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  • Web pages seem very slow to load

    • Web pages may load slowly for any one of several reasons, such as on-demand players taking up resources on your computer, or incorrect settings on your router. To fix the problem, try one or all of the steps below.

      Step 1: Close any on-demand players

      Some on-demand players, such as BBC iPlayer, Sky Anytime and 4oD (the Channel 4 on-demand service) can cause slowness online. These players have a peer-to-peer element that may reduce connection speeds and the quality of your overall online experience. They are designed to start automatically when you start your computer.

      To check if this is the cause of your problem, you will need to disable temporarily any on-demand players that are running on your computer. If your connection improves once they're disabled, then it's likely that the player is the cause of the problem.

      To disable any on-demand players that are running on your computer, take the following steps:

      1. Hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys on your keyboard, and then press the Delete key.
      2. Select the Processes tab.
      3. Look for KHost.exe in the list of processes.
        Note: If this is not listed, there are no on-demand players running. Do not end any other processes.
      4. Select KHost.exe and then click End Process.
      5. Click Yes to confirm and then close the Task Manager.

      If your connection improves once the on-demand player is disabled, then it's likely that the player is the cause of the problem.

      Note: When you start the on-demand player or restart your computer, the KHost.exe process will begin again. To avoid slowness issues, you will need to disable the on-demand player again using the steps above. For a more permanent solution to this problem, please contact the provider of your on-demand player.

      Step 2: Set the MTU size to 1432 bytes

      The MTU (Maximum Transfer Unit) setting for the TalkTalk network is 1432 bytes. If the MTU size on your modem or router is not set to this, you may experience problems. To change the MTU setting on your modem or router, please follow the steps for your modem or router below:
    • View More: TalkTalk Web pages seem very slow to load
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    • View Answer at http://help.talktalk.co.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/1399
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  • How can I improve my connection speed?

    • The best way to do this is using our broadband speed checker which will measure your current speed and offer tips on how you might improve it. Many speed problems can be solved quickly and easily by you.

      Try these top tips to improve your speed:

      Always use the master phone socket where possible

      A router connected to the master socket in your house will have the strongest broadband signal you can get.

      Ensure all the telephone sockets that you are using are filtered

      Microfilters stop other devices connected to your phone line from conflicting with your broadband signal which can cause slow speeds and disconnections.

      Note: If you have an NTE 2000 master socket it is already pre filtered so additional microfilters are not needed.

      Check your microfilters

      If you’ve had the same microfilters for a while it’s probably a good idea to replace them if your speeds have suddenly dropped significantly.

      Replacements can be purchased from our broadband accessories shop.

      Avoid using long extension cables between your modem/router and the phone socket

      Extension cables will weaken your broadband signal and this can reduce the potential connection speed you will obtain.

      If your computer is not near the phone socket it is preferable to use the short ADSL cable supplied by us and a longer Ethernet cable to connect between the router and the computer as these do not lose signal.

      These can be purchased from our broadband accessories shop.

      Where possible use an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to the router rather than a wireless connection

      Using an Ethernet connection will almost certainly increase the speed that information is sent between the two.

      If you need help to setup an Ethernet connection see our how I set up my router article.

      Check your wireless settings are optimised

      If you choose to use a wireless connection instead of wired please ensure -

      Your wireless network is secured to prevent others accessing it.

      Your router’s wireless channel is set to auto-select to avoid conflicts with other wireless connections. The article how I change the wireless channel will explain how to do this. Simply select your router model and follow the instructions. If you have an option for ‘auto’ or ‘auto select’ in the wireless channel drop down list choose this. If not you can manually select a new channel to see if this removes the interference from your wireless signal.

      Alternatively you might want to consider a Bright Sparks visit to set everything up for you.

      Clear your computer’s cache

      The "cache" keeps a record of web pages that you visit on your computer. This means that these pages then take less time to display when you visit them again as your computer only needs to download new content. The downside is that the cache gets bigger and bigger as time goes on and may actually start to slow your connection. You should therefore clear your cache regularly.

      The article how do I clear my cache will show you how to do this.

      Make sure you have adequate security software and that it’s up to date

      Computers infected with viruses, spyware or adware can really slow down your broadband connection. If you don’t have security software installed on your computer our TalkTalk Super Safe Boost and HomeSafe™ online protection can provide for your security needs and will keep you safe online.

