The slowest Internet in the country can be found in four very surprising cities

social media isnt just for youngsters anymore new research finds senior citizen internet
Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock
If you think your Internet is absurdly slow, like 1990s dial-up slow, you may be painfully correct if you live in one of four major cities that suffer from some of the worst Internet connections in the country. According to researchers at M-Lab, which gauges Internet performance using their own suite of tools, AT&T customers in Chicago, Century Link users in Seattle, Time Warner Cable Users in New York and Verizon users in Washington, D.C., experience some of the most offensive speeds for loading websites and other Internet services in the entirety of the United States. And given the high density populations of each of these large cities, this Internet problem is no small issue.

So what’s going on? As CNN explains, Internet service providers, like the aforementioned companies, strike up interconnection deals with “tier-1 networks that serve the Internet’s content to the world.” But when numerous people are trying to access the Internet at the same time during peak hours, these service providers require a toll from tier-1 networks as payment for all the business they’re driving their way. This, of course, doesn’t always sit so well with the networks, and rather than swallowing their pride, broadband companies instead send fewer customers at a time to these tier-1s, which means that some Internet users suffer through incredibly long delays when trying to access the Internet.

The slight silver lining is that not all Internet speeds are slow all the time — in fact, it’s only during peak times during which these cities have serious delays on their hands, and generally for only an hour or so at a time. In Seattle, it’s between 9 and 10 p.m. and in New York, it’s from 8 to 9 p.m. (if you’re a Time Warner customer — Verizon customers have to be patient between 7 and 11 p.m.). Chicago and Washington, D.C. have to deal with longer windows of delays, with the former sometimes putting up with slow speeds that last for seven hours, from 4 pm to 11 pm. D.C. is problematic from 7 pm to 10 pm.

But in happier news for the rest of America, around 97 percent of customers can access the Internet at advertised speeds during their own peak times. But apparently, if you’re living in one of the buzzing metropolises of the United States, prepare to go back to the 20th century when it comes to website visits.

Smart Home

Looking for smart home gadgets? Check out Lowe’s Black Friday deals

Lowe's is planning a whole bunch of significant price cuts on some popular internet-connected devices that can help you automate and connect your home. The deals will be available this Black Friday.

The best new music this week: Charles Bradley, Muse, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: Charles Bradley, J Mascis, Muse, and Smino.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Don't take your provider's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.

Edit, sign, append, and save with 12 of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

Zoom in on famous works through the Art Institute of Chicago’s new website

Art lovers, listen up. The Art Institute of Chicago has given its website a serious makeover with new features that let you get up close and personal with more than 50,000 artworks by famous (and not so famous) artists.

Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

Comcast's low-cost Internet Essentials program, which provides internet access for just $10 per month, has expanded to include U.S. veterans. One million veterans now qualify for the service.