Slow broadband? Follow our simple tips to improve performance

The position of your router and what your family are doing online are two things that can affect your broadband speed. Discover what you can do to enjoy faster performance.

We want you to get the best possible broadband speeds so you can do more of the things you love at home.

If your home broadband doesn’t seem as fast as usual, start by checking the service status in your area. If everything looks good, try doing these simple things to improve performance.  

1: Check the connection

Start by checking your BT Hub is plugged into the master socket. Typically found in the hall or living room, it is the main socket at the point where your telephone line comes into your house.

There are several types of master socket available. If it has one port (like the ones below), you’ll need to use a microfilter to allow your broadband and phone services to work at the same time. A microfilter is a small device that plugs into the socket, with ports for connecting your phone line and Hub, so you can make calls and go online simultaneously.

Microfilters

Step 2: Is your Hub in the right location?  

The position of your BT Hub in your home can affect the strength of your wi-fi signal and the speed of your broadband, so check it’s in the best position possible. The closer you are to your Hub, the stronger the signal will be.

  1. Put your Hub in a central location. Solid surfaces like walls and doors can slow down the wi-fi signal, so try and reduce the number of walls it has to go through. By putting your Hub somewhere in the middle of your house, the signal will reach more rooms.
  2. Move your Hub away from the window. Half of the signal will be sent outside and you’ll get less coverage inside your house.
  3. Put your Hub on a table or shelf. If it’s on the floor some if the signal will be sent through the floorboards and lost.
  4. Don’t put your hub in a cupboard. It might seem convenient to keep it out of sight, but the walls will reduce the strength of the signal.
  5. Keep your hub away from your television. Metal objects can reflect and scatter the wi-fi signal.
  6. Avoid fish tanks. The water can absorb your wi-fi signal, so keep it away from your fishy friends.

Step 3: Turn off wi-fi on your devices

Turn the wi-fi on and off on all your devices and every now and again turn them off completely – a quick reboot can improve wi-fi performance.

Step 4: Are you sharing your connection?

Find out what other devices are connected to your wi-fi. If your tablet, smartphone and Smart TV are using the internet at the same time, your broadband speed will be shared between them and it will seem slower - things like downloading will take longer than normal. Streaming video in particular can be bandwidth-intensive, so disconnect any devices that don’t need to be online.

Step 5: Leave your Hub switched on

It can be tempting to turn your Hub off to try and improve your speed, but if you do this the line looks unstable and your speed may be automatically reduced to make it more reliable. Leave your Hub switched on at all times - even at night - to get the best speeds and performance. 

Step 6: Do you need a kit upgrade?

The age of your devices can impact on broadband performance. If you’ve got an older router, it might be worth updating to our Smart Hub, which has the UK’s most powerful signal to help you get a fast wi-fi connection in more places around your house.

Older laptops, phones and tablets can have slower wi-fi performance than newer gadgets, while larger gadgets like laptops tend to have better wi-fi performance than smartphones, because they have bigger wireless antennae.

Once you’ve done all of the above, check your wi-fi speed on mobile via the My BT app or if you are using a desktop computer by visiting our Broadband Speed Checker.

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