How to fix your slow internet connection
Are you tired of slow internet speeds and your ISP doing little or nothing about it?
In this guide I will show you how to test for the most common issue effecting Philippine ISPs and how to fix it.
Over the last 5 years I have been with PLDT, Smart Bro, Globe and Sky Cable. While some were slightly better than others, every single one suffered from massive drops in speed from time to time.
This can create an awful lot of stress, especially if your income depends on your ability to work online. ISPs will provide very little assistance and only seem to be capable of addressing minor and common issues. If the issue is not a common issue, you have almost no chance that it will ever be addressed.
I have managed to isolate the most common issues that all ISPs in the Philippines have and I have created this guide to show you how to fix your internet connection for good.
If you are not comfortable making these changes on your own, you can hire me for a very low fee to run tests on your internet connection and implement all the required changes to fully address the issues that you are experiencing.
There are two main issues that you will likely face. These are:
Your bandwidth can be heavily effected by issues, causing a 3Mbps connection to drop to almost zero. This will cause websites to load slowly as well as services such as skype to become impossible to use.
Data is transmitted and received in packets. Packetloss happens when packets of data are dropped, resulting in them not being received. This can also have the effect of decreasing your speed and can cause pages to hang or fail to load.
Let’s Start Testing
Please keep in mind that the most common issues are intermittent and as such, they are not present all the time. You should run these tests when you notice that your internet connection has slowed down.
Turn off all other devices that connect to the internet so that the only device you have connected is the one that you will use to run tests. This will ensure that your results are accurate and not a result of other devices using the internet at the same time.
Visit Speedtest.net and click on the Begin Test button. This will run a local test.
Once complete, it will display your download and upload speed. Make a note of your results for later.
As you can see from the image, my local speed test was 2.93Mbps download and 0.96Mbps upload.
We will now run a speedtest with a server in the USA. The reason we test using the USA as that is where most websites and servers are located such as facebook, skype, etc.
To start a new speed test, click on the New Server button, then click on the USA in the global map and select any server in the USA. You may need to zoom out a little so that you can see the map better.
On my first attempt, the test timed out as you can see in the image below. This means that the connection was so slow that my browser did not receive a response within 30 seconds.
If this happens to you, simply click on the Try Again button and select a server in the USA.
When the test completes, make a note of the download and upload speed.
Let’s compare the two results side by side. As you can see from my test results, I am getting 2.93Mbps download locally, but only 0.30Mbps download internationally. The upload speed is also affected.
This means that I am losing over 89% of my bandwidth when connecting to almost any website. That is an extremely degraded connection and will cause lots of problems including websites not loading properly, error messages when trying to load websites and an extremely poor connection for software such as Skype, Google Hangouts etc.
If you see similar results, you should double check by performing both the local and international speedtests a few times. Once you confirm that your international speed is much slower than your local speed, you can safely assume that this is the prime problem.
We will now perform similar tests using Pingtest.net. Visit Pingtest.net and click on Begin Test.
You will need to confirm that you would like to run java as java is used to test for packetloss.
Once the test is complete, make a note of the results and start an international pingtest.
As you can see, my tests results were:
Click on the New Server button, then click on the USA in the map and select a server in the USA to begin your test.
As you can see, my tests results were:
While you can expect your international ping to be higher than your local ping, it should not be more than a few hundred. As you can see, my ping is a whopping 1466ms with an even bigger jitter. This is so poor that almost nothing at all will work such as facebook, messenger, skype or anything that requires an internet connection.
Analysing Test Results
While that is not perfect, it is pretty good. Now let’s check internationally.
Let’s put all the results side by side so that we can clearly see the difference. As you can see, the local connection is pretty good, but as soon as the connection goes international, it becomes so poor that it is of no use to man nor beast.
The issue is not the local connection, but the international connection. This is very common and usually happens because the ISP has not properly configured their system or is possibly using substandard hardware for the job. There is also a possibility that the undersea cable that the ISP use is either of poor quality or is over its capacity, causing a reduction in available speed.
What is the Solution?
Now that we have tested the connection and identified that the issue only really effects international connections, what can we do to fix it?
We need to avoid using the international connection that the ISP has and instead use a better international connection. This can be achieved by using a VPN which will take you off most of the ISPs network and instead route you via the VPNs network and international connection.
I have tested each VPN service I could find which had a free trial that did not require you to first provide details of your credit or debit card and the best service I could find was VyprVPN. Not only do they provide a completely free trial, but they also have very competitive pricing starting at just $5.99 per month and excellent support from knowledgeable staff.
I will run another batch of tests without using VPN and then I will enable my VyprVPN and run the tests again. This time, I will only run international tests as that is where the problem exists.
When I was initially diagnosing the problem and confirming that VPN did fix the issue, I ran hundreds of tests and always used the same server to ensure the results were as reliable as could be. Whenever the VPN was not enabled, the results were very poor indeed, as soon as I enabled the VPN and ran the test again, the results were very good indeed.
As you can see from my test results, my international speed has dropped even further to 0.01Mbps and then it dropped to zero, causing the test to freeze and fail. My ping has improved a little bit, but it is still so poor that the internet will not work properly.
Now, I will enable VyprVPN and run the same tests again.
As you can see from the images, the difference is absolutely staggering.
With VyprVPN enabled, my international download speed is 2.66Mbps and my upload speed is 0.78Mbps. My ping has also improved drastically to just 278ms with a jitter of just 57ms, giving it a D rating. While that is not perfect, it is a lot better than it is without VPN. I can now browse any website I want and use services such as Skype without problems.
What else can you do with VPN?
Because VPN changes your perceived location, you can connect to a UK VPN location and access the BBC iPlayer. This will work for any other services which are restricted only for citizens of a specific area.