It can be frustrating when you have a fast internet connection and find out that you are only getting half the speed that you are paying for. There can be many different factors that play into this, and this can be on different devices. First, let’s start with a bit of troubleshooting.

Step 1

Run a speed test on your internet connection. You can do this from your web browser by visiting . The only problem with this is that there is overhead with the HTTPS protocols, encryption, and even your own web browser. If you are running a 100-megabit internet connection or slower, it should be fine. If you are running on a faster internet connection, it is recommended to download the Speedtest app from the Microsoft Store. This app does a direct test without all of the additional overhead and can give accurate readings on gigabit connections.

If your network has multiple routers, then it is important to run the speed test from the router that you normally use as well as the router that is provided by your ISP. Many times, you will find that the router from the ISP can hit the rated speeds, however other routers down the line only seem to achieve half the rated speeds. If the router that your ISP provides does hit the rated speeds, then we can move on to Step 2. If it does not, call your ISP and request that they check out your internet connection.

Step 2

This is where we need to examine the router's settings. There is a small checklist that you should ensure is disabled. 

  1. QoS - Quality of service, as it will split the bandwidth based on the number of connections. 
  2. Traffic Monitoring - Traffic monitoring causes the router to log every transfer from all connections, causing quite a bit of latency.
  3. Blocking features - The Blocking features of routers cause the router to do extra processing which in turn slows down the traffic considerably. 
  4. Security Suites - Security Suites like Netgear Armor cause all traffic to be scanned. This takes time and will also slow down your internet connection.
  5. WMM - WiFi Multimedia. This can be enabled if you are streaming/broadcasting content over a WiFi network. If you are not streaming/broadcasting over WiFi, then leave this disabled. Increased complexity will reduce speeds.
  6. SIP ALG - SIP ALG is used to try to fix issues when using VOIP phone lines. In general, it breaks more than it fixes as it causes the router to rewrite every packet that gets transmitted. If you run both your internet connection and your voice lines from the same modem or router, try disabling it and making a phone call. If your phone works with SIP ALG disabled, great. If not, then turn it back on.

We will start by making these changes to the router that you normally use, and then run the speed test again. If your speed test continues to come up slow, check the ISP's provided router for these above settings. It is important to note that SIP ALG is turned on by default for many different routers. In my case, the router provided by the ISP had SIP ALG turned on, and by disabling it, all of my routers were able to achieve full speed. While this worked for me, please remember that my phone lines are connected to a dedicated modem. This means that I have one modem for internet access, and another modem for my voice lines.