It looks like we’re going to be relying a lot on our home broadband over the coming weeks. More of us will be working from home, and the kids will want to be on their favourite consoles and tablets. So it’s important that your home broadband is up to speed.
It’s easy to blame your internet provider if your broadband is slow, but there could be other reasons - so we’ve come up with 5 top tips to help improve your broadband speed. But first of all, we suggest you take a home broadband speed test…
Head over to Google and type in ‘internet speed test’. This will give you a Google app to test your internet download and upload speed.
It’ll go through a series of speedometer-like animations before giving you your results, and if you click though to find out more, you’ll be given explanations of what it all means. Or, if you’d prefer to just stay here, let us sum it up for you…
- Download speed: This is how quickly you can get content from the internet. Having a quick download speed will let your stream high quality video from the likes of Netflix, or download a photo album in seconds.
- Upload speed: This is how quickly you can put your stuff on the internet. If you’ve got a lot of YouTube vids to upload, you’ll need a decent speed, or you could be waiting around for a while. Upload speed is typically a lot slower than download speed, so don’t be surprised if yours is too.
So, how fast do you need your home broadband to be? it really depends what you use your internet for, and how many people in your home will be using it.
If you live on your own or have a partner – but don’t have any kids old enough to be using their own devices just yet – a download speed of 10-15mbps should do you fine.
If there are three or four people living in your house, and they’ve all got their own smartphones, tablets or other devices, you’ll probably need a download speed of at least 35mbps to be on the safe side.
Finally, if you’re running a home business or working on projects with large video files, you’ll need something a lot quicker – most likely fibre optic speeds of around 150mbps.
How to improve your home broadband speed
Now we know what your download speed is, and what it means, let’s try and speed it up with our top 5 tips:
1. Update your router
How old is your broadband router? If you’ve had it for a few years, upgrading it could make a huge difference to your broadband speed. It
Check with your internet service provider to see if there’s a newer version of your router you can use. If you explain that you’re having issues with your broadband speed, they might even give you the new router for free. If you receive the latest and most advanced router, configured to the best settings, you should get a faster and more stable connection.
2. Put your router in its place
Try and place your router near to where you use the internet the most. Nice and high too, if possible. Then check your cables, and make sure everything’s connected properly. Use the shortest cables, and keep everything neat and free of tangles.
You should also try and keep it away from other devices that might cause interference, like baby monitors. Anything that emits a wireless signal isn’t going to play nice.
3. Make sure you’re secure
If you haven’t set a password for your wireless router then anyone could be taking advantage of it. They could even be doing it right now, as you’re reading this article...
And that could be the least of your worries. Having an unsecure network can leave you open to hackers who could be making a beeline for your bank details and other personal details.
So why not change your password now? Make it as complex as you can, and avoid putting in something that’s easy to guess.
4. Get wired
If your broadband is still struggling to get into the fast lane, then dig out your old Ethernet cable and go wired. It could make a difference. If it doesn’t, then the problem may lie with your internet service provider. It could be time to talk…
5. Call your provider
If you’ve tried all our tips above and you’re still not happy with your broadband speed, make a polite call to your internet service provider. Tell them about the issues you’re having, and they might be able to help. They could identify a fault on the line and fix it for you. Or they might even offer to upgrade you to a faster package (this is where being polite and friendly helps).
If all else fails though, changing your internet service provider might be the best move. It’s a pretty big decision to make, and we can give you expert and impartial advice. Call us free on 08000 933 991 for a chat.
Further reading. The UK’s main internet providers are removing data caps on broadband. We explain what this change means for your internet connectivity.
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