Are you fed up of your lazy Internet? Does a simple page take forever to load? Here is a list of the things you can do to improve your Internet speed, from quick basic tips all the way to more involved and longer solutions.
Basic Guidelines for a Faster Internet
1. Mess around with the router
Sometimes it is not the phone line or the provider that is the culprit of your slow connection, but the signal provided by the wireless router. Messing with your router can significantly improve the signals that you get, and thus increase your Internet speed. For a start you can move your wireless router around to improve the signal. The signal tends to get weaker when it passes through walls, so try to minimize the walls and other objects between your device and the router.
You should also remember that devices with an aluminum frame, or similar metallic bodies, get relatively poorer reception because shiny surfaces can cause signals to deflect off them, so next time be careful when buying a sparkly laptop.
Devices that operate in the same frequency range as your router – around 2.4GHz –can interfere with the signal. So make sure you keep your router far from Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens etc. Both the router that sends the signal and the device that is responsible for receiving the signal can play a part in poor wireless connectivity.
2. Use an Ethernet cable
If you want to completely avoid the problems caused by wireless signals then plugging in an Ethernet cable is the way forward.
A survey conducted by Epitiro, a network analyst, showed that typical broadband connections that used home Wi-Fi networks were up to 30% slower than the wired connections in the same area. This means that if you have a 50Mb connection, you are losing 15-20Mb to Wi-Fi. Ouch!
3. Revise your Internet package
If you are using the same Internet package for a couple of years, it could be that the package no longer meets your current usage requirements.
The speed that was sufficient for loading web pages and surfing the Internet a few years back may not be good enough for downloading movies whilst simultaneously playing World of Warcraft. If your current provider was the best a few years ago it doesn’t mean they still are. They may have fallen behind.
4. Analyze your Internet usage
Some Internet Service Providers might be suppressing your Internet connection according to their fair use policy. If you download a lot, and it seems that your connection is very slow most of the time, then it may be that your broadband provider is throttling your connection. You can check your provider’s broadband fair use policy online and see if you might be falling into their trap. If you think that the fair use policy of your current broadband provider is having a negative effect then you might want to switch to another provider with a more liberal policy. Alternatively, talk to your provider. You may just be able to upgrade package and solve the problem of traffic management through increase priority for your bandwidth.
It is also possible that your provider is providing service to too many people on your line. This can affect your speeds, even if you are a light user. If you normally use the Internet in the evening, which is peak time, then try using it in the morning to see if it makes a difference. If your Internet coughs and splutters during peak times then switching you ISP is probably the most viable solution.
5. Test your microfilters
Users that have ADSL connections are provided with microfilters, more commonly known as splitters. The microfilter’s job is to separate the phone signals from the ADSL. Without the microfilter, your connection will get a lot of disturbance from the phone signals and will cause deteriorated Internet performance.
You should check that the microfilter is the first thing that is plugged into your telephone line. Having a microfilter plugged in the line where your modem is won’t be enough. It is better to have microfilters plugged in to all the phone sockets in your house. It may also be worthwhile upgrading your microfilters to better models, as the ones that come from ISPs are normally fairly cheap and poor quality.
If possible plug the main microfilter into the BT master socket. A BT master socket is the first socket where the phone line comes in your house from outside. By doing this you can avoid any faults or problems that internal secondary sockets might have.
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Longer Solutions for a Faster Internet
1. Try using a BT iPlate
The characteristics of each telephone line differ from one another.
Using a BT Interstitial Plate (or iPlate in short) can make your connection much faster and reliable. It normally gives a speed boost of up to 2 Mbps, which is a considerable improvement; especially if your connection is between 1 and 4Mbps beforehand.
The iPlate slots into a BT master socket and works by decreasing the interference caused from outside, usually on the bell wire. The average price of an iPlate is around £5 and you can also request one for free if BT provides your connection.
An iPlate requires more than a single telephone socket to be efficient. It also needs to have the technology installed in the other sockets to work properly. Most sockets already have the technology installed but you should check yours to ensure that they are compatible.
You can also remove the bell wire easily and put the iPlate in-place yourself. Do a quick Google and you will get several guides and instructions. It is quite simple, all you need is a few screws and you’re good to go.
2. Upgrade your router
If you have messed around with your router and still there is no change in your Internet speed then you might see improvement by upgrading to a better quality router.
The wireless routers that are given by your broadband provider for free are usually very basic and are sometimes not powerful enough to cope with your connection, especially if you have a very high speed connection.
A wireless router that uses 802.11b network protocol can support speeds up to 11Mbps, and around 54Mbps if it supports 802.11g. Common routers are usually 802.11b/g, which means they support both, but even if it supports speed up to 54Mbps, the signals are reduced over distance, as well as when they pass through walls and other objects.
In order to get the best speed on your broadband you’ll need to upgrade your router to be compatible with 802.11n. This supports speeds up to a stunning 300Mbps, along with an increased range of 70 meters.
In order for this improved router to work you may need to upgrade the wireless card in your pc or laptop. If you don’t have the respective wireless card compatible with 802.11n then the router won’t show any improvement and instead will regress to using the 802.11b/g.
3. Change your Internet Service Provider
You can improve your Internet speed significantly by switching to a different broadband provider.
First check which companies are providing the best Internet speeds in the area where you live, and then compare them to get a better idea about the packages that they are offering,
Make sure you don’t just leave your existing contract if it still has term to run. This could lead to credit problems and debt collectors banging on your door. A contract is a contract.
An internet speed test showed Sam Jones that he wasn’t getting the speeds he was paying for. Faster speeds and better deals were easily found by searching uSwitch, the online price comparison service.