Less than two decades ago few had heard of the internet, let alone phrases such as ‘broadband’ and ‘fibre optics’ which are now etched into our everyday lives. Such is our reliance on high speed internet that it is a feature of our home and work lives that we have come to expect and, when from time to time the transition between web pages is slow or films and music seem to take an age to download, we pour scorn on the quality of our computer or connection. If your broadband connection is sluggish, there are several quick-fixes you can try before you call your Internet Service Provider for support.
Reboot Your Router
It may seem either ridiculously simple or just a try-anything approach for technophobes, but restarting your router could be the technological equivalent of pouring a bowl of boiling water down the sink when it becomes blocked. Simply unplug your router, go and make a drink, reconnect and restart. You might find that your broadband speed has miraculously improved in that short space of time.
WiFi is everywhere, from cafes to shopping centres to airports and, within the home or work place, it certainly has its benefits. However, walls, stairs and other inconvenient architectural features tend to get in the way, interrupting the signal and slowing down your internet. There are two possible solutions: move your computer or, for even faster results, connect your computer to your router using an Ethernet cable (tidily hidden along skirting boards to overcome unsightly trip hazards).
Schedule Software Updates
Software updates – annoying but essential little bits of computer maintenance – take place all the time on your computer, usually without you even realising. Most applications and programs – and you can have tens or hundreds of these installed on your machine – run ‘background’ updates, downloading fresh data. While these help to keep your software up to date, they can have a considerable impact on your internet speed, so schedule these for times of the day when you don’t need to rely on high speed fibre optic broadband.
Secure Your Connection
Back to WiFi… Not only is it convenient, it’s also for everyone – literally. With an unsecured connection, everyone in your locality from your next door neighbour to the postman carrying his iPhone can hook up to your connection, putting it under strain and slowing it down. The more people that use a WiFi network, the less quickly it will run, so password protect your internet connection and make sure that only you and your nearest and dearest can get online.
High speed broadband is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest advances but, like most technology, at times it might not run quite as smoothly as you wish. But making these simple improvements could well put your connection back on track – and remember that if you call your ISP, they’ll probably ask you to make these changes before they start any diagnostics.
Photo: Kaleb Fulgham