Five ways to improve your broadband speed

23 March 2010

Slow speed is the single biggest cause of dissatisfaction among broadband users, according to the regulator Ofcom.

It found that while the average advertised broadband speed in the UK is 7.1 Mbps, internet providers only deliver 4.1 Mbps.

The good news is there are ways you can improve your broadband speed:

1. Reposition the router

The position of the router can have a significant effect on the quality of your wireless connection, so place it where the signal will be affected by as few obstructions and interference as possible, such as walls and electrical appliances.

2. Upgrade your browser

Older browsers, such as Internet Explorer 6, may handle data less efficiently, so upgrade to the latest browsers and it can greatly reduce the time it takes to download a web-page.

3. Monitor your applications

There are many applications, such as RealPlayer or Windows Updates, that may discreetly start running when you log in to your computer. Set these applications so they don't run automatically, to reduce both your bandwidth overhead and connection speed.

4. Secure your wireless connection

If you have wireless broadband, make sure you password-protect your network, as if you are unwittingly sharing your connection with unauthorised users they will be using up valuable bandwidth – not to mention the security threat this poses.

5. Avoid traffic jams

 The times of day at which you go online can greatly affect connection speeds, and the heaviest traffic is usually in the evenings, so try to surf during the day, or very late at night.

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