1. Run a speed test
First of all, it’s wise to work out what your speed actually is. You can run a speed test through your account:
Navigate to SpeedTest or Fast to see what speeds you are receiving on your device.
2. Streamline your device
Check that you’re not running unnecessary programmes or apps on your device that could be slowing down your network. These include updates, security scans, media player pop-ups, and chat notifications. Background bandwidth-heavy TV and radio streaming services use up the most data.
3. Set up your Wi-Fi router properly
There are a few steps to this:
- Plug your Wi-Fi router into your master socket, and not an extension. This will be the largest socket in your house – normally found near your front door or in a hallway
- Position your router correctly:
- Facing towards you
- In the middle of your home
- Unobstructed by walls or furniture (especially not in a cupboard)
- Not on the floor
- Away from electrical devices like cordless phones and microwaves – these can interfere with your signal
- Check that it’s set up properly – that all the wires are connected securely and you have your microfilter on
- Turn it on and off again. That does the trick a surprisingly high number of times… If you’re using the same router that we sent you.
- Locate the power button on your router
- Press it and wait 10 seconds before rebooting. For a more comprehensive reboot, leave it off for 3 minutes
- Finally, perform a factory reset on your router. A factory reset allows the router to resync and re-programme all its details, which is particularly important if any network parameters have changed (e.g. part of your local network has been upgraded).
Warning: this will erase any manual changes you’ve made to the router (e.g. if you’ve changed its name).
4. Limit the number of devices connected to your Wi-Fi
Sometimes, life involves tough decisions.
Although we offer very fast speeds, having a large number of devices connected is likely to impact your connectivity. Therefore, consider disconnecting some of them when your speeds are low. Data-hungry devices that do a lot of streaming of films, music and games have a particularly significant impact.
You can try and work around this by balancing your data use through the day. Schedule tasks (like downloading films or software updates) for times when data requirements are likely to be low (e.g. early in the morning).
5. Reduce your data needs
There are often simple things you can do to cut down on the amount of data you use:
If you’re carrying out video calls or meetings, turn the video off; or try video streaming on one screen rather than multiple different ones
Turn off HD streaming on Netflix / reduce your music streaming quality on Spotify
6. Plug into the router directly
If you’re still struggling with your Wi-Fi then try connecting your device directly to your router with an Ethernet cable. Ethernet cables tend to work faster than wireless connections.
7. Change your Wi-Fi router channel
If you’re struggling with a poor Wi-Fi connection, you might want to try changing your wireless channel settings. If your Wi-Fi router is broadcasting on the same channel as your neighbours, it could slow your internet down. In general, channels 1, 6 and 11 give you the best speeds and minimal interference.
8. Carry out a test socket test
Your test socket bypasses the internal wiring in your house and connects directly to the Openreach line outside. It therefore can help identify whether there’s an internal issue with your home wiring, or instead a fault in your local area.
You can find your test socket inside your master socket. The master phone socket is the main socket where the phone line enters your home, usually found in the hallway near the front door.
Master sockets that have two ports, or one port with a horizontal line across the front, contain a test socket.
If your master socket has one port without a horizontal line, then you don’t have a test socket; so, do not carry out a test socket test.
If your connection improves while you’re connected to the test socket, then the problem is probably inside your home.
If this happens, then try reconnecting your router at its original location before the test socket test, and gradually re-introduce items and devices one by one, testing each time whether the connection deteriorates. This can help identify which device might be responsible. If you still can’t identify the problem, you may need to get an expert to repair or reinstall faulty wiring.
If your connection doesn’t improve, this suggests an issue with the underlying network
9. Check whether there are any known issues with the underlying network
You can detect whether there are any known issues with your network (i.e. the wires before getting to your router) by checking online, with neighbours or by reaching out to us.
10. Buy a Wi-Fi extender
If you live in a big house, Wi-Fi extenders help widen the coverage area of your Wi-Fi network. When looking at Wi-Fi extenders to buy, cheaper ones may lead to some speed loss, whereas higher end extenders will retain similar speeds to your core router.
11. Drop us a message
If you’re a customer of ours, sometimes you’ll need to contact us directly – for example if there’s an issue with the underlying cables between your house and the exchange.