How to test your internet speed – and the best ways to improve it
Working from home can be difficult, especially when your internet connection decides to shut down while you’re in the middle of a meeting … Here’s how to test your broadband speeds
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With many people working or studying from home, fast, reliable broadband is more important than ever.
Having an unstable connection that hangs, goes down, or is just painfully slow, can make communication difficult and really disrupt the workday.
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to test your broadband speeds at home without having to become a computer technician.
And there are also a few tips that could improve your connection, making your day run smoother.
First, here’s how you can check your broadband speeds for free yourself.
How to test your internet speed
There are a range of free tools you can use to check your internet speed:
All of these will test both your download speed (how fast you get data from the web) and your download speed (how fast you can send data to the web).
It is suggested to perform tests at different times of the day to see when your internet is having the most difficulty.
Peak times, referred to as “Internet peak time” are between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., this could naturally create sluggishness for your Internet when there are a large number of people in your area on the same network at the same time.
If you’ve performed the tests and are having trouble with your internet connection, here are some ways to improve it:
Change the location of the router
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Are you wondering why you have slow internet speeds? Find out more by reading our survey of why the Tories are to blame for Britain’s slow internet speeds.
The closer you are to the router, that is to say to the WiFi, the faster your Internet connection will be. WiFi cannot pass through large objects such as thick walls, so it is advisable to have a clear path between you and the router.
The money saving expert suggests the best place to place your router:
- Choose a central location
- Position it high without any obstacles around
- Don’t hide your router in a closet or drawer
- Don’t camouflage it with photo frames or ornaments
Move the router away from other devices
Routers don’t like electromagnetic interference, so it may be helpful to keep other electrical devices away.
Ofcom says that halogen lights, electric dimmers, stereo or computer speakers, string lights, televisions and monitors, and AC power cords are all known to interfere with the WiFi signal.
Move your router away from other devices, then run another speed test to see if it improves.
Make sure you have a strong password
Make sure your WiFi is encrypted and password protected, so neighbors cannot use your network. The more devices you have connected, the slower speeds you will get.
A strong password should be at least eight characters long and a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. It should not contain any personal information, such as the name of a pet or your date of birth.
It’s also worth turning off WiFi on devices you don’t use.
Buying one of these can help extend your WiFi signal, giving it the extra boost it needs.
They are typically used for large properties, but if your internet is having trouble reaching certain rooms in your home, this can be a good option.
Only audio conferences
If you’re in a business meeting and your internet connection continues to cut you off or freeze your face, switch to audio only.
By doing this, it will allow your WiFi to work only on audio sound rather than audio and picture.
Use an Ethernet cable
If you have one, plugging an Ethernet cable directly into your laptop or computer will likely give you a more stable internet connection.
TLC for your computer
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Keeping your device clean, tidy, and in working order is essential, so give your device a “spring cleaning” every now and then to check that everything is in working order.
You need to make sure that you are using the most recent version of your web browser as this will likely run faster and provide better security when you are online as well.
You should also check that background apps are not running when you are not using them and you should clear your cache. If there are any pending updates, forward them.
Hope the above tips will help your WIFI speed by helping you keep working from home without worrying about unstable internet connection distracting you.