Broadband is the steam engine invention of the twenty first century, it has powered a whole new digital industrial revolution. As broadband speeds’ potential increases exponentially, so do the possibilities of service, even television is going online now, the internet is speeding up and we all want to keep up with the fastest broadband speeds.
Simply switching to a different package with an increased bandwidth may not help that much. Although you’re paying for an extra ‘however many’ megabits per second, there are many factors on your network and in your home that can stop you receiving the speed you’re paying for.
There are a few tricky tips you can take away to help optimise your home’s broadband speeds.
Firstly: Test Your Broadband Speed
“Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted”. Armed with the contracted speed of your package (which should be listed in either your terms and conditions or the package summary provided to you upon signing up with your provider) you can then use one of the many speed testing sites. They will test both download speed and your upload speed. The best advice is to use 2 or 3 different sites by searching Bing or Google for ‘broadband speed tester’. Once you have a measurement of your broadband speed you can compare it to your area’s best speed and your contracted speed. Anything significantly slower means that you have room for improvement.
1. Use a cable instead of going wireless
When practical you should try plugging in your internet cable. Now this doesn’t just mean “remember to plug your internet in”, dongles can be extended with a USB cable which allows you to experiment with the best place to put the dongle for the best reception and therefore connection speed. Wireless routers come with the option of plugging in an RJ45 cable that goes between your laptop and the router, if you are using it within reach of the router then plugging in with the correct cable cuts out interference and improves the connection speed for data transfer.
2. Secure your Wireless Network
Another simple step, make sure your wireless network is password protected. It can be tempting to leave your network without a password to save time logging on with multiple devices, but this leaves the network vulnerable to anyone, who is within range of your wireless router, piggybacking on to the internet via your ‘paid for’ bandwidth. A password can help keep you protected against this and is a simple step that your router instruction book will show you how to do. Your mobile devices can be set to remember the login details.
3. Upgrade your Browser
Although using the most up to date browser won’t actually increase your bandwidth, it will run faster and more efficiently. There are a range of options other than just Internet Explorer; Firefox and Chrome are two of the major fast browsers and there are many others, and when an update is released one should allow the browser to update itself.
4. Avoid Peak Times
With almost every family in the country linked to the UK broadband network, there is a lot of traffic and that traffic, just the same as road traffic, will get jammed. Between 5pm and 10pm are the times when most people are surfing, keeping your surfing to off-peak times means you will enjoy a faster service.
So the struggle for faster broadband is a tale of hope; the frustration of stalling, stuttering and frozen video is temporary. You have the power to change the situation, try these tips and see how much you can improve your speed.