You ask We Answer – Why is my internet slow.



Over the last 25 years, the Internet has grown from a not so cough commonly used service using the old-fashioned telephone line, which let's face it was revolutionary, but in today's Times ridiculously slow. About 20 years ago, the concept of fast broadband was introduced with a technology called ADSL. Asynchronous digital subscriber line. When this first came out, it wasn't that much faster than dial up, broadband connexion I had was a massive ½ Meg down.


Today there is a variety of services that you can get, ranging from reasonably quick to very, very fast indeed. Broadband services for households and for small businesses can be split basically into three areas. The first is Based on what was called BT Openreach, but now in fact it's just Openreach network. This network can offer far faster services, known as FTTC or Fibre Broadband, but the basics are traditional ADSL. Which granted is a lot faster than it used to be, and what is now commonly called fibre to cabinet or what some providers like BT broadband and Sky called Super-fast. The next service is based on the Virgin Media Network, which is basically fibre to near your house, This kind of match much faster download and upload speeds, again available in a domestic or a business service. lastly and more recently We have had a rise of companies offering you fibre to your home onto your premises. Speeds up to an including Gigabit speed, which is extraordinarily quick.

So why is mine slow.

Speeds coming into your home regardless of what service you are on, can vary for several reasons. With ADSL it can be the distance that your house is away from what is called the exchange, which to the layman is the green box in the road. A number of things can also influence the speed from this box to your house. One is the quality of the copper that is the cable running from that box to your home. The cable may become damaged or wet, or various other reasons. There may even be a fault in the box itself. Today's need to be reported to your Internet service provider so they can investigate what's going on. Five into Cabinet is a lot less problematic than ADSL, but again can suffer from similar problems. So again, report to your IT support or ISP company. To be honest, at this level, Virgin Media is much the same. If there's a problem with the line and which is making it slow, you need to report it back to them. That covers external faults internally, can be the age of your router. It can be other equipment, particularly ADSL, like your telephone itself may be causing your broadband to run slow if your telephone handset is old is worth disconnecting it, rebooting your router and see if that makes a difference. Be aware if you report a fault to BT Openreach and it turns out that it is something like your telephone or other telecoms equipment you have in your house office. You will get a bill. One simple and inexpensive thing is to swap your microfilter (Openreach lines) this is the small box between your socket and the router they have a habit of going wrong. If in doubt, you have an IT support company asking them to cheque first. It's a lot cheaper. Some Internet service providers, particularly domestic ones, will offer a replacement router if yours has been around a while, so that's always worth a check. If your equipment is working from wireless Connections. You need to be aware that the distance you are away from your router and what is in between you and router radiators, walls and such can heavily influence the speed that you get at the point of your equipment. I will cover the internets of wireless in another article.

Common Microfilters

ADSL Microfilter

One of Netgear Nighthawk performance routers

Good TP-Link entry level router

Business router

Example of a Draytek business router

Netgear High Performance Router