5 Top Causes of Poor Network Performance and How to Fix Them

Encountering slow network performance in any business is never fun. If the network is slow, it means that all the workers are experiencing delays in completing all their tasks. This often leads to frustration and stress. Often times, network speeds can be improved with minimal costs. However, before improving the network speeds, one needs to know what is causing the network to slow to a snail’s pace. There are top five causes associated with poor network performance.

Duplex and Speed Mismatches


A duplex mismatch is kind of like two cars trying to pass one another on a one way street while going in opposite directions. Only one will be able to pass. When there is a full duplex, the PC is able to send and receive data at the same time, like a two way street. In a mismatch, the PC can only do one or the other, causing a slowdown of the network. Keeping with the street analogy, a speed mismatch is when there are five lanes of traffic trying to merge into one lane. Collisions will occur, and in the case of speed mismatches, packets of information get dropped.

What is the fix?

This cause of poor network performance is often the result of using consumer-grade equipment and/or misconfigurations. While it is one of the easiest problems to solve (for example, purchase business-grade equipment), it is often overlooked.

Old Equipment

Numerous small businesses purchase equipment and then continue to use it beyond its “shelf-life.” If equipment is not updated regularly, it will struggle to keep up with ever increasing workloads

What is the fix?

Upgrading old equipment will have a dramatic effect on improving overall productivity as the network will start working much better and much faster.


Users can be somewhat malicious, even if they do not know it. Browsing YouTube and downloading items from the internet will cause the internet connection to slow down and create serious network performance issues.

What is the fix?

Again, as mentioned before, networks need to be monitored. However, all employees should informed of acceptable Internet usage and if necessary sign an acceptable usage agreement

Malicious Activity


Even though at work, on free moments, workers will check personal emails and visit websites, sometimes causing the introduction of viruses, malware and spyware into the network. This causes all the PCs to slow down and create more traffic because the PCs have to work that much harder.

What is the fix?

Businesses should constantly run up-to-date antivirus programs and have the network monitored for any possible malicious activity.

Poor Network Design

Sometimes networks are never able to reach their full potential due to poor network design which causes poor performance.

What is the fix?

Before designing a network, businesses should do a thorough investigation to guarantee the network solutions created meet all the business needs. Often times, poor network design can be fixed easily to aid in achieving maximum performance.

Poor network performance will slow down the entire operation of a business. When this occurs, businesses are slowed down, even grinded to a halt, causing them to lose business and money. If a business finds that its network performance is poor, they need to find the cause and deal with it swiftly and efficiently to get back to business as usual.

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