How to speed up your broadband experience

If you’re working or studying from home, shopping online or patiently queuing for festival tickets, you might already have experienced the nightmare that is slow or patchy internet speeds, so figuring out how to get the most out of your internet has become a priority.

The importance of your devices, your internet service providers (ISP) package, and how you can get the most out of your internet, play a vital role in speeding up your wifi to a level which works for you and your household. Let’s dig in to what’s behind it all and, more importantly, how we can speed things up.

How fast is fast really? And what can I do with that speed?

In 2019, according to consumer speed tests collected by price comparison site uSwitch, the UK average wifi speed was 54.2Mbps, with a fifth of homes still struggling with speeds of less than 10Mbps. When it comes to figuring out what speeds you need, we’ve got a couple of tips for you depending on your internet activities.

If you spend most of your time online streaming full HD content (TV shows on Netflix, films on Disney+, etc.), it is recommended that you need 5 Mbps to do this successfully. Unless you’re planning on streaming to several devices at once, in which case you’re going to need something faster.

Moving up to 4K Ultra HD (approximately 4x the quality of full HD, usually premium content on Netflix, Apple TV, YouTube and gaming platforms) then a single stream will need 25Mbps, and for multiple devices streaming simultaneously, you need to seriously consider investing in download speeds of at least 200 Mbps, which should work for most households.

Speeds like this are best achieved with a wired connection, so take that into account when considering your internet usage and the packages available to you.

Now isn’t that good to know?!

How does your internet package play a role in your speed?

It is important to remember that the ‘maximum’ speed of your connection is not a guarantee. Your ISP connection agreement should let you know the maximum speed, and the prioritised speed that they’re offering you.

Let’s use Ogi as an example. At Ogi we offer three distinct packages to our home customers, Ogi 150, Ogi 300 and Ogi 900; each of those packages are designed to suit the different needs of our customers. Looking at Ogi 300, this package is for slightly busier digital households with capacity for up to twenty devices and average download speeds of 300 Mbps (150 Mbps minimum download speed).

With speeds like this, you shouldn’t experience a problem with speeds with an Ogi full fibre package, but if you do there’s a lot you can do to sort stuff out:

Our top tips to help you speed you your experience

Here are some easy ways to improve your home connection – often with minimal effort, and often with your existing set-up.

Move your router

Walls, bookshelves and cupboards can potentially impact your wifi signal. By moving your router, you can make a real difference to the speeds you get and how far its wireless transmissions can reach. The perfect spot will depend on your home, but try not to hide your router in a corner, or under a cupboard, or inside a drawer – the more central and prominent it is, the better. Don’t assume your new Ogi router has to go where your master socket was. All of this is also true for your wifi extenders.

Now, it is important to understand that moving your router somewhere more prominent may mean you have to get creative with your cabling, but, taking the time to find the perfect position for your router, and spending the time to cable manage your home will result in a future proofed connectivity, where your router will benefit from having the ideal home.

Upgrade your equipment

Your service provider is going to be supplying you with the equipment, but it’s worth remembering the age of devices can affect the speed of your network connection, but, as well as your own personal devices, equipment supplied to you by your ISP (i.e. your router) can get old too! The general recommendation is that you upgrade to a new router every three to four years. So keep that in mind when you’re trying to improve your wifi speed!

Use an ethernet cable

If you’re working on a laptop or at a desktop computer the ideal situation would be that you would use an ethernet cable to connect those devices to the internet. You are always guaranteed a stronger, faster, more reliable connection when you’re connected via an ethernet cable.

Obviously, wifi is great, and it’s changed the way we can use the internet. Still, there will always be a time and a place for ethernet cables, be that for online multiplayer games, or live streaming content, which require a more stable connection.

Check your speed

One of the final things to mention is the importance of keeping track of your internet speeds. If you experience lackluster connectivity at “rush-hour” and only then, maybe it’s worth considering how many people in your household are actively using your network at that time. If however your speeds are not up to scratch throughout the day, you need to monitor the speed throughout the course of the day, over a few days. This will give you a better understanding of your speed. If you have made your home as friendly for fast connectivity as possible, it’s time to get in touch with your ISP.

If you’re a member of the Ogi family and you’re struggling with your internet connection, we have our own internet speed tester for you! Head on over, and check your speed. If your Ogi speed is a real struggle for you, make sure you’re checking numerous times a day, at different times (not just active times!) and over a couple of days and let us know at [email protected] or by calling 029 2002 0550.

Manage your devices

Something many of us forget is that the age of your devices will also affect the speed of your connection. It is possible for an older device to slow things down for you. With the new technologies being released almost every day, it is recommended that you keep your devices updated as well. Upgrading older hardware every few years, as well remembering to remove any older devices from your wifi network when they aren’t in use.

If you want to get rid of some of the devices on your network, the easiest, most secure method is by changing your wifi network’s password on your router. This will forcibly disconnect all devices from your network – even your own. You’ll have to reconnect to the wifi network by entering the new password on all your devices you want to be connected to, but it means that anyone who doesn’t have your new password won’t be able to connect