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There are many reasons as to why one can be getting slow speeds,

1. Home Network Congestion - Lots of traffic on your network, maybe you share your network with many other users
2. ISP Network Congestion - Your ISP's network is overloaded and causes traffic to be slow.
3. Exchange Congestion - Telephone exchange may be congested, this depends on your connection type too and if your ISP shares hardware at the exchange with others.
4. Incorrectly Set IP/TCP Parameters - Computers network settings may be corrupt or wrongly configured.
5. Bad Wiring - Internal/External telephone wiring may be bad .

Another 'common' factor that can degrade performance/speed of your broadband connection is Interference, or REIN as it is officially known (Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise) , this can be cross-talk from other telephone cables that yours run alongside with underground, or it can be electrical devices inside or oustide your home, these are devices that emitt frequencies that cancel out the broadband frequencies stopping the modem from communicating over them and thus providing lower connection speeds.
Here is a list of possible causes:

  • STB devices (Satellite, Freeview, Freesat boxes)
  • Electrical Power Supplys (Laptops, Routers, Plasma TV's)
  • Faulty Thermostats (Immersion Heaters, Central Heating etc)
  • Wireless Products (Door Bell, Baby Monitors, A/V Senders etc)
  • Security Systems (Lights switching On/Off etc)
  • Power cables running alongside Broadband/Telephone Cables

Other causes can be Electric Fences, Christmas Tree lights, Microwave Ovens, Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers...even Lights outside on pathways have been known to cause problems. Tracking down such problems can prove to be very difficult.

One of the culprits that bring REIN into your setup is the 'Ringwire' (or 'Bellwire') in your BT wiring, this is wire number 3 and usually orange in color, it is no longer used on todays phones and its quite common that the 'Ringwire' is still connected to telephone sockets ...(the ringwire was used to ring the electro-mechanical bells on old phones whenever they rang)... This wire essentialy acts a large ariel picking up interference from other wiring or any of the above mentioned sources, you can safely remove this wire (see the Speed Up Your Internet page).

Telephone Extensions around your home are also suspect speed killers and (like the ringwire) can act like a big ariel introducing REIN into your network, so can using long extension cables where its not necessary, you should always use short cables and keep your modem/router next to the Master Telephone Socket and use longer Ethernet cables as these offer better protection and consists of a stronger home network signal, if cables have to be run through to different rooms then you should consider buying a USB Wifi stick or a pair of Home Adapters which can send your home network signal over your existing electrical copper wiring.

To see how to remove the ringwire and check for other stuff to speed up your broadband please go to the Speed Up Your Internet page.

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