How Computer Viruses Affect Internet Speed


Unusually slow internet speeds? If it’s not your network, it could be a case of the computer flu.

Virtual viruses

Every now and then, even technology takes a sick day. Computer viruses are a common type of malware designed to wreak havoc on your computer system. When a virus infects your computer, its code can corrupt data, damage programs, delete files, reformat your hard drive and even spread itself to other unsuspecting victims. In a lot of ways, computer viruses work like actual viruses—just with freezing instead of sneezing.

Internet symptom checker

So, you’re experiencing internet speed-induced headaches. You’ll need some information to diagnose what’s getting your computer down. Think of it like this: a runny nose could be a symptom of anything from seasonal allergies to a sinus infection. Slow internet speed doesn’t point to a single problem; it can result from a variety of different underlying issues.

If you’re dealing with predictably slow internet at certain times of the day, your internet service provider could be to blame. Since coaxial cables are often shared, they can get overloaded during peak hours of internet use. You may want to consider upgrading to a fiber-optic network, which has a higher base capacity for digital data.

Slow internet speed can also indicate that your computer has contracted a virus. Some types of malware infect computer applications—including web browsers. The slow speeds you’re seeing could be the result of malware opening multiple browser tabs and windows in the background. This floods your network with traffic that it can’t support—resulting in subpar connection speeds. The recommended course of treatment? Download a reputable malware removal software, or turn your computer over to an IT professional you trust.

Prevention is the best protection

You can’t give your computer a flu shot, but you can take action to reduce the risk of infection. The best defense against malware is smart surfing. Here are some quick tips:

  • Don’t open emails from unknown senders—and always avoid suspicious attachments.
  • Take a minute to increase your browser security preferences.
  • Don’t delay installing manufacturer updates. They can contain vital security improvements.
  • Avoid downloading applications, games or media files from questionable or illegal sites.
  • Exercise caution when browsing unfamiliar webpages. It just takes one bad link to compromise your computer.
  • Back up your files and programs to an external hard drive so you’ll always have a copy of important digital data.

Want more easy ways to outsmart spam and keep your computer safe from malware? We’ve got you covered. Here’s to happy (and healthy) browsing!


About Author


Kara graduated from Clemson University with degrees in English and Communication Studies. As any good Tiger alumna would, she live-tweets every Clemson football game and wears way too much orange. When she’s not training to become a Pokémon master, she creates content to help bridge the gap between the real world and the virtual world.

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