It’s a familiar scene. You’ve got your Zoom call up and running, finally having that virtual catch up that you’ve been meaning to have for ages. You’re mid-anacdote and then…
The frame freezes. The dreaded buffering circle pops up and you launch into your familiar, frantic process of rapidly refreshing the web page, trying other browsers, quickly disconnecting from and then reconnecting to the router and turning it off and on altogether.
A slow internet connection can wreak havoc on the modern household. From causing your friends and loved ones to freeze on screen to your weekly online grocery shop getting stuck at the checkout, a dodgy connection can knock the wind out of your sails. For those working from home, connectivity issues can interrupt meetings, disrupt workflow and reduce productivity. In short, a slow internet connection can be a right pain in the modem!
Luckily, despite this, you do have some control over your internet connection speed. In fact, there are several easy and effective steps you can take to speed up your internet connection. Here are our favourite 5 tips to beat the buffering!
If your internet requirements have increased (due to heavier internet use, more internet-enabled devices in your household or guests staying) your loss of speed could be due to your package not covering your requirements. Contact your internet service provider to find out what your existing plan covers. If you find that you are regularly having connection issues, it may be time to upgrade your package.
However, if you suspect that you’re not getting what you are paying for, use an online speed checker to see whether the speeds you are experiencing match those outlined in your package.
Your internet connection is not an unlimited resource. Only so much information can pass between your router and the internet and this means you need to secure it. If your router is not protected, your neighbours may be using your connection and, in doing so, could be causing your internet connection to slow down.
Most routers come password-protected, but not all of them are preconfigured in this way. If you’re unwittingly using an open router, it’s important you set up a password immediately.
To do this, you first need to find out your Default Gateway. This may be printed on your router. If not:
It’s all too easy to clutter up your computer, but all of this unnecessary stuff could be slowing down your internet connection. Certain apps can eat up your bandwidth, such as:
How to close down unnecessary apps
Depending on when you last did this, unnecessary files may be taking up room in your computer’s storage – which can slow down your device.
Remember when you used to listen to the radio, but when you stood in a certain spot the signal would start to go? Every time that happened it was because your body was interfering with the signal. It’s easy to tell when a radio experiences such interference – you can hear it!
Well, did you know that your router is using the same stuff – radio waves – to connect you to the internet? Just as your body could interfere with your radio signal, other electronic devices can interfere with your internet connection. But rather than hearing this interference, you’ll notice a drop in internet speed.
Try to keep your electronic devices separate to avoid similar frequencies interfering with each other. Don’t keep your Fritzbox on top of your skybox or next to your microwave.
How to get the best possible Wi-Fi signal:
If lots of people are using the same Wi-Fi channel, you may experience your connection slowing down. This is because neighbouring networks that are operating on the same frequency can interfere with your own network. Not all routers are created equal, some are smarter than others and will automatically change channels to avoid congestion. However, others don’t, but it is possible to manually change your Wi-Fi channel and most routers allow users to select from a choice of 11 different channels.
Although changing Wi-Fi channels isn’t quite as easy as switching television channels, it’s not rocket science and doing so can give you a big speed boost, if you live in an area with lots of electromagnetic congestion.
How to switch Wi-Fi Channels
A variety of apps allow you to see which frequencies have the least amount of traffic in your area. For example: the Wi-Fi Analyser App gives users a visual representation of Wi-Fi usage, by frequency, in their area. Similar apps are available for desktop and IOS use.
If you’ve implemented every Wi-Fi boosting tip you can find and your internet is still not fast enough, it may be because of where you live. Unfortunately, your internet connection will depend, ultimately, on both your package and the infrastructure in your area.
Because of this, people living in certain parts of the Island experience faster or slower connections. There is some good news, however. With Fibre broadband more widely available across the island, there is some hope for these areas with patchy connectivity.
Delivering an Internet connection over fibre optic cables rather than copper lines, fibre broadband represents the next generation of connectivity. Fibre optic cables are able to transfer information a lot faster than traditional copper wires, transmitting data through pulses of light rather than electrical signals and allowing your data to get from A to B much quicker.
If you’re sick and tired of slow broadband disrupting your work, relaxation, or socialising, get in touch with Wi-Manx today. The island’s only 100% locally owned IT and telecoms company, we’re experienced in delivering quality broadband to homes just like yours.
Wi-Manx is a locally owned home phone and broadband supplier, keeping the island connected with reliable connectivity and quality voice solutions.
To find out more about our phone and broadband solutions, get in touch with our team today.