Broadband slow? Try these tips

Accounting Practice has some top tips on how you can be – and stay – better connected.

Poor broadband speed means millions of UK households are struggling with connectivity, according to new research.

Increased internet usage during the pandemic as more people work from home has meant one in three people have reported slower connectivity. That’s equivalent to 10 million homes.

On the list of frequent complaints is connections that drop out regularly, broadband failing due to the number of people on it, and connections that struggle with streaming services.

Worryingly, more than one in 10 households described their broadband speed and reliability as ‘bad’.

10 Tips for a better connection

There are a number of reasons why your broadband connection could be slow, including multiple devices accessing the same network in your area, or a large number of devices on your home connection. Here are 10 tips from Uswitch to get better connected:

  1. Carry out a broadband speed test (https://www.uswitch.com/broadband/speedtest/) so you can see just what speeds you’re getting. Try doing this at different times during the day and take a screenshot or a note of the result.
  2. Check and see if your browser software is up-to-date. Having the latest version of your browser can really help speed up the way web pages load.
  3. Is your router next to any other wireless devices? Anything from a wireless doorbell to fairy lights can have an impact on the speeds you’re getting. Place your router on a small side table away from any other devices (rather than on the floor) and keep it switched on at all times.
  4. Ensure you have a strong password protecting your Wi-Fi network to make sure nobody else is using it — this is particularly important if you live in a flat or apartment.
  5. Is your router firmware up-to-date? Your router should update automatically, but you can force a reset (check the back of the device for instructions) and this can help with broadband speed.
  6. Have you tried using a cable? Routers usually have an ethernet cable socket in the back of the device so you can connect directly to them. Try using this and running the speed test again to see if you get faster results. Again, keep a note of these speeds. 
  7. Have you checked for interference on your phone line? Purchase some microfilters or get them from your provider. Plug them into every phone socket in your house as they split the broadband and phone signals so they don’t interfere with one another.
  8. Are you using a phone line extension cable? These (especially if long) can impact the speed of your broadband. If you need to use one, make sure it’s high quality and as short as possible.
  9. Plug your router directly into the main phone socket. These sockets usually have a line running across the front of them. Make sure your router is connected to this socket then run the speed test again.
  10. Contact your broadband provider. If all else fails and you’re still struggling, then it’s worth getting in touch with your broadband provider. You can share your speed test results and they should work through a series of diagnostic to isolate the issue.

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