Whether it’s patching up a cracked screen or dealing with a faulty OS, sometimes having a smartphone can feel like more hassle than it’s worth. One problem that many end up tangling with that complicates this matter is slow mobile data. And when data controls things like your ability to navigate or communicate, slow data can prove much more than an inconvenience.
So what can you do to alleviate this problem and help your phone run a bit smoother?
Well, we’re glad you asked. It’s time to take a look at the causes of slow mobile data and how to fix them! Now let’s not waste any more time and get right into things!
Poor Signal Causes Slow Mobile Data
The first big culprit when it comes to slow mobile data is not having a good signal in whatever area you’re in. Rural areas tend to have fewer towers to access than urban areas, and some buildings with high concentrations of metal or concrete dull or cancel out cell signals.
In some cases, your data will roam, or give you a weaker signal from a different provider than you have. This happens when your phone cannot find a signal from your provider. This will also give you slower data, with the added downside that you’ll usually get charged extra on your phone bill for any data you use while roaming.
The easiest way to fix both issues is to move to a different area, preferably an open one in a more urban environment. You may also want to look into switching to a network provider with better coverage in your area.
Outdated SIM Card
If you’re using an older model of phone, an outdated SIM card could prove responsible for your lethargic data speed. This is because older SIM cards are designed to work with the network of their era (like 3G or 4G) and thus cannot connect to newer networks like 5G to gain a faster connection.
That said, swapping the SIM card out for a newer model should do the trick. You’ll just need to find a SIM card of the correct size to fit your model of phone.
Sometimes, you’ll experience slower mobile speeds due to the fact that there are too many people using the network at once for it to handle. As a result, the network slows the connection to compensate for the added load. The most common network jam times tend to sit around first thing in the morning and the evening, though you may experience different high-traffic times.
To get around this, figure out which times your network is under the most duress and try to schedule your data use away from those times. You can also use Wi-Fi to circumvent the clog in the mobile provider’s network.
Issues with Mobile Provider
Another frequent cause of slow data speeds on smartphones comes courtesy of the data limit imposed by your mobile provider. Some providers impose data limits on plans (even “unlimited” ones), meaning that you get unlimited data but will experience reduced speed once your usage hits a certain number. It’s important to note that your speeds will also go down if someone else on your plan goes past the limit.
This saves the provider money, as it reduces the strain on their network and saves them from having to buff it up more to meet demand.
Of course, if you have a limited data plan, you could also experience slow speeds (or no speed at all) once you’ve used up all your data for the month. You’ll want to upgrade to a bigger data plan or swap providers to help turn those speeds around. If that’s out of your price range, you can also try spacing out your data usage more across the month to avoid hitting that cap.
VPN Use and Other Settings
While VPN’s (or virtual private networks) are great for adding extra security to your data and spoofing different locations, it’s not so great at bringing your reliable data speed. This is because a VPN works by taking all the data you send and filtering it through a private network before it hits the Internet. Even though this happens in less than a second, the delay between networks still means that your data speed gets slashed down.
So, if you don’t plan on handling sensitive data, try switching off your VPN the next time you use mobile data.
While we’re on the subject of network settings, it’s also worth looking to see if you have the data saver option turned on. Disabling this option will increase your data consumption, but also give a slight speed boost.
Your Phone is Clogged Up
How many data-using apps do you have open at one time? Having too many of these apps open at once divides your speed into small pieces to give each app something, meaning you’ll end up with a lot of slow apps. Close any apps that aren’t in use and try to only keep one or two open at a time to maintain peak data speed.
That said, sometimes the data clog comes from your phone’s memory getting overstuffed, which saps speed for all tasks your phone runs (even those that don’t require data). Get rid of old files, or clear your Internet browser cache. This removes temporary files your phone uses to recall information you’ve entered on websites.
Finally, sometimes your phone needs a quick restart. Whether it’s an OS update you missed that needs a restart to finish or a chance to purge some more temporary files, a restart can do wonders for data speed.
Back to Lightning-Fast Speeds
And that’s all there is to it! Now that you know about the different causes of slow mobile data and how to fix them, you’re equipped to bring your phone back up to lighting-fast data speed!
But what if your phone needs fixing or a tune-up to get back to its former glory? In that case, reach out to us and check out the wide variety of repair services we offer!