I spent 29.16 seconds loading the front page of Google. COVID-19 is slowing down the Internet

This morning I spent 29.16 seconds trying to load the front page of Google.

The Internet is choking amid Coronavirus pandemic as more and more people are locked in their houses with nothing else to do but to go online.

Apparently, my broadband provider these days had a huge surge in usage and combined with an earthquake that happened near me this morning, it just choked.

I tried to open some pages but the Internet was painfully slow.

I took a stopwatch and measured how long does it take to open the front page of Google. I waited for 29.16 seconds till the page loaded.

This was even worse then when we all used phone lines and those good old dial-up modems.

According to Pingdom.com, where they tested how long do today’s web pages take to load over dial-up, today’s Google.com would take around 10 seconds.

This means that this morning I had worse Internet speed then people had in the time od dial-up.  

I talked to my friends and they all had the same problem.  Thankfully, after few hours the problem was fixed and now I have normal Internet again.

How the pandemic affects the speed of internet?

It was already announced that Netflix and YouTube will reduce streaming quality in Europe for at least the next month to prevent the internet collapsing under the strain of unprecedented usage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Asia there was a significant drop in mobile broadband performance on February 13th, exactly 21 days after Wuhan was placed under effective quarantine.

According to Speedtest.net where they track COVID-19’s impact on global internet performance, fixed broadband speed decreased slightly in Switzerland in the period from March 2nd till March 9th, while Austria had a noticeable decrease in mobile download speed in the same period.

Mean download speed on both mobile and fixed broadband declined between in this period in Italy overall and in Lombardy in specific.

In United States, mean download speed over fixed broadband decreased in San Francisco and Westchester counties between March 2nd and March 9th.

According to Wired, while Internet speeds have decreased in some areas, in many places speeds were actually faster in mid-March than they were in mid- to late December.

According to CTO of internet analysis company Ookla, Luke Deryckx, the slower speeds might not have much to do with overloaded internet infrastructure.

The problem could be closer to home. Entire families are sharing home Wi-Fi networks as kids turn to online learning resources, parents conduct meetings over Zoom, and everyone watches more video. It could simply be that home Wi-Fi routers are getting bogged down.

How to speed up slow Internet?

Here is a tip on how to how to speed up your Internet while your family is stuck at home.

If your internet is sluggish, particularly in certain sections of the house, the first thing you should do is try to move your router. Especially if you have it set up in the basement or in a media closet, anything between you and your router can be slowing you down. Even if you can only move the router to a slightly more central location, it can make a big difference.

If that fails, it may be that your current plan or equipment just isn’t made to handle this many connections at once, so perhaps you should upgrade your plan or buy a new router, according to USA Today.

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