Why Is AT&T Internet So Slow: 17 Easy Solutions

why is att internet so slow

Why is AT&T internet so slow, and how can it be lightning-fast? If you want to know why and how to increase AT&T’s Internet speed, read this article.

With a base camp in Dallas, Texas, AT&T is one of the largest global telecom aggregators in the United States.

It is one of the seven Regional Bell Operating Companies that left the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1983 after the US-accelerated antitrust action the previous year.

PCs connected on-site by AT&T are given access to high-speed connectivity through Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi via the built-in private tunnel or DSL modem.

This article examines the core causes of lousy network connectivity and offers readers helpful advice on resolving such difficulties.

First, try resetting your router and unplugging other devices to repair your slow AT&T Internet.

Additionally, you may try connecting through ethernet, checking your computer for viruses, moving your router, upgrading your system drivers, turning off VPN services, and utilizing a Wi-Fi extender.

Reasons for Why Is AT&T Internet So Slow

Some of the most common causes of poor AT&T internet include router issues, running background apps, utilizing low-performance devices, or picking an Internet package that is too slow to handle everyday duties.

Here are a few factors for slow internet speed on AT&T.

Bandwidth Restrictions

Due to the following factors, AT&T can purposefully restrict the bandwidth.

  • If you go above the plan’s subscribed bandwidth limit, the service provider may reduce your internet speed to limit your bandwidth.
  • For instance, if you choose a 10Mbps plan and your use has exceeded the data limit, AT & T may restrict the allocated bandwidth, which may cause slow internet.
  • To avoid network congestion during the busiest times of the day, AT&T may sometimes impose limits.
  • Although it may seem unfair, service providers use such tactics to keep everyone connected and relieve network congestion.

Too Many Devices Connected

The connection of an excessive number of devices to the same Wi-Fi network is one of the most frequent reasons for bad connectivity.

Too Many Devices Connected

For instance, if a laptop and a mobile device are connected to a 4 Mbps network, the bandwidth will be shared evenly across the two devices.

The laptop and the mobile device will receive 2 Mbps in this case. The performance of Wi-Fi is significantly lowered as a result.

To have optimal internet connectivity, especially when carrying out operations that need a lot of data, I strongly advise the reader to only connect and use one device at a time.

AT&T may also impose limits due to network congestion during peak hours.

Multitasking

I conducted some experiments by carrying out various operations on my home network and found that multitasking significantly worsens network congestion and slows down the internet speed.

I used my laptop for various things, using one tab for YouTube (but not watching it) and another for downloading a sizable file from my email while also using my phone for video conversations.

It turned out that the lack of data caused my video call to be distorted. Still, by disconnecting the laptop and all of its activities from the network, I could remove the distortion from my video conversation.

Faulty Router

A malfunctioning router may be the cause of any sporadic internet disconnections your experience. To see if connectivity problems continue, I advise attaching a backup router.

A router malfunction may have caused the network issue if replacing the old router with a new one resolves the issue.

If you frequently experience issues with your router and have queries like “Does the Netgear Nighthawk work with AT&T?” If the question “Does Google Nest WiFi Work AT&T?” comes to mind, the answer is that it does.

Surrounding Interferences

Obstacles and outside interferences are the most ignored aspect of dealing with sluggish Internet connections.

According to my findings, wireless gadgets, or other comparable equipment operating in the microwave frequency band, such as an oven, a cordless phone, and other radio devices like a walkie-talkie, etc., may readily disperse or degrade Wi-Fi signals.

I was also stunned to discover that the Wi-Fi signal from my neighbor’s house might affect and weaken the wireless network at my house.

AT&T Internet Outage

AT&T Internet Outage

Nobody has any influence over ISP Internet outages. Thus, there is nothing anybody can do but wait till the service provider fixes the problem.

Internet outages can occur for various reasons, including network congestion, fiber optic cable disruption from excavations and construction projects, AT&T equipment upgrades, and natural disasters that could harm the network infrastructure.

How to fix AT&T’s slow internet?

