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Slow Internet Speeds

Several factors can contribute to slow Internet speeds.   This article defines potential contributing factors to slower Internet speeds, suggests additional resources and recommends troubleshooting steps to  increase your Internet speed. 

First things first…  Click here to run a Charter speed test.  

If you are experiencing slow speeds over a wireless connection, use an Ethernet cord to hardwire into your gateway to run your speed test (to isolate if it's a potential issue with your Internet connection or with your wireless performance).

 

Potential Causes

File Sharing Programs

Programs such as LimeWire, KaZaa, Bit Torrent, ect.  are File Sharing Programs.  File Sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information such as computer programs, multi media (audio, video), documents or electronic books.  Because they require uploading and downloading huge amounts of data, they hog your Internet speed.

Virus/Adware/Malware

These types of programs are installed and run on your computer without your knowledge.  You may inadvertently download one of these by clicking on unknown hyperlinks or opening files attached to emails.  To check your computer, download the Charter Security Suite here.

Firewalls

A firewall monitors and logs incoming and outgoing network traffic on your computer, and includes a set of rules for what is allowed.  By definition, these programs scan all data that comes in to and out of your computer, so the stricter you have the firewall's rules set, the more intense scanning it has to perform, thereby potentially slowing down your Internet speeds.  You likely have a program to manage this for you – in most cases, the default rules are sufficient and well-suited for home use.

Low available system memory (RAM)

Random Access Memory (RAM), also known as a computer's "memory", provides space for your computer to read and write data as is required to run certain programs.  The more programs you have running on your computer, the more RAM or memory that is being used, meaning the slower your computer will operate.

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Resources

Charter Internet Speed Packages

Here are our current Internet speeds by package. Please note that experienced speeds may vary, and advertised speeds refer to wired connections only.

INTERNET PACKAGE

DOWNLOAD SPEED

Upload Speeds

Lite

3 Mbps

384 Kbps

Express

15 Mbps

3 Mbps

Plus

30 Mbps

4 Mbps

Ultra

100 Mbps

5 Mbps

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Troubleshooting

Slow Speeds

Steps for troubleshooting slow Internet speeds

  1. Click here to run a Charter Speed test 
    • If your modem is connected through a router, bypass your router and connect the ethernet cable directly into your modem from your computer.
    • If you are a Charter WiFi subscriber, please connect your computer directly to your Modem/Router Gateway, using an Ethernet cable.
  2. Ensure you are using a compliant internet modem. Click here for more information.
  3. Delete all temporary Internet files and cookies stored in your web browser.  The instructions to do so are located below.  After doing so, run another speed test.
  4. Power cycle your modem or gateway.
    1. Unplug the power cord to your modem or gateway. 
    2. If you have your own router, be sure to unplug that too. 
    3. Leave the power cord unplugged for about 15 seconds and then plug it back in.  
    4. For full instructions, please see our instructional video
    5. Run another speed test.
  5. If you continue to experience slow speeds at this point, chat online or call us at 1-888-438-2427

Deleting Files and Cookies - Internet Explorer

  1. In Internet Explorer, click on Tools, and select Internet Options (You may have to press the Alt button on your keyboard to see the Menu Bar).

Internet Options

  1. In the Internet Options box, below Browsing History, click on Delete…

Internet Options

  1. In the Delete Browsing History box, select Temporary Internet Files and Cookies and click Delete.

Delete Browsing History

Deleting Temp Files

Running NETSTAT - Windows XP

  1. Click Start, and then Run.

Start>Run

  1. Type 'cmd' in the "Run" dialog box and then click OK

cmd

  1. When the window opens, type "netstat –a".

netstat

  1. This will give you a list of all active connections that your computer is currently running. In Windows XP, you should see no more than 7-9 TCP/UDP connections. If you have more than that, you may have adware/spyware on your computer.

netstat

Windows Vista

  1. Click "Start", then All Programs

Start>Run

  1. Find and open the Accessories folder, then right-click your mouse on top of Command Prompt, then left-click on the option to Run as administrator

Run as administrator

  1.  When the window opens, type 'netstat -a.

netstat

  1.  This will give you a list of all active connections that your computer is currently running. In Windows Vista, you should see no more than 12-15 TCP/UDP connections. If you have more than that, you may have adware/spyware on your computer.

