Top 10 tips for improving your broadband connection

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As the winter months set in and the credit crunch bites, thinkbroadband.com is advising broadband users how to make the most out of their broadband connection. As recent results have found, the average broadband speed is as little as 3.6 Mega bits per second (Mbps). Consumers could find that by following some of these steps they could actually improve the speed of their connections until providers are able to deliver on promised speeds.

Sebastien Lahtinen, co-founder of thinkbroadband.com comments, Whilst consumers may be cutting back on luxury items, broadband is one of the luxuries that users say they would hang onto for as long as possible. In order for them to get the best value for money from their broadband connection, we are offering users some simple advice that could help them improve their service, or save a bit of extra money where possible.

Most of the technical comments apply to ADSL Broadband only.

SELECTING THE RIGHT DEAL

1.      Check to see if your service provider has a more up-to-date productIf youve been with the same supplier for many years, its likely that they have better deals and faster services available and often all you have to do is just ask. Beware however that you may enter into a new 12 month or longer contract.

2.      If you are in an area served by LLU (local loop unbundled) operators such as O2/Be, Sky, etc. then you may be able to switch to a faster ADSL2+ service. If you are already on a faster ADSL2+ service, check to make sure your router supports this or you may not be getting the speeds you should. If youre getting more than 3 Mbps downstream already, you may find the improvement is significant, but even if you arent, it may help the upstream speed.

3.      Check to see if you can take advantage of a bundle dealCompanies like Virgin Media and Sky are bundling television/phone services and mobile networks offer broadband/mobile bundles. If you can combine your services, you may be able to save money.

4.      Do you have a friend already on a service you want to use?Sometimes you (and they) might benefit from a refer a friend deal where one or both of you get a discount.

5.      Watch out for short term promotional offersSometimes a big 9.95 price label will draw you in, but after a few months the price may rise.

TECHNICAL HELP

6.      Run a few speed tests (http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest.html) at different times of the dayFind out how your broadband is performing. Early mornings should be the least busy so you should get the fastest speeds.

7.      Make sure all your phone sockets have microfilters attached Unless you have an ADSL faceplate filter in your master socket, you need to ensure every single telephone extension with any device attached (telephone, modem, fax, Sky TV receiver, alarm system, etc.) has a microfilter.

8.      If you have any telephone extensions in the house, you may benefit from installing a BT I-PlateIf you have more than one phone socket connected to the same phone line, the wiring from the master socket (the first telephone socket in the house) to the other extension sockets can cause interference. This can sometimes be improved by installing a small device in the master socket. See our I-Plate Installation Video (http://www.thinkbroadband.com/videos/iplate-installation.html). If you dont need the extensions, just remove them.

9.      If you are having problems connecting from an extension socket, try moving your router to the master socket, ideally by removing the faceplate and plugging into the test socket underneath. This will remove all the extensions and also help you identify if your extension wiring is causing problems.

10.  If you have problems that occur regularly, try turning off electrical equipment in your home to see if they are the cause of problems. Boilers, treadmills, or other devices with a motor or pump can cause electrical noise or interference which can affect the stability of your broadband. Even Christmas lights can cause issues. Keep your ADSL modem and wiring away from mains power cables.

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