Here are some tried-and-true techniques to increase the speed of the Wi-Fi connection at home if your life philosophy is “Do it Yourself” and you enjoy finding solutions on your own:

  1. Restart Your Router
  2. Disconnect Other Connected Devices
  3. Use an Ethernet Connection
  4. Scan the PC for Malware
  5. Change Your Router Location
  6. Update Your System
  7. Reset Your Router
  8. Disable VPN Services
  9. Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal
  10. Stop Background Data Usage
  11. Upgrade your AT&T Package
  12. Checking for Outages
  13. Close High-bandwidth Apps or Software
  14. Fix Network Congestion
  15. Check Your Router
  16. Change Your DNS Settings
  17. Contact Support

Let us go through each solution one by one:

Solution 1: Restart Your Router

Hard-booting the router, which entails manually turning it off and back on, is the first and most important action that must be taken.

This approach completely cleans the device’s short-term memory (also known as a power cycle), including any temporary IP addresses supplied by the service provider.

Restart Your Router

Rebooting the router power cycle network adapter to be reset, starting over the transfer of data packets obtained from the ISP and providing the user with more bandwidth.

Most internet users and even computer specialists advise doing this as a fix or as a preliminary step in resolving bandwidth and speed-related problems.

Solution 2: Disconnect Other Connected Devices

According to what I’ve discovered, internet speed may be significantly increased if one could restrict the number of devices using the house Wi-Fi network.

Make sure there is enough bandwidth if you live in a family or group, considering how much data each family member uses.

My home network is slow when my parents and siblings are online, so fewer devices are connected, which speeds up the internet connection.

On the other side, my home network is incredibly fast when utilized in the early hours when fewer people are online.

Solution 3: Use an Ethernet Connection

Use an Ethernet Connection

Compared to Ethernet cables, wireless networks have greater packet losses.

When I moved to an ethernet connection, there was a noticeable improvement in internet speed thanks to decreased interference and more reliability.

In addition, I could watch live sports without any latency or buffering.

Due to the benefits indicated above, a wired connection is advised for people who conduct demanding jobs like file transfer, high definition video, etc.

You could have broken wires or outdated drivers if your ethernet connection feels slower than Wi-Fi.

Solution 4: Scan the PC for Malware

Specific virus kinds may use your bandwidth allowance. Some viruses may replicate themselves tens of thousands of times and spread throughout your computer.

Scan the PC for Malware

Obtain antivirus software if you don’t already have it. Update the software you have if you have it. Every day, new infections emerge, and software upgrades are necessary to stop them.

Run thorough scans on every device as soon as you receive your software.

You must verify your firewall settings after eradicating your infections. By doing this, you could lessen your risk of contracting another infection.

Will firewalls slow down the internet? Yes. But not significantly.

Solution 5: Change Your Router Location

Moving the Wi-Fi router closer to your workspace or an open area can resolve bandwidth concerns caused by external obstructions.

Change Your Router Location

Ensure the Wi-Fi signal is not disrupted by objects like walls and kitchen appliances like ovens.

To significantly increase your internet connectivity across the house, you need also search for the best mesh routers for AT&T Fiber or Uverse, depending on which one you already have.

Solution 6: Update Your System

Update Your System

Newer devices have updated drivers that process data more quickly and efficiently while connecting to high-speed internet.

Updated network drivers on the PC are one method for resolving sluggish Wi-Fi connectivity.

Using outdated drivers might cause the computer to hang frequently and prevent users from benefiting from minor bug fixes in the newer version.

Solution 7: Reset Your Router

Reset Your Router

All the personalized settings may be removed from the router by performing a reset, allowing the user to set up connectivity from scratch.

Restarting the router did not always address firmware-related problems, so resetting the router was useful.

Resetting the router might resolve internet problems caused by defective router firmware.

Solution 8: Disable VPN Services

turn off VPN

To protect the user’s connectivity, privacy, and accessibility-related data, VPN uses proxy servers and an encryption procedure.

However, the additional internet usage caused by the encryption process and the data routing through proxy servers might hinder internet speed.

Users can free up bandwidth by removing VPN services, resulting in faster internet speeds. Slow upload speeds can also be fixed with this approach.

Your internet speed may be impacted by VPN [6]. However, by how much? 15% to 20% at most.

Your VPN settings may impact how quickly you can access the internet. Some VPN settings that will affect your internet speed include:

  • Stronger encryption, such as AES, will delay and slow operations.
  • Distance to VPN server: Your connection’s speed will be less affected by the closer the server is.
  • Too many users on a single VPN server might slow things down.

