A step-by-step guide for Speed up your broadband

Your step-by-step guide on how to get your broadband connection up to speed.

There’s no point paying for a fast broadband service if you’re only going online at half the advertised speed.

Fortunately there are a number of ways to improve your connection.

In our article Up Your Internet Speed: How to get faster broadband we gave you some great suggestions.

broadband speed

But some of these suggestions are harder to implement than others, most notably how to climb under the bonnet of your browser and get things moving quicker.

In this step-by-step guide we explain how to make sure your computer and its internet-browsing software isn’t slowing down your web experience.

Check what your broadband speed actually is

You can use a speed tester to check what your broadband speed actually is.

For this test, it will help to know what speed your internet should be working at.

This will normally be dependent on the package you have, so dig out your documentation and check the type of connection you’re paying for – it’ll normally specify something like 1Mb, 2Mb or up to 50Mb.

If the speed test shows you’re not hitting this download speed, try some of these tips:

Clear your cache

Your browser’s cache stores information from sites you’ve already visited, like images buttons and banners, so that you won’t have to re-download them when you revisit the site.

Over time, it can get clogged up with lots of old information that you don’t need any more and this might stop stuff from loading as quickly as you’d like.

To clear it out is not a difficult job. First, check which browser you’re using. To do this, click Help in your browser’s menu bar then About.

Now read down our list to find the one that matches, and follow these instructions.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and 8.0

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Click Tools in the menu bar or click on the Tools icon.
  • Click Internet Options then choose the General tab.
  • Click Delete from the “Browsing History” section.
  • Tick “Temporary Internet Files” and “Cookies” then click Delete Files.
  • Click Yes on the Delete Files window.
  • Click Close then OK.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Click Tools in the menu bar or click on the Tools icon.
  • Click Internet Options to open Internet Properties.
  • Click the General tab.
  • Click Delete from the “Browsing History” section.
  • Click Delete Files from the “Temporary Internet Files” section.
  • Click Delete Cookies from the “Cookies” section.
  • Click Yes on the Delete Files dialog box.
  • Click Close then OK.

Google Chrome

  • Open Chrome.
  • Click the Spanner Icon to open the tools menu.
  • Select Options.
  • Click the Under the Hood tab, click Clear browsing data.
  • From the Obliterate the following items from dropdown list select the beginning of time then tick the boxes next to Empty the cache and Delete cookies and other site data.
  • Click Clear browsing data.
  • Close window.
  • Close and restart the browser.

Mozilla Firefox 3.5 – 3.6

  • Click Tools in the menu bar and select Clear Recent History.
  • From the Time Range dropdown list selectEverything.
  • Click Details to choose what to clear then tick Cache and Cookies.
  • Click the Clear Now button.
  • Close and restart the browser.

Safari 4.0 for Macintosh OS X

  • Open Safari.
  • Click Safari in the menu bar and choose Reset Safari.
  • Click Empty Cache and Remove All Cookies.
  • Click the Reset button.
  • Close and restart the browser.

Remove unwanted toolbars and add-ons

We all have them yet we normally don’t use them or even remember why we downloaded them in the first place.

As well as eating up space on your screen, toolbars are often busy in the background sending information to their providers and this can chew up your bandwidth without you even realising its happening.

If your browser is stuffed full of toolbars, first, work out which browser version you’re using – click Help in your browser’s menu bar then About.

Now read down our list to find the one that matches.

Internet Explorer 9.0 and 8.0

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Click Tools in the menu bar or click on the Tools icon.
  • Click Manage Add-Ons.
  • Click Toolbars and Extentions.
  • Select the toolbar/add-on so that it is highlighted.
  • Click Disable.
  • Repeat for all unwanted toolbars/add-ons.
  • Click Close and then OK.
  • Close and restart the browser.

Internet Explorer 7.0

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Click Tools in the menu bar or click on the Tools icon.
  • Click Manage Add-Ons.
  • Click Enable or Disable Add-Ons.
  • Show Add-ons currently loaded in Internet Explorer (this is the default option). Select the toolbar/add-on from the list so that it is highlighted.
  • Click Disable.
  • Repeat for all unwanted add-ons.
  • Click OK then OK.
  • Close and restart the browser.

We would recommend being brutal to begin with – disable as many toolbars as possible so you can really see the effect it has on your browsing.

If you realise afterwards that you’ve accidentally got rid of something you actually find useful, don’t panic.

Follow the same steps as above but when you get to step six, just click Enable after highlighting the toolbar you want, and it’ll reappear.

Happy internet surfing!

We really hope these tips have given you a good starting point to help you make the most of your internet connection.

But if you’re still finding things sluggish it might be time to consider upgrading to a package that can keep up with you.

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