5 Ways to Speed up your Broadband
We have all been there. You sit down to watch a movie on Netflix – snacks and mug of tea in hand, and then it strikes. That abhorrent little spinning circle comes up and the film grinds to a halt.
Or you load up your favourite web browser to get on with some important work and instead of loading up the page, it just sits there. It tells you that it’s opening the page, but all you have is a white screen and a spinning blue portent of doom – taunting you whilst failing to perform the very simple task you have requested of it.
Yes, my friends, we are talking about broadband slow down. We have all experienced it, but it can be difficult to know what to do about it when it happens. Fear not however, as we are here you to furnish you with our top five ways to speed up your broadband.
Understanding your Service
I’m sure that you have already contacted your provider’s technical support and jumped through several frustrating automated hoops, only to be told that everything is fine and working as it should be? Then it is time to do a little research for yourself into the ins and outs of your broadband service.
Ignore the adspeak that claims “up to Xmb” as these can be rather misleading. Your speed will degrade due to things such as your distance from the exchange and the quality of your wiring. Run a speed test for yourself to make sure that you’re not already running at maximum speed and to get a more realistic impression of your line’s capabilities.
Also make sure that you aren’t exceeding your maximum download allowance each month. It used to be that providers would charge you for this heinous crime, but these days they will often reduce your maximum speed cap instead. They will normally notify you before this happens, but it is best to keep abreast of your usage all the same.
Processing Power and Security
Check your computer for any applications that are running in the background. Many apps will sit there unobtrusively, but they are often running processes such as checking for updates or performing uploads. If you find your internet running slow on a regular basis, it may be worth making sure these apps are shut down or turning off their automatic functions.
Also make sure that you have robust and up to date anti-virus software installed. Few things are worse for grinding computers to a halt that the plethora of malicious applications that are out there, searching for an unprotected system.
Finally, and I realise that this should seem obvious to most, but you would be surprised at how many neglect this – password protect you WI-FI network. Without a password, anyone in the vicinity of your router can piggyback your service and the more people using it – the slower it will become.
The slow speed of your service may be down to the wiring in your home, or the sockets that you have installed.
Try not to use extension cables unless they are of a really high quality. Lower quality extension won’t be up to the task of supporting high speed internet connections and will degrade your speed considerably. If you need to extend the service lines, then it is best to use an Ethernet cable if you can as these are designed to carry internet signals and won’t downgrade your service.
Use a microfilter on all non-internet devices (phones, faxes etc.) connected to the line. Microfilters are designed to prevent these devices from causing interference on the line that can disrupt your broadband service.
Lastly (and your engineer should have told you this when they installed your service) always use the telephone master socket to connect your modem/router. All of the other sockets fan out from this point, so you will get the best speeds direct from the source.
It could be that you are using a cheaper or outdated modem or router that just is not up to the task of carrying your service effectively. Just as a cheap stereo is unlikely to give you as good a sound as a pricier one, the same goes for your internet equipment. Buy nice – don’t buy twice.
It could also be that you need to upgrade your broadband package itself. If you have had the same deal for a long time, them it may be worth contacting your supplier to see if you can get a faster speed – and a better deal.
Wired vs. Wireless
Wireless internet is amazing, but it is not without its issues. Thick walls, electrical devices and many more factors can disrupt and interfere with a wireless signal. Run a comparison test using a wireless and wired connection respectively. If the wired one is significantly faster then consider moving things around so that you can wire your devices directly.
There you go – 5 ways to try and get yourself out of a buffering nightmare and back to enjoying your internet the way that nature intended. Please let us know if you have found any good ways to get your speeds up that we have neglected. Oh, and now that Netflix is up and running again, watch Sense8 – It’s brilliant.