There is nothing more annoying than your broadband suddenly slowing while you broadcast your favorite show. Here’s how you can bring things up to speed.
First, you must make the actual speed you get. To do this just visit a speed test site, we like Speed Test. From there, click start and it will tell you your upload and download speed. The UK average download speed is about 22.8Mbps last year.
Sometimes there is very little you can do about it. If you live far from your local telephone exchange, for example, and you still have a copper connection, then you are doomed to suffer slow speeds until better alternatives become available.
However, if your phone lines are able to provide faster broadband speeds you get, there are some DIY tricks you can use to improve your chances of getting a faster signal.
telecoms experts broadbandchoices.co.uk helped come up with the following list of ways to maximize the connection speed:
1. Test your speed
If you have not already done so, use a speed tester to measure the level of your broadband connection is running. This will allow you to see what difference the following suggestions make to your speed.
2. Update your browser
There are updates being made all the time for browsers, so using the latest version should always significantly reduce the time it takes to surf and download web pages. If your browser is always awkward, consider moving the software completely. For example, Internet Explorer users can instantly obtain a gain by switching to Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
3. Reposition your router
The position of your router can have a significant effect on the quality of your wireless connection. Place it in an area where the signal will be affected by the fewer obstacles and little interference as possible. For example, away from appliances which emit wireless signals (eg cordless phones, baby monitors) and obstacles preventing (such as walls and doors) between the router and your computer. Ideally it should be set up – on a shelf, for example.
4. Check your Wi-Fi settings
Your router has many different parameters that can affect your wireless broadband signal that can be modified and adjusted to help get the best speeds. For example, making sure to use a different wireless channel your neighbors can reduce interference and fall speed for both. Consult your manual for instructions on how to adjust these settings.
5. Secure your network
If you have wireless broadband, the first and foremost thing you need to do is secure your wireless network. If you are unwittingly sharing your connection with unauthorized users then they will be using valuable bandwidth. This means that the speed of your connection and download allowance could take the hits, not to mention the security threat it poses.
6. Use less bandwidth
There are many applications (such as Skype or Windows Updates) that may discreetly start running when you connect to your computer and these may slow your connection down without even realizing it. Set these applications so they do not automatically run this should reduce your bandwidth overhead and make a noticeable difference to your connection speed. Find out what works on a PC by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del to display your task manager.
7. Establish a iPlate
If you can not get anywhere with your speed, mounting a iPlate BT (about £ 5) is an option for you. Also known as a broadband accelerator, it connects to your phone jack and gets rid of a lot of potential interference there. In some cases, a iPlate can stimulate broadband speed by 60 percent – although there is no guarantee in this regard.
8. Expand your wireless network
If you have problems with wireless, you can invest in a wireless repeater. These improve your wireless range, bouncing the signal over a larger area. You can also add a powerline adapter online. These use the wiring in your home to send a wireless signal around. Whenever you have a free outlet, you’ll be able to place a wireless access point. This option is much more expensive, but it is often much more effective.
9. Stop using wireless
A wireless connection will always be slower than a cable. When you configure a wireless network, you should expect a bit of a drop in speed – no problem for people with fast connections, but for those whose movements as an exhausted broadband snail, it may not be the best choice. So try to connect directly via ethernet cable if you can. You will probably find better speeds and if you do not, it means that the problem may be with your provider, not your equipment.
10. Traffic congestion
The time of day when you go online can greatly affect connection speeds. When many people try to access the Internet at the same time there is an increase in traffic on the physical phone lines and servers in each site. Heaviest traffic is usually in the evening, to benefit from the fastest speeds you should try to surf when internet traffic is low, generally in the day or late at night. If you have heavy downloading to do, you will get the fastest download speeds during off-peak periods.
11. It’s good to talk
If you do not get what you expected from your ISP, then give them a call. You might be able to increase your connection speed simply by asking them if they can identify a fault on the line, taking remedial action for you. Alternatively, if you were on the same package for a long time – 12 months or more your package could be exceeded. Not only can the fastest options available, you may be paying more than you need. It’s up to you which ones are worse.
After all these measures, if your current package still does not give you the speed you want, it may be time to switch suppliers. Use Ofcom accredited comparison calculator to compare broadband deals and find a more suitable package for you.