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:

    • 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...

      Check if there is a significant speed difference between wired and wireless. If there is take a look at the wireless settings on your hub. Choose your hub type here and then Wireless. This will show you how to get the best wi-fi settings for your connection.

    • 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. The only exception would be if your main BT socket is one of the two shown below, as they don't require extra filters.

    • 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.

    • Try the BT test socket

      Instructions on how to do this can be found here. This step takes you directly onto the BT network, bypassing any on-site interference and can help save you time when calling us.

  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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