Frustrated that your internet connection is slower than a snail through treacle? Read our top tips on how to speed up your broadband connection.
Not only is a slow internet connection a misery, you could end up paying for broadband speeds that you never get to enjoy. If your internet connection seems slow, first check to see if you’re getting close to the bandwidth promised by your ISP. Run a speed test on websites such as www.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk and www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest.html.
Then try the following steps to boost your broadband speeds.
Tip 1 Upgrade your router. You’re likely to get faster speeds if connected directly to a router via an ethernet cable. However, if you prefer to stay wireless, swapping out your old router for a newer model can make a big difference to your broadband speed. Look for a router with the fastest current wi-fi technology.
As a smaller fix, try replacing the router’s aerial. The longer the aerial, the better the wireless signal and the further its reach.
Tip 2 Boost your wi-fi signal. Make sure your router is connected to the main telephone socket – the one that your external phone line connects to directly. Keep the router as close to this socket as possible, as poor quality phone wires can hamper speeds.
Consider using a BT Broadband Accelerator. It fits over your main telephone socket to help boost broadband speeds by reducing interference from your telephone wiring.
Tip 3 Avoid blocks. Wireless broadband signals weaken when blocked by thick walls or furniture. Aim for the most direct line of sight possible between your router and your computer.
Tip 4 Move closer. If you’re using a wireless broadband connection, move your PC closer to the router. If your computer is connected to the router with a cable, use the shortest cables you can.
Tip 5 Secure your wireless network. If your wireless network is unsecured, others nearby may be able to hijack your broadband connection thus decreasing its speed. Set a strong network password, so only those who have this password can use your connection.
Tip 6 Update your web browser. Make sure you’re using the latest versions of your preferred web browsers. Browsers are updated frequently for optimised web browsing, so outdated versions might result in slower download speeds.
Tip 6 Spring clean your web browser. When you visit a webpage, your web browser stores or ‘caches’ it as a small file. Over time, the sheer number of these files can slow down your browsing. Deleting your browser’s cache will help it to work faster when loading web pages. How to do this varies by browser but in Internet Explorer 9 and 10, from the Tools menu (it looks like a cog) click Safety and then Delete browsing history… Tick the checkbox next to Temporary Internet files, then click Delete.
Tip 7 Scan for viruses and spyware. Viruses and spyware can slow down web browsing as they hog your internet connection to send information back and forth to their creators. Ensure your anti-virus software is up-to-date and set to make regular, full scans of your system.
Tip 8 Avoid surfing at peak times. More people go online at certain times of day than at others. You’ll enjoy faster broadband speeds if you avoid peak internet traffic times, such as late afternoon and early evenings.
Tip 9 Switch ISP. Not all IPS offer the same broadband speeds. If you’re unhappy with your current provider’s speed, swapping to another could make a real difference.