It’s really frustrating when your Internet slows down. Streams break and buffer over and over, and stuff seems to take FOREVER to download.
And it’s only normal to complain to your cable company about this. You pay good money regularly for a reliable service, you want it to work the same way every single time that you use it. It’s natural to feel this way — but it’s not always correct. Sometimes slow Internet performance is a cable company’s fault. But a lot of times, there are factors well beyond any company’s control that gum up your works.
I found this interesting article on eHow, answering the question “Why Is My Comcast Internet So Slow?” And please realize that I’m not pointing the finger at Comcast here. I’ve never used their service, though I’m sure it’s fine. The answer to the article apply to any cable provider, including Time Warner Cable. The list itself actually answers the question “why is cable internet occasionally slow, regardless of provider?”
Here are a few key quotes, but you should check out the whole page:
Unlike DSL, all cable connections are routed through what is typically referred to as a neighborhood node. If the node itself is being over-utilized, your Internet connection could slow down drastically. This type of connection issue is especially common at peak times of data transfer. Peak times can vary by area but are typically between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. If you notice that your connection slows down around a particular time, this may be the cause.
Another common cause of slow connections is malicious software like spyware and viruses that hijack your connection to transmit large quantities of data. To test for this, get an up-to-date virus and malware scanner and run a full system scan on your computer. Remove any viruses or other malware discovered by the scanner, reboot your system and retest your connection.
The Internet as we know it is massively complicated. It’s a system made out of overlapping systems, and there’s a lot going on that’s hard to diagnose and hard to control. We’re always the right people to reach out to when you’re having trouble with your cable service — it just may take time to figure out the problem.