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Should I Upgrade My Internet? 11 Signs It’s Time

Date Published:  May 20th, 2024Date Updated:  May 20, 2024

You know the feeling all too well. You’re in the middle of an important, vital task online when bam! – the internet comes to a grinding crawl. Or worse, you lose connection all together, again. If poor, slow, or inadequate service are part of your daily online routine, it may be time for an internet upgrade.

But how do you know when it’s time to make a change? Not to worry, we’ll go over 11 signs you should be on the lookout for if you’re thinking about upgrading your home internet.

1. Slow or unreliable connectivity

The tell-tale sign that you need a new internet plan is slow service. If you feel that your internet is slow, trust that your hunches are probably correct! But if you’re unsure, you can always check with an internet speed test.

The internet is all about user experience, so if your connection is inadequate, it’s time for an upgrade.

Signs you have slow and unreliable internet

  • Constant buffering
  • Sluggish connection during peak hours
  • Frequent disconnections
  • Dropped calls
  • Dead zones
  • Slower speeds when more users and/or devices join your network

If this sounds familiar, your internet might be telling you it’s time for a boost.

2. Insufficient bandwidth for multiple devices

Remember when having just a computer connected to the internet was enough? Those days are long gone. In a household bustling with smartphones, smart home devices, and other connected gadgets, having the right bandwidth is crucial. If your internet is struggling under the weight of multiple devices, this is a clear sign you need an upgrade.

3. Slowdowns with multiple users

Do things grind to a halt when the whole family is online? Do you begrudgingly share the Wi-Fi password when company is over, knowing it will slow down your connection?

If your internet can’t keep up with everyone’s needs, it’s time to consider a plan that embraces everyone’s online activities. A proper internet connection won’t have significant drops when several people are online at the same time. Higher bandwidth plans are your solution.

4. Dead zones in your home

Have you ever walked into a room or an area of your home and lost connection randomly? But when you leave that area, you resume connection? You’ve just crossed over into, “The Dead Zone.”

You might be aware of dead zones when it comes to your cell phone, but they’re a common experience for users with poor internet connection at home for their computers, tablets, and other smart devices. Wi-Fi dead zones are areas where the signal weakens or drops entirely. It could be a sign that you need a WiFi extender or booster, or that there’s an issue with your router’s location. But it can also mean that the service you currently use isn’t capable of reaching your entire home.

5. Fiber is coming to your neighborhood

If your neighbor is bragging about his new high-speed fiber connection or internet providers have let you know that fiber is available in your area, take it as a sign to switch to a higher speed!

Fiber is an evolving technology, offering the fastest internet speeds we’ve ever seen in residential areas. Unfortunately, it’s not always available, but thanks to technological advancements, it’s expanding at a rapid rate, especially in cities and high-density neighborhoods.

The arrival of fiber internet in your area is like the digital equivalent of striking gold. This technology offers superior speed and reliability, and if it’s becoming available nearby, it’s definitely worth considering a switch.

Want to learn more about fiber internet? Check out our blog post on what fiber internet is and the nitty gritty of this internet technology.

6. Dropped or buffering video calls

Whether you’re on a meeting with your boss or wishing grandma a happy birthday, you’re video calls are important. Constant interruptions from lag, buffering, or dropped video calls due to poor service can ruin these moments.

An upgraded internet service can provide the stability and speed required for clear and uninterrupted video calls.

7. Higher rates and bills

No one wants a higher internet bill. You may have noticed that with each passing year or even billing cycle, you’re paying more and more for the same, low-quality service.

If you’re facing increasing costs for your current internet service without an increase in value or performance, it’s time to explore your options. Upgrading your service might offer not only better performance but also more value for your money.

8. Data caps and throttling

Are you constantly hitting your data limit, leading to throttled speeds or additional charges?

Constantly reaching your data limit each billing cycle is a sign it’s time for more data. An upgrade to a plan with higher or no data caps can give you the freedom to use the internet as you please, without worrying about hitting limits.

Curious how to tell if your internet is being throttled? Check out our blog post here.

9. Poor quality of streaming and gaming

If your leisure time is marred by constant buffering or game lag, it’s a clear sign that your internet speed isn’t up to par. A better connection, like with fiber internet, can transform your entertainment experience.

10. Changes in lifestyle or work habits

Has your home become an office or a classroom? Changes in how you use your internet – like increased remote work or online learning – might mean your current plan no longer fits your lifestyle.

Reevaluate your internet requirements and upgrade your plan.

11. Frequent outages and poor customer service

Dealing with regular internet outages and unhelpful customer service can make any online experience dreadful. Reliable service and supportive customer care are key to a hassle-free internet experience. Not only should you consider an internet upgrade, you should switch providers.

The evolving landscape of residential internet

As our reliance on the internet grows, so does the need for speed and reliability. Whether it’s for smart home devices, remote work, online entertainment, or the latest in fiber technology, a strong and steady internet connection has become indispensable in our daily lives.

Here are some of the ways that trends and technologies have impacted the way we do home internet:

Smart homes demand smart connections

The rise of smart home technology requires seamless internet service that can handle numerous connected devices without a hitch.

Work from home revolution

The remote work trend demands consistent and fast internet speeds to ensure productivity and professional connectivity.

Entertainment at the forefront

High-definition streaming, online gaming, and virtual reality experiences are redefining entertainment, necessitating higher bandwidth and lower latency.

Residential fiber internet

Embracing the latest in internet technology, residential fiber internet offers unparalleled speed and reliability. This option is ideal for households seeking an advanced solution to meet the demands of high-bandwidth activities, ensuring a smooth and efficient online experience in every aspect of home life.

Earthlink’s commitment to your connectivity

At EarthLink, we connect you to what matters most. In order to do that, we offer tailored internet plans ranging from high-speed fiber-optic connections to reliable wireless options. No matter what plan you choose, we’ll make sure your internet service aligns with your lifestyle and needs.

Are you ready to upgrade your internet experience? Contact Earthlink today to explore our range of high-speed internet options designed for your modern digital needs.

Give our internet experts a call at 866-618-0264 to find the perfect plan for you.


Noticing these signs in your daily life? It might be time to think about an upgrade. A reliable, fast internet service isn’t just a convenience – it’s a necessity for staying connected in today’s world. Remember, a great internet service is key to keeping up with our digital world, whether for work, learning, or fun.

Maddy Hogan

Maddy Hogan

Maddy Hogan, a copywriter for EarthLink, is a New Englander by birth, raised in the South, and a Hoosier at heart. A graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington's Media School, she brings her unique voice and insights to publications like The Island Packet, The Cherokee Tribune, The Atlanta Business Chronicle, and The Marietta Daily Journal. When she's not writing, Maddy is passionate about traveling, art, reading, movies, well-timed memes, and her two kitties.

See all posts from Maddy Hogan.