A broadband speed test allows you to check the upload and download speeds of your broadband connection, and see exactly how quickly you can send and receive information.
A higher download speed means that web pages will open and run faster and it won’t take forever to download files from external sites.
A higher upload speed means that you will be able to upload photos and videos from your computer at a faster rate.
To check your connection speed use an online speed test, like the one available at MoneySupermarket.
Secure your network
If you have wireless broadband then you need to make sure that your connection is secure, because if it isn’t anyone in the immediate area can access your network. This will not only slow down your connection but it also poses a security risk too.
If it is not, contact your broadband provider for advice.
Reposition your router
If possible you should make sure your wireless router is in a central location in your home, so that the signal strength is good in a number of rooms.
You should also make sure that your router is not close to an outside wall, as this can weaken the signal, and keep it away from any metal objects or any other wireless electronics - such as cordless phones, baby monitors or microwaves - as all of these can interfere with the signal and slow things down.
Empty your cache
When you visit a web page, your browser will store or “cache” elements of it - this is to make browsing faster as it does not have to call up the whole page the next time you visit.
However, after a while this will start to slow things down as these stored items take up space, and so you should regularly check and clear your browser’s cache as this will ensure your browser and computer run more effectively.
And while you’re at it, you should check to make sure that there are no applications that open automatically when you start up your computer as these can also slow things down. Also, try to run as few applications as possible at any one time.
Change your provider
One of the easiest ways to improve your connection speed is to switch provider, and you can use MoneySupermarket to compare the latest broadband deals.
When switching provider you will still be limited by some external factors. Amazingly your proximity to the local telephone exchange is one of them, so find out the connection speeds in your area as they may differ from those advertised by the providers.
It is a competitive market so don’t get caught out by installation fees and try to find a provider that has an unlimited monthly usage policy - you don’t want to be paying extra at the end of every month!