Internet speed  

Check your speed

Top tips to improve your broadband speed

If you have recently experienced problems with the speed of your Internet connection, read on. This article will outline what you need to know about broadband performance and what to do if you experiencing any problems with the speed. Below are some top tips for dealing with slow broadband connections:

Tip 1: Check your provider's service plan

Is your Internet service really slow or are you expecting too much of it? This is a question that all customers need to ask before investigating their connection speed. Some customers may be living in an area that has an older, slower broadband infrastructure. Perhaps you have experienced very fast Internet in the workplace, and so you really notice the difference in your home environment.

Before running any investigations into your Internet speed check the details of your service contract with your broadband provider first. Find out what range of connectivity speed they guarantee. You might be surprised by what you discover.

Tip 2: Test your speed

If you've checked your service plan, and you still believe you are experiencing a slow Internet connection, the next step is to run some tests. There are free tools available on the web that will allow you to check the speed of your broadband line. They are straightforward to use, even for customers with little to no technical experience, and they will provide you with two numbers: one number will be your upload speed, and the other will be your download speed. It is typically the download speed that broadband provider quotes in their advertising, so this will be the number you are interested in. Compare it to your service provider's claims and see if they are dramatically different.

Do note, however, that many broadband company's quote a maximum Internet speed in their advertising, and this figure is not always guaranteed. You might find this if you look at the small print at the bottom of a television advert, for example. If this is the case, your broadband carrier might be able to provide you with a speed that is slightly slower than advertised. Note the word 'slightly'; the speed should still be within the same region of what is advertised and not wildly different. If you feel that the speed is notably slowly than what has been advertised, make a complaint to your Internet provider.

Tip 3: Check your router

If your Internet access has been installed recently, you might need to consider whether slow connection speeds are the result of a badly installed setup. The first item to check is your router. Look through the installation manual and ensure that you have followed the setup exactly as instructed. If the installation looks ok, try moving the router to a different part of the house. You may be experiencing a poor signal on the router, and simply moving it to a different location can solve your speed problems.

Tip 4: Speak to your broadband provider

Normally, a quick call to your Internet carrier will help solve a speed problem. A technical support representative will be able to talk you through the problem on the phone and they may ask you to carry out some small tests during the call, such as checking the connection to your telephone socket. Alternatively, many providers now have a help section on their website with some tests you can run to investigate speed problems. If you are confident investigating the issue yourself without any assistance, looking through these guides is a good place to start.

Tip 5: Check with other members of your household

Remember, you are sharing your broadband with the rest of your house. You should always check with the rest of your family to see whether anyone is doing anything on the internet that could slow down connection for the rest of the household. For example, if a family member is downloading a movie, this will almost definitely cause a performance hit for the rest of the house.

Tip 6: Check your hardware

Have you considered that the issue may be your PC and not your broadband connection? Check all hardware you are using to connect to the internet, and if possible test on different PCs to see if there is any variance in the speed.

Tip 7: Buy a signal booster

You can purchase a signal booster for your router. If you think the performance problem you are experiencing is due to a poor signal, or signal interference, then a booster might be a worthwhile investment to help improve the speed.

Many Internet speeds are easily solved by carrying out a small amount of investigation. If you are not comfortable carrying out the tests yourself, you can always speak to your broadband company and ask for some assistance. Remember, you don't need to just accept a slow Internet connection; you can do something to solve the problem.

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