      Disable any Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing software currently installed on your computer, e.g. bit torrent

      P2P is file sharing software where files are broken up into lots of small pieces of data and distributed out to lots of different computers. These computers then share the pieces they have with other computers who don’t have them, and vice versa, to complete the full file. Your computer is continuously available for others to download your piece of the shared file and this can slow your connection. Disabling this software should increase your speeds.

      It is worth noting that Sky Anytime via a PC acts in the same way as P2P software and can have the same affect.

      Note: If you want to accurately measure your broadband connection speed it is essential that you disable P2P software before testing it.

      Check the speed with just one computer connected to your network

      Remember that the speed of your connection is shared across all the devices you have connected to it. If one computer is downloading using P2P software for example, it will significantly affect the connection speed on the other devices.

      Check the MTU setting in your router

      The MTU, or Maximum Transmission Unit, is a setting on your router which specifies how big a block of data can be sent or received by it. TalkTalk normally recommend an MTU size of 1432.

      Checking the MTU setting on your router is 1432 can improve your browsing speeds.

      Check your own computer and broadband equipment

      A faulty router or a computer not working properly can affect your broadband speeds.

      To rule out a computer related issue connect a single alternative computer to your network and perform a speed test. Please only test with a computer that you know is working well. Alternatively ask a friend if they will do a speed test on your network using their computer. If the speeds are slow on both computers then the issue is not computer related.

      To rule out issues with your router please connect an alternative router, alternative ADSL cable and a new microfilter to your master socket. This test router should be one you know is in good working order. Alternatively take your router, ADSL cable and microfilter to another property and try your equipment on that connection to see if that connection then has slow speeds.

      Still having problems?

      If you are using a TalkTalk router please call 0870 444 1820*. This number is free from your TalkTalk landline.

      If you are using your own router, or the fault is with your computer, please contact your vendor.


    • View More: TalkTalk How can I improve my connection speed?
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    • View Answer at http://help.talktalk.co.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/1406
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  • How can I test my broadband speed?

    • Here you can use our speed-tester to test your broadband speed. We'll then tell you how to understand the test results, and how to make simple changes to make sure you get the fastest speed possible.

      First things first...

      If you're not a BT Broadband customer: check what speed you could get with BT. 
      If you're new to BT Broadband: read this important information on what to expect in the first few days of broadband.

      How does broadband work?

      Ever wondered about broadband speed - or why you have faster or slower broadband than someone else you know?

      Learn how broadband is delivered to your home

      Broadband to your home
      Learn how broadband gets to your home and what affects your speed.

      Learn how your broadband speed is affected in your home

      Broadband at home
      Find out what changes you can make at home to improve your broadband speed.

      Ready to run the test?

      Follow the steps below to start the speed test, and we'll give you personalised help with the results.

       

      Step 1

      Step 2

      Step 3

       

      Step 1: Before you start the speed test

      Test from your home

      Test from your home
      Make sure you're connected to your home broadband service - otherwise it won't work.

      Connect using wires

      Connect using wires
      Connecting via Wi-Fi can suffer from wireless interference that reduces your speed. For the most accurate results, your computer should be connected to your Hub or router using an Ethernet cable. More information on connecting using an Ethernet cable.

      Disconnect other devices

      Disconnect other devices
      Close all other programs and internet browsers running on your computer and stop any active downloads. Make sure no other devices or people use the broadband connection during the speed test.

      Choose your type of broadband connection

      Choose your type of broadband connection
      So we can give you the best advice, please tell us how you're connecting. Click on the picture or wording which best describes your connection.

      BT Broadband ADSL broadband such as BT Total Broadband

      My BT Home Hub, router or modem is connected to a broadband filter plugged into a telephone socket or extension.

      BT Infinity Fibre based broadband such as BT Infinity

      My BT Home Hub, router or modem is plugged in to an Openreach modem using an Ethernet cable.


    • View More: BT How can I test my broadband speed?
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    • View Answer at http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9354/c/346
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  • How is my broadband speed affected by the way I connect in my home?

  • My Sky Broadband connection is slow

    • If your Sky Broadband connection seems slower than usual, try:

      - Closing and restarting your browser
      - Checking your hardware set up
      - Changing your router settings.

