Whether you’re downloading those important documents, streaming a movie, or saving an alien planet from hideous invaders, nothing is guaranteed to quite ruin your night-in like a sub-par internet connection. The speeds you experience are affected by many factors including the device you are using, its age, and its capabilities, the number of devices connected, your operating system and web browser, and if you’re connecting wirelessly to your router.
If you find yourself battling slow loading times, erratic lag or inconvenient buffering, here’s some quick tips to help bring your broadband speeds back under control.

1. Perform a Speed Test
One of the quickest and easiest ways to understand if there’s an issue with your broadband is to perform a live speed test.  The test will cover the following areas:

- Download Speed
The term ‘Download Speed’ refers to the maximum rate of time that it takes for your broadband connection to retrieve data and information from the wider internet and transfer it back to your personal device. Your download speed affects everything from the quality of video and music streams through to the loading times of web pages and online images.

- Upload Speed
Your Upload Speed is simply the reverse of the above; it instead refers to the maximum rate of time that it takes for your broadband connection to send information from your personal device to the wider internet. This affects activities such as sending emails and video calling.

A phrase well known to gamers across the globe, PING is measured to test how fast your broadband connection’s reaction time is, counting the milliseconds between the data going from your computer to external servers and back again. The lower your PING, the less chance you’ll encounter lag and delays on things like online games.
Factors that may influence your speed include the device you are using and its capabilities, your operating system and web-browser, if you’re connecting wirelessly to your router, and the number of devices connecting via WiFi. If you think the speed test result is indicating poor performance, we definitely want to hear about it! Contact us on 0800 10 18 10.

2. Have You Tried Turning It Off & On Again?
We promise that we’re not being tongue-in-cheek (ok, maybe a little) – a tried and true staple of IT professionals across the globe, sometimes the simple solution really is the best way to go. Turning off your modem/router for a short period of time can often help fix issues such as lag and connectivity issues. Occasionally connections between your hardware and your Internet Service Provider can become corrupted, so resetting the hardware helps force a brand-new connection to take place instead. The ole ‘On n Off’ trick also acts as a useful step in troubleshooting, helping you find out know whether the issues you’ve encountered were temporary, or sign of a something greater.

3. Extend Your WiFi’s Range
Many of us would have experienced a WiFi dead zone in our time – it’s the part of the house where the internet moves at a snail’s pace, or sometimes not at all. There’s many factors that can impact your broadband speed and WiFi strength, from signals being unable to pass between certain walls or floors, other electronic devices interrupting your signal, through to the simple fact that your standard router simply might not having enough grunt to cover your whole home. Here are some options on how to best extend your range:

- Location, Location, Location
If you’re using a standard router and want to get the best performance possible, we recommend placing it in a central part of your home, so that you can maximise your WiFi coverage. If you have a particular device that you use the internet on the most, such as a TV or desktop computer, consider placing your router nearby so that there are few obstacles that can interfere with the signal.

- Physical Extensions
One quick and easy way to improve your internet speed for a specific device is simply to connect it directly to your router via an ethernet cable. A wired connection directly from the router should negate many of the connection issues and interferences that plague wireless WiFi signals. Another slightly more expensive option would be to invest in a WiFi extender. A handy device that does what it says on the box, WiFi extenders can be picked up at most tech shops and can be placed in your dead zones to help boost any weakened signals.

- Whole-Home Mesh WiFi
In terms of solutions, installing a Whole-Home Mesh WiFi system in your home is the crème de la crème of options at your disposal, and we think nets the best long-term results. Whole-Home Mesh WiFi systems like our Total Home Wifi help eliminate WiFi dead zones, and allow users to connect up to 100 different devices to your local network. Our Total Home WiFi routers come in packs of two or three, meaning that you can maximise your range by placing each unit in a different part of the house. The units work together to bring you a seamless, unified home network, with devices automatically connecting to the strongest router depending on which room of the house you are in.


The information provided in this article is of a general nature and not intended to be a substitute for personalised, professional advice. Mercury recommends that you always seek appropriate advice from a qualified professional to suit your individual circumstances. Links to external, non-Mercury websites are provided as a reference only, and do not imply a partnership or endorsement of their content.