Internet speed varies depending on the speed of the connection, hardware supporting the connection, computer condition and network demands. Strains on the network or hardware, such as heavy use or outdated parts, slows down the speed of surfing the web.
The hardware used to connect to the web can slow everything down, even if the speed of the Internet from the provider is fast. On wireless networks, the router is a key component in speed. An outdated router or improper routing settings can slow the Internet. Connecting to a router that is not physically close to the computer can also slow Internet speed.
The computer's hardware and use is another factor. A slower processor or little available memory in the computer can make the Internet seem slow. Viruses and malware also tend to slow everything. Lots of programs running is another computer-based problem that interferes with the Internet.
An unsecured Wi-Fi network allows others to connect, and having several users connected to a network slows down the Internet for everyone. Even on a secured network, connecting with multiple devices, such as smartphones, computers and gaming networks, can slow down the connection. High traffic on the Internet provider's system or on specific websites can also reduce Internet speed.