Is Your Broadband too Slow?

It can feel very frustrating when your broadband isn’t performing as fast as you would like. We all want it to be super-quick, so here’s some tips to help you make the most of it.
First of all, you can find out how fast your broadband actually is using this link This is particularly useful if you are trying to speed it up using any of the techniques given in this article as you can do a ‘before and after ‘test.
Check your router
Your router will dictate how fast you can connect to the internet. Even with superfast broadband, if your router isn’t up to the job you won’t be getting the fastest you can. Ensure it has sufficient capacity for what you need it for and buy the highest quality you can afford for the capacity you need.
Your router will also deteriorate over time and require ‘firmware updates’ as broadband technology improves, so if it seems to be running slow, you may need a new one. You can check the speed it is operating at via the link above. If the speed you are getting is less than your broadband provider tells you that you should be getting, it might be time to replace the router.
Give the router a rest
Routers use a piece of computing technology called Error Checking Codes (ECC). These are great for speeding up processing tasks and preventing data corruption, but they can slow equipment down if not given a chance to reset and recharge. Routers use ECC so should be switched off periodically for 15 minutes. When it restarts it will have reset the ECC and be back to operating normally again.
If your router is used constantly all day every day, a useful good practise is to connect it to a timer that automatically switches it off in the middle of the night for 15 minutes then back on again. A standard timer that you might use for the lights in your house is sufficient for this. When everyone returns to work the next day, all internet connections should be faster.
Check what’s running in the background
You can think of broadband like a pipe in that only a certain amount can go down it at any one time. If it isn’t full, it’s fast. But the fuller and more blocked it gets, the slower it will be.

Check what programs are
running in the background.

One computing equivalent of a pipe-blocker is programs that use the internet to check for updates in the background whilst you are using your computer. Many programs have auto-update facilities checking to see if there are any updates needed, such as Adobe or Java. In additions, programs such as Skype run in the background unless they are actively switched off. Check the system tray to see if the Skype icon is there. If it is but you’re not using it, it will be using your broadband in the background. 
Check for malware and viruses
Anything of this nature will compromise the performance of your equipment, so make sure you scan regularly to remove anything that shouldn’t be there.
As ever, if you need help with anything, talk to us or another reputable IT support company.

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