How to improve Broadband Speed?

Broadband service across UK has shown a drastic improvement in recent years and the speed achieved by broadband providers has risen to the peak. Tight competition prevailing among various broadband providers has paved way for better broadband services. Various broadband providers such as Virgin Media, BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk and few other companies are already providing broadband service using fibre optic cables that transfer data at lightning speed. Many users are dissatisfied about the difference between the offered speed and the actual speed obtained. However, all the ISP's in UK are taking measures to improve the broadband speed and help more users to stay connected without disruption.

There are many factors that can affect the speed of an Internet connection. Users can try the following methods to boost their broadband speed.

Browser Optimization

Mostly Internet connections are used for browsing using web browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, etc. By default, all browsers are set to log the history and other relevant information, so that it can help users during their next visit to the website. However, this stored information can slow down the performance of the browser. Also, installing too many tool bars and add-ons decreases the speed of the Internet since all these mini applications access the connection automatically. So it is important for the users to optimize the browser and keep it light weighted. Now-a-days many applications automatically install a browser tool bar during setup. So it is important for the users to identify if the tool bar is of any use to him or her. This can help users to keep away from spyware which monitors browsing activity.

Other ways of increasing the browsing speed is by blocking various factors such as banner, flash, popup, ActiveX ads and other such nuisances. Troubleshooting and diagnosis of network problems or internet connectivity can as well help in browser optimization.

Remove Viruses and Spyware

Internet speed can also be affected by malicious programs like Virus, Spyware, Malware, etc. These programs mostly get installed from the Internet. Also, some of these programs are capable of communicating using the Internet which can eat up a lot of bandwidth. Moreover these programs reduce the performance of the Internet by affecting web browsers and various networking protocols available in the operating system. Users can overcome these issues by installing any reputed security software like Norton, Mc-afee, Kaspersky, etc. This software can be used to regularly scan the computer and protect the computer from these malicious programs.

Always keep your computer protected from Adware and Malware as well apart from Spyware and Viruses. The performance of the computer can be improved by scanning and removing Viruses, Adware and Spyware periodically.

Remove too many Anti-virus or Firewall

Sometimes users tend to install more than one anti-virus software or firewall, to protect their computers. Users install this software to make their computer more secure or sometimes forget to remove the previously installed security software during an upgrade or change to new software. However, multiple security software can slow down the performance of the Internet as well as the computer. These programs can be identified and removed from the computer either from add or remove programs or by using the disk clean up utility which is available in all the windows operating system.

Lack of maintenance, a fragmented drive, a full disk, uncontrolled applications etc are also some of the reasons for the slow down of the computer system. New software installed that is not compatible with the already existing software is likely to cause slow down of the computer system. Choosing Firewall and Antivirus that does not take much memory space and processing time is a good idea. This is to be followed if the memory capacity is 512MB or more. It is also important to have updated anti virus software in order to detect new Viruses, Worms and Trojans.

Replace faulty Cables and Devices

Any damage in Ethernet cable or devices like modem or router can greatly affect the speed of network. Damages thus caused may be external or internal. Computer system slows down if the modem or router comes with an outdated Firmware, which in turn causes loss of data packets. Damage in networking device also results in low broadband speed.

Certain equipments such as modem and routers are likely to cause interference and hence it becomes necessary to keep them away from electrical equipments. A good quality router will help you get the best broadband experience.

Replace faulty Ethernet cards

Ethernet or NIC (Network Interface Card) is one of the important components in a computer which helps to access the Internet. These cards can also slow down the Internet connection or might not be reliable if it is damaged. Also, corrupted drivers for these cards have to be updated in order to obtain the maximum speed.

It is always better to use wired Ethernet connection rather than the wireless connection as it can give the user improved speeds. Ethernet cards connect you to the network either in the office or at home. It is always necessary to check for the Ethernet card, incase you are unable to connect to the network. A faulty Ethernet card might also be a cause for the loss of connectivity. Check for the Ethernet card by pulling on both the ends and replace it with a new one in case the cord pulls away easily.

