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How to Make Your Internet Faster

WITI News Staff

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By Roy Castleman

In this day and age, an internet connection is something we've come to expect in all places and at all times. Having to wait for a webpage to download is an inconvenience that can cause our attention to wander; we need information to be delivered immediately. Our time is valuable, down to the second. So, with all the ongoing advancements in technology and the high speeds that we know to be possible, why do we still encounter lagging connections?

One location where connectivity often disappoints is exactly where you would expect it to be lightning fast. As one of the largest and most advanced cities in the world, London leads in many industries, yet some boroughs have reported broadband speeds as low as 0.26mbps. This can be due to the proportion of copper against fiber in the telephone lines, how easy it is to install or how much willingness there is to invest in new broadband infrastructure.

For those enterprises having trouble with network infrastructure in the London area, one idea would be to employ a London IT support firm that can deliver a reliable and valued service just when you need it. If your internet speeds are proving slower than they should be, there are a number of measures you can take. (Chances are you're familiar with and have used some if not all of these, but if not, you might find something useful here.)

Reboot the modem and router
This is the basic first step to take, and one that most are familiar with. Modems and routers can become overloaded and need to be reset. This may be because these devices have been powered up for a long time, or it may be because the modem has slowly de-synchronized from the ISP, causing packets that are sent and received to become corrupted.

Many modems and routers are integrated so they can be restarted at the same time, with at least ten seconds before restarting, depending on the manufacturer. After rebooting, it may take a few seconds to reconnect to the internet provider. Routers that are not correctly configured may also affect performance, and the recommended settings can be checked with the ISP.

Check your internet speeds
Making sure that you are on the right network and running an internet speed test to check the ping, download and upload speeds you are receiving, should be one of the first ports of call. If your speed test result does not correspond with the details of your internet plan, then you will need to contact your internet provider to find out what could be the cause of the discrepancy. Any problems with hardware or cables will necessitate a call to the ISP, while Wi-Fi connections can be slowed by poor signals or a congestion of devices.

Change your DNS server
The DNS server is the application that finds the corresponding IP address when internet devices connect to websites, such as through a browser. The ISP usually provides the DNS server, but at times these can become slow or overloaded, and they may be location dependent so faster speeds can be achieved by trying a different one. Common DNS servers include Google Public DNS, Comodo Secure DNS or OpenDNS.

Check for malware
Malware, such as internet worms, are able to spread through networks from device to device. Computers can become infected without the knowledge of the user, and certain malware can hijack bandwidth and slow down the internet connection, among other potentially harmful activities. It is very easy for malware or viruses to be downloaded unintentionally.

The best way to deal with this is by deploying some reliable antivirus or endpoint security solutions that ensure harmful software is combatted or prevented.

Optimise your bandwidth and computer
Processes taking place in the background have the potential to slow down devices by consuming network resources. These could be downloads or updates that occur without our knowledge, but which slow down the operation of the machine or limit bandwidth.

Applications that use video can take up bandwidth, and these could be quietly running in the background. Extensions like Adblock Plus or Privacy Badger help to block these unwanted advertisements with animations and videos that consume bandwidth. For faster operations, internet history, downloads, cookies and cache images can be managed or deleted.

Check your coax cables
If you suspect a hardware issue, it could be caused by your use of coaxial cable splitters that connect with your cable modem. Along with broadband cables significantly affecting your connection, these adaptors have the potential to degrade your signal strength and weaken your internet speeds.

Coaxial cable splitters quality ranges, so these could be simply replaced for a stronger connection. Try removing the splitter to see if this is affecting the network and consider investing in a product of the highest quality.

Most of us rely on optimal internet connections in business, as this can affect the productiveness of our daily practice, or even the success of an important project. Low or inconsistent internet speeds may be caused by a range of different factors, which can mainly be tested and dealt with relatively easily. If this is unsuccessful, then the assistance of reliable IT support could be the next step. If the problem persists, then an IT relocation could be considered, as connectivity in London is quite location dependant. The importance of connectivity cannot be ignored, so businesses should plan carefully for it.

Roy Castleman is the founder and managing director of Prosyn Ltd. (PROfessional SYNergy), a London-based IT support organization focusing on small and medium-sized businesses. An experienced consultant in disaster recovery, he has accreditation with such companies as Microsoft, HP, and Cisco.

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