Solve Your Broadband Issues

ADSL technology is filled with issues. This is partly because there are so many opportunities for bottlenecks in the connection. You can have issues with the line itself, with the setup, with the hardware or from outside influences.

This article will look at a number of things that can interfere with your broadband, so you can go through some simple steps to check the issues and, hopefully, resolve them. This should be applicable whether you are on AOL broadband or Sky ADSL broadband, so here it goes:

Issues with Your Provider

When you first get your ADSL connection, whether it is from AOL broadband or any other provider, there will be a training period on your line. This should last between 1 and 2 weeks, and will result in instability on the line as the internet service provider tests and trains your line in order to offer the best service available. If, after this period, the instability continues, you may want to contact the provider to make sure there are no faults on the line. Your provider will be able to do a simple line test to find out if there are issues, and engage an engineer if there are.

Setup Issues with Your Broadband

Again, whether you are with AOL broadband or any other broadband, you'll have a wireless router for this connected to your telephone socket. This should certainly be connected to the first telephone socket coming into your house, or you can have connectivity issues with the broadband bottlenecking over the telephone line within your home.

Once you have ensured that it's connected to the main telephone socket, you need to install microfilters. These split the signal on the line between voice and data, so that your other devices on the line do not interfere with the broadband signal. Burglar alarms, faxes, TVs and cordless phones can all interfere with your broadband connection. You should also ensure that your router is fairly close to your telephone socket as lots of wire can cause issues. The quality of the wire can also be important. It shouldn't be bent or tangled, and should be of a decent grade. It doesn't need to be expensive, but it should be of reasonable quality.

The Placement of the Router

It's important that you place the router at a location that avoids obstructions. You shouldn’t put it under the stairs or in a cupboard; rather, you should place it high on a shelf where possible. This will give it the best opportunity to pass the wireless signal to the various locations in your house from where you want to get online. It should also not be placed too close to electrical devices, which can cause interference.

Install an iPlate or Broadband Accelerator

Most telephone lines have a bell wire in their construction. This was there to pass the telephone ring around the house, but is now obsolete. The bell wire can magnify the interference caused by the line and, therefore, make your connection unstable. You should either remove the bell wire or install an iPlate or broadband accelerator. This will increase line integrity and can even improve speed by 10 to 20%.

Watch Out For Wireless Devices

Wireless devices in your home can cause issues with your broadband connection. Things like a wireless boiler, a wireless baby monitor or wireless audio system can work on the same frequency as your router. Most routers work on the 2.4 GHz frequency, which can be interfered with by a number of devices. If you find that some of those devices are interfering with your router, you should change your devices, turn them off or get a premium router that will work on a different frequency band.

These days, you can get routers that have multiple bands on which to operate and, so, you can ensure that you get connectivity at any time despite interference.

A premium router can also resolve the issue of other connections in your area interfering with your own. If you live in a built-up area or in a flat, it could be that there are dozens of connections vying for airspace; these can interfere with your own internet experience.

Again, the premium router should work on different frequencies to most of these connections.

Issues on Your Device

It may also be that your connecting device has issues itself. If you have an old system, then the CPU may not be able to cope with the speed of the activities that are attempted to be carried out. The bottleneck could actually be on the laptop or tablet on which you are browsing. It's well worth a try emptying your cache or temporary internet files, as this can improve your browsing performance.

Do a search on Google for ‘empty cache’ or ‘clear temporary internet files’ if you have any doubt how to do it, but normally, on Chrome, you would use history - show History - clear browsing data, and it's a similar process on Internet Explorer.

Internet Speeds on AOL Broadband, Sky Broadband and All the Other ADSL Providers

When it comes to ADSL, you won't get the speed that you were advertised in most cases. Broadband advertising headlines speeds as “up to” rates, and these are speeds that are attainable by only around 10% of any network. This means that 90% of people will not get the advertised speed they thought they were going to get. If you read the small print, you'll understand more. The reality is that some connections will only operate at about 50% of the speed of the advertised rate that you bought into with your package.

When troubleshooting, you should understand the capacity of your line and not just the advertised rate, and base your conclusions on this.

Top Tip

It's a good idea to do a speed test on your line to see whether problems have been resolved by the things you're doing. Just trying out different activities may not be the best way to do this. You should use a speed test tool that is available online. Run a search on Google for ‘dual broadband speed test’ or ‘test my internet speed’, and you will come up with a number of options through which you can carry out this activity.

A good service is available on This test will send a small file from your computer to a local server, and will then analyse your upload speed, download speed and ping rate. If you do this at different times of the day, you will find different levels of connectivity based on the level of demand on the network.

During peak periods, you may well find that your performance is not that great. You should also do the test connected to an Ethernet cable and wirelessly in different parts of your house, so you can understand whether issues are, in fact, related to the wireless router or are to do with your connection itself.

You may want to run Ethernet cables to areas to your house that you really can't get a connection from, or use a repeater or a HomePlug system.

If you want to find out more about those solutions, then run a search online for ‘troubleshooting your ADSL connection.”