Six common mistakes that could be slowing down your broadband

As we enter another national lockdown, our collective use of the internet is once again going to increase. With many office-based staff continuing to work from home and multiple inhabitants of different households needing access to the internet at the same time, some might notice a difference in the quality and reliability of their broadband speed. In order to help out, the team of experts at UK broadband comparison site www.Cable.co.uk have put together the following common mistakes people are making that could be affecting their broadband speeds.

Not password-protecting your broadband

While the majority of us would usually password-protect our broadband by default, many still don’t. Without a secure password, nearby chancers will be able to access it, which will not only slow down your broadband but also leave your online security vulnerable. Check to see if your network has a padlock next to it when searching for it; if it doesn’t, then you need to password-protect it.

Putting the router in the wrong place

It may seem obvious, but the position of your router is critical for good broadband speeds. The strength of a wifi signal determines the speed of your broadband, and the further it has to travel – and the more surfaces it has to travel through – the weaker it gets. Place it in a central position in your home, preferably equidistant from areas where you will be using the internet.

Putting the router near electrical devices

As well as walls, surfaces and objects, your broadband router is also affected by electrical devices. Things such as TVs, dimmer switches, stereos and devices that emit electrical fields – like baby monitors or cordless phones – are all known to have a negative effect on the router. Place it on a table or shelf away from other devices – ideally somewhere off the ground.

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Not regularly checking for viruses

While viruses and malware won’t directly affect your home network, they will affect the device you are accessing the internet from, making browsing slow and frustrating. Ensuring that your anti-virus software is consistently up to date will help prevent your device from any viruses that would affect the way you access the internet.

Downloading too many things at once

If several people are using the internet at the same time and are downloading files or streaming video content (for example from Netflix) then you will notice a dip in speed, which is why your broadband can be slower at peak times – there are several people connected to your local street cabinet.

While there’s not much you can do to stop this, you should always check that you don’t have anything downloading in the background by accident; hidden downloads, updates and automatic installs will affect broadband speed, so check that none of these are happening when you are trying to access the internet.

Automatically renewing your broadband

If you have found yourself using the same broadband package for several years and have never looked to change it, then you might not have the fastest available speed. You should consistently check to see if you are able to get faster broadband – not only might you be able to find faster speeds, you might also save some money while you’re at it.

Commenting on the tips, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at www.Cable.co.uk, said: “With the second lockdown now in force and Christmas looming, many households are set to experience unprecedented stress applied to their home broadband. However, it’s not always the case that just because things are grinding to a halt or just generally slow for families and households more generally – there are often a variety of reasons why things might not be firing on all cylinders. Hopefully our top tips will help out in that regard.”

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