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Diagnose slow broadband or WiFi speeds

How to check your incoming broadband download speed & upload speeds. Your WiFi speed, connection strengths & interferences.

If you're experiencing speed or connection issues with your home internet, broadband or WiFi connections this guide will show you how to diagnose what is causing the issues.


Step 1 - Check if there is an issue with your provider

Before you dive into you home network the first port of call should always be your incoming connection. From here you can see if there is an issue that you can solve or one that is dependent on your broadband provider

Check if your provider is currently down or is experiencing issues

Your broadband provider may currently be experiencing issues or down time.

You can quickly check this using down detector and typing in your broadband provider.

Submit your problem you are having with your provider

  • Landline internet

  • Total blackout

  • TV

  • Something else

And also see

  • Outages reported over the last 24 hours

  • Where these outages/ issues are being reported from

  • General comments from similar people and what is being reported

Submitting an issue to your provider and letting others know


Step 2 - Are you getting the advertised speed?

Now you've established if its a wider issue or localised to just yourself. It's time to check your incoming speeds and hardware.

Connect directly to your broadband router

First you need to establish if the advertised speed is being provided to your provider.

The best way to check this is to connect a device directly to the router with an ethernet cable. If your device does not have an ethernet port you will need to purchase an adapter (below are some good examples for type c devices):

Next you'll need to run a speed test

Once you've connected your device to one of the Lan ports on the router, run a speed test using the below tool. It's best to run this a few times over the course of a day and then take the average.

Your speed test will tell you the following important details:

Download speed Important for streaming, downloading & accessing websites

This is the rate at which your devices will be able to download or stream content / information from the internet.

Upload speed Important for video calls, online meetings & Online gaming

This is the rate at which your devices will be able to upload content or broadcast content / information to the internet.

Ping Important for video calls, online meetings & Online gaming

This is the speed at which your device is accessing and receiving data from the particular server. For example when video chatting this dictates the time between you speaking and the other person hearing you. In gaming it dictates the time between your input on your device and the output being shown in an online game.

Jitter Important for video calls, online meetings, VOIP calls & Online gaming

This is the consistency of the data being sent and received by your connection. Examples of high jitter inc. portions of a video or voice call being missed and stuttering content. Jitter is most notable when connected wirelessly as hardwired connections mitigate this drastically.


Step 3 - What's next?

Once you've tried and tested all the above you should now know if your broadband provider is at fault for the poor speeds you are getting. However there is one last troubleshooting step to complete.

Is your WiFi router to blame?

If all the above steps have come back with no issues, the problem might be with your WiFi router or at least the placement of the router.

The issue with the WiFi router from your provider, is that it is just not good enough to keep up with todays requirements.

Typically you are given a device which is then installed at the most easily accessible place for the technician. Typically at the front of the house in the living room by a window.

WiFi signals are easily blocked/ disrupted by pretty much everything in your home, even your neighbours WiFi will impact it. Below is an illustration of a single WiFi device and the interference over a single story flat.


So what do I do now?

At Home Network Specialists we can help you with design, implementation and optimisation of your home network.

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