Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Several things can slow a browsing session. Wi-Fi is one of them, but I certainly wouldn't limit my investigations to just the Wi-Fi.

Can a Wi-Fi modem cause my pages to become unresponsive? It takes up to five minutes for my page to become responsive. When I change pages, I go through the same thing every time.

In this excerpt from Answercast #52, I look at a machine with pages that are loading very slowly and some possible causes.

Slow browsing

Well, ultimately, it really depends on exactly what kind of pages you're referring to. I'm going to assume you mean web pages. There are definitely many, many, many different types of pages that aren't web pages. But when you describe "going to the next page," that's typically web-based activity.

The short answer is yes. It can kind of. But normally, it's something that breaks rather than slows down.

There are definitely many things that you might want to look at as potentially causing the problem that you're seeing.

Weak Wi-Fi signal

One, of course, is... indeed is a weak Wi-Fi signal. in other words, if your Wi-Fi is, for whatever reason, not strong enough to reach the computer that you're currently using or is so weak as to be able to work at only very, very low speeds.

One of the things most people don't realize about Wi-Fi is that it does decrease in speed the weaker the signal is. So, the stronger the signal you can get, the better off you're going to be.

Test your modem

It's also certainly possible that the modem itself could be slowing things down. That's easily tested by simply rebooting the modem or your router.

Every once in awhile, depending on the make and the model of your router or modem, things can in fact just sort of slow down. There's many different technical reasons for that. But like I said, it's a very quick thing to test and resolve, simply by rebooting that equipment.

What's running on your machine?

Another thing that can definitely impact your wireless speed, or your internet speed in general, is whatever else is running on your machine. If you're running other internet-based applications that are downloading things while you are surfing the web, then yes, their activity is going to impact your activity negatively.

Another less obvious case is applications that are downloading updates. If your malware tool is downloading updates while you're surfing the web, that can slow down your surfing experience. Similarly, if your anti-malware tool is running a scan, then the same thing.

The activity on your disk can in fact negatively impact your browser's ability to manage its cache and that can then manifest as slow browsing speeds.

So, there are lots and lots of different things to look at. Wi-Fi is certainly one of them, but I wouldn't limit my investigations to just the Wi-Fi.

Article C5799 - September 12, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Handyman Bob
September 12, 2012 9:54 AM

Agree and in my experience helping others with slow loading pages and they are using Windows XP and Explorer, I make sure their Windows XP is up to date and then install Firefox or Chrome and their surfing improves noticeably.
Thanks Leo!

September 16, 2012 12:15 PM

I was waiting for "check what add-ins get loaded into your browser." Didn't see it. I'm a little disappointed, as I've started to be able to predict some of Leo's answers. :)

How about this article: How do I disable Internet Explorer add-ons?

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