It’s no secret; people want their machines to run fast. That’s why people who know very little about computers will spend so much money making sure they have the most ram and the latest processor with all the bells and whistles. Even though they have only a vague idea of how any of these parts work, people know that in the world of technology, more = faster.

These same people get their machines home and then hook them up to the fastest internet connection they can afford and then set about to check their email, do their banking, go onto Facebook etc. – you know, the typical things the average computer users do with their machines – then, they’re shocked when they still find they have to wait for stuff to load.

Why is that? Why is it that you can spend an enormous amount of money making sure you have the latest and greatest hardware and fastest internet connection and yet, some things you click on take so long to load it looks like the computer’s frozen?

Click... Little circle spinning thing… and then, nothing.

I get asked this question frequently, here’s one way I try to answer.

Imagine your computer isn’t a computer, imagine it’s a car. Not just any car, it’s a Ferrari that costs five times as much as your typical car and it’s capable of cruising around at 200 Mph without breaking a sweat. You want to use that car for typical things, going to work, your banking, going to the movies etc. and you bought this car so you could do these things as quickly as possible. You even bought a house right at the foot of the highway onramp so you could get on the road without wasting any time.

Now imagine it’s Monday morning at about 8:00 am and you hop in the car and peel out onto the onramp on the way to run some errands and all is well, here’s your exit coming up lickity split but what’s this? You turn off the off ramp and run into a traffic light and have to come to a complete stop! And it’s like this all across town! You creep along from one red light to the next along with all the other people out there trying to run their own errands and by the end of the day you realize your new Ferrari didn’t save you any time at all! You also find out very quickly that even though the speedometer goes up past 200, if you try to go that fast you’ll lose control and crash.

With the car analogy it’s easy to see what the issue is and I don’t think anyone would bring their Ferrari back to the shop and complain “you sold me a lemon; this thing is supposed to go 200 Mph and on the way over hear I couldn’t get it up past 50!” I think they’d laugh you out of the dealership.

But as a computer support specialist, I hear similar complaints every single day.

It’s 2019. Computer hardware is so incredibly advanced that even the cheapest, entry level computer is running at “Ferrari speeds.” And with most internet providers offering high speed connections right to the home, it’s like having a house right on the onramp. The onramp to the “information superhighway.”

The delay comes from the fact that so many of the things we use our computers for are dependent on that internet connection. Email, Facebook, online banking, all of that is dependent upon getting through traffic and (just like in our driving example) it’s a two way street – you’re going both ways! When you click something like email, your computer sends a message out through the internet to your mail server’s address with a request for the latest mail. Then, it has to make it back to your machine through that same traffic with whatever was in your inbox. Kind of like driving to your post office and then back home with the mail; it’s anything but instant.

The other half of the problem comes from the fact that people believe more = faster when it comes to computers. They think that just because the machine was so expensive and loaded with the latest technology, there shouldn’t be any delay at all. That causes people to click and then after waiting for just a breath or two declare “this thing isn’t working!” No, it’s working fine! You just need to be patient and wait.

Sean McCarthy fixes computers. He can be reached at 888-752-9049 or (No Hyphens!)

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