Two Simple Ways to Improve your Broadband Speed

It’s taken 3 calls to my internet service provider and an engineer call out to do it, but this week I’ve learned 2 interesting things about what can affect my broadband speeds:

1)  The length of the RJ11 cable – this is the cable that goes from the filter in the telephone socket to your router.  Your broadband speed is limited by the distance you are from your nearest telephone exchange; apparently, every metre of RJ11 cable you use is the equivalent of being 100m further away from the exchange.  So if you use a 10m RJ11 cable, like I was, it’s the same as being another kilometre away.

You’re better off setting up the router near your main phone socket and using a longer ethernet cable instead (that’s the one that goes from the router into your computer – also known as an RJ45 cable) because this can be up to 100m long without affecting your broadband speed.

Alternatively you can use something called a Home Plug, which allows you to link your computer to your router via the mains without the need for one long cable.  This is especially good in situations like mine, where wireless connectivity is pretty useless (we have a house with thick solid walls and a studio in the garden).

2)  Turning your router off at night – this can badly affect your broadband speed by breaking the connection with the exchange, which then thinks there is a problem.  This can cause it to default back to a low bandwidth, just to ensure something is working.  The longer your connection stays up, the more confident the system gets about raising your bandwidth to send you more content in one go.  Think of it as the difference between sending a book to you through a pipe, first one page at a time, then a chapter, then a whole book at once.

So there you have it folks; two simple ways in which you may be able to improve your broadband speed.  Good luck!  🙂

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