If you’ve felt a decrease in the performance of your computer, then you are not imagining things. As overworked as you are due to the pandemic, your PC or Mac is feeling the pressure too. 

March 2020 has revealed the figures and showed that Internet usage has increased by 70 percent due to the work from home setup that most companies and academic institutions have adapted to. Business owners, employees, and students alike are connected to platforms like Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, and Zoom all day long and once the day is over, spend the evenings queued up on Hulu or online shopping. 

With all these activities, repeatedly done every day, your computer collects tons of data and files. Eventually, these will all clog up the system. Aside from that, you might also be picking up poor computer-hygiene habits.  

Here are 5 reasons as to why your PC or Mac has been underperforming lately. 

1. You are working from home

Before the pandemic struck, you wake up in the morning and get ready to head on to your office. You leave your computer at home and it relaxes until you get home at the end of the day, start it up and do idle browsing. However, that is no longer the case the moment you were confined at home for work or classes. 

As of the moment, your computer device is under the constant demand for teleconferencing, continuous Slack chats, and Microsoft Office tasks. And your neighbors as well. The nonstop activity can weigh down your broadband connection significantly.

2. You are using VPN

Photo: Getty

A virtual private network, also known as VPN, provides a secure Internet connection and helps you hide your IP address and prevent websites from tracking you. It is wise to protect your Internet connection, especially now that your current life is revolving online, and this includes paying your bills and shopping. 

But VPN exerts more effort to route you through an additional server and can slow your connection to a crawl. 

3. Your computer is overheating

If you love watching Netflix in bed, make sure to prop your laptop up on a hard surface to allow airflow. Setting your laptop down on your bed, or any soft surface that constricts the air from being let out is dangerous. If you hear your laptop’s fan whirling to no end, know that your machine is overheating. In the long run, this can severely damage your computer as well. 

4. Zoom

Photo: Getty

Zoom is a great application that peaked during the pandemic. It allows meetings and classes to take place effortlessly, as well as family reunions and even catching up with friends. But the thing is, Zoom takes up a lot of Internet bandwidth. 

If your Internet is unstable to begin with, Zoom will slow down even more, resulting in glitchier video conferencing. 

5. Too full of cookies

You might have noticed that websites nowadays prompts up a window asking you to accept cookies to proceed. Computer cookies let websites remember you and track your activity and even sell you products down the road. They are able to do this because they’ve been keeping tabs on what you are looking for. 

Kristine Solomon described this as “cookies are essentially little digital files, and as each embeds itself one by one in your system, your computer eventually has a “belly” full of cookies and is too “full” to perform properly.”