-Fi networks are a common cause, especially if they use the same Wi-Fi band and channel. If you’re using a Pocket WiFi, you can change its Wi-Fi band and/or channel by logging into the dashboard. Check the Wi-Fi settings section in the Pocket WiFi user guides if you need help.

Other household devices such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices and wireless game controllers are also known to cause interference so changing the Wi-Fi band may help here too.

Viruses, spyware and malware

If your device has been infected by a virus, spyware or malware (malicious software), it may affect performance and slow down your connection too.

Next steps

If you've checked everything above but need some help with your service, get in touch. If you’re able to provide the following, it’ll help us investigate:

  • Your device model
  • The street address/es where the problem is happening
  • The time and date the issue first started (state if it’s AM/PM, and to the closest minute if you can)
  • Do you know of any other Vodafone users that are experiencing the same problem in your area?
  • Any other information that you think could be helpful

 

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