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My broadband is slower than normal: what can I do?

Don't forget that broadband speeds fluctuate throughout the day.

Just like driving on a motorway, traffic slows down at peak periods. If these fluctuations are a real problem for your business, take a look at our BTnet Leased Lines (guaranteed speed, whatever the time of day or volume of traffic).

But if you're getting slow speeds constantly, there are three broad possibilities: there's a major fault in your area, something has changed in your premises, which is causing your broadband to run more slowly than it should do, or there's a fault with your connection somewhere.

  1. Is there a major fault in your area?

    Check our service status page to see if there's a problem where you are.

  2. Try the speedtester

    You may think your connection is slow but it may be the fastest connection you can get. The most accurate way to test the line speed is to go to this address and follow the instructions:

  3. Tips for getting the best speed from your broadband

    Here's a list of things to look out for. If you follow each of these suggestions and there's no change in your speed, then you'll need to visit our Repair Centre. But try these first:

    3.1 Where to put your router

    • Move the router away from sources of electrical interference

      There are quite a few things that can affect your router's performance if you position it too close. So make sure it's at least five feet away from TVs, monitors, dimmer switches, PC speakers, halogen desk lamps, and so on.

    • Move the router away from sources of radio interference

      Wireless works best when there's clear space between the router and the computer. That means no thick walls, ceilings, radiators, and anything else that could get in the way of the signal.

    3.2 Maintain your computer

    • Clean up your computer

      No, put the screen wipe away. Not that kind of clean up. If your computer is clogged up with files, it can affect the speed of the computer and the speed you can browse the internet, so just go to your System Tools and run Disc Clean Up and Disk Fragmenter.

    • Empty your cache

      This is easy and effective. We've got an FAQ to help, too: How do I empty my internet cache or cookies?

    3.3 Are you meeting the minimum spec?

    • Use an up-to-date router

      To get the most from your broadband service you're best off with a router with 'wireless-N' technology. Our Business Hub uses this.

    • Use a modern computer

      Computers get old pretty fast. If yours is more than five years old, you'll probably find that it's running slow compared to a modern machine. Now might be the time to invest in a new one. See our tips on speeding up your computer or device.

    • Reduce the number of users on the line (no matter what device they're using)

      Check how many people are actually trying to use your broadband connection. It may be that you've got too many users for your wireless signal to cope with effectively.

    3.4 Test to see if there's a problem with your set-up

    • Use an Ethernet cable instead of a wireless connection

      You'll get a faster speed connecting your computer directly to the router using an Ethernet cable. However, this isn't always practical. In which case, you'll need to make sure the wireless router works efficiently, so...

    • Make sure that you have a micro-filter on all equipment plugged into the broadband line

      If you're plugging any item into a socket on your broadband line - phone, router, modem, fax, alarm, TV, whatever - you must always plug it into a micro-filter before plugging it into the line socket.

    • Plug your router into your main telephone socket rather than an extension

      If this is an option in your premises, give it a go. And make sure you use a micro-filter.

    • Try a different computer on the same connection

      If the other computer gets a faster connection, you'll know that the problem lies with your original computer.

  4. I've tried all that but it's still slow. How do I report a fault?

    Go to our Repair Centre where you'll be able to identify, fix, report, and track your fault online. It's simple to use but effective: we'll take you through a series of steps, we'll run some tests on your line, and (if we can't fix the fault there and then), we'll arrange for an engineer to come out to you (where that's appropriate).

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