Friday Donut tip: how to speed up your broadband connection

By: John McGarvey

Date: 21 September 2012

Dodgy looking phone socket{{}}The most common form of internet connection in the UK comes down a standard telephone line. It's often called ADSL, and while it does the job, it can be a source of speed-related frustrations.

This is because it relies on hundred-year-old technology (copper telephone wires) to deliver fast, modern broadband.

Connection speeds are determined by a range of factors, including the distance between your premises and the local telephone exchange and local electrical interference. Our internet speed checker will indicate how fast your connection is.

To make sure you're getting the best connection your phone line can manage, here are three things to try:

1. Plug your router into the master phone socket

The master phone socket is the telephone socket on the wall where your phone line enters your business premises. It's best to plug your broadband router in here, because the master socket is least suscecptible to interference. 

If the master socket is a long way from your business computers, plug the router in there anyway and run a network cable from it to your computers. Network cables are not affected by interference in the same way.

2. Use a good quality phone cable

The quality of the wire between your phone socket and broadband router can have an influence on speed too. Use the shortest wire you can - usually the best option is to use the wire supplied with your router.

Keep the wire away from sources of intereference, like other cables, mobile or cordless phones.

3. Disconnect the bell wire

This step is a little fiddlier and means taking the front off your telephone socket. If you're not comfortable doing that then skip it!

The bell wire (also called the ring wire) is a hangover from the days when old-fashioned telephones required an extra wire to make them ring. Many phone lines still have this wire, but the only thing it's good for is causing interference.

You can remove it quickly and easily - there's a really good online guide here, which even has nice clear photos.

How's your broadband connection speed? Have you found any easy ways to speed it up?