Is your internet connection slow on your Windows laptop, but not on your phone? Here’s how to fix it

Is your internet connection super-fast on your phone but acting like a lazy turtle on your laptop? Can you stream smooth HD video to your mobile device without buffering, but also struggle to open a website on your laptop browser? What is the reason for such a disparaging treatment of different devices by the Internet?

In this article, we will discuss why the internet is so fast on your mobile device but not on your laptop. Also, we will discuss methods to speed up your internet connection.

Why is the internet slow on your laptop compared to the mobile device?

The main reason for the slowness of the Internet on a laptop may be the bandwidth consumption of the same mobile phone with which you are comparing the speed. Other causes include network resources consumed by apps and processes on your device, hardware problems, outdated network drivers, or restrictions imposed by your Internet service provider.

How to fix slow internet connection on your laptop

In order for your laptop to match the internet speed you get on your mobile phone, give it maximum bandwidth, update its network drivers, close network resource hungry processes, change your DNS, check for hardware problems or stop windows updates. If all else fails, you should opt for a fast internet package or replace your network card.

Now let’s look at how to apply the above fixes to speed up your Internet connection.

1. Make sure your internet connection is actually slow

screenshot of Ookla's Speedtest using a fiber connection

Are you assuming that your laptop has slower internet speed than your phone? If so, you should verify your guess by measuring your internet speed. To do this, unplug all devices except the one you are testing. For example, when you test the internet on your mobile device, all devices, including the laptop you want to test next, shouldn’t be sharing the same connection.

Go to the same speed test website, such as Speedtest by Ookla, and run the test from both devices. Also, test your internet connection on another laptop to eliminate a problem with your internet service provider.

  • If the internet speed is almost the same on both devices but still appears slow on your laptop, then this is an operating system level problem.
  • If the internet is also slow on the other laptop, it’s probably a restriction from your ISP.
  • If your laptop’s Internet speed differs significantly from that of your mobile device, there could be a hardware problem.

Identify which scenario your problem fits into and apply only the relevant fixes:

2. Rule out hardware problems

To rule out hardware problems, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you use both devices the same distance from the router? If not, bring your laptop where your cellphone gives you the best speed. A speed test in different places can also be useful.
  • Are there any physical objects or instruments that transmit radio waves near where you use your laptop? If so, remove their interference.
  • Have you restarted your router since you encountered this problem? Do so if you haven’t already.

3. Rule out ISP problems

Is your internet speed slow on all the laptops you have at home? If so, your ISP may be to blame. To counter this, change the DNS settings on your Windows device. If it improves the speed, keep the DNS unchanged, but if it doesn’t, report the problem to your ISP. If you can switch to another ISP, you should.

4. Unplug other devices

too many wires connected to one device

Every device connected to a network consumes bandwidth. As the number of devices increases, the bandwidth available to already connected devices decreases. Another reason for the slowness of the Internet on laptops may be the load on network resources imposed by other devices, including the phone you are comparing with.

You should disconnect other internet connected devices and see if that helps improve the speed of your laptop. Continue to the next fix if that doesn’t help.

5. Close unnecessary background processes and services

Your Windows device runs two types of processes or services; operating system processes that Windows needs to run; and third-party processes or services that, while useful, tax network resources. Therefore, you should close them for better speed. Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Right click on Windows Start button and select Activity manager.
  2. First, go to the Processes form.
  3. Click on the top of the Net column to sort processes according to their network consumption.
    Clicking the Network column in the Processes tab of Windows Task Manager

  4. Right click on the useless processes hogging your resources and click Last task.
    Exit the process by clicking the End Task button in the Windows Task Manager

  5. After that, click on Startup apps form.
  6. If you think some tasks are unnecessary, right-click them and click disable.
    Disabling the unnecessary task in the Startup tab of Windows Task Manager

  7. Once this is done, press Win + R to open the Run application.
  8. Then type “msconfig” and click Okay.
  9. Go to Services tab in System configuration window.
  10. Check the box for hide all Microsoft services.
    Checking the box Hide all Microsoft services in the Services tab of the system setup app

  11. Click Disable everything to disable all services or selectively disable services you no longer need.

6. Turn off Windows and app updates

To keep our system virus-free and to access all the new features, it is necessary to update the operating system regularly. However, if updates are overtaxing your resources, they’re not doing you any good. Therefore, you should temporarily disable them and see if that helps. Our guide on how to stop Windows updates will show you how to do it.

Also, while disabling services, as described above, will likely break third-party app updates, you may still need to disable individual app updates if they’re overloading your network. How can you verify this? Periodically monitor network resource hungry processes in Task Manager and disable any app update related processes you find running.

Also, you should disable automatic updates of the Microsoft Store as we have previously failed to disable Microsoft services. To do this, open the Microsoft Store, click on your profile icon in the upper right corner and select App settings. Tap the switch next to App updates to turn it off.

7. Update network drivers

Have you ever wondered how your device interprets the signal from your router or modem? It is the network drivers that make hardware-software interaction possible. If your drivers are outdated, you probably won’t get the best communication, which means you’re missing out on some potential speed.

To update network drivers, follow these steps:

  1. Right click on Windows Start button and click Device Manager.
  2. Expand category by Network adapters.
    Expanding the Category option for network adapters in the Windows Device Manager app

  3. Right-click the driver you want to update and click Update drivers.
    Updating the relevant network driver by right-clicking it in the Windows Device Manager app

If you don’t know which one to update, you can simply update them all.

8. When all else fails…

If you’re only experiencing this issue on a portable device, you’ve eliminated the hardware and your ISP as the culprit, and none of the above solutions worked, try the following:

  1. Use an Ethernet connection for faster speeds.
  2. Get a faster internet package.
  3. Install a new wireless network card in your laptop.
  4. Change your router’s Wi-Fi channel.

Speed ​​up your laptop’s Internet connection

If your phone has a lightning-fast Internet connection, but your laptop struggles to download a small file, you may be feeling discouraged. After reading our article, you should now better understand why you get different internet speeds between devices. In addition, it will now be easier to fix slow internet and eliminate this discrimination.

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