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Problems with your wifi

One of the most common causes of slow internet speeds are actually problems with your wi-fi, not the internet coming into your property.  Here's a selection of our top tips to boost your wi-fi performance and in turn your broadband speed.

1. Switch the Wi-Fi off and on again

Most routers have a dedicated button for toggling the Wi-Fi on or off or just turn it off for 10 seconds at the wall. 

2. Switch off or disconnect devices you’re not using

Smartphones, TV boxes, or games consoles could be hogging precious bandwidth and doing uploads or backups you are not aware of.  Not only will this boost your speed but if you're not using them it'll save on your electric bill too!

3. Up the security on your wi-fi connection

Making your router more secure is a good idea whether you’re having speed issues or not, but it could be a reason as someone else may be using your connection!

Try these simple changes:

- Change your Wi-Fi password regulalry, preferably to one the geeks would love - something that includes upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation.

- Change the SSID - the name of your Wi-Fi network - to something unique.

- Set it to the highest level of encryption - WPA2 is the most secure.

4. Move your router somewhere central

The further you are from the router, the weaker the signal is.  So if you can try and have the router near where you use the connection most.  If you can't then consider a wi-fi extender or wi-fi repeater.  these are readily available online to order and pretty easy to install.  The closer you are to the device spitting out the wifi signal the better and thick walls can block signals or make it a struggle to connect to devices far away.

5. Beware of interference

Shift your wifi router away from electronics like cordless phones, microwaves, and baby monitors which  can interfere with Wi-Fi signals. Or, go into your router’s settings and change what channel the Wi-Fi is broadcasting on. This will switch it to a cleaner channel with less interference.

To change the Wi-Fi channel:

- On a Windows PC: Run the Command Prompt (either in Start - All Programs - Accessories, or by searching “cmd”), and type in “netsh wlan show networks bssid”. You’ll see a numbered list of the wireless networks nearby. Make a note of which channel is furthest away from the ones in use, or the one with the weakest signal.

- On a Mac: Click the Apple logo at the top, select About this Mac - System Report - Network - Wi-Fi. You’ll see a numbered breakdown of the channels being used nearby. Note down which channel it says is the best.

- Look at the back of your router. There should be a sticker telling you how to log in to its settings - a web address, username, and password.

- Open a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, and type in the web address. Then log on with the username and password.

- Look for the wireless network settings. Depending on your provider, they might be under ‘Home network’ or general ‘Wireless settings’.

- You’re looking for a prompt that lets you choose a channel from one to 13. Select the number you made a note of earlier.

- Et voila. In a minute or two, your Wi-Fi should broadcast on the cleanest channel, meaning better signal and faster data transfer.

- Some modern routers have an ‘auto’ option when you’re selecting a channel. This means it’ll automatically broadcast on the best one. Select this if you can...

6. Change broadband provider

If you do all that and your broadband is still rubbish?  Maybe it's time to consider switching broadband providers...

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