      Check your connection speed

      First, check whether there's a problem with the connection from the exchange to your router, or between the router and your computer. Our help guide, Check the speed of your Sky Broadband connection explains how to do this.

      Router reboot

      Switch your Sky wireless router off, leave it for 30 seconds, then switch it back on again. Don't press a pen into the reset button at this stage, as you'll lose all your current settings. If this doesn't help, you need to check the phone points in your home.

      Microfilters check

      Every phone socket in use in your home must be fitted with a microfilter. Microfilters are small white boxes with a phone lead or connector on them, supplied with your Sky Broadband router, which stop intereference between your broadband signals and signals from other items that use your phone line, such as Sky boxes, telephones, faxes and games consoles. It's vital that a microfilter is the first thing plugged into each telephone socket - no other connectors, splitters or devices should be directly connected to a telephone socket - every one should be connected via a microfilter.

      New or upgraded subscription

      Have you recently switched to Sky Broadband, or upgraded your package? If you have a new Sky Broadband product, we test your connection over 10 days, gradually bringing it up to fastest speed it can support while still giving you a stable connection. During this time, your speed will fluctuate. Please leave your Sky wireless router turned on for the first 10 days to help us test your connection speed. If you're a Broadband Everyday Lite or Broadband Unlimited customer, you can check whether we are testing your line - sign into My Sky and and follow the View my details link in the My Broadband section to see the Your Service Details dashboard. Look in the Your Connection Details section for information about line testing.

      Evenings and weekends

      At peak times, when huge numbers of people are online, your Sky Broadband may slow down. This is simply because there are so many people using the network. Our network is busiest between 4pm and 11pm on weekdays and all day at the weekend, but can be busy at other times too, depending on regional, national and international demand. You may find certain sites slower during major sporting or news events, for example.

      Sky Connect customers

      If you are a Sky Broadband Connect customer, certain online applications may run more slowly during peak times. We give priority to browsing, email, streaming, instant messaging, gaming and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). So high-bandwidth applications such as peer-to-peer file-sharing, large file downloads and newsgroups, may run more slowly. We monitor bandwidth to avoid anyone's use having a negative effect on other customers. A small number of customers who regularly download large files at peak times may have restrictions placed on their account to reduce download speeds, but we remove these restrictions when the Connect network is not busy.

      Extreme weather

      Exceptionally hot or cold weather can affect the speed of your broadband. On particularly hot or cold days you may notice an effect on your broadband speeds.

      Router position

      It's possible that a physical obstacle is interfering with your wireless signal. To get the strongest and most reliable wireless connection:
      Put your router in or near the room where you're most likely to use your computer.
      Don't put your router in the corner of the room or on the floor.
      Use your computer in a position where, if you imagine a straight line from your router to your computer, there are no thick or shiny objects in the way.
      Your wireless signal will pass through most obstacles, but dense objects such as brick, stone, concrete and metal floors and walls can weaken your wireless signal. Some reflective household objects, such as mirrors, fish tanks and metallic decorations can deflect the signal, so move your computer and router away from these objects.
       
      Phone line faults

      Pick up you phone receiver and listen. If you hear crackling or silence then contact your phone provider. A faulty phone line can cause problems with your internet connection, even if you can still make phone calls. If your phone sounds fine, you can still test it to see if it’s affecting your broadband:
      Remove the face plate of your master socket to get access to the test socket.
      Plug a microfilter directly into the master socket.
      Connect your router to the microfilter.
      If your broadband connection is fine when you're connected to the test socket, then the problem isn’t with the connection between your home and the telephone exchange. There may be problems with the phone wiring to the other sockets in your house. You could move your router, so that it's plugged into the master socket, ask a professional to check your wiring or report the fault to your telephone provider.
       
      Cabling, extension cords and telephone sockets

      Check any telephone extension cords carefully for any damage, and make sure that all the telephone connections are firmly plugged in, and fitted with microfilters. Old or damaged telephone or master sockets should be repaired or replaced. Using a telephone extension cord more than 10 metres long between your telephone socket and your Sky router can slow your connection. Try using a shorter or better quality cable. Check that the wires have not been damaged or frayed, this will slow down or stop your connection.

