The speed of broadband is a common problem for many, including some of our customers; so what can you do about this frustrating problem?
It’s an issue which can really damage your business and lead to significant employee and customer frustration.
Try a different web browser
Not all browsers are equal, using an out of date browser or even some up to date ones can result in poor performance as well as significant security risks. Try one or two of the many alternatives available, you may notice an immediate improvement when browsing websites.
Check your equipment
Are you using an old router or the free one that came with your broadband? It’s possible it needs updating, if it was provided by the company who provided your broadband several years ago give them a call and see if there is a newer model or at the very least a software update.
Alternatively if it’s a cheaper router it might be worth swapping for a better known brand with more features, especially if you’re reliant on Wi-Fi.
Another thing worth checking is the router’s location (ADSL only) in your home/office. The router should be connected to the phone socket closest to where your phone line enters your home, normally the one by your front door. This can make a significant difference to the speed of your connection, especially in older buildings where the internal wiring could be compromised.
An ‘iPlate’ (ADSL only) filters the bell wire which was used to make older analogue phones ring but is not needed for modern phones. The bell wire can cause interference and the iPlate can in some cases make a significant difference to your broadband speed at a cost of only a few pounds.
Talk to your provider
Your provider should be able to carry out a line test to determine if there are any faults on the line. They should be able to offer advice on anything else which can be done to improve performance.
If you currently have an ADSL connection (over your phone line) then it might be worth looking into a cable connection (e.g. Virgin) as this could offer vastly better performance if available in your area.
Some broadband providers restrict your usage if you are using your connection heavily, this might be due to the volume of films/music being downloaded over your connection by someone in your household or because you’re using a residential broadband connection for business use. Discuss it with your provider, you may need to pay more for a more appropriate package.
Manage your usage
Many applications launch when you turn on your computer and will be using the Internet without your knowledge, taking up valuable bandwidth. These include things like anti-virus software, Skype, BBC iPlayer, instant messaging applications and backups.
Use Task Manager (or Activity Monitor on a Mac) to see what programs are running in the background and close those that are unnecessary.
For those that you need like anti-virus and backup software, try tweaking the settings so they only update/backup when you’re not using the Internet (e.g. overnight or while you’re on lunch).
If all else fails you can either wait patiently for promised high speed connections we can all expect in the ‘near’ future or move home/office!
Written by: Kerry Hale