How to speed up your internet connection


Does your broadband seem a bit sluggish? If so, there may just be a simple solution.
You'll need:
  • A computer connected to the internet. 
Follow these step-by-step instructions to find out how to speed up your internet connection
Step 1: Read our guide on How to check your internet speed and discover what speed your broad connection is actually producing.
Step 2: Find out what speed you’re paying your internet provider (ISP) for. You may have to phone them to get the answer to this. If you’ve had your broadband for some time, it may be time to upgrade.
Step 3: Check what speed is achievable in your area. This is also covered in our guide on checking your internet speed. A number of ISP’s are starting to use Optical fibres instead of copper telephone cables to offer superfast broadband and this may be available through your ISP. But it is not yet available across the whole of the UK. This type of connection can offer up to 100mb as it claims to be able to transfer data at the speed of light. However, this can still be dependent upon your phone line, so check first what speeds you can realistically expect.
Step 4: Now that you know what speed you’re paying for and what your hardware is capable of producing, there are a number of things you can do that are likely to make your internet run faster:
  • Check that you haven’t exceeded your monthly download allowance. Some ISPs cap internet speeds as a penalty for doing this.
  • If possible, always use the master telephone socket for your broadband router.
  • Don’t use a telephone extension lead with your router. If it’s unavoidable, use the shortest one you can.
  • Make sure that all other telephone sockets in use are fitted with microfilters (see right). Not doing this can result in loss of internet speed and interference on the line.Microfilters
  • Is your computer running any unnecessary applications in the background? This can slow things down considerably, but finding out if it’s happening can be a bit complicated. It might be best to ask an expert for help.
  • Make sure your antivirus software is kept up to date. Viruses and adware can slow down your computer and the internet a lot.
  • If you’re using wifi (wireless internet), make sure it’s password protected. Otherwise you could be providing your neighbours with free wifi!
  • If you’re using a laptop with a wireless connection, try using it in a different room or consider using a network cable to connect to the router instead.
Fiona Syrett is a Digital Unite tutor.

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Barbev Herbert's picture

By Barbev Herbert on 27th January 2013

this information has been extremely helpful and has made connecting to the internet much easier for me. many thanks for making everything so clear. I have saved these pages for future reference.
DU Community Manager's picture

By DU Community Manager on 28th January 2013

Our pleasure, Barbev.
WHOPPER's picture

By WHOPPER on 14th May 2014

DU Community Manager's picture

By DU Community Manager on 14th May 2014

I'm not quite sure what you mean? Do you mean what happens of the test shows you get faster speed than you thought you would? Faster speed than was advertised? If so, that's a good thing and you don't have to anything except enjoy your faster connection.
divert's picture

By divert on 4th October 2014

good one
Simon Harris's picture

By Simon Harris on 19th April 2017

You really need to test your internet speed with an Ethernet network cable connecting your PC to your router. If you have good internet speed but poor wifi - try moving your router away from any other wireless devices- especially cordless phones or wireless heating controllers. All these wifi routers and cordless devices work on nearby frequencies, and ideally should be at arms length distance away from each other.