The internet is everywhere now: in schools, in our homes, at work and even out and about in restaurants and on public transport. For devices that use mobile broadband or data packages from mobile phone service providers this is not so much of an issue, as users can generally access the internet whenever and wherever they need to. However, some devices still rely on a strong broadband connection to work optimally, and this is rapidly becoming one of modern life’s worst frustrations!
Trying to use a device with a poor or slow internet connection can spark rage, annoyance and even tears as users desperately try to load a webpage, make a payment or even simply access or download a new game. When you’re out of your home there’s little that you can do to boost your Internet access, but in your house you’re in control and can take steps to ensure that your broadband experience is a pleasant one!
First of all, make sure that your package includes enough data for your needs. Modern broadband phone and TV packages have recently fallen in price, meaning that almost every household, no matter their income, can afford good Internet access. Make sure that you take into account every device that will be using the broadband before you finally decide on the package: children’s game consoles, both large fixed set-ups and hand-held devices, often use an Internet connection to download updates and access new content and game upgrades. Mobile phone bills can be reduced by connecting them to the home broadband while within range. Tablets, laptops and even smart TVs all ‘need’ an Internet connection these days, and these connections can all ‘drain’ your bandwidth and affect the speed and reliability of your connection.
The placement of your broadband equipment is also important. The router should be close to a telephone socket and you should aim to use as few extensions and micro-filters as possible to prevent loss of function. Heavily insulated walls can block wireless signal, so aim to have your router as centrally placed as possible. In homes with thick walls or plentiful insulation, you may want to invest in a power line networking kit that will transmit your Wi-Fi signal throughout the home.
Finally, make sure that you are protecting access to your router with a strong password and the highest level of encryption. Greedy and unscrupulous neighbours who live within the range of your signal can access your broadband, consuming your bandwidth and slowing down all your devices!
Image by Sean MacEntee, used under Creative Commons licence.