“Technology is great! When it works” A common saying in the United Kingdom and those saying have a fair point. Broadband is just like any other technology in that it will often have its problems that are not always easy to diagnose. Hopefully, this guide will help you understand why some of these problems occur and how you may be able to fix them.
A common problem for some, the connection is too slow to perform the task required. This may be caused by a number of things, but it is important to diagnose them one by one in order to see why.
1. The broadband speed in your area is not sufficient for the task you require it for- This is a common problem in areas with slow ADSL broadband. Some areas still have broadband below 8mb which is pretty slow for a lot of data intensive tasks. You may notice slow speeds when doing tasks like streaming movies or downloading games. Check to see what your broadband speed should be by using a broadband postcode speed checker.
2. Some tasks require fibre broadband- If you have ADSL with a maximum speed of 17mb you may be able to perform most data intensive tasks with no trouble, however, there can be times when 17mb is not enough. High Definition television shows and films are a common area where you may notice a lot of buffering, a lot of broadband connections simply can’t keep up with the demands.
3. Lots of devices are competing for bandwidth- If you have a large family with many devices attached to your network, there may be times of the day when all of these devices are wanting to download information. It is important to understand that your router will try and distribute the bandwidth across all devices evenly and so the speeds will slow down.
This is a common problem in large houses and is usually cause by a poor router. The router that is supplied by your Internet Service Provider will most likely be a basic model and won’t contain any advance hardware or functionality. The antennas that come with these routers will have a limited range and so may not reach the far corners of your house.
You can remedy this problem by purchasing a stand-alone router with advanced antennas and hardware that increases the range of your wireless signal. You may also want to consider purchasing wi-fi range extenders which is a small device that plug into any socket in your home and boost the signal. Place it in an area that has signal but close enough to the area without a signal.
Certain buildings will be designed using materials that won’t allow wireless signals to pass through it. Some buildings are even designed to prevent any signal getting through it for security reasons, but your home shouldn’t normally have such features. If it does, you may want to consider signal deflectors that essentially act as mirrors for your wireless signal and bounce the signal around the house.
You may notice that during the early evening your broadband speeds slow down to a crawl and can barely load a web page let alone download a movie. The reason you see slow-downs at times like this are due to the network being very busy. It is a peak time of the day where you may find a lot of people in your area connecting to the Internet as they get home from work or school.
The reason why your speed is throttled is due to the service provider trying to prioritise connections in your area. Your broadband provider will have something called a contention ration in your area which is the number of users that can be connected to the same server, often this can be up to 50 users at a time. A broadband supplier with a lower contention ration is less likely to have problems at peak times.
Some broadband providers may even offer a service where they can prioritise your connection over others in the area so while your neighbours are struggling to load a webpage you are watching the latest movies is super HD with no problems at all! Virgin Media offer this kind of service with their Vivid Gamer 200 package.
If you have some devices connected to your router via an Ethernet cable and others via wireless connection you may notice times when your wired connections work but wireless doesn’t. This is an inherent problem with any wireless device or router. The problem is that data transferred over the air is subject to interference, this interference could be from many different sources but will normally be due to a wireless channel conflict.
Your neighbours are likely to have wireless routers of their own, and if you are using the same channels on your router, you may notice some issues. It is always best to set your routers wireless channel to automatic so hat your router can choose the most suitable channel and avoid any conflicts.