Understanding and Increasing Broadband Speeds
Within the home, broadband speeds are a function of hardware, software and configuration settings. It is also in large part dependent on the kind of cabling that runs from the cabinet to the home and then, the cables that run through the house. It is futile to lay any speed deficiency solely at the feet of the service provider these days, as they are pretty tightly regulated. When they advertise their speeds they are referring to the speed that traverses their trunk lines, which stops at the cabinet or the telephone exchange. From there the last mile is a different question. That is the user’s responsibility. So to get the speeds up, in the event they’re lagging, let’s take a look at what can be done.
How fast are broadband speeds?
Well, the most obvious answer would beâ€¦ much faster than narrowband, but there is more to it than just speed. Dial-up has done its part and frankly its practically obsolete in the context of todays needs. Broadband is not only reliable but also easily available. Thanks to its privatisation companies are able to purchase bandwidth and sell it off cheap in the form of packages that target gender, age and groups of people, such as students or high earners.
Aside from how broadband works or how feasible it is there is a whole new access that it grants to its users. There is a lot a fast connection can do like:
Browsing web pages faster
Watching online videos without any lag
Listening and downloading music
Working online without the fear of disconnection
Contacting friends and family around the world on Skype
With technological advances new doors open and such is the case with broadband access. With the use of a simple router, multiple users can access a single broadband connection. Now there is no need to apply for separate connections for each computer as one connection can serve as many.
Measuring broadband speeds
Broadband internet is way faster than dial-up, even a basic package of broadband internet if provides a 512 Kb connection compared to 56Kb connections through a dial-up modem. The worst broadband is around10 times faster than the best dial-up. Units for internet speed are kilobits per second (Kb/s) but broadband connections can go as far as 100 Megabits per second (Mb/s) under certain conditions. We are even starting to see Gigabits
How to choose youre broadband speed
If youre a regular internet user, or you appreciate a fast connection, it doesnt mean you need the best package available. Many first timers fall for â€˜steal deals and other advertising stunts. Read the small print.
Below are some suggested speed requirements based on daily internet usage:
Lesser speed users
If you are looking for a cost effective connection that supports fast web browsing and social networking, a 512Kb package would prove plenty of speed. Most connections on broadband come in at at least 2Mb, so you should not be limited in the package you choose.
Average speed users
Most internet users like listening to music and downloading videos, which is why 2Mb-4Mb speed packages are called for by most. Streaming a HD movie may require 5Mb speeds. 6Mb is plenty for most single users of average usage profile.
Fast speed users
When it comes to uncompromised speeds you will be looking at fibre broadband. Fibre runs at speeds of up to 100Mb. This kind of broadband is ideal for homes with multiple users doing heavy internet activities. Heavy users are normally fine with speeds over 10Mb. Average speed in the UK are normal into double digits so most packages have the speed for most users.
What affects broadband speed?
According to a user surveys complaints about broadband speed are the most common type of grumble. With changes in advertising regulations for broadband these should diminish. However, the speeds you will see on adverts are still only obtainable by 10% of users. You should expect lower speed.
So what is the culprit reducing speed?
How far is the exchange?
The greater the distance from your local phone exchange the lower the speed. Undoubtedly this is the most common reason behind slow speed. It should be noted that this only applies to copper lined ADSL users as fibre broadband does not lose speed over distance..
The descriptionion ratio of exchange
Another reason that causes degradation in your connection is the load,which your telephone exchange is carrying. If multiple users are completing heavy activities on the line there will be competition for bandwidth.
How many people use the same connection?
Wireless connections in your home will be slower the more users on the line.
Reliable broadband hardware
If your hardware is incompatible, meaning if your installed modem and router do not support higher speeds, then there is no point in applying for a faster connection.
Wild weather conditions can cause some serious interference and can potentially slow your connection.
What to do if disconnected
If your connection was shut due to power cut or accidental weather, it is recommended that you reset your router to re-synch it to the previous settings
Viruses and malware
Many forms of malware and viruses are responsible for slowing internet speeds. Installing a good antivirus package can be of help.
It is a well-known fact that for some internet users the peak hours, from 6pm to 11pm, can be a real ordeal. ISPs often reduce connection speeds during peak times to manage the network.
Testing your Broadband Speed
Many websites offer online broadband speed checks, but not all are accurate. A good one is speedtest.net, which automatically finds your nearest testing server and provides you good speed accuracy.
What steps should be taken is you are unsatisfied with the speed
There are a few options available if you find that your speed is unsatisfactory.
Contact your provider and up your package
Check your wires and microfilters
Upgrade to a premium router
As your provider for your line to be re-trained
You could look to switch providers
This article is copyright free.