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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Should My Broadband Really Be This Slow?

When my internet starts chugging along slowly I begin to wonder, “What’s wrong with it now?” I pay for a certain speed but am I getting what I pay for?  Does this sound like you, too?  Does video streaming get funky at certain times, but run smoothly at others? There are a lot of ways to find out what is going on under the hood and you do not have to have a technical degree to effect a change in your broadband speed.

Getting to the root of the issue

You can contact your internet Service provider but they will likely tell you the speed as per your package, and as we have just established your package speed may not be the actual speed you are receiving. There are other issues that can affect the speed of broadband. These include the system you use, the modem you use, how many feet of wire are in use, if there is a splitter cutting signal speed down, and if you live in an area with a lot of high-density internet traffic. If you live in the suburbs or a rural area away from larger towns and cities then your speed is going to be slower since your house is probably at a greater distance from the exchange.

The self-fix

Search out on Google for a site that trouble-shoots broadband issues for you.  Most of these sites will offer one or more ways to check your system at no cost to you.  Find one that has a list of issues similar to what you are experiencing. Once you finish checking, you might be led to sites that want you to install software to clean or purge your system of bugs. Avoid adding anything, as these are largely wasteful programs which thrive on scaring people into thinking they need to buy something to clean up their broadband experience.  Everything you need is available for free as downloads and updates from your internet service provider and your computer’s manufacturer.

Externalizing your problems

Another thing that can slow down your computer is the amount of data that has been stored on the hard disk. If that is the case you do not need to delete files to restore your computer to normal speed. Instead, you might consider an external hard drive to store the less frequently accessed content such as music and videos and keep your PC hard disk space available. This will help your computer run a little faster.

Why me?

Your neighbour whose connection is with the same internet service provider and is connected to the same exchange is experiencing higher speeds?  The reason might be as simple as having a wireless router and being connected wirelessly to it. While wireless is the latest technology, it can be surprisingly slow if connected from a distance or done improperly. In any case wireless connections are mostly slower than traditional cable connections, with more potential impediments and more to go wrong.

Getting equipped

When you buy your connection also make sure that the broadband service provider offers you the latest equipment. In that case you can be assured that your speed is the best it can be. However interference caused by electrical equipment or appliances can be an issue when it comes to connection quality. The same is true with weather conditions which will also affect connection quality and internet speed.

Intentional delays

Some service providers reduce the connection speed during peak hours so that they can deal with the huge traffic they have to handle during that period. If you find that your internet speeds reduce only during certain periods during the day it might not be due to any devices but due to deliberate reduction of speed by the internet service provider.

Phil Turner is always being told by friends how fantastic the broadband in London is. Unfortunately Phil does not live in London, so he is tuck with slow broadband.
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