WHY IS MY INTERNET SO SLOW? HOW TO RESET YOUR ROUTER
A Router is like a tiny computer with its own operating system (OS), so just like your computer it will have cache/memory problems after extended periods of being online. Not all routers are created equal and some will be able to run for very long periods without any trouble, but it’s good for all hardware to be rebooted every now and then to clear out any issues that may have arisen.
HAVE YOU TRIED TURNING IT OFF AND ON AGAIN?
So if you find that your internet is suddenly running slower than a snail on vacation the first thing to try is restarting the router. This can be done by locating the power button on the rear of your router and turning it off for 20 seconds then switching it back on. This will reset the router software as well as clear out any charge stored in the capacitors (which is why the 20 second wait is important!)
CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF
If this fails to get you back to full speed you’ll need to dig a little deeper. At this point it’s a good idea to do a speed test on the line. Open your browser and go to www.speedtest.net and click the Begin Test button.
This will test three things:
- Your ping (The time it takes for a network packet to leave your computer, go to another one, and return)
- Your download speed
- You upload speed
Your ping to a South African server should ideally be below 20ms (preferably closer to 10ms) but anything below 50ms is acceptable. Your download and upload speeds should be close to the listed speed of your ADSL line, for eg.
- On a 10Mbps line your download speed should be about 9Mbps and upload about 0.9Mbps.
- On a 4Mbps your download speed should be about 3.5Mbps and upload about 0.5Mbps
These values are usually a little lower than the listed speed from Telkom (around 10-15% slower) and that is perfectly normal, anything lower than that and you may have cause for concern.
Now that you’ve checked the line speed it might be a good idea to try a router restart one more time to make sure that it wasn’t just a random anomaly. Turn the router off again for 20 seconds and then restart it. Once it’s finished booting up run another speed test to see if you get the same results. If your speeds are still looking abysmal you’re going to want to do a hard reset on the router which will completely restore it to its factory settings.
TIME TO PULL OUT THE BIG GUNS
Before you go ahead with this next step make sure you have the following information on hand:
- Your ISP username and password (Should look something like username@telkomadsl)
- Your Wi-Fi username and password (alternatively you can just create new ones)
Take a look at the back of your router and you should see a small hole labelled RESET. Whilst the router is still on, use a pin or the end of a paper clip to press and hold the reset button. You will need to hold it for about 10 seconds, until the lights on the router change. They may have already been blinking and will now change to be continuous or they may have been steady and will now start blinking (this changes from router to router). Basically they need to do something they weren’t previously doing!
Now that your router has been restored to its default settings we need to set it up with your personal ISP (Mweb, Telkom, Webafrica, etc) login details.
- Open a browser window (Firefox, Chrome, etc) and type 10.0.0.2 into the address bar.
- When prompted for a username and password, type in admin and admin.
This is where things get a little tricky as every router has a different method of setup but basically we need to enter your ISP login name and password. Some routers have a setup wizard you can run, some require you to enter the details manually.
If your router is not one I’ve mentioned above, try to follow similar steps to the ones listed and you should be able to work it out without too much trouble.
Once you have made these changes, applied and saved them – go ahead and restart your router for the changes to take effect.
You can now test your internet again to see if the issues have been resolved. Either try browsing or running another test on speedtest.net. Hopefully everything at this point is running smoothly with full steam ahead, if however something still doesn’t feel right there is one final option….
Their customer service has improved quite a bit over the last while so it’s not quite as dreadful a task as it once was.
- Dial 10210 from a landline (because then it’s free!) and follow the steps to report a fault – you’ll need to know your telephone number to do this.
- Choose the option to wait for a consultant and hold the line until a representative answers.
- Let them know that you are experiencing a problem with your line and ask if they can take a look into it for you. I usually also ask if they can “refresh the port” as this resets everything from their side and almost always solves any lingering troubles.
Hopefully this post has helped you solve any internet hang ups you may have been temporarily experiencing. Good luck and see you all online!
DISCLOSURE: I didn’t receive any compensation for writing this and have no connection whatsoever to any brands or products mentioned.