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How can I improve my wi-fi connection?

My broadband works well when I use my PC but when I want to work on my laptop or use my iPad it is much slower. It is even worse when we have visitors and several want to connect to the wi-fi. How can I improve this?

There has been something of an explosion in the number of devices people wish to connect to their home wi-fi.

Today, most households have six, four of which are linked via wi-fi, and the more devices that are connected the slower the wi-fi speed will be.

When visitors arrive they are likely to want to connect to your wifi also to save using their data allowance, so some good housekeeping is advised.

Connecting to the internet using an Ethernet cable will always be faster than using your wi-fi. Most modems enable four devices to be connected at the same time. 

Every connection using your wi-fi will slow it down so switch unused devices off when not in use. Also remember that your broadband is ‘contended’ meaning you share access to the internet with nearby properties. At peak times the internet speed will slow everybody down and this, in turn, will affect the wi-fi signal.

If you think that the wi-fi speed is very much slower than when using an Ethernet cable speak with your telecom company.

It can undertake a quick remote test on your service to establish if the problem is caused by several nearby customers using the same wi-fi channel. Modems have up to 14 channels available but are generally factory pre-set to use three. If that is the case they can change to a less congested one remotely while you wait. This change will remain in place even if you disconnect your modem while you are away.

You may also find you occasionally need to reboot your modem to overcome some problems and you should retain the change made. This involves disconnecting the modem from the power supply for 30 minutes. However if you have to reset your modem by pressing the small reset button you will lose the change to your wi-fi channel and you will have to ask for help changing back to the less congested channel.

Question answered by Bob Elliott from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See for more information on their services in France

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