Is Your New Superfast Broadband – Superslow?

There are three key areas you should look at when trying to identify slow “Superfast” broadband, these are:

  1. Your Internet connection.
  2. The service you are trying to use.
  3. Your own infrastructure and devices.

Original story found at Tek Cymru

Your Internet connection:

Lets start with doing a speedtest – when the voice from tech support tells you to do a speedtest via a cable connection, it’s because it really is the best way to determine any issue quickly.

Tekcymru recommends 2 independent speed testing websites:

  1. Speedtest.net (select Vodafone’s Newbury test server, select other servers to compare results).
  2. Speedtest.btwholesale.com (or ask your ISP for their own version if this one is unavailable).

Here are some factors thats can slow your connection down:

The following suggestions may be for the girl or boy geek to investigate, but they are plausible reasons why your broadband may be slow.

ISP Contention Ratio. (particularly with budget providers).

ISP Traffic Management Policy. (as above).

Does your ISP offer an agreed performance guarantee? – (likely if you’re paying £70 month+).

Time of testing.

DoS Attack underway during speedtest/internet use.

The service you are trying to access.

Generally speaking, the BBC News website works well most of the time, so if the cloud service or website your accessing is slow, try switching to this website to see if there’s any difference.

Check out http://downdetector.com – it detects websites and cloud services that go down (and they do, more often than you realise).

Your own infrastructure and devices.

Sometimes this is the last place you expect to influence any slowdown in your internet experience.

If your using old (3 years+) IT equipment, don’t expect it to be able to catchup with your new Superfast connection – it may actually be unable to cope with all the downloads and upgrades it previously didn’t have chance to access.

Firewall appliances and network switches found in offices may also slow down a user experience.

Wireless can be particularly problematic, for example in a new home or office with modern cavity (foil) insulation, or thick stone walls.

Have you ever tried placing your phone in a (switched off) microwave?  the signal immediately drops out – low power radio waves simply don’t travel well through objects.

So if it is a wireless related issue, what’s the solution?

Ensure your using “80211ac” wireless standard found on both the broadband router and wireless devices.

802.11ac uses the common 2.4Ghz frequency as well as the less common 5Ghz to transfer data – the latter being ideal for video calls and netflix.

Think of 5Ghz as being a 4th and 5th motorway lane.

Powerline extenders can also help with providing WiFi (and ethernet cable connections) in hard to reach areas.

Whilst WiFi is great – nothing beats a direct ethernet cable to the Internet router, providing it’s not too much of an inconvenience.

Then there’s the following:

FTTC Router or Modem Damage from line surges or corrupted firmware.

Router OS in need of restart.

FTTC Line Syncronisation Speed.

Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise (REIN).

Single High Impact Noise Events (SHINE).

The points in this article are not exhaustive, they also highlight that a call to your ISP could be a wasted one.