Internet speed is climbing in terms of it’s importance to our existence, right now it sits just below the air we breathe, but it will probably overtake that in 2015. In Australia though, unless you’re in the middle of the city or lucky enough to be in one of the select few spots that the NBN has been rolled out, then your internet isn’t going to be that fast, but still there are limits to what you should have to endure.
So here are some tips on diagnosing and fixing your internet issues.
A good practical test for your internet speed is to find a really great comedy sketch like the one below, or if that doesn’t interest you, then any cat video you can find. Push play and check whether you can watch it in it’s entirety with no stopping, distorting or blocking in HD quality. If not, then you should feel sad for yourself and the cat whose antics you could not fully appreciate.
Youtube Video Speedtest
Your internet speed could be limited by your wireless connection which you will be able to discover by looking at how many bars of connectivity appear. If the source of your wifi is on the other side of the house and you’re not getting much connectivity, then you should seriously consider knocking down your house and building it again from scratch. This time not focusing on silly things like Feng Shui and airflow which can now be managed with air conditioning and wall sized LCD screens, but instead focus on what truly matters these days; WIFI signal strength.
That or get a wifi extender, so you can get a perfect signal, anywhere in your mansion of a home; from the billiards room in the basement all the way through to the solarium on the roof.
The speed of your internet connection is directly related to your modem and its quality. By this we mean the quality of it’s character, will it stick with you through some tough download times, will it help you out when you’re feeling down, and need some mindless Facebook stalking to cheer you up. This intangible quality of character can fortunately in this case be directly linked to it’s quality of components.
So if you originally bought an inexpensive modem or you’ve had a quality modem but it’s gotten old, well that could be the reason behind your slow speeds and dropouts.
There are various internet services available to us, from dial up which is horrible and you deserve better, to various forms of ADSL (2+ being the highest level of connection) through to diamond standard fibre optics. Fibre optics is yet a luxury that many of us don’t yet have access to, as it is still being installed via the ponderously slow NBN rollout. Also anyone with a foxtel cable running to their street will no longer receive fibre optics, but instead be relegated to coax cable speeds, which at this time are still decent and making the best of your situation. However cable is more expensive than ADSL which comes through the copper phone line.
Unless you’re a student of forensic network maintenance then you might not be able to notice when someone is stealing your wifi and thus your bandwidth. It’s also hard to prove in a court of law.
If you’re internet is slow and you can’t figure out why, this could be it. To remedy this you will have to log into your modem, (which will have instruction on how to do this, on the bottom of it) then go to your wifi settings and change the wifi password, or if you don’t even have a password, set one, but pretend that you had one all along to avoid embarrassment.
You can even change the network name too if you like, just so it feels more like the fresh wifi beginning. This step will block anyone who knows your wifi password such as neighbours you gave it out to at the last BBQ or friends who now come and park out front of your house to use your internet. But for more nefarious internet thieves, you will have to complete a further step which is to also change the username and password of the modem or router which you’ve logged in.
So what you’ll be doing is changing the username and password which you found on the bottom of your modem to something unique, because until you do that hackers can access your modem using those generic logins details which are standard on every modem. So by changing it, you can stop them from gain a back door entry to your information superhighway.
Pro Tip: Write down that new username and password and sticky tape it to the back of the modem over the old generic username and password. (If people are willing to break into your house to get access to your internet, they probably need it more than you.)