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.


House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

FiOS problems: The potholes in Verizon's fiber internet and how to fix them

Verizon FiOS offers no just fiber internet, but TV and home phone service as well. See what kind of problems, issues, and trouble other Verizon FiOS users have reported before you decide to sign up for the service.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Home Theater

Banish the buffer screen with these tips for silky smooth streaming video

If you’ve been having troubles with streaming Internet videos from Netflix and other services in HD, the problem may be your network. Here’s how to make sure your streaming video experience goes smoothly.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.