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Filed Under: Choice, Speed

In an ideal world, everyone would be able to stream videos without encountering the dreaded buffering wheel of absolute doom, switch seamlessly from webpage to webpage without seeing the “there is no internet connection” messages and whatever else is slowing you down. But life isn't fair, so let's get to it.

Quick Fixes (all explained in more depth below)

1.  Move Your Router to an Optimal Location - Ideally Closer to Your Device

2. Close Background Applications, Websites and Programs

3. Use the Ethernet Port or a Powerline Adapter

4. Restart or Replace Your Router

Sadly, Sometimes, a Quick Fix Might Not Be Enough...

5. Pick the Best Type of Broadband for Rural Areas

6. Swap Broadband Providers and Pick One that Specialises in Rural Broadband

Keep reading for a little more in-depth explanations...


1.  Move Your Router to an Optimal Location - Ideally Closer to Your Device

The closer your device is to the router, the shorter the distance the wireless signal has to travel and the faster your connection should be, in theory. Keep in mind that objects can also interfere with the signal, such as walls and doors getting in the way or signals from household appliances causing interference.

Combat this by placing your router in a central location in your household and positioned high up so there’s likely to be less interference.

2. Close Background Applications, Websites and Programs

Applications running in the background on devices can quickly eat up your bandwidth and you might not even realise it. This could be anything from software updates and antivirus scans to social media apps and music downloading on Spotify. Bandwidth-heavy activities, like streaming services, can particularly affect your broadband speed.

Fix this by shutting down any apps that you’re not currently using.

3. Use the Ethernet Port or a Powerline Adapter

If you connect your device to the router via the Ethernet port rather than a wireless signal, you’ll experience a much faster broadband speed. This is because you’ll have a direct connection to the router.

But this might be a practical solution for everyone. For instance, if your router is placed somewhere high, how will you be directly connecting your iPad to it? Will you be perching on a ledge right next to it? Probably not. In these cases, powerline adapters may come in handy.

Powerline adapters come in pairs and can boost the wireless broadband signal within a home by acting as a bridge between the device and the router - even if they’re at opposite ends of the building. Do this by connecting one adapter to the plug socket and an Ethernet cable to the router. The other adapter should be plugged in near your streaming device and connected to it via another Ethernet cable. Then you’ll have an enhanced wired connection.

4. Restart or Replace Your Router

Routers that have been on for a while can become strained. Restarting it can help to refresh your broadband connection and improve your speeds.

However, the deeper issue might be due to the router being old. In this case, you could restart it any number of times and it might not have an impact. You may need to replace your router as old ones can become faulty and not advanced enough to handle the high speeds required for modern internet-based activities.

But Often, a Quick Fix Isn’t Enough…

The above solutions are quick and simple to do but unfortunately, they aren’t usually enough to permanently fix the speed issue. They merely treat the symptoms rather than the root cause - which tends to lie with the actual broadband. So, simply turning your router on and off for example, certainly won’t be enough.

Broadband in rural areas is notoriously unreliable and this is largely due to the lack of advanced infrastructure. Fast broadband requires modern infrastructure but this isn’t cheap so network operators will consider what kind of return they’ll get for their investment.

Unfortunately, rural areas usually miss out because rural areas are often isolated and fewer people live there in comparison to urban locations. It just isn’t seen as an economically viable investment.

It’s also down to the location. Because rural areas are further away, the broadband connection has to travel further so the speeds tend to be slower.

Long-Term Solutions

5. Pick the Best Type of Broadband for Rural Areas

The main problem with broadband in rural areas isn’t that there’s a lack of solutions. Instead, it’s usually because most of them aren’t appropriate for rural communities. If you want to permanently improve your internet speed, you need to know and pick the best type of broadband for rural areas.

There are four types available in rural areas:

  • ADSL - broadband delivered via phone lines, ADSL is capable of producing speeds of around 17Mb. However, distance matters as the further your home is from the nearest exchange, the slower your connection will be. As rural areas are usually quite far from exchanges in comparison to cities, this can be a problem.
  • Satellite - broadband is delivered via a satellite dish. It’s a common option for rural areas that don’t have access to traditional fixed-line broadband. Capable of speeds averaging around 22Mb, it’s sufficient for most homes. However, satellite can be quite costly, come with data allowance caps and have high latency which can cause lags in activities like online gaming and streaming on-demand videos.
  • Mobile - broadband delivered via mobile signals, this can be a great option as long as your area has good mobile coverage. If you don’t, mobile broadband is certainly not a good choice.
  • Fibre optic - broadband via copper cables (FTTC) or glass fibres (FTTP) all the way to your home. Both are capable of providing ultrafast broadband but FTTP can be the best choice for rural communities as it’s not determined by distance. With FTTC, the further you are from the green cabinet, the slower the internet. With FTTP, there’s no cabinet involved and the fibres can transmit data 10 times faster than copper. That’s why it’s known as pure fibre broadband.

6. Swap Broadband Providers and Pick One that Specialises in Rural Broadband

Knowing what type of broadband is best for your area is a good start but it’s not conclusive. Neither is simply switching broadband providers because you may still experience the same speed issues. It would be a different provider but you’d have the same frustrations.

Instead, look for a broadband provider who actually specialises in rural broadband. These companies will know and understand the daily struggles you face with poor broadband and will be committed to helping your community access the ultrafast, seamless connection you deserve. You shouldn’t have to deal with the endless buffering wheel or pages loading at the pace of a snail just because of where you live.

For example, Gigaclear specialises in providing pure fibre broadband to rural communities. It’s not just ultrafast speeds of up to 900Mbps, it’s a connection that you can rely on.

Want to Read More on What Gigaclear Can Do for You?

Gigaclear can provide ultrafast, future-proof broadband to rural communities but we know you’ll want more than that. You need solid evidence, we know. That’s why we’ve put together a case study of a live Gigaclear community, from what it was before and how it is now. Download it below and see what benefits a Gigaclear connection can bring to your village.

Until we finish the case study, why not take a look at one of our many other helpful resources and see what better broadband can do for you...

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