This article will look through the top 11 reasons why your ADSL is slow or not working, with special emphasis on your internet provider, your setup and wireless connectivity. By the end of this piece, you should have a better understanding of how ADSL works and some things you should consider in your broadband setup.
Fault No. 1: A Problem at the Telephone Exchange or on your Line
The first thing to do when you have an internet problem is probably to call your internet service provider. It may be that it has nothing to do with you whatsoever, and it’s actually an issue on your line. You could log in to your wireless router to find out whether the service is actually connected properly, but if you’re having no connection whatsoever, it could well be that there’s a fault at the exchange. By calling your provider, they’ll be able to do a quick test on the line or have a look at their network issues and find out if there are any problems that are stopping you from getting online.
Fault No. 2: The Main Socket
Not plugged in to the main telephone socket? It really is important that you’re plugged in to the main telephone socket. If you’re not, then you’ll be passing the broadband signal over inferior quality wiring in your home that just isn’t built to do the job of passing high speed internet. When you do this, you end up having slower speed, intermittent faults and are subject to a lot more interference on your line than you are when you plugged in to the main socket.
Fault No. 3: Inappropriately Connected Microfilters
Often, it’s the case that people have their microfilters either inappropriately plugged in or not used at all. Microfilters serve to split the line between voice and data elements and, thereby, stop the telephone, burglar alarm, TV and fax interfering with your broadband signal.
Fault No. 4: Issues when I Test my Broadband Speed Wirelessly
If you test your broadband speed and come up with a far inferior speed to when you test with an Ethernet cable, then chances are that you’re suffering either interference or obstruction.
Interference can come in the form of other devices, such as baby monitors and WiFi boiler systems, or from other wireless connections in your area if you’re in a built-up location. Indeed, you can also get interference from electrical devices such as microwave ovens and fridges and, so, you need to keep your wireless router away from these.
Fault No. 5: Obstructions
Obstructions can be caused by any physical object between yourself and the router. Your connecting device has to pass the signals to the router and vice versa and, therefore, dense ceilings, walls, cupboards and anything else that can get in the way can cause issues. That’s why it’s advised to – where possible – connect within line of sight of your router.
Fault No. 6: Too Much Cable
You may have too much cable connecting your wireless router with your telephone line; for example, if you plug in all the way upstairs from a downstairs point, then you are passing the broadband signal over a line that is incapable of carrying it to its optimum capacity. You will, therefore, get inferior performance compared to having a metre or so line between the telephone point and the WiFi router.
Fault No. 7: Your WiFi Router
It could be that your WiFi router is incapable of passing internet at the speeds that you require, too. If, when you think, “I must test my broadband speed,” you do so and you find out that your connection speed is under 8mbps on a 16mbps connection, it could be that your router is only capable of 8mbps.
Indeed, a router can be a bottleneck in the process, and if you’re not using the router that was given to you by the provider for your specific speed of connection, it could be time for an upgrade. Speeds are getting faster and faster, quicker and quicker, and so it’s important to have the hardware to deal with the technology.
Fault No. 8: Problem with Your Connecting Device
It could be that your connecting device is unable to cope with the demands of modern day internet. If you have an older laptop or tablet and it has insufficient processing power, it can be sluggish and not do very well on certain activities. It can also be the case that the graphics card has issues with certain graphics tasks, and this can seem like it is the internet whereas, in fact, it is the performance of the computer hardware itself.
Fault No. 9: Old or Incompatible Browsers
Sometimes, your browser can cause issues with your internet connection and, therefore, you should update or upgrade your browser to the latest version available.
Fault No. 10: Temporary Internet Files and Cache
Temporary internet files and a large cache can also cause issues and slow speeds in your browser performance. If most of the things we do online or through our browsers is still stored in the internal memory, then it really can affect your speed. When I test my broadband speed and find that it’s not the connection that’s the issue, I often turn to the temporary internet files and empty them, in order to free up space resources and improve performance of browsing.
Fault No. 11: Viruses, Adware and Spyware
There are hundreds of different viruses and programs that install themselves on your computer – unbeknownst to you – that can eat your data bandwidth. These activities may be sharing data or constantly connecting to the internet and doing things that you aren’t really aware of.
It’s important to run a regular virus check to ensure that your computer is free from such programs and pests. It’s only when you have a clean and fully functional computer that you can get the maximum out of your connection.
So, there you have it – a look at some of the major faults that can cause slow ADSL broadband. It’s important to go through a proper process when you find you have issues, and you should probably start with a call to your internet service provider – just to check for any serious problems on the line so that you don’t waste your time looking into all the other faults when the first fault is the case.