Broadband FAQ's

My WiFi range and signal is weak

WiFi routers only have a finite range – most normally about 30 meters in the open air. WiFi signals are radio waves and sometimes can’t find their way through walls, insulation, double glazing etc. Thick stone walls will reduce your range dramatically. You can get N-spec routers which promise greater range, external antennas or you can relocate your router.

Do I need a Microfilter on every extension?

You need a microfilter on every extension which has a phone or router plugged into it (or a fax or Sky or anything else connected to your phone system). Microfilters separate the voice from the data down your line. You do not need one on an extension socket that has nothing plugged into it.

Downloads are taking forever

Speed is a common issue that’s most often misunderstood. On an 8Mbps full speed connection you can theoretically download a maximum of about 3gig per hour. That assumes you have a full speed connection, the side you are downloading from can match your download speed and that there’s no congestion on your connection. It’s worth noting that 8Mbps means 8 mega bits per second and not 8 mega bytes per second . If your internet is always slow then there may be a problem which we can investigate for you, simply let us know.

iPlayer or Youtube keeps pausing

This is usually to do with congestion on the internet or on your internal network. Make sure no one else is downloading too – another computer downloading a large file will eat all of your available bandwidth and make iPlayer and YouTube crawl. If you are the only computer connected you need to be able to achieve about 2Mbps – this can sometimes be difficult during evenings and weekends when everyone on your street will be trying the same thing.

How can I make my broadband faster

There’s lots of ways. The key is reducing the noise on the cable inside your house. There’s not much you can do about BT’s cables and the distance you are to your exchange. Our own tests have shown that by checking the cabling and connections in your house can improve your speeds, sometimes by 50%. a BT iPlate and good microfilters are always a start. Your router should also be plugged into your Master socket if possible. Feel free to contact our Technical Support to discuss this further. There are several articles all over the web too, so try googling.

How do a choose a good password

Strong passwords are incredibly important. See our guide here for tips on creating a good, strong password.

Can I use a PC with your broadband

Yes. If you have a Windows based PC, a Mac or a Linux machine, they all work with out internet connection.

Should I leave my router turned on or off?

They prefer to be left on – particularly when you first get broadband. The equipment at your exchange is much happier keeping your connection open rather than logging you in and out (whilst we don’t mind at all). It’s quicker to get browsing and emailing if the connections already active too. If you’re concerned about the power usage though, it’s okay to turn it off when you are not using it – in our experience this tends to cause more connection issues though.

My Microwave interferes with my broadband (or other large electrical device)

Unfortunately this is the big weakness in Wireless networking in the home. Your wireless network uses radio waves at the 2.4-2.5Ghz frequency. Trouble is your microwave uses a similar frequency to cook your food! Don’t be alarmed, your wireless network cannot cook your brain! There’s a few things that can be done that may or may not help:

- Move your base station or wireless router further away from your Microwave

- Change your wireless channel. Most microwaves run at 2.45Ghz – similar to Channel 9 of the WiFi standard. Move it further away so that wireless packets are not so confused. Channel 1-4 are good starting points.

- Angle your WiFi antennae horizontally rather than vertically – something to do with microwaves traveling at different directions – it sometimes actually works!

- Avoid positioning your base station or router near large metal objects or metal/mirrored surfaces, these amplify any interference usually.

- Throw out your microwave or your computer, I know which I’d choose!


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