TCP/UDP

Windows 7

  1. Click the Start button, type "cmd" into the "search" dialog box and then click the magnifying glass.

Start>Run

  1. When the window opens, type 'netstat -a'.

ststat

  1. This will give you a list of all active connections that your computer is currently running. In Windows 7, you should see no more than 12-15 TCP/UDP connections. If you have more than that, you may have adware/spyware on your computer.

TCP/UDP 

Checking your Computers RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) – RAM is measured in MB or GB.  RAM provides space for your computer to read and write data to be accessed by the CPU (Central Processing Unit).  When people refer to the computer's memory, they usually mean its RAM.  The more RAM installed on your computer, the faster the computer can run various programs

Select your computers operating system below to view how to check your computer's installed RAM.

Windows XP (RAM)

  1. On your desktop screen, right click your mouse on top of "My Computer" and select Properties.

properties

  1. Under the "General" tab, you can view the physical memory installed on your computer. The amount indicated is the total Random Access Memory (RAM) installed on your computer.

general

Windows Vista (RAM)

  1. On your desktop screen, right click your mouse on top of "Computer" and select Properties.

properties

  1. This will display your computer's system information, where you can find the RAM installed on your computer.

installed RAM

Windows 7 (RAM)

  1. Click on the "Start" button at the bottom left corner of your screen. In the "Start menu" locate Computer

start>computer

  1.  Right click your mouse on top of Computer and select Properties.

properties

  1. This will display your computer's system information, where you can find the RAM installed on your computer.

system information

Apple OS X (RAM)

  1. Click on the Apple menu and select About This Mac.

about this mac

  1.  This will display your Mac's installed RAM memory.

installed RAM

Tips to Increasing your Current Disc Space

  1. Delete unused files, folders, and programs from your computer. If you do not use or view something saved on your computer, removing that unused item will offer more disc space.
  2. Empty the Recycle Bin on your desktop. After you delete a file or program from your hard drive, it will continue to be saved in your Recycle Bin. To permanently delete the item, right click on top of the Recycle Bin, click Empty Recycle Bin.
  3. Deleting Temporary Internet Files in your browser. Your internet browser saves a cache or copy of every webpage you have viewed. In many circumstances, this cache can become very large overtime and can have a big impact on internet speed performance. Click here to learn how to clear Temporary Internet files.
  4. Run Disk Defragmenter on your computer to cleanup and consolidate files stored on your computer. The changes that you save to a file are often stored at a location on the hard disk that's different from the original file. Additional changes are saved to even more locations. Over time, both the file and the hard disk itself become fragmented, and your computer slows down as it has to look in many different places to open a file. See instructions below for help in defragmenting your hard drive.

Defragment your Hard Drive in Windows XP/Vista

Note: Windows 7 is configured to automatically defragment your disc space

  1. Close all current programs that are open on your computer then double click and open My Computer.

My Computer

  1.  Right-click the local disk volume that you want to defragment, and then click Properties.

HD Properties

  1. On the Tools tab, click Defragment Now.

Tools tab

  1. Click Defragment.

defragment

  1. The different colored bars near the bottom of the window will display an estimate on how much space was increased on your hard drive.

disk defragmenter

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Ultra 100 Considerations

Given the high level of speed on our Ultra tier, additional troubleshooting may be required.  After you've completed the troubleshooting steps above, please follow these additional steps

Note: Most wireless networks and devices will not support 100Mbps speed over a wireless connection.  To achieve this speed, a wired connection is highly recommended.

  1.  Verify that your computer is using a 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) full duplex capable Network Interface Card (NIC).  If it is not, your maximum download speed may be limited to 80-90 Mbps.
  2. Make sure your TCP/IP settings are optimized for Ultra speeds.  (Note: this only applies to Windows-based computers.)  Charter recommends an MTU setting of 1500 and an RWIN setting of 1048320.

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