Avoid Bandwidth overhead

Broadband providers can slow down the speed of the Internet if excess bandwidth is used during peak hours. Most of the time excess usage happens without the knowledge of the user. All the programs installed in Windows based computer gets added up to the start up item automatically. These programs initializes as soon as the computer is turned on. Applications used for chatting, file sharing, updates, etc, get connected to the Internet as soon as the connection is turned on and eats up most of the bandwidth. This can lead to excess usage and slow down of Internet speed. Users might remove some of the unwanted start up items and monitor the usage of the Internet on a regular basis.

It is always best to perform regular scanning of the computer system in order to check for certain viruses that can damage the system permanently or temporarily.

Usage of Download Accelerator

There are many third party applications that help users to increase the speed of download by various compression methods. These applications compress the download data and increase the download speed to more than 10 percent. Ex: Onspeed

Few applications like Internet Download Accelerator also helps in solving various problems related to download speed, management of downloaded files and resuming of broken downloads.

Use Speed Boosters

Many speed booster devices are also available in the market which can increase the speed of the Internet. These devices are fit in between the telephone jack and the actual modem. These devices filter the broadband signals and avoid any electrical and magnetic interference and improve the speed of the connection. Ex: BT-I-Plate.

Internet speed boosters optimize your internet connection and keep the system in good condition. It prevents you from being disconnected by the ISP, optimizes the way you receive and send messages, optimize RAM when its level comes down etc. Internet speed boosters also helps in increasing the speed of the existing modem or network hardware by optimizing the Windows modem or hardware settings. Two main internet problems such as slow internet connection and uncertain disconnections are solved by Internet Speed Boosters.

Check if Wireless Connection is secured

Wireless broadband connection have become most popular among the users as it provides more mobility and sharing of the Internet. But security is one of the most important points of consideration while using a wireless Internet. These routers should be protected properly using network encryption keys like WEP and WPA, in order to block unauthorized usage. If not protected, these devices can be accessed by any nearest wireless enabled computer or laptops which can eat up bandwidth and reduce the speed of your Internet connection.

An uninterrupted wireless connection can be obtained by following several methods such as placing the router or modem in a central location, by placing the router away from the wall and metal objects, by replacing the router's antenna, by adding wireless repeater, by changing wireless channels etc.

Increase the offered speed or Change the ISP

If trying out all the above steps did not result in the increase of broadband speed, then users can try upgrading their service to higher speeds. Also users can consider changing the ISP's to get better access, if not satisfied with the present one. Broadband regulators like Ofcom instruct the providers to follow code of practice to ensure the speed of the connection. However, users can raise a complaint to the respective ISP's or directly to Ofcom for any false expectations.

It is always better to check from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) about the internet speed you are paying for. Internet speed can be tested and then be compared by using several websites meant for this purpose.

Bits Vs Bytes

Though bits and bytes refer to data transmission rates over a network, when it comes to the meaning, it is totally different. In simple words, it can be mentioned as 8 bits= 1byte, 1Kb=1000 bits and 1KB=1024 bytes. Hence, there is wide difference between Kbps and KB/s as well. One must be clear with this in order to understand about the internet aspects.

Protect your wireless network with passwords

Protecting your wireless router using password will allow you to safeguard your broadband from hackers. This might otherwise cause drop in the broadband speed. Router's wireless network can be switched off when not in use. After all, why should you allow a stranger enjoy your broadband allowance?

Avoid telephone extension cables

It is always better to avoid telephone extension cables, as poor quality cables might hinder broadband performance. Interference rate also increases with the extension cables. If at all you have no other go other than going in for extension cables, make sure that you make use of high quality cables only. Also, make sure that the cables are tangle free and not coiled.

Use microfilter

Microfilters help in preventing interference with other devices such as fax machines, phones etc. Hence, these devices must be connected through a microfilter. If you are already using microfilters, make sure that you use high quality ones only. The two types of microfilters available are ones with short flexible extension lead and inline style. There may be a chance for interference, if microfilters are used incorrectly. Every telephone connection requires one microfilter. Broadband router or modem normally comes with one or more microfilters.