Ah the age-old question. So why is the network in my office so slow? If you work in a small office you may experience occasional (or sometimes constant) network slow-downs. You may also have asked your IT provider for an answer to your performance issues. In truth, there’s no quick or easy answer. It would be great if you had a dedicated device that could tell you which computers are talking to which devices and how much bandwidth they’re using. For most small businesses, having a dedicated network analyzer on the network is not cost-effective. Simply working around the issue has become a more acceptable solution.
However, there are ways to get to the bottom of this problem. Typically the first place to look is with the network users. Have a meeting to determine if anyone is downloading software, music, or streaming video. For instance, if you’ve noticed the network is particularly slow around lunch time, it could be conceivable someone is watching Netflix during their working lunch and unaware that they’re causing network slow-downs for the rest of the office.
Secondly, try to isolate the issue. Have you installed any new hardware on your network, such as a wireless access point or network hub/switch. If so, disconnect the new device and see if the problem persists. Perhaps you are experiencing slow internet access, but the rest of the network is running perfectly fine. During your next network slow down, take notice if you are having problems accessing your internal systems such as your database or application server. Now test out your internet connection speeds (speedtest.net). Contact your internet service provider and request a graph of your bandwidth usage. Ask your ISP if they notice a trend in high bandwidth usage. What has always been referred to as “a slow network” could actually come down to slow internet or a malfunctioning network card in a server.
If you’ve reached the end of your rope, call your IT provider. We have specialized tools that we can attach to your network to find the source of the problem. We also can monitor your network 24/7 to diagnose network issues before they affect your business. Network slow-downs can be very frustrating and disruptive, but a proactive approach is the best route to a quicker resolution.