How Does Processor Speed Affect Internet Speed?

A computer’s CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the central hub for controlling all of the interactions between your commands and the applications you’re using on your computer. It’s the brains of the whole operation so to speak. The speed of your processor determines how fast information is handled by the hardware. So, let’s get down to it: does your processor speed really impact your internet speed? 

Yes, the Processor Speed Matters—Somewhat

When you have a powerful, quick processor in your computer, your applications can handle information at a faster speed. The load that you are putting on your CPU will have an effect on how long it takes a webpage to load. That means if you have a bunch of tabs and applications open, and you’re trying to watch an episode of your favourite show, you might notice that it seems a little slow. However, this technically has not slowed down the download speed from your internet service provider. You can still get a consistent 30 Mbps, for instance,  but the loading of a webpage can still be slow. 

Factors Besides Processor Speed Matter Too

While your processor speed can have an influence on internet speed; there are a few other factors that can impact your internet speed besides your CPU capacity.

The Network Interface Card

 A network interface card allows your computer to communicate with your Local Area Network (LAN) and without it, you can not connect to the internet. These come in internal and external options and a variety of speeds from 10 Mbps to 1000 Mbps. If you have one near the lower end, this might be a serious culprit in slow internet speed. 

Random Access Memory (RAM)

The RAM capacity of the computer or tablet can also have a significant impact on internet speed. The higher the RAM, the more lightning quick it will seem because the computer can move between functions and applications much faster. For many users, anything over 2 MB will do, unless you have a gamer in the house that needs to support a sophisticated graphics card that is!

The Router

To find out if your router may be affecting your internet speed, conduct a couple of internet speed tests: one with your router and the other with it off and connected to the ethernet cable. If there is a major discrepancy, your router is probably the reason. The newest routers have the capability to handle up to 5 GHz and a whopping 9,600 Mbps (not that any ISPs are at that level of speed yet!). Suffice to say, if you have a router older than 2014, it’s time to think about upgrading.

As you can tell, the answer is a bit nebulous and inconclusive to say the least on this issue! What we can recommend is that when you are purchasing a computer or tablet, discuss your usage patterns and habits in detail with the sales representative so they can ensure they set you up with the right network interface card and RAM for your requirements. Also, make sure you read the specs on your router carefully when you purchase one. If you have questions, contact us. We would be glad to make some recommendations on technology that performs well with the connectivity issues in rural areas.