Oct 30, 2018

5 Things To Check When Improving Your Connection

In an earlier article we went through five solutions for improving your Wi-Fi signal. This time we’re looking at a few checks you can perform to deal with more common connectivity issues that you may experience. After all, what could be more satisfying than helping yourself get back up to speed?

1. Have you tried turning it off and back on again?

While this question has become somewhat of a joke, it really is the first and greatest solution to most connectivity issues to date. By switching the router off for a minute or so and switching it back on again, you are effectively giving it a ‘power nap’ reboot. This helps because, in much the same way as we experience information overloads, the router’s memory can run into bugs and loops when left running for extended periods. By rebooting it you stop these processes from hogging the memory, and your router can start fresh again.

2. Connect your devices with a network cable.

For improved connection and speed, using a network cable to connect your devices to the router rather than Wi-Fi, is the most effective way. It’s suggested that one should connect devices that require a more intensive network connection via a cable connection. If your TV or computer is connected to the router via a cable, check that both ends are plugged in securely. There is always the option of adding range boosters or extenders, though it should be noted than range repeaters can as much as half the bandwidth each time the signal is repeated.

Once you are sure everything is connected securely, test your connection again. One of the most reliable speed tests to use is the Speedtest.net browser-based test. A speed test must be conducted over a direct connection because speeds over a wireless connection cannot be guaranteed due to the various factors that influence wireless coverage.

3. Is your hardware compatible with your line?

Some people have found that while their internet seems slow, the actual problem lies in the limitation of their hardware. Your older computer or phone may have a network speed limit (due to its age) that is below what your fibre connection should provide. An apt analogy would be to describe it as putting a golf car engine into a sports car and expecting to take on an F1 racer.

If this is your problem, an upgrade is the way to go. A new smartphone or computer (or even just a better network card in your computer) could do the trick.

A related issue – IMPORTANT

Check how many devices are connected to your network. You may find that all of your devices are compatible, and they are all connected. The problem with this is that every device connecting to the network divides up the total bandwidth, much like how having to split one pizza between five people is a lot less filling than if you were to eat it alone.

4. Do you have any background processes running?

You have high-speed internet because you want to participate in the online community. But while you are trying to go about your online activity you might have updates or other processes running in the background, hogging your line and making it seem slower than it really is. A simple solution for Windows users is to right-click on the task bar, select ‘Task Manager’ (shown in the image below), and have a look at what process has the highest percentage under the ‘Network’ column.

Another common culprit here is browser tabs. The more tabs you have open, the more of your device’s memory you are using. While this might not be using up your bandwidth, it will make your device run slower, which makes the internet seem slower too. In this case, simply close as many unnecessary tabs as possible and you should notice a difference.

5. When all else fails, call your ISP

While the solutions above are great and often do solve matters quite soundly, there are times when something out of your control. The best solution then is to contact your ISP to log a ticket and have them get their experts to look into it for you. We have technicians and customer care consultants who specialise in what they do, so when you call you know that you are in good hands.

MetroFibre Networx advises that if you are experiencing fibre connectivity challenges of any kind, from connection to hardware, and it you’ve tried the tips above without success, reach out to consult the professionals and we’ll work alongside you to get it resolved.