Few things in life are more maddening than a slow Internet connection. You could be in the middle of what would be a productive day, happily chugging along with your most current project, when BAM – Internet slows down or stops working almost completely.

Businesses rely on strong Internet connections for productivity. If the connection is slow, it’s not only annoying to employees and customers, but it could cause a significant break in productivity. Now, employees are distracted, attempting to resolve the issue instead of working on their project.

Slow Internet can be caused by a myriad of reasons, from faulty cables to a testy router. However, an often overlooked factor is the actual device you’re using. If you’ve already tried rebooting the router and other steps to resolve the issue, but are still experiencing excruciatingly slow Internet speeds, here are some ways to tell if your device is the culprit:

  1. Age of Your Device

If you’re device is older than four years, chances are it’s past its prime. Desktop computers usually have a shelf life of five years – laptops are slightly less due to the wear and tear they receive after being hauled around for a period of time. Whether it’s an issue with the hardware or software, an older device could be the reason your Internet connection is functioning at a crawling speed. You could try upgrading hardware or software as possible, or buy another computer.

  1. Virus

A slow connection could indicate that you’ve downloaded a virus on your device. Most viruses will trigger multiple pop up ads and run other systems in the background, eating up valuable data and battery life. All that extra work could negatively impact your Internet speed. If you think your device is vulnerable, install the necessary protection to detect the virus and follow the steps on the manufacturer’s website to remove it.

  1. Software Updating

Running an older version of your device’s software could also lead to a slower Internet connection. If you’ve opted out of the last few updates, eventually that will catch up with the software and affect the memory storage and processing speed. You could also be missing out on other features, some that may be designed to improve your Internet speed. So, update regularly to ensure you are getting the most out of your software.

  1. Full Cache

Cache and cookies are designed to make your browsing experience easier and quicker. But, if it’s been awhile since you’ve last cleared your history, they could be contributing to the snail-paced Internet connection. Once you start noticing a slower connection, try to clear your history and see if that resolves the issue.

  1. Firewalls

Firewalls are great for protecting your computer from unwanted malware, but is there such a thing as too much protection? In short: yes. Running more than one firewall on your device could significantly decrease the speed of your Internet connection. And it’s not necessary. Limiting your device to just one high quality firewall will protect you from viruses without slowing down your browsing experience.

If you’ve encountered slow Internet connection at the hands of your device, then you can understand how frustrating the experience can be. Interruptions in network speed put a pause on productivity that could be costing you revenue.