There is nothing more frustrating than a slow broadband connection. Sometimes it seems that whichever broadband provider we opt for, however much we pay, we don’t ever seem to have a smooth connection or a speed that matches those advertised.
Whilst it’s often the case that your supplier is not providing the speeds advertised, something Ofcom are looking into at this very moment, there are other things you can do to get the best out of your connection.
1. Router positioning
Whilst it may appear that just plugging in your router and connecting is the way to go, you should take your time and try the router at various locations in your home or work before settling on a permanent position.
If it’s a wireless router, then avoid any obstacles such as placing it next to large pieces of furniture or close to thick walls. Signals will also bounce of mirrors, so if possible, have some free space around your router and the chances are you will have a better signal.
If it is a wired router then it may be wise to look at what devices are using the internet and looking for a central location. The less wire you have between your router and your PC, the stronger the signal and you’ll experience less degradation.
2. Install free anti-virus protection
Anti-virus protection will stop threats to your computer that will slow down your internet connection dramatically.
AVG have an excellent free anti-virus that comes highly recommended. AVG free isn’t as intrusive as some commercial versions and will give adequate protection to ensure you don’t get malware infections, which will significantly slow down your net speed.
3. Stop programs running in the background
One of the main causes of slow broadband is programs running that are not required. Many programs that you have downloaded or
installed will run even when you are not using them. When your computer starts often it will automatically start running programs in the background. So you will want to remove these from the start up.
The below steps will work for any version of Windows but you need to be absolutely sure you’re not disabling vital system components – only untick the elements that you’re sure are connected to a program such as MS Office, Adobe Reader, BBC iPlayer etc. If you’re not sure then Google the start-up program to ensure that it’s connected to a program that you don’t need running.
- Click on the Windows icon to the left bottom of your PC
- Type in “msconfig” (without speech marks) and hit enter
- A box will appear with several tabs across the top – choose ‘Startup’
As you can see, a list of all the programs which load at start-up are listed in here; leave anything to do with your system (such as the Toshiba info in the screen shot shown on the screen-shot below).
As you can see from the second screen shot, I have unticked programs that don’t need to be running in the background to enable my system to run faster. Most programs add themselves to startup by default, so often there is a lot of stuff running that you don’t need until you actually want to launch the program manually – untick these.
Essentially, the above will enhance your computer’s performance and ensure that your browsing experience is optimised as well. Once again be VERY careful what you untick and leave anything that looks system or anti-virus alone.
About the author: Kerry Butters contributes on behalf of Broadband Genie, the UK’s leading consumer comparison website for the best broadband deals.
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