Many of us think that it seems weve got the best internet deals; we are sorted for the next few years. However, from to time, internet problems arise and we end up getting frustrated and pulling our hair out because we cannot do the things that we want to do. In these cases, its important to take a deep breath and take a logical approach to solving the issues.
In this article, well look at some steps you can take to improve your internet connection and hope you get it to an acceptable level.
Do a speed test
One of the first things you should probably do is a speed test. A speed test will tell you what your upload, download, and ping speeds are at this time. The test will also help you to understand how close you are getting to the internet speed youre supposed to get. Even the best internet deals on ADSL wont provide you with the actual speed as advertised. Only around 10% of people get the advertised speed. There is degradation of speed over distance from the telephone exchange from which your internet signal will be passed. And therefore, the further you are from the telephone exchange the worse the ADSL connection you will receive.
Test Wired and Test Wirelessly
If you go on to a website such as speedtest.net, you will find a place to test your internet connection. If you dont like this service provider, although in my opinion it is a good one, then just do a search or â€œtest my broadband speedâ€, or â€œhow fast is my internetâ€. Youll be given lots of options to choose from. Once you have done your test whilst plugged in with an Ethernet cable to your device, you have a decent measure of the speed coming off your router. If its good but you normally connect wirelessly, then go to where you normally connect and try the test again.
Its a good idea to do two or three tests wired and wirelessly in order to get an average. Once youve done the wired and wireless tests, youll be able to see whether theres any difference between the speeds. You should expect the wireless speed to be a little bit slower than the wired but if it seriously slow, then it could be that youre having wireless connections used and isnt a problem with your broadband at all.
Well take a look at some of wireless broadband solutions in a minute. But first of all, lets have a look at some setup issue solutions.
Setup Issue Solutions
There are a number of things that you can do to improve the setup of your internet.
Ensure that your microfilters are on your line appropriately.
Ensure you are plugged in to the main telephone socket.
Ensure that there are no electrical devices within a meter of your router as these can cause interference.
Install an iPlate or BT Broadband accelerator into your line if you know that there is bell wire in it.
Unplug and replug the cables and ensure that everything is in properly.
Check your router has a capacity to handle the speed of your internet. You should be able to find out what standards it meets and you can Google these to find out what the maximum speed it can pass as.
If you find kinks or bends in your wires, then consider unravelling or getting new and better quality wires to improve connectivity.
Issues with Your Devices
There could also be issues with your connecting devices. If you have old operating systems, low processing power, or if you havent emptied your temporary internet files or cash for a period of time, then you could well find youre having issues because your devices cannot handle the speed of the internet. Have a spring clean of your computer and see if that makes a difference. Many people find that the internet is slow because their computer is slow.
Wireless Connectivity Issues
There are number of things that can cause wireless connectivity issues. If you found earlier that your broadband is slow connecting wirelessly then this section is for you.
The first issue for wireless connections tends to be physical obstructions. If youre router is passing a signal upstairs or to the other side of the house, then there will be walls and ceilings in the way, and these could well be severely impacting on the performance of the internet. If you live in an older house, then chances are that your walls and ceilings are denser than newer houses and therefore there is a more difficult barrier to penetrate.
You can also get interference from other devices that work on a similar frequency to your router. You probably had the statistics of how many radio waves and signals there are in the air around our heads. With wireless signals, when frequencies are competing for airspace, they can block or interfere with broadband. Most routers work on a 2.4GHz range, therefore, anything in your home or even in your neighbours homes that work on this frequency can impact on your broadband.
Some frequent offenders include wireless audio systems, wireless phones, wireless boiler, temperature regulators, and wireless baby monitors. Any of these and many other things can affect your performance. If you have an android phone then you could download an app to find out what is in you airspace and what frequency it is operating at. This will help you to know whether you need to get a router with a different frequency or if you could just turn something off.
You could for example download a Wi-Fi scanner called air radar or istumbler and find out what channel the other networks in your area are working on then you could switch channel in order to get a better connection. Buying a different router with different bands may well help you to get through the clutter too.
Other Solutions: Repeaters or Wired Connections
You could of course buy lots of Ethernet cables and run them from your router around the home much like telephone lines are run. This would to a certain extent negate the advantages of Wi-Fi; however, if you are at the lost for what to do and you want a fairly cheap solution, then this is the way forward. You can buy cables from eBay from about Â£10 for a decent length.
Alternatively, if you have problems with your Wi-Fi, you could buy a repeater.
What is a repeater?
A repeater is a signal amplifier. You can place it between your router and your connecting device in order to enhance the signal. If you have obstruction problems, then the repeater could be placed within line of site or as near as possible to your device and the router. For example, many people use a repeater upstairs to increase the speed and bandwidth in their bedrooms from the router at the bottom of the stairs. You cant use repeaters in series but you can use them in parallel. So you can amplify the signal in a full arc around your home.
Home Plug Systems
A home plug system is a plug that goes into your electrical circuit and plugs into your router and then sends the signal around your electric circuit. This is a very fast way to get internet around your home and is relatively cheap too. The problem is that some people will have electric circuits that are split and therefore you wont necessarily be able to pass the internet the way you want to pass it from the router.
Speak to Your Provider
Its always a great idea to speak to your internet service provider and find out whether they know of any issues on your line or in the telephone exchange. If you do then you can save yourself a lot of troubleshooting and ask them to fix it. If youve installed new equipment or improve the line, then you may also ask them to retest or retrain the line in order to improve the connectivity. When youre ADSL broadband first goes in, theyll be a training period that ascertains the speed that your line can handle with a stability level that is acceptable. If you have improved something, then you may be able to get more connection and you neednt have the same sealing on your connection that you had when you first moved in.
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