With many of us still at home most of the day, relying on broadband for work and entertainment, there is no greater frustration at the moment than slow broadband speeds. Here are a few tips and tricks you can try to improve your speeds back up to what you are paying for.
Tip 1: Find the best place for your Router
Steel beams, thick walls, electrical signals and tinted glass can all affect the signal you get around your home, so it’s best not to place your router under, on or next to any of these. Ideally, you want your router in a central position in the house, connected up to the Master Socket with no objects blocking or covering it… so cupboards are a no go!
Tip 2: Get a new Router!
It’s amazing how many people don’t replace their router when they start a new contract (so between 12 and 24 months). There’s a multitude of reasons to keep your Router up to date, including keeping up to date with the latest security updates, better technology and capabilities and environmental factors that can stop your router from performing properly, such as sun and dust. So if your router has been sitting there for a while, it may be time to get on to your provider!
Tip 3: Keep devices on the network to a minimum!
Modern homes are stacked to the brim with smart tech but the more devices you have on your network, the less bandwidth you have free. Even if you’re not using those devices, they can still operate in the background. Turning Wifi reception off on these when not in use is a good speed-boosting habit!
Tip 4: Turn your camera off for work meetings!
Here’s a good one to remember for next weeks meeting. If your internet connection is laggy on conference calls, switching to audio-only uses much less internet connection and thus can improve the call quality.
A bonus working from home tip is to manage your families online activity whilst on the call so that kids gaming or partners streaming doesn’t hog all the bandwidth.
One thing I found out on a WiFi networking course some time back was that microwave ovens can cause mad interference with WiFi networks, to the point that when the Microwave is cooking, it can slow the WiFi connection to a halt.
They give off 2.4GHz interference.
Another fun(ish) fact is some high-voltage devices such as vacuum cleaners can also negatively impact your broadband service. Check out this thread on Reddit -
Tip 5: Time for a device upgrade!
If your devices (mobiles, laptops etc) are a couple of years old and starting to become ‘the old model’, this can impact the speeds you get. I was told by a Sky engineer that my two-year-old mobile wouldn’t get speeds as fast as a brand new one would, simply because of advancements in processing and technology.
So, if you’re thinking about upgrading- or in a position to do so, this may make a difference in the speeds you’re getting.
Tip 6: Give your Wifi a boost!
For those with larger homes or Wifi blackspots, a booster can help carry the signal further- rather than increasing speed or bandwidth. Boosters will normally work with any provider and some providers, such as Sky can provide boosters where needed.
However, their effectiveness is limited by a host of factors, including the speed of the internet connection coming into your home, the distance from your router, the areas in your home in need of Wifi coverage, and the Wifi demands of your family.
When it comes to increasing speeds I always mention that you’re not increasing the speeds you have but are using the speed you have in the most efficient way.
For example, If you utilise a WiFi mesh system, you will want to place the access points that allow for the most coverage. I’d advise using heat maps in order to figure out the best placements for each individual access point.
One thing to be aware of, however, is that there are many variables that can affect WiFi connectivity. As WiFi is a form of light, it can be the victim of reflection, absorption, diffraction, scattering, and interference. One example of this would be plants. Though they are the last thing you would expect to affect WiFi, they can, as they have the ability to absorb light due to their storage of liquid which is known to affect WiFi connectivity.
Hope this helps
Last Tip: Rather than going wireless, you can always use power adaptors on your home electrics to create a wired connection which some providers like Virgin Media recommend over wireless boosters- although, this is highly debated.
They work by plugging your connecting your router up to the power adaptor (via ethernet) which sits in a plug socket. This then routes your connection around the home. You can then plug another adaptor into a a plug socket close to the device you want better speeds for and then connect the adaptor to device.
Tell us about your tips and tricks to boost/ better use broadband speeds!