Make sure your VPN is active whenever you conduct online business. If so, evaluate if you need it to be operating.

Solution 9: Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal

You must increase your wireless signal if you cannot utilize an Ethernet cable or a Powerline converter.

Wi-Fi signals decrease when they have to get through thick barriers. You have a few alternatives for dealing with this problem.

You might start by purchasing a Wi-Fi range extender or a wireless Powerline adaptor. Both are cost-effective solutions.

You may connect the Powerline adaptor to your extension if you don’t mind spending additional money. This provides you with the fastest speeds possible.

Powerline adapters have a few serious issues. They only function in homes with adequate wiring and rooms on the same circuit.

When one of these conditions exists, you should utilize mesh Wi-Fi instead. These systems are suitable for usage in any home.

Solution 10: Stop Background Data Usage

Stop Background Data Usage

Inspect your computer or laptop for software downloading or uploading data in the background.

This software or your operating system may be utilizing data in the background.

You may use the Widows background tool to locate this. When you find one, deactivate it immediately.

Solution 11: Upgrade your AT&T Package

Before troubleshooting, connect a device to your router via Ethernet wire and run an internet speed test. In this case, do not utilize a Powerline adaptor. The findings may be erroneous if your home does not have the greatest wiring.

Compare the results of your speed test to your existing internet plan.

The following are AT&T’s internet plans. Unless you arrived on a special, you should match one of the following speeds:

AT&T Package

AT&T’s pricing table specifies that these sample speeds were achieved utilizing a connected connection. As a result, the advice above.

If the figures match, you’ll need to increase your internet service. Otherwise, you should try the solutions listed below.

When upgrading, you must first determine which plans are available in your location.

Solution 12: Checking for outages

Log in to your AT&T account and check for local outages if you haven’t previously. Sign up for SMS alerts while you’re there. This will make your life a little easier.

It may take some time to log in. I propose typing your ZIP code into the outage checker tool.

Solution 13: Close High-bandwidth Apps or Software

Examine your devices to determine which apps are using your bandwidth.

For Android devices, go to Wi-Fi settings, then Data consumption, and finally Wi-Fi data usage.

This capability, however, is not available on iPhones. Only by installing an app can you manage and monitor your bandwidth. Network Utility is the only decent free program I can recommend.

On Macs, though, you can. In Spotlight, press command and space, then type “Activity Monitor.” Go to the Network tab and see what program is using your bandwidth.

Press the Windows key and “I” if you’re using Windows. Navigate to Network & Internet, and then to Data Usage.

You may use VnStat as a Linux user. It’s command-line software that will assist you in monitoring network traffic.

When examining the bandwidth consumed by software, consider whether running it in the background is worthwhile. If not, push it shut.

Solution 14: Fix Network Congestion

Idle devices will use bandwidth while powered on. Remove unnecessary devices from your Wi-Fi network or turn them off. After that, verify your internet connection speed.

You may need to upgrade if you discover that many devices are affecting your slowdown. This is a problem if you’re utilizing Wi-Fi 5 technology. Multiple high-bandwidth requests cannot be handled simultaneously by the technology.

Look at the name or model number to see if you have a Wi-Fi 5 router. If you observe an “AC” instead of an “AX,” it’s time to replace your equipment.

Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 if possible. This was the solution to my speed problems. This is because this technology is superior at handling many requests.

Solution 15: Check Your Router

The problem might be a malfunctioning router. If you have a spare router, configure it. Check to see whether your sluggish internet is still an issue.

If you performed the above steps and still did not identify an “AC” or “AX,” the problem is with your router. This indicates that you are using an out-of-date Wi-Fi version.

Look for these letters in the name of your device to find out what wireless technology you’re using:

  • 802.11n: Wi-Fi 4
  • 802.11ac: Wi-Fi 5
  • 802.11ax: Wi-Fi 6

If this is the case, you will need to purchase a new router. When renting a modem and gateway from AT&T, you should call customer support and inform them that you require a replacement.

Solution 16: Change Your DNS Settings

Change Your DNS Settings

The Domain Name System (DNS) assigns your IP address to a certain URL. This procedure allows a website to send and receive data to your device.

However, DNS does not affect download speed. DNS changes might make web pages feel more responsive when surfing. They can also encrypt your traffic if you’re concerned about security.

