Slow Internet in South Africa is more common than you think, and the solution to a faster Internet experience is actually quite simple (see How can I get a faster Internet connection?). Although there are a few factors that contribute to slow Internet, some of which we cover below:
The type of Internet connection matters
You probably use different types of Internet connections, such as Wireless (WiFi or Cellular Data Connections) or Wired (either DSL or Fibre Connections). Wired connections are more reliable and can offer the fastest Internet connection, although Cellular Data Connections are on par with Wired connections.
Cellular Data is generally very expensive in South Africa, as you might have noticed many people are complaining on Twitter #datamustfall, where Wired connections are much cheaper and offer you far more data for the same price.
Wireless Internet connections
Some Internet Service Providers (ISP) offer WiFi connections, however these present various problems when it comes to speed, as there are many factors that make WiFi connections slow, such as the number of users, weather, interference, and the thickness of the walls of the building you are in.
Computer problems: viruses, spyware and background processes
The general health of your computer affects your Internet connection, as there could be background processes that use the Internet without you being aware. Windows computers are notorious for running background updates, which uses large amounts of data just when you need it the most. It is recommended to schedule your updates to run at night, just make sure your computer is switched on!
Viruses and spyware also uses your Internet connection regularly, and in some cases uploads your data to a computer on the Internet for hackers to use to their advantage.
Background processes affect the general performance of your computer, which affects your Internet experience. Some background processes will use up memory or other internal resources, which interferes with your computers performance.
Outside factors that affect your Internet connection
Most Internet connections are shared! That means that the connection is on a shared network infrastructure. This is the case with cellular and most wired connections. The more users on the Internet the slower it will appear for everyone.
Uncapped Internet does not mean that you can download as much as you want! All Uncapped Internet connections (and some Capped Internet Connections) have limits and the limit varies depending on the speed of the connection!
Most users are totally unaware that their Internet connection is rate limited! Rate limiting basically means that your Internet connection speed is slowed down when you exceed the “Fair Usage Cap”, and all ISP’s apply a “Fair Usage” system to give all users a fair Internet experience.
How can I get a faster Internet connection?
The simple answer to this question is “you get what you pay for”. Most users in South Africa choose a 2Mbps or a 4Mbps internet connection, and depending on your area the more users there are using the same speed the slower it will be for everyone. (Remember it is a shared connection)
At Ovation Internet we offer either DSL or Fibre Internet connections, although Fibre offers a better experience, DSL also offers a great user experience if you choose the right data package and the right speed.
Internet Gamers or Streaming Movies (like Netflix) online use a large amount of data and generally requires a “faster” speed or a “better” internet connection. For these types of users it would be better to choose a data package that suit your needs, and an “Uncapped” connection might not be ideal for you.
Which would you prefer 4Mbps at R599 p/m or 20Mbps at R598 p/m?