Advice on how to improve broadband during coronavirus

Many people may have been asked to work from home or will be relying on digital connectivity while they self-isolate.

Below are some practical steps that can be taken at a property to help boost speeds. Quick fixes for broadband:

  • Check your router – if you’ve had your router for some time, it may need an upgrade. Check with your internet provider to make sure you have the most up to date version.
  • Consider moving your router if you can – for maximum coverage place your router in the middle of the property and make sure it isn’t blocked by any dense structures.
  • Consider WiFi boosters, extenders or powerline networks – these are small and simple devices, that can improve the strength and range of a WiFi signal. They are plugged either directly into your router or into electrical outlets using antennas or cables to replicate and extend a connection. If you have certain rooms where the WiFi signal strength drops off, this could be a solution.
  • Mobile hotspots – this allows a mobile phone to be used as a source of WiFi. This is usually activated in your mobile phone’s settings. Check with your mobile phone provider first to find out if there are any costs for using this service.
  • MiFi devices – these are portable devices that allow you to connect to the internet from wherever there is a good mobile signal. Mobile signals are usually stronger in elevated rooms, or an attic, which may be an ideal location for this type of device
  • Try an alternative connection – where available, mobile/4G broadband can be a quick option for connectivity and this doesn’t mean using a mobile phone. A broadband router can be installed to connect your property to broadband via a 4G mobile network. In areas where a 4G signal might not be strong indoors, an external antenna can be attached to the side of your property. You don’t need cables or a phone line. There are now also unlimited data packages available with a number of providers. Boosting mobile signal indoors:
  • Cavity insulation, thick stone walls, metallic coated insulation materials and many other factors can have a detrimental effect on indoor mobile phone signals.
  • Femtocells may provide a possible solution. These are small, low powered mobile phone transmitters designed for indoor use, with a limited range of typically 200 metres. They are designed to provide a mobile phone signal at a property. Femtocells require an existing broadband connection and are provided by the mobile phone operators, either free of charge, or for a small fee.