Need some quick fixes for faster broadband internet connections? Slow broadband can be incredibly frustrating however you might not need to rush out and buy a new broadband package as these five fixes will help you get the most from your existing broadband package.
1. Get the most out of your router
It is well worth having a read of the manual that comes with your router. Admittedly it may not be the most riveting read but there will be settings you can tweak to get the most out of your router.
There’s more to getting the most out of a wireless router than just having the right one configured the right way. Where you place your wireless router is important too. The more objects between your router and your computer the weaker the signal will be when it reaches the computer. Objects like doors, walls and furniture can all reduce the signal strength that reaches your computer.
Ideally you should place your wireless router as close as possible to the computer and it should be high up, so there it is less likely that there will be objects in the way of the signal. Placing your router away from other electrical items, which could interfere with the signal, is a good idea too.
2. Don’t overload your bandwidth
Many people have programs running in the background that they don’t really need which eat up valuable bandwidth. There are many applications will start automatically when you start your computer and will take up bandwidth, sometimes unnecessarily.
Applications including messenger services, Skype and Media players could all be running concurrently and draining bandwidth. For applications you don’t use regularly you can usually change the settings so they do not automatically start when you switch your computer on. If you are unsure which applications are running you can check this by opening task manager (CTRL+ALT+DEL).
3. Don’t share bandwidth with others!
If you have a wireless broadband connection then you will get better speeds if you do not share it amongst multiple computers.
If you do have a wireless connection it is important, not just for speed reasons, to secure it (so a pass phrase is needed to access it), as this will not only stop unscrupulous neighbours stealing you internet connection, but having an unsecured connection may allow others to access personal information such as financial details and is a security risk.
4. Talk to your broadband provider
If your connection is still running slow it’s worth talking to your internet provider as they may be able to diagnose the problem. Furthermore if you are on an old broadband package which is no longer available, they may upgrade you to it’s more modern, faster replacement. For example the entry level package with many providers now offer up to 8Mbs speeds whereas you may have signed up to a 1Mbs or 2Mbs a number of years ago.
5. What about faster mobile broadband?
You can boost the speed of your mobile broadband connection with a few free or cheap tricks. One relatively cheap way to increase speeds is to improve the signal buy purchasing an antenna extension to clip on to your mobile broadband dongle which will boost the signal it receives.
Alternatively a USB lead will allow you to place your mobile broadband dongle nearer a window rather than just plugged directly into the USB port on your laptop (as signals are generally stronger outside).
Finally it’s always worth checking mobile broadband coverage in your area before signing up to a provider. You should be able to check coverage on the websites of any of the providers you are considering.
Guest author Richard Patterson writes for Broadband Expert, a popular UK broadband and mobile broadband comparison site. You can also guest blog here and share your broadband tips.