Squir­rels, neigh­bours and Ama­zon Echo: why your broad­band is slower than it should be

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - MONEY - Sam Brod­beck

De­spite broad­band providers’ prom­ises of “su­per­fast” in­ter­net, mil­lions of us still suf­fer frus­trat­ingly slow speeds. Ru­ral in­ter­net spe­cial­ist Gi­ga­clear has listed eight of the most com­mon causes of slug­gish con­nec­tions.

1. Your neigh­bour’s Wi-Fi

If a neigh­bour hap­pens to be on the same Wi-Fi chan­nel, it can af­fect your connection. To fix this, keep chang­ing the chan­nel un­til you find one that main­tains a strong sig­nal.

2. Old de­vices

If you have an old lap­top us­ing the same connection as the lat­est iPhone, you will com­pro­mise your in­ter­net speed. Try re­mov­ing old de­vices from the Wi-Fi or putting them on aero­plane mode at peak times.

3. Faulty eth­er­net ca­ble

If your ca­ble is bent you can try straight­en­ing it out, but the wire in­side may be bro­ken. If wig­gling the ca­ble solves your prob­lems, the plas­tic port may be the cul­prit.

4. The weather

Heavy rain, snow and hot weather can desta­bilise a connection. In­ter­net de­liv­ered via satel­lite is most sus­cep­ti­ble to changes in the weather, fol­lowed by ADSL, which uses cop­per wires, of­ten over­head. Fi­bre­op­tic con­nec­tions are rarely af­fected by weather as the ca­bles lie un­der­ground.

5. Birds and squir­rels

Ro­dents can chew through ca­bles and an birds can cause re­li­a­bil­ity is­sues when they sit on them. Check to see if your ca­bles run un­der or over ground. If it’s above ground, take a walk and look at py­lons and over­head ca­bles around your house. Pro­tect in­stal­la­tions us­ing bait boxes, ca­ble guards and ul­tra­sonic units.

6. Too many de­vices

There may be de­vices that you don’t re­alise are us­ing your band­width, such as an Ama­zon Echo, TV or speaker sys­tem. En­sure that un­nec­es­sary de­vices are dis­con­nected from the Wi-Fi. You could also try get­ting a se­cond router to dis­trib­ute the load.

7. House­hold ap­pli­ances

Seem­ingly in­nocu­ous house­hold ap­pli­ances may be op­er­at­ing on a sim­i­lar ra­dio fre­quency and fighting for airspace along­side your smart de­vices. Try leav­ing ex­tra space around your router to help spread out the sig­nal and keep your router high and away from win­dow sills.

8. Un­se­cured net­work

You might trust your neigh­bours, but they could still be slow­ing down your connection by join­ing your net­work. This might not be done on pur­pose, as many phones au­to­mat­i­cally join any net­work they can find. Make sure your Wi-Fi is se­cure.

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