BT has revealed what is likely to slow down your home Wi-Fi connection
While millions of us continue to work, study and socialize at home … a fast broadband connection at home has turned from a nice bonus to an absolute necessity. If you have a busy household, broadband speeds can quickly grind to a halt. Having to make video calls, collaborate on documents, upload a backup, or stream a new box set on Netflix can be incredibly frustrating.
It’s not always clear what’s slowing down your Wi-Fi, but luckily BT has revealed some insight to help you figure out what to turn off to get your internet back up to full power. In addition to understanding the cause of slow speeds at home, BT Home Tech Expert Tayyab Farid has some helpful tips to make sure you can work, stream and study on your own internet as planned.
Since the onset of the global pandemic, BT’s home broadband network has seen a 60 percent increase in Internet traffic. BT, Virgin Media, Sky, and other broadband providers have all set new records for most of the data downloaded by customers across the country in one day. And when it comes to slowing down download speeds – and slowing down Wi-Fi for everyone else at home, nothing beats online gaming.
Yes, more time inside has led to an increase in the number of video games – with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles sold out everywhere, Nintendo Switch bundles hard to come by at the start of the pandemic and fitness focused Ring Fit Adventure still hard to find on store shelves … it’s clear millions of people have rediscovered their love of gaming. Games with huge online components, such as Fortnite, FIFA and Call of Duty: Warzone, have also been hugely successful over the past 12 months.
However, playing online with your friends can only really be enjoyed if you have wifi that can keep up with you.
BT’s insights have shown that in order to play online games at an “optimal” level, players need speeds of between 15-25 Mbps – which has a significant impact on the broadband connection in the rest of the house. After all, the average broadband speed for an entire house is only a shadow above 60 Mbps.
To reduce the impact of online gaming, players can reduce their graphics settings to a lower quality. Sure, things may not look that sharp on the screen, but it could mean that anyone can stay at home making video calls, streaming, and shopping online. A wired connection for the computer or console can also give the wifi some much-needed rest.
If you have an avid gamer at home … this can slow down everyone’s Wi-Fi speed
While online gaming may be a (significant) niche, video calling is something we’re all guilty of this year. Whether it’s Zoom, Teams, or Apple FaceTime, we’ve all gotten used to video calling a lot over the past year. Every video call needs a download speed of at least 2 Mbps to keep the picture clear and the audio in sync (no one wants to deal with one of those Eurovision-style delays where you end up talking about each other), and since video calls ideally need some privacy, it is crucial to have a strong connection in different rooms of the house.
If you’re struggling to make a call, it’s worth checking the speed of your router. SpeedTest.net and Fast.com are two excellent services that quickly show you how fast your broadband is. A number of carriers, including BT, offer speed guarantees with some of their plans. So if you are consistently under the magic number you can get your money back.
It’s fair to say that streaming TV and movies has been one of the most common activities at home in the past year, and that some content providers recommend 25Mbps to ensure a flawless experience, it’s vital that you have a strong connection. have to stream your favorite content effortlessly. Just like online gaming, that’s a healthy amount of bandwidth.
If you’re struggling to stream while other family members play games, calls, shop online, and more … it might be time to upgrade to a higher speed from your carrier. Full fiber optic connections are now available in some parts of the country at up to a dazzling 1,000 Mbps – more than enough to stream your entire street in your living room without slowing down connections. However, if that’s not an option, maybe download that movie overnight, instead of streaming? Or have a family movie night together so that no one else uses the Wi-Fi while you are watching?
In addition to revealing the trends, BT has some tips to help with slow broadband at home
Tayyab Farid, a member of BT’s Home Tech Expert, also shared some tips on how to get the most out of your Wi-Fi setup.
1 / Location, location, location
Place your hub in the center of your home to reduce the number of walls slowing down your signal.
Once you’re more than two walls away from your hub, it has to work harder and your speeds may drop.
Mesh systems, such as BT’s Complete Wi-Fi, Amazon’s Eero, or Google Nest Wifi, can help expand Wi-Fi coverage in every room in the house to increase overall speed and capacity. To do this, they add multiple nodes throughout the house, so your devices are never more than one wall away from a source of high-speed Wi-Fi.
2 / Device speed and connection
If your Wi-Fi feels slow, it could be because of the device you’re using. Usually, the newer your equipment is, the faster the wireless speed is supported.
The more devices you use, the more you use the total capacity of your broadband at home, especially if you have multiple Netflix streams and kids are playing online.
BT customers can test their speed with the My BT app, where you can check your ‘Speed to your hub’ and ‘Speed to your device’.
3 / Increase bandwidth and future-proof your home with Full Fiber
Recent research has shown that the average home now has 28 devices connected to Wi-Fi, including four smart TVs, three tablets, two laptops and two game consoles. With homes getting smarter, that number is only going to rise, so the need for a decent home connection has been growing.
If you haven’t changed your broadband contract in a few years … you could be languishing at pretty outdated speeds. New deals are constantly popping up. And if you’re moving from one Openreach vendor to another (this includes brands like BT, EE, Plusnet, TalkTalk, and Sky), they should handle all the hassle of switching connections for you! So you don’t have to worry about not having access to the internet for days on end.
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