Why are web pages loading slow?

Written by cee jay
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Why are web pages loading slow?
Slow internet has many causes. (internet image by Alexander Kosenkov from Fotolia.com)

When paying a high monthly fee for internet, the last thing you'd expect it to be is slow. There are times when slowly loading web pages can't be avoided. Temporary computer issues will be resolved over time; most require an adjustment of some type. Finding a quick fix will salvage your sanity, but a solution to slow internet isn't guaranteed.

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Dial-up

The fastest dial-up speeds typically run at approximately 56kb/s. This was considered fast years ago but today web pages are designed with graphics, audio and animations that require faster speeds. Websites containing mostly text will load fairly quickly, even when using dial-up internet. Other factors such as the length of the cord or line quality also disrupt dial-up speeds. The only way to make the connection fast enough for fancy websites is to upgrade to broadband.

Broadband Limitations

Broadband eliminates the slowness experienced with dial-up and allows viewing of complex web pages, including those containing video. High-speed internet (broadband) is not created equal; speeds vary with the "slowest" ranging around 70 kb/s. Although 70 kb/s is considered high-speed, graphically intense websites will hesitate a few seconds while loading. If online videos frequently stop to pre-load (buffer), consider upgrading to a faster speed.

Viruses and Spyware

Viruses/spyware wreak havoc and cause slow loading web pages no matter what type of connection you're using. Some viruses waste computer power and bandwidth by multiplying themselves by hundreds per minute. Spyware is a more likely cause due to the way it works: spyware monopolises the internet by monitoring your usage and reporting this info online. This causes delays and possible connection loss if the problem is severe.

Conflicting Add-ons

Add-ons are extras installed into the browser to provide additional functionality and convenience. Some add-ons are invisible and work behind the scenes while others take the form of toolbars sitting at the top of the browser. The more add-ons you have the more likely they'll conflict with each other. Go to "Tools" and "Manage Add-Ons" in internet Explorer to remove add-ons and identify the culprit(s).

Congestion

Popular websites become so busy at peak times that you'll be denied access because the website can't handle the increased traffic. This congestion can also happen locally; some corporate networks are designed to discourage downloading at certain times. Try again at a different time and the slow web page issue might be resolved. Major virus outbreaks cause congestion, also. These outbreaks affect the entire World Wide Web in general, as hundreds of thousands of PCs are affected at once. The "Security at Home" website can help you determine if this is the cause.

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