Time to Increase Your Broadband Speed I

Improving home broadbandFEP surveys confirm that for many in the Forest of Dean, broadband is slow.

We could go into the technical reasons for the variation between measured speed from the router and the guaranteed speed measured to the wall of the property. But we’d rather take practical action in these 2 blogs.

Is your current broadband as fast as it could be?

For many the answer is probably not. Many have not seriously considered where their hub or router should be to get the fastest speed. Why? While most providers have tips on their websites for setting it up, most of us don’t go there, but think it’s plug and play. A mistake. With a couple of hours work, a FEP member got a 100% improvement on their download and upload speeds with these 3 tips.

3 Tips to Try

Warning, none of these tips are guaranteed to work in every situation. Your broadband could be at its maximum speed.  But give them a try and measure the effect. Start by going to the Which broadband checker for a baseline reading. And repeat through the process. Do remember that if you turn the router off, it takes some time to show improved speeds as the broadband stabilises.

1.  The router should be plugged into the master socket of the house. Follow where the line comes into the home and find the first white box. To see what they look like check out BT’s information.

Your aim is to get the shortest route of cable from this master socket to your router. It sounds silly, but if the distance is 2m use a 2m cable not a 4m cable. Something like 3-5m of wiring can lose 1Mbps of download speed. It is worth paying to move the master socket if it’s in a really stupid place like a loft. Ideally it would be centrally located in the property.

2.  Consider where you have placed the router. It should be off the floor and away from windows. The floor restricts wifi spreading its waves, while the window allows wifi signal to disappear rather than bouncing back off the wall into the home.

Tvs, monitors and halogen bulbs provide electrical interference to the wifi signal so create some distance from these. Walls, ceilings and radiators will disrupt the wifi. 

3.  Consider a wired connection from the router not wifi. Some providers give room boosters to ensure coverage. These typically plug into the home electrical circuits by the router and in the desired room where it acts as a mini-router. For many on faster broadband the difference between a wifi and cable connection is significant for key pieces of equipment.

Test It and See

From the 3 tips there is probably no one ideal place in anyone’s home for the router. It may sound complicated, but within everyone’s home there are places, where it will work better. Or can provide more wired options.

Other improvements can be made by checking on who is using what. Most mobile phones will revert to an open wifi system but if the normal signal is strong enough, do they need to? If you’re going to watch a video, why not download rather than stream; it won’t block the connection then. 

Broadband as fast as you can make it? Then check out our second broadband blog coming soon.