A lot turns on the strength of your broadband speed.
If you are a business, the strength of your broadband determines how quickly you can download and transfer files, how long it takes to process data and the quality of your communication, with your clients.
Faster connections will allow your team to carry out tasks, efficiently and guarantee smoother customer engagement, on your contact channels.
Slower connections could affect the pace of work and dampen the quality of your interaction with customers.
Unless you remedy the issues arising, from slow broadband, your clients could seek better service elsewhere.
This could, in turn reduce your sales and shrink your revenues.
If you are struggling with less than optimal broadband speeds, you should find this article useful.
Here, we will note some of the possible causes, of your slow internet speed and present practical steps that you can take, to fix this problem.
First, let us answer a few questions, about broadband internet, so, we get a sense of where we are headed.
What is Broadband Speed?
Broadband speed refers to how quickly you can upload, or download data, with your internet connection.
It is measured in megabits per second, (Mbps) and kilobits per second, (Kbps). These days, we, also, hear talk of speeds, reaching several gigabits, per second, (Gbps).
A kilobit is, a thousand bits; a megabit is, a million bits. One gigabit refers to a billion bits.
A bit is, the smallest unit of data, on your computer.
If your broadband speed is 20 Mbps, this means that you can transfer, up to 20,000,000 bits, of data per second, over your internet connection.
This is faster than a broadband speed of, say, 20 Kbps, or 20,000 bits per second.
How Fast Should Your Internet Be?
The answer to this question, depends on what you are using your internet for.
If you routinely transfer heavy files between computers, you will need much faster broadband than those who, only, uses their internet for simple text emails.
Some video streaming services require speeds of at least 5 Mbps. If you are working with a speed of 50 Mbps, you could download a 2 GB file, in about five minutes.
Things that May Be Slowing Down Your Broadband
Many people tend to blame their Internet Service providers, (ISPs), for their slow broadband, but it is not always the ISP’s fault; a lot of other factors could contribute to slower internet connection. Some of them are explained below:
- Quality of Your Hardware: If your cables and router are old, they may cause your broadband to slow down. It is advisable that you check your connection hardware and replace it with new equipment if they have aged.
- Distance from Network Centralizer: The farther you are, from your service provider’s broadband centralizer, or access points, the slower your internet is likely to get.
- Obstructions: Network signals, could weaken if there are walls, or other things standing in its path.
- Spyware and Viruses: Spyware may affect your broadband speeds, by interfering with your browser. Computer viruses may, also, multiply to weigh down computing power and impede normal functioning.
- Router Location: Routers need to be placed in a central, elevated location, or at least, at a point that lets signals travel unimpeded, to your computers. When it is not positioned this way, broadband speeds will be lower.
- Several Devices and Users: Access speeds may drop if there are several users and multiple devices, using a single network.
- Heavy or Outdated Applications: Applications that have not been updated can affect internet speeds. They may also slow things down if they use a lot of bandwidth.
- Peak Time: Think about internet traffic, as a stream of vehicles on a road. There is, usually, more traffic, during peak periods, so movement—or internet speeds –could be slower, at those times. Peak period for internet connections is, usually, somewhere between morning and evening. Off peak periods may last between 2 AM and 7 AM, when there are fewer people, using the internet.
How to Check Your Broadband Speed
You can find out how fast, or slowly, your broadband is working, by conducting a broadband speed test.
It is simple and takes just a few steps:
- Link your computer to your router, with an Ethernet cable
- Go to your browser
- Search for a speed testing platform, (examples include speedtest.net, fast.com and speedcheck.org)
- Follow the instructions, on the site you choose
Note that the broadband speed displayed may be, slightly lower, or higher than what your ISP says it provides.
This is not, necessarily, a problem. You only have cause to be concerned if the speed test, consistently, shows results that are much lower, than what your ISP claims to be supplying you.
How to Speed Up Your Broadband
You could take these steps to make your broadband faster:
Protect Your Connection
It might be that your internet connection has no password protection and other users are linking up to it, without your knowledge. As we noted earlier, having multiple users, on your connection at once, may affect your internet speed. By restricting access with a password, you could reduce the possibility of this happening.
Change Your Router’s Location
Place your router, in a more central location, so that it achieves broad coverage, or just make sure that the paths between it and your computers, are not impeded, by walls, or other obstructions. Ideally, you should put it, in an elevated place, like a shelf, or up a wall.
Close or Remove Bandwidth-Consuming Applications
Some applications could start and run, without your knowledge, consuming bandwidth and stifling access speeds. Make sure to shut down these applications or remove them if they are not important to you. You should, also, delete old files and wipe your browsing history clean, to free up space and allow quicker computing.
Scan Your System with an Antivirus
Combat bandwidth-shrinking malware, with up-to-date antivirus. You can set your antivirus, to scan your systems, for spyware, or viruses on a regular basis.
Change Your Service Provider
If other measures do not help, the problem may well be, from your service provider. In this case, you will have to try some other ISP and see if they can offer you a faster connection.
Get Fast, Reliable Broadband for Your Business
If you are looking to solve your issues, with broadband speed, you can speak to the experts, at Layer3.
They will assess your needs and recommend changes, besides the few mentioned here.
Layer3, also, provides secure, stable and fast broadband service. Its broadband package guarantees low latency, to the internet, routable IP addresses and multiple connections, to the internet backbone, via submarine cables.
It is, exactly, what your business needs to maintain a high standard, for its operations.
Find out how these features can benefit your organization. Get in touch with the Layer3 team and request a demo today.
About the Author
Victoria Shokunbi, Business Development Executive at Layer3
Featured Image: itnews.com.au
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