AT&T may deliver untrustworthy DNS servers in some cases. These servers may also be geographically far from your location. Alternatively, they may be congested.

Solution 17: Contact Support

If none of the above techniques work, you can contact AT&T customer service, file a complaint, or request technical assistance restoring internet speed.

AT&T will then investigate any difficulties at their end or dispatch a technical team to investigate any issues at the user’s end.

What Is a Good Download Speed for AT&T?

Wait until you’ve corrected your sluggish AT&T internet speed before upgrading. Before you decide to upgrade, think about your use cases.

You’ll squander money otherwise.

These download rates are required for a single device.

  • 4K video streaming (without buffering) – 25 Mbps
  • High-quality audio streaming – 320 kbit/s
  • Email – 1 Mbps
  • Multiplayer competitive gaming (with low ping) – 25 Mbps
  • Group video call (7+ people) when using Skype – 8 Mbps
  • 1 Internet of things (IoT) device – 2 Mbps

This lists various online tasks and the download speeds required for them.

When dealing with several devices, you will require greater speed. Depending on the number of people in your home, you may wish to upgrade to a higher AT&T internet tier.

For example, if you have many devices streaming 4K simultaneously, you should look at an AT&T Fiber package.

In this circumstance, the 300 Mbps package is the least speed that you should select.

Is AT&T Any Good?

Among AT&T’s well-known administrations are its arrangements that enable customers to choose and “pack” the administrations they require.

  • AT&T is an excellent pick because it offers Internet with 99 percent consistency and DirecTV packages.
  • AT&T has a few packages worth considering.
  • AT&T has the largest DSL inclusion region in the United States, with the highest numbers in California, Texas, and Illinois.

You can read, watch, and game with assurance on AT&T’s 99 percent reliable system, regardless of whether you choose AT&T Internet, a DSL association, or AT&T Fiber.

AT&T’s online plans include speeds ranging from 5 to 1,000 Mbps.

Conclusion

As previously said, the suggestions are tried and true strategies that may be applied whenever you experience irritating Wi-Fi connectivity at home.

Furthermore, the resolution processes are simple, and no prior understanding of computers, networks, or internet topology is required to fix a slow internet connection.

However, I would want to warn you about cyberattacks and hackers that may infiltrate your network and steal your data.

If AT&T suspects harmful activity, they might restrict data or block specific ports to safeguard the user, resulting in poor internet speeds over time.

I recommend downloading the AT&T mobile app to monitor and improve your home internet and Wi-Fi easily.

One thing to bear in mind while resetting your router is that it will wipe all of your settings and restore it to its previous condition, requiring you to set it up repeatedly.

Rest your router only if necessary, and remember to write down your settings before you do so.

FAQs

Why Is My AT&T Service So Slow?

You may be utilizing many devices at the same time. When more than the recommended number of devices use AT&T signals simultaneously, the network is put under strain. Another explanation is that you have most likely exceeded your data allowance. AT&T will most likely reduce your download and upload speeds if this occurs. You may, however, receive a notification advising you of this action.

How Can I Increase My AT&T Internet Speed?

To troubleshoot any existing issues, reset the router. Manage the number of devices that are connected to the internet at the same time. You may need to switch to a faster browser or install an extension to manage the cache.

How Do I Know If AT&T Is Throttling My Bandwidth?

First, determine which AT&T plan you are currently enrolled in. Look for data limitations and bandwidth constraints in the fine print. Once you’ve determined your claimed internet speed, put it to the test. For evaluating bandwidth, I use Speedtest.net.
You may be throttled if your download speed is much lower than the speed listed in your subscription. Similarly, those activities may be throttled if your speed test results are much greater than those obtained while torrenting, downloading, or streaming.
Connect to a VPN and compare your speed test findings again. If your speeds are much greater while performing the same tasks while connected to the VPN, this proves that your ISP is limiting bandwidth.

Is It Legal For AT&T To Throttle My Bandwidth?

Yes.
The FCC revoked the Open Internet Order, an Obama-era policy that required ISPs in the United States to treat all internet traffic roughly the same way. With the repeal, ISPs can now discriminate based on application, service, device, or content.
However, AT&T claims it does not participate in discriminatory bandwidth limiting and follows basic net neutrality principles.