You can speed up your broadband with a few simple housekeeping tasks on your desktop, laptop, mobile phone or tablet – and with spring in the air, what better time than now to do it?
Before you start, test your current broadband speed so you can see if there’s been any improvement after we’re done.
How to speed up your internet
Step 1: Turn everything off and on again
Difficulty: Very easy
Shut down your computer, phone or other connected device, then turn off your router at the mains for a minute.
Turn the router on and wait until it boots back up, then power up your devices and see if things have improved.
Step 2: Delete your browser history (but not your cache)
You might have heard deleting your cache and cookies will speed up your internet.
It can help, but the data in your browser’s cache can actually speed things up, so it’s best to leave that be.
Instead, press control, shift and delete on your keyboard for a list of browser data you can delete. Tick all the boxes except the one that says something like ‘cache’ and press okay.
On iPhone, go to settings, then Safari. At the bottom, go into the advanced options and tap on Website Data. Scroll to the bottom and tap Remove All Website Data.
Step 3: Update your browser
It’s best for security and speed to make sure you’re using the latest version of your browser – be it Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari or anything else.
Most browsers prompt you to update – so don’t ignore those messages. You can usually check for updates manually via the settings and/or the ‘about’ option.
Step 4: Use the right security software
Security software protects you against viruses and cyber-crime, but some of it can really slow down your computer and internet.
Step 5: Ditch wi-fi
If you’re using a laptop or desktop, you can often boost your speed by connecting directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.
Step 6: Secure your wi-fi
A password-protected router keeps any Tom, Dick and Harry from using your internet, sapping your bandwidth and slowing you down.
If you had a start-up disc with your router, it should be able to talk you through the process of setting up a password. If not, you can connect to your router directly from your web browser.
Many routers have a sticker with a barcode on it, alongside lots of other useful information including the web address you’ll need to connect. It should look something like 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1.
Don’t worry about what this means, just type it into the address bar of your web browser and press enter to connect to your router. Here you’ll find all sorts of options, including one to set up a password.
Step 7: Use a public DNS address
You don’t need to get bogged down in what DNS settings are, suffice to say that Google’s Public DNS is fast and you can use that rather than your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) own to speed up your internet.
Step 8: Change your wi-fi channel
Your router can send and receive wireless data over different channels.
Many routers default to the same channel and if lots of other routers near yours are using the same channel, there can be interference which may slow you down.
Using the method in step six, you can connect to your router and switch to another channel.
Step 9: Use your master socket
You router works best when plugged into your home’s master socket, which is usually the one with the horizontal line across it.
Step 10: Fit a BT Broadband Accelerator or ADSL Faceplate
Both of these devices, which you can buy for as little as £3 online, fit onto your master socket and reduce interference, increasing your speed. However, if your socket has an Openreach logo on it, it probably already has the technology built in.
Step 11: Change your router
You don’t have to use your broadband provider’s router. The most up-to-date routers are built to ensure you get the fastest possible speeds, so upgrading could boost your speed.
Step 12: Compare and switch your broadband
Difficulty: Very easy
Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.