13 Ways to Boost Broadband Speed

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  There are other factors like outdated hardware, problems with your wireless modem, or software glitches  which can significantly lower the speed of your connection.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.

Will 3D Printing Be The Next Personal Technology Revolution?

This figure was created in
a single 3D printing
session in 15 hours,
with no construction
or painting required.

3D printing, or rapid prototyping as it is sometimes called, is a truly incredible technology. It’s actually been around since the mid-80’s, but it is only within the past decade that it has gained momentum towards becoming mainstream. 3d printing works by taking digital data (i.e. a digital 3d design) and using it to physically create three dimensional objects.

How does 3D printing work?
Extremely thin layers are added to each other to form 3D objects. The main strength of 3D printing and the thing that separates it from all other manufacturing technology, is the fact that highly intricate, multi-material objects can be created in just a few hours. 3d printers can create things that are literally impossible to create by any other means.

When will 3D printing be affordable for consumers?
As with most new technology, 3d printing must make the transition from being expensive and only used in industry to being cheap enough for widespread, personal use. Based on what has already been achieved by 3D printing, it is safe to say that in the future it will play a massive part in our lives. The only question is how long will it take for 3d printing to become a common consumer technology?

What’s already been done with 3D printing

Originally intended to be used solely for creating detailed prototypes (hence the name ‘rapid prototyping’), 3d printing is now used for a wide range of applications. Aerospace, defense and automotive companies all use 3D printing as part of their design and manufacturing processes.

An example of a replacement lower jaw,
created on a 3D printer.

Replacement jaw created using 3D printing
Some of the most impressive uses of the technology have occurred in the medical industry. Last year a medical team in the Netherlands successfully implanted a replacement jaw into an elderly woman. The jaw was created using a 3D printer. This meant that it was a perfect match for the patient and was ready for dental implants immediately. The transplant was a resounding success, despite the fact that the procedure was the first of its kind using a printed implant.

3D printing for personal use – now and in the future

3D printing services
3D printing, or at least a form of the technology, is already being used for personal/consumer applications. There are various websites that offer a custom 3D printing service. Customers are invited to upload their designs: toys, jewellery, ornaments or other accessories. The companies then print the items from your designs and send you the finished article. It’s a fantastic idea.

Buying a 3D printer
The recent media attention given to 3D printing has caused a huge increase in interest – as a result, a number of companies have produced printers that anyone can buy and use. These home 3D printers, available from around $1250, allow people to design and produce their own 3D creations. Although the products that can be created on these home printers are fairly rudimentary, it shows that the potential is there.

The possibilities are endless

Some experts are predicting that it won’t be long until people can download designs and print useful items such as replacement parts for household appliances. This will completely revolutionize the way we live, as well as the way companies work. In theory it will make some products much cheaper as manufacturing, labour and distribution costs will be slashed.

There is even active research being carried out into the idea of people being able to print their own custom medication, to save them going to the doctors or the pharmacy. The team responsible for the research, based at the University of Glasgow, have already printed organic compounds housed in what they call ‘reactionware’ which is printed at the same time. If this becomes a reality, healthcare will never be the same again.

The potential of 3D printing is hard to fathom. What has already been achieved and what is around the corner will help to push the boundaries of science and change the way we live. Hopefully in the near future there will be a multi-use 3D printer in every home, printing spare parts, personalized medicine and other items, making 3D printing the definition of personal technology.

This model of Fenway Park was printed in 40 interlocking parts then slotted together:

This article was provided by Laser Lines 3D Printing.