Slow Network Speeds

If you are experiencing slow Internet or network speeds, you can follow this troubleshooting guide to address and correct the most common problems.

If you haven’t already, please try installing the latest Killer Control Center from our website, and only from our site. It includes many fixes and improvements that are not be included in other packages. If you are still using the Killer Network Manager, you’ll want to download the Killer Control Center, and then manually uninstall the Killer Network Manager, as well as the “Killer Drivers” entry in your programs list. You can find the latest Killer Control Center here:

    Once you have successfully updated your drivers, you will want to restart your computer by clicking Start > Power > Restart. It is important to note that closing the lid or pressing the power button on many modern computers does not shut them down, but instead activates sleep mode. You must restart them by clicking Start > Power > Restart for them to reset.

    If updating the drivers does not solve the issue, try resetting your networking equipment in this specific order, even if you have rebooted your some or all of your devices previously. This order is proven to help your devices sync up properly, and will help to get a clean slate with further troubleshooting. Doing this can help even if only one device is experiencing problems. 

    1. Shut down your computer.
    2. Locate your modem and note the lights on your modem when it is normal and ready. There may be a “Ready” light.
    3. Unplug your modem, router, and any switches or hubs, between your computer and the modem, as well as any wireless boosters or access points, and leave them all unplugged for now.
    4. Plug in your modem.
    5. Wait until your modem’s lights show normal operation again.
    6. Plug in your router, if you have one, and give it about five minutes to boot.
    7. Plug in anything else between your computer and the modem
    8. Power on your computer.
    9. Once your computer is booted and connected to the Internet, you will want to reset its network stack:
      1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, right-click Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.
      2. At the command prompt, run the following commands in the listed order, and then check to see if that fixes your connection problem:
        • Type ipconfig /release and press Enter.
        • Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.
        • Type ipconfig /renew and press Enter.
        • Type netsh int ip reset and press Enter.
        • Type netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
    10. Now reboot your machine once more and test to see if the issue is resolved.

    If not, the next step is to make sure that your Windows installation is entirely up to date. Microsoft has been updating Windows more often than with any previous release, so it’s important to keep things up to date. To do this, search Windows Updates, hit Enter, and then click Check for Updates. If your machine finds updates, check again once it finishes installing. Once your computer finds no updates, restart again, and then check for updates once more. Once your machine finds no updates upon a fresh reboot, your Windows installation should be entirely up to date.

    If you have performed the above, and you are still experiencing issues with slow network speeds, there are some other things to try:

    • Set a benchmark. Place the device in one place, if dealing with Wi-Fi, and run a test using a speed test. Turn off all other network usages while troubleshooting. and are both good bandwidth tests. Run three tests in short succession and record an average as your starting point. Check after each change to see if there has been an improvement. Record what you changed, and what the speeds the change produced. If the difference seems dramatic, restart the machine and test again to be sure.
    • Make sure your BIOS is up to date from your machine or mainboard manufacturer’s support page.
    • Make sure your chipset drivers are up to date from your machine or mainboard manufacturer’s support page.
    • Make sure all of the other drivers are up to date from your machine or mainboard manufacturer’s support page. You can safely download and install all available driver packages. If the driver does not apply, it will either not install, or will not be used. If the only options in a driver installer package are “Repair” or “Uninstall,” choosing “Repair” will update the driver, if there is a newer driver available.
    • Update the firmware on your router if you own the router.
    • Update the firmware on your modem if you own the modem, but only if your ISP accepts the firmware. Your ISP’s support team can help you with this. Some ISPs also have this information listed somewhere, but they may need to do something on their end if you update the firmware, to re-authorize your modem.
    • Have your ISP update the firmware on your modem or router if they own your modem or router.
    • If you are using Wi-Fi, minimize the number of solid objects between the access point’s antenna and the device suffering from low speeds, using line-of-sight. Moving a device or antenna even an inch to one side could bypass multiple solid objects, making an enormous difference.
    • If you are using Wi-Fi, use the Killer Control Center’s Wi-Fi analyzer to make changes to your router’s settings.
      • 5 GHz routers should be set to channels 36-48, and/or 149-165 that are as far away from other channels as possible.
      • 2.4 GHz routers should be configured to channels 1, 6, or 11, depending on which channels have the least powerful conflicting radios present.
      • “Sideband” or “side channel” (it could also be called “channel width” or some other, similar name, depending on your specific device) should be set to 20 MHz if there are many other Wi-Fi access points in your area, especially if you are forced to share a channel. Higher side channels are less powerful, but provide a wider band, allowing the signal to get around solid objects better, theoretically improving performance in situations where there are no interference concerns, but the Wi-Fi signal needs to “get around” solid objects. Many, however, report that, in real life testing, 20 MHz still provides the better signal, so your mileage may vary.
    • If you are using Wi-Fi and your router has both a 5 GHz radio and a 2.4 GHz radio, name them something different. Although it might seem simpler to name them the same thing, many routers do not handle this very well, and you can see performance issues by having them named the same thing. Many people opt to add “5” to the end of the 5 GHz radio, which will differentiate it from the 2.4 GHz radio.
    • If you are using Wi-Fi extenders, name each of your extenders something different, so that you know to which access point you are connected. Wi-Fi extenders have limited radio capacity, and will, always provide at least slightly slower speeds than connecting directly to the router, as they have to use the same radio to receive and transmit, at the same time.
    • If it seems like other machines using the same access point are having no issues, try to verify this. Borrow their computer and run a speed test. Ask for permission first, of course. If you are experiencing issues on a public access point, you might find that the public access point is just terrible and that no one else is having a problem because you’re the only one playing latency-intensive first-person shooters.
    • If you are using a Wireless-N router in a crowded Wi-Fi environment, you are very likely to encounter drops and speed issues no matter what settings you change. Unfortunately, the 2.4 GHz spectrum is very limited on how many channels are available, and conflicts arise quickly. Updating to a Wireless-AC router may be required to increase your speeds and reduce wireless drops.
    • If you are using an antivirus or firewall application, try completely uninstalling it for testing purposes. Unfortunately, merely disabling these programs do not work for troubleshooting purposes, as they often continue to manipulate network traffic. They must be fully uninstalled. If you notice that your speeds increase dramatically with the antivirus or firewall application uninstalled, try installing a freshly downloaded version from their website. If that doesn’t help, then the issue may be one with the antivirus application itself. In that case, you will want to contact the support team for the antivirus application.

    If you are unable to get your speed issues sorted out using the above tips, feel free to contact us directly using the information below!


    Updated on March 14, 2019

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