1. Too Many Programs Running — Sometimes older computers are slow not because they are old, but because there are things on them that do not need to be there. (This can apply to new computers too.) There is a limit to how many programs any computer can run, and over time, as you install things on your computer, more and more programs get added to the list of programs that start up when your computer starts up. If too many programs are running, your system will be bogged down. And if these programs often check for updates, which they probably do, then you may have several programs trying to access the internet at any given time, which slows down your internet. Instructions for limiting the programs that start up when your system starts up are available at Removing Programs from Startup.
2. Browser Ad-ons and Tool Bars – Be careful about which free programs you download, and when you do download a program, choose “Custom Installation” and opt out of any tool bars or add ons that you can opt out of. Free programs have turned into big money- makers, and they make money by marketing. By tracking your browsing behavior and transmitting the data to an external server to be sold to third-party marketers, these companies can make money off of their programs whether you buy them or not. This tracking and transmittal eats up your system resources and slows down your internet. Internet Explorer 9 allows you to manage many add-ons by clicking Tools (either in the menu at the top left of the browser just under the URL bar, or through the gear icon at the top right, just under the close-browser X) then clicking “Manage Ad-Ons.” There, you can enable or disable ad-ons as you please.
3. Malware and Spyware – At any given time on your computer, there is a lot going on behind the scenes. When malware enters your system, to try to make it as difficult as possible to remove it, it will attempt to works its way down through the layers of your system architecture. Deeper layers, like your system folders, are the real nuts and bolts of your computer, and if these files are corrupted by malware, things start going haywire and many processes will run slowly/improperly, including your internet. Web Vaccine offers the free use of its Emsisoft scanner to attempt to detect infections that may slow down or disable your computer.
4. System Updates aren’t up-to-date: Updates to your system can be related to several kinds of slow-downs. Most Windows updates are security updates, and if you don’t get them, malicious programs will exploit vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system, which almost inevitably causes slow-downs, among other things. Sometimes the same malware that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in Windows will also disable Windows updates, so make sure automatic updates are enabled, and if there is any doubt whether your system is up-to-date, try doing a little investigating and check the Microsoft website for the latest updates and service packs.
5. A Slow Computer – If your computer is slow, obviously everything you do on it is going to be slow, including browsing the internet. Some computers are slow because they are old. Software manufacturers and web developers make certain assumptions when they build programs or websites, and some of these assumptions are based on the average processing power of computers in their markets. If your computer has fallen behind the average, then the odds are that newer programs and websites are a lot for it to handle.