6 Reasons for Computer Network to Lag and What are the Possible Solutions

Generally, it is natural for network connections to be in a state of idleness for a couple of seconds. This “idle” state is where the transmission of data between the sender and the receiver happens that needs a certain time amount.

computer network

Whilst it is true that all computers have latency — in terms of network transmission — in them, the amount of time varies and may increase depending on different reasons. “Lag” is what most people refer to these sudden time delays.

Lag in networks occurs for various typical reasons, such as blockage and distance. Most of the time, people can simply fix lag problem by doing basic troubleshooting like turning the modem off and on and power-cycling your device.

Below are the reasons why network lag occurs and how to fix them. 

Network Hardware Issue

There is a high possibility for your network hardware to slow down, especially if it has not been restarted in quite a period of time. Though there are routers and modems that will eventually taper off if not being rebooted after a couple of weeks or months of use, others will slow down faster.

Fix: It is highly recommended that you unplug both your modem and router for at least 30 minutes. Wait for the modem to load after rebooting then, turn on your router. While doing the rebooting process of your modem and router, it is also best to restart your computer or laptop after the process is complete.

Bandwidth Issue and Latency

These two are closely analogous to each other, however they are completely two different terms for a certain reason. Here’s why.

Let’s say your internet connection is a pipe holding all the data, bandwidth serves as the pipe’s physical size. If the pipe is small, bandwidth will also be low and might not support great data all at once. Larger pipe has higher bandwidth and is capable of transmitting more data one at a time. “Mbps” is the standard unit of measure for bandwidth. On the other hand, idleness is generally a delay in time.

Fix: Delay and bandwidth issues can be corrected by rebooting your modem and router together with your device. If all else fails, you may seek assistance with your internet provider. 

6 Reasons for Computer Network to Lag and What are the Possible Solutions 1

Usage of Wireless Connection 

Internet connection via wireless network has a huge possibility for speed to lag. This is because the network traffic is being transmitted through the air wherein there’s a chance for traffic to become lost. In the event of lost network, your device will need to resend data which will cause an apparent delay. 

Fix: You can strengthen the signal for your wireless signal by using tools or devices that will enhance the signal transmission. However, the most recommended option is to use a Cat 7 or Cat 6 Ethernet cable. You might want to ask your Cat 6 cable manufacturer to know more on how it works.  This is by far the most feasible solution you can do in terms of connection improvement.

Too Many Network Users 

A modem or router will definitely decelerate if there are too many users connecting at the same time. Modem or router overloaded can cause excessive requests to be processed for network connection causing it to lag. 

Fix: Replacing your modem with an upgraded model, or adding another router will alleviate the network lag problem. As much as possible, try not to do a simultaneous downloads and streaming to decrease lagging problem.

Malicious Software 

Malware (software designed to damage a computer, network, or server) is one of the potential reasons for network lag.

Fix: It is best to run an antivirus software to detect possible threats and further obliterate these network pests.

Firewalls are Not Disabled 

By enabling the firewall, every incoming and outgoing traffic is filtered which surely consumes a lot of time and this becomes an issue, eventually. Moreover, if your firewall application is infected with malware or is corrupted, this can add up to the network lag problem. 

Fix: Make sure to disable your firewall to avoid network traffic. Ensure that you’ve installed an antimalware software to prevent possible firewall hi-jack. 

6 Reasons for Computer Network to Lag and What are the Possible Solutions 2

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/network-connection-router-414415/


Network latency is something that we should not worry about as it is normal. However, if it takes quite a while for it to respond, there could be some issues that need to be assessed further. As mentioned above, these are the possible reasons for your network to lag. Along with every issue is the potential fix.

On the other hand, if none of these choices seem to work, you may contact your internet provider for assistance. They will need to run some diagnostics to check what’s really causing the network lag — if it’s either a faulty modem or router, or perhaps an issue with the cables connecting to the network source. 





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