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Use our expert advice to guide you through the choices for business broadband and phone systems

Top tips for faster broadband at work

Most people know that broadband speed can vary, depending on the amount of traffic that’s moving across the shared connection at any time. This is call ‘contention’. And let’s be clear, unless you have a dedicated leased line, you will always be sharing the physical connection with other businesses and users in the locality. The communications infrastructure is similar to the road and motorway network. Many smaller roads lead you onto bigger roads and main routes on which all traffic that needs to move from one major hub to another will run. 


The number of businesses that share your physical connection to the main network may be many of it may be few, depending on the service option you have chosen. It’s a good idea to ask about the contention ratio that the supplier expects you to have on your service when you are researching your options. 


By the way, a leased line is the ideal option if you want to be sure that you will always have the speed and bandwidth you need, available all the time – both upstream and downstream. But a leased line will be expensive, and only larger businesses tend to be able to have a requirement and a budget for them.


For most businesses, a broadband connection will be more than enough – as long as you take care to choose the right option for your business.


But there are many other ways in which broadband performance can be impacted and improved at work, some of which we have detailed below. Remember, it may not always be the broadband itself that is the cause of sluggish performance or delayed responses. 

How to test your broadband speed

The first thing you should always do is check the actual speed that you are getting from your broadband supplier. This is easy to do – just so a Google search for ‘broadband speed test’ and you’ll have a whole list of options, such as Broadband Speed Checker.


Ideally, the download and upload speeds that you record when you use these sites will be a close match to the speeds that your service provider has told you to expect. If they are not, you need to go back to them and find out why. There may be a simple reason such as a misconfiguration or a small issue with the connection in the local cabinet. 


Before you do this though, run the speed check at different times of the day. The levels of contention on the line will vary at different times of the day. You may find that the broadband connection is faster first thing in the morning than it is in the early afternoon, for example. If you can pass this information to your service provider, it may help them to find a solution. 

Tips for improving your broadband speed and boosting Wi-Fi

There are a few ways in which you can try to improve the speed of your broadband. You can use some form of accelerator or you can just switch provider. Beyond that, there is not that much you can do yourself – aside from checking the speed and nagging your service provider if it is not up to scratch – except to make sure that it is not being used for unnecessary or non-business traffic (such as video streaming services and social media, for example).


There is, however, quite a lot you can do to improve the performance of your own network and Wi-Fi.