When your broadband speed drops, the first entity to blame is your broadband service provider. But it’s not always their fault. There are other factors like outdated hardware, problems with your wireless modem, or software glitches which can significantly lower the speed of your connection. There are things you can do to fix the problems on your end. Check to see if any of these problems are causing a drop in speed and correct them to enjoy a boost in broadband speed.
1. Update your browser – Are you still using an old version of Internet Explorer? It’s time to download the latest versions of Web browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox that can help you get an immediate boost in your broadband experience.
2. Change your wireless modem’s location – Place your wireless modem in a place where it is not behind any obstacles or obstruction. The modem should be far away from other interfering signals in order to deliver the highest speed. Walls, cupboards and doors will impair reception. Baby monitors and other electronic devices that emit wireless signals might interfere with broadband signals. Place the router and modem near your computer and in direct line of sight with your Web browsing device.
3. Change wireless settings – Your wireless router has a number of settings. Go through the user manual and tweak the controls to improve your broadband speed. For example, when you change the wireless channel to a different one from that of your neighbors, your browsing speed will go up. Sharing the same channel with multiple users leads to interference and a drop in broadband speed.
4. Secure your network – A disadvantage of an unsecured wireless router or modem is that anyone in your neighborhood can log in to your network and use it. It is a security risk and your speed falls too when there are multiple users sharing the same connection, especially when others use it to download movies and videos. It’s easy to fix this. Secure your network with a password.
5. Background processes – There are tons of computing processes running in the background on your computer, including automatic software updates for programs, anti-virus scanning software, music and video players, instant chat and messaging services like Skype, and other applications which eat into your computing and broadband speed. Some processes ask for permission before accessing the web, while others don’t. You can manually turn off these applications to free up broadband bandwidth. Make sure you don’t accidentally turn off virus protection!
6. Get an iPlate – This is broadband accelerator which cuts out interference and boosts speed by 60 percent for British Telecom customers. It may not work with other service providers, but is worth a try since it only costs 5 pounds and is easy to connect.
7. Update hardware – Updating your routers, modems and other old hardware will improve your broadband use. Change old wires and cables if they have been cut or crushed in many places. Connect an external antenna even if your modem has one built-in because this boosts speed by six times. Modern routers are powerful and feature-rich, but are expensive. Ask your provider for a replacement if you are a loyal long-term customer and are stuck with the ancient model they first set you up with.
8. Switch to a wired connection – Wireless broadband is usually slower than a wired connection. If your broadband speed is slow and you don’t require the mobility of a wireless network, you could try connecting the modem with a cable run directly to computer.
9. Don’t use extension cables - Faulty extension cables are the worst offenders in reducing broadband speed. Coiled and twisted cables slow down the signals they transmit. Use shorter cable of better quality to get fast broadband speeds.
10. Use micro-filters to connect to the telephone – Connect extension phones, faxes and other devices through micro filters. This helps cut out interference which affects broadband speed.
11. Check for electrical interference – Faulty electrical lines and connections are known to adversely impact broadband speed. Place your modem and router away from electrical lines and other known sources of interference.
12. Update virus protection software – Viruses try to find weaknesses in your firewall and take over or damage your computer files and programs. Many people fall victim to malicious programs that take control of their devices. These viruses can also slow down your broadband speed as they usurp programs to run their own processes in the background. Keep your anti-virus protection up to date to prevent such attacks.
13. Know your download limit – Many Internet service providers cap broadband speeds if you exceed the monthly download limit of your usage plan. This typically happens towards the end of a month or billing cycle. Your provider might send you a warning if you have exceeded the usage allowance. In this case, your broadband speed will automatically increase at the beginning of the next month.