1. Secure your Wi-Fi
If your Wi-Fi is not password protected, anyone can use it. This means that people might be logging onto your network without you knowing, causing speeds to drop as a result.
Fortunately, most providers now automatically supply you with a password-protected router, but if you don’t have one set up, or have turned the password off, secure your network immediately.
To do this:
- Open up your router settings by entering its IP address into your web browser. That’s a number that will typically be printed on the router itself somewhere, and look like this:192.168.0.1.
- You may need to log in – the admin password and username will also often be printed on the router, but if it isn’t, check with your provider for further instructions. From your settings you can set up a password and secure your Wi-Fi.
If you want more information about Wi-Fi, we have a whole guide on the subject:
2. Move your router
Lots of things can impact the strength of a wireless broadband signal – walls, doors, even interference from things like baby monitors. So if you’re suffering from slow or unreliable Wi-Fi, try moving your best wireless router. Ideally, it should be positioned high up – on top of a bookshelf, for example.
If you want to maximise coverage across the whole house, try sticking it somewhere central, maybe at the top of the stairs. Whatever you do, don’t stick your router in a cupboard – you’d be surprised how common a mistake that is!
You could also try getting a ‘smart’ router that automatically adjusts for interference, such as the BT Smart Hub.
3. Clean up your computer
There are tons of applications on your computer that could be using the internet, possibly some without you even knowing it.
Windows updates, security scans and updates, media player pop-ups, instant chat applications, Skype, open website tabs and more – all these things can eat away at your broadband speed.
To boost your speed, shut down services you don’t want, as well as any bandwidth-heavy streaming services like BBC iPlayer and Spotify when you’re not using them. To do this:
- On PC, press ALT + CTRL + DEL to bring up task manager to see all programs running and close the ones you don’t want.
- Open Activity Log to see a list of everything running. Close down the ones that aren’t essential.
- update to best wifi extender
You should also delete old files, and clear your browser history – you can do this from your web browser options menu.4. Get a powerline adapter
Powerline adapters use the electricity power lines in your house to boost your signal from room to room. These are particularly useful if there are rooms in the house where your wireless signal is weak.
Some providers, including TalkTalk, can provide powerline adapters, although you may have to pay for them.