While you’re waiting for superfast broadband to arrive in your area there are a few things you can do to get the most from your existing internet connection.
Find out your maximum broadband speed
Check that you are getting the connection speed you signed up for with your provider. Use www.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk/ at different times of the day to assess the speed you have. However, if you have signed up for a package that gives you 8Mbps it may not be feasible to expect a faster connection.
Avoid downloading large files at peak times
Between 7pm and 11pm many ISPs will apply traffic management policies to prevent users from downloading lots of content when everyone else in the local area is also trying to.
Reset your router
A simple step that can help clear your connection of any faults. Turn off your router, set top box and laptop's Wi-Fi receiver off, wait for approximately 30 seconds, and then turn them back on again.
Flush your DNS
This will reset your internet connecting and can help if you are having problems loading a particular website. This is a little trickier; go to your start up bar and in the ‘run box’ type CMD and hit return to launch the CMD window. Next type 'ipconfig flushdns' at the cursor and hit return. This should clear any loading issues.
Clear your web browsers cache
It is best practice to clear your computers cache regularly to ensure you have a good connection – why not add an alert in your diary so that you are prompted once a month. Simply go to your settings/options, then network connections in your browser and it the 'clear' button.
Move your router
Moving your router nearer to your telephone socket and removing any extension cords or secondary telephone socket it may be connected to can help improve your connection. It will also help to connect as many devices as you can via Ethernet rather than wirelessly.
Set a password for your router
Allowing anyone to tap into your router and therefore your bandwidth can cause your internet speed to slow down significantly. Worse still, an unsecured wireless network is vulnerable to attacks from hackers who may access it to retrieve your personal information or perform illegal activities. Always ensure you set a strong password.
Change the channel
Your router operates on a channel and when there are a lot of networks in close proximity e.g. Your neighbours, that could be using the same channel, this can cause interference and speed issues with your broadband. Try changing the channel on your router to one that has less activity. You may need to check your routers instructions to see how it is set up.
Check your start up programmes
Many of your computers programmes start running automatically as soon as you start your PC or laptop. This means they can continuously update themselves and send/receive data from the web. Java and iTunes are just two examples. You can use a free registry cleaner program such as Wise Registry Cleaner or CCleaner (check the internet for other free programs) to analyse what's running when you start your computer and allowing you to choose what should continue to.
Use a microfilter
Also known as a signal splitter, this little device allows your broadband connection to run smoothly alongside your home phone service without interfering with one another. Without a microfilter you could experience slow internet speeds or interference.