Diagnosing slow performance...

Kathy Barnett | May 28th, 2020



Are you experiencing problems connecting to your applicant tracking system while working from home?  Slow and non-existent internet connections are a widespread problem during this Covid-19 work from home period.  So much of the nation is working remotely that internet resources are stressed.  Several family members may be working, learning, playing games, socializing, and streaming news and entertainment online at the same time.

All this activity can make it hard to know precisely why your Internet speed is slow or inconsistent.  It is difficult to tell whether the issue stems from your internet provider or something else like a slow computer, faulty router, or problems caused by other devices.  To help you diagnose your connection issues, we created a list of steps to get you started with your troubleshooting.

Steps To Diagnose A Slow Connection

Step One - Check Your VPN

First, try to figure out if the issue is your home internet connection or your VPN.  To do this, you will need to test for performance differences when disconnected from your company's VPN.

First, access your applicant tracking system or another website while on your VPN.  Are you having trouble?  Disconnect from the VPN and try to access the same webpage.  If you notice an improvement in performance when disconnected from the VPN contact your IT team.  The problem is likely with your VPN and not your home internet connection.  

A common reason for having difficulty accessing specific websites from your VPN is your company's web filter.  A web filter limits access to certain websites based on their content.  Businesses use web filtering to increase workplace productivity and protect their network security.  The purpose of these tools is to reduce the risk of malicious software installations by preventing you from visiting unsafe websites.  The software blocks websites to prevent malware, ransomware, adware, and spyware from infecting your computer.  Your IT department can help you determine if the site you are trying to access is safe.

Step Two - Check Your Device

If your computer performance stayed the same whether you are on or off your VPN, it's time to try connecting with a different device.  If you were using your laptop in step one, try using a tablet or smartphone.  Make sure you disconnect the new device from your WIFI.  If there are no performance issues with the new device, the problem could be either your computer or your WIFI connection.  Now its time to check your WIFI speed.

Step Three - Check Your Speed

To test your WIFI speed, you can use a service like SpeedTest.org, which runs tests to determine the quality of your connection.  These tests are an easy way to reveal whether your computer's outbound connection is impaired.  When you conduct an Internet speed test, you receive results for both your download and upload speed.

Select the Start Speed Test button to test your connection and see your results.  SpeedTest.org displays results in Mb/s. The download speed usually is ten times faster than the upload speed.  For example:

 

You can then compare the figures you receive with the connection speeds with your internet plan.  Don't hesitate to contact your internet service provider (ISP) if you suspect the problem is on their end.  It is helpful to share the data from your speed test with your ISP because the test can help them isolate and diagnose your slow connection.  But don't automatically assume your ISP has done something wrong, and be sure to treat your customer service representative with respect. You're much more likely to get good results by being polite.

Step Four - Check For Outages

You may also want to check if there are any internet outages in your area using one of these internet tools:

 http://www.speedtest.net/

http://www.att.com/speedtest/

http://www.internethealthreport.com/

Step Five - Contact Your IT Department

If you have tried steps one through four above and still don't know the reason for your slow connection speed, you may want to conduct a traceroute test before contacting your IT department.  The Traceroute tool is useful for determining the response delays and routing loops preset in a network pathway across packet-switched nodes. It also helps to locate any points of failure encountered while en route to a specific destination.  Your IT department can use the results you supply them to help find the cause of your delays.

Instructions for running the Traceroute test:

Go to the Windows Start menu. Type "CMD"

When the Command Prompt window appears, type:

Tracert CadientTalent.com

(Replace "CadientTalent.com" with the name of the particular website you are trying to access)

When the test finishes, contact your IT helpdesk and share your results with them.

If having a slow Internet connection at the office is frustrating, it is even more so at home, and it can be challenging to pinpoint the problem.  Knowing that several different factors can cause or contribute to internet connection issues gives you a place to start looking for answers.  Conducting an internet speed test at a site such as SpeedTest.org is one way to help diagnose problems, and when all else fails, reach out to your ISP or IT department.

Kathy Barnett

Technical Support Engineer