Do you remember the days when you used to connect to the Internet using a dial up modem? Well, me neither . . . not many do. The recent upgrades of ADSL broadband internet, and arrival of fiber, have made us complacent when it comes to the concept of fast Internet speed. Few even remember what the Internet speed of the olden days was like. Every now and again, though, we get a jolt when Internet browsing slows down to snail’s pace. This guide will show you how to remedy slow connections.
The “Speed” Test: Check to see if it is actually slow!
The first step is to see if the speed IS actually slow. Often we mistake the time spent watching the proverbial pot boil as slow Internet speed. To make sure your Internet is really slow, perform a speed test. Speed tests are hosted by loads of websites. They are as easy as A B C, and performed with a simple click.
Although the speed test is a very definite indicator, more often than not other indicators can also help you identify a slow broadband connection; a slow browser perhaps. Is your browser taking forever to load a web page? Do you feel like you’ve been waiting for a microwave minute for your email to open?
At times people notice that web pages, be they simple HTML pages, or complex Flash ones, are taking forever to load. This was caused by an increased traffic base on broadband internet, or in technical terms a slow access speed. Increased numbers of users on a single cable tends to slow down the Internet traffic cutting down your access speed by nearly half. Virgin Media were reported to have real problems with this in 2012. Companies are forking out millions to upgrade their networks and increase their capacity.
Identify and Rectify
Guesswork is a waste of time when it comes to fixing broadband internet. Instead of speculating about the reasons for the slow Internet, logically find out what the problems are. Speed test wired and wirelessly, and if possible through the test plug on the master BT socket. This will show you if the problem is on the line, the setup or in wireless connection.
Problems on the line
If you find there are problems on the line then call your provider. They can do a line test to see if there are cable or exchange problems. If there is a problem engineers will get on the case. Normally, the problem will be escalated to BT Open reach if you are not already with BT. BT manage most of the engineering problems.
Set Up Problems
Your router should be plugged in to the main telephone socket. The cable between the router and the socket should be high quality and only a meter or two long. Micro filters should be place on the line. Electronic devices should be kept away from the router to prevent electronic interference.
Wireless problems are a result of either interference or obstructions
Interference happens when the wireless signal cannot pass to the connecting device due to competing signals in the airwaves. If you live in an area with multiple networks in the locale then they might interfere with your connection. If this is the case then a premium router with different frequencies may bypass the interference. Electronic and wireless devices can also cause interference. Often the wireless thermostat of the boiler, or a baby monitor, can break the wireless connection.
Obstructions come in different shapes and sizes. The floors and ceilings can be obstructions. Old house often have chicken wire in the walls, which is a perfect shield for internet frequencies. Furniture can even obstruct the passage of the wireless signal.
To solve wireless problems:
- Connect within line of sight of the router
- Raise the router a few meters. Perhaps put it on a shelf
- Buy a repeater to relay the signal
- Use a Home plug system
- Run Ethernet cables around your home
Remember the solutions you have to problems so you can do quick fixes if the same issue resurfaces.
Here are ideas to help your approach to the problem:
- Make sure you have micro filters into your sockets. These split the voice and data strands and therefore decrease the noise on the line; a significant contributor to poor internet connectivity.
- Take a logical approach to problem solving. Trial and error works, but better is to identify the problem and logically go through the possible solutions.
- Always check for the simple and easy solution first. Very often it is the simplest solutions that work for the most complex of problems. So stay calm, don’t panic and go for the easy answer. Most of the time it WILL work. Is the router switched on?
- Speak to a professional: Your Internet Service Providers are there for a reason. Don’t be afraid to pick up that phone and call up their customer care helpline. Not only do these people have loads of helpful material, they know specifically about your setup and can help you fix your broadband connection problem in a jiffy (Hopefully!)
- Think about a switch: Doing a broadband comparison might throw up better connection opportunities. It may be that your service provider is not up to the job. You may have to sit out your current contract, but you may be able to negotiate exit. Fiber broadband may be available in your area and may drastically increase your connection speed and reliability.
So… in the future if you see your Internet connection speed plummeting, just try out the micro filter trick. If it works then Hallelujah! If not, well then – no harm done. If you have any more tricks to boost up your Internet speed, share them. Even if it seems the most basic idea, and one that you think people will laugh at, do not be afraid to share. It might help someone out someday. So do you have any tips?
A speed test was really useful when Phil Turner was concerned he was not getting the service he was paying for. He decided to change his provider and found a great deal using uSwitch