If you think your ADSL connection is running too slow, there may be a few things you can do to speed things up. While you will always be limited bythe speeds offeredby your provider, as well as various other factors such as the distance between you and the exchange, and the quality of the copper wiring providing your connection, there may still be ways to boost your speed to its full potential.
Check the small print
First up, check the terms and conditions on the agreement with your provider. If you have signed up for a cheaper plan, you may find that your provider is limiting the speeds you receive. You may also find that the speed given is the maximum speed available – it may not be the speed you will get. Do a few speedtests at different times of the day to find out what speeds you are actually getting.
Check your equipment
It could be your equipment that is slowing you down. If you have an older modem/router and your speeds have dropped significantly recently, you may need to invest in new equipment. If you are using a wireless connection, test each piece of wireless equipment – the speed you receive will only be as fast as the slowest link in the chain.
Secure your connection
If your neighbours are leeching off your ADSL connection, the speeds you receive will be much slower than they should be. Enable the security options on your router and equipment, creating a password that is difficult to guess. It’s also a good idea to change the default name of your wireless network.
Shut it down
Take a look at which applications are running on your computer and how much of your broadband connection they are using. Some applications such as Skype, live desktop widgets, antivirus software and torrent clients may be connecting even while they are not in use. Shut down any unnecessary applications when you aren’t using them, and your everyday browsing should speed up.
Set up QoS
If your router allows you to set up Quality Of Service (QoS), you can choose which applications you want to have priority. This will allow those applications to run faster, but bear in mind it will slow other applications down.
Organise your usage
If you have large files to download, or if you are doing a large back-up, try to plan to do these overnight. Doing anything data-heavy overnight will free up your connection during the day, making browsing – or whatever else you’re doing – faster.
Call your ISP
If you have tried the above steps and you’re still getting slow speeds or frequent dropouts, you may want to call your ISP to find out what advice they can offer. They may run through some troubleshooting, they may advise you of service works causing troubles on the line, or they may send out a technician to look at your lines. Or it may be time to switch ISPs. Check out ADSL from iiNet to find out what’s on offer.