      Wireless channels

      Your wireless router can broadcasts on several different channels. Sky Broadband uses channels. A nearby wireless connection may be broadcasting on the same channel, if your neighbour has Sky Broadband, for example, and this can interfere with your signal. It's easy to change your router settings and select a different channel, which will resolve this conflict. You may find that one channel is clearer in your home than others. You can access your router settings and try to improve your signal strength using our help guide, Have you tried a different wireless channel?. You won't need to adjust your computer settings, just go online and your computer will detect the new channel automatically.

      Interference from other devices

      Do you use a wireless adapter or other wireless gadgets and devices, including baby monitors, wireless printers or peripherals (keyboard, mouse etc.) or cordless phones? Our help article, contains tips on resolving this issue.

      Viruses and malware

      If you have picked up a virus or other type of harmful program, this can slow your computer down and affect your browsing speeds. Learn more about the tell-tale signs of this kind of 'malware' infection, and how to protect yourself with McAfee Internet Security software, in our Security Centre.

    • View More: Sky My Sky Broadband connection is slow
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    • View Answer at http://www.sky.com/helpcentre/broadband/speed-and-connection-problems/slow-connection/
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  • Glossary of Sky Broadband speeds

    • There are different types of speeds for broadband. Below is a guide to each term:
      Download speed
      The download speed of your broadband connection is the speed at which data is transferred from the internet to you. Faster download speeds mean you can download files like music tracks, photos or video clips faster. The download speed will also affect the quality of watching streamed videos online. Faster download speeds should make the video less likely to pause while you are watching it.

      Upload speed
      The upload speed of your broadband connection is the speed that data is transferred from you to the internet. A faster upload speed should improve your overall internet experience, as your actions (even clicking on a link while surfing a web page) are communicated out to the internet quicker.

       
      Faster upload speeds can also make it quicker to send emails with photos or other large files attached, upload photos and video clips to your page on a social networking site, give you quicker reactions when online gaming and enhance the quality of video conferencing and phone calls you make over the internet.

      Maximum product headline speeds
      These are the advertised maximum speeds offered with your Sky Broadband product, and refer to the fastest download and upload speeds that the Sky Broadband connection could achieve between a router and the Sky Broadband equipment in the telephone exchange.

       
      Please bear in mind that the speed you will actually experience when using the internet can be anything up to the maximum speeds offered by your Sky Broadband product, and are affected by many factors with the most important being the length and quality of your phone line. Maximum download and upload speeds offered with the Sky Broadband products are:

       
      Everyday Lite: up to 20Mb download / up to 1.3Mb upload
      Unlimited: up to 20Mb download / up to 1.3Mb upload
      Connect (available in areas outside of Sky's broadband network): up to 8Mb download / up to 448Kb upload
      Your Estimated Access Line Speed
      When you are selecting a Sky Broadband product to order, we will provide you with an estimate of the fastest download speed that your phone line can support. This is an estimate based on information including the length and quality of your phone line, and refers to the download speed that we believe a Sky Broadband connection could achieve between your router and Sky's broadband equipment in the local telephone exchange.

      Actual speeds
      The actual download and upload speeds that you experience when using the internet will be slower than the Estimated Access Line Speed for your line. This is because of various factors, including:

      If you are using a wireless connection between your computer and the Sky Wireless router - wireless connections can be affected by interference from thick walls in your home, other electrical items such as baby monitors or cordless phones, and local congestion if there are a number of wireless connections using the same wireless channels (frequency) in your neighbourhood.
      The number of people that are using the same website as you at the same time, and at peak times (weekday evenings and weekends) as well as the number of people using the internet in the UK and worldwide at the same time, can cause speeds can vary throughout the day.
      Sky Broadband Connect customers only
      Please note: You may experience slower speeds during peak times (from 5pm to 12am each day) for certain applications that use up a lot of bandwidth and are not time critical, such as peer-to-peer and newsgroups. This is as a result of Sky's Traffic Management, which is applied to the Connect network so that we are able to provide a sustainable quality broadband service to our Connect customers.

      There is also an Excessive Use Policy that applies to Connect customers during peak times. If you are in the top 2% of Connect customers using an excessive amount of bandwidth and impacting other customers' experience on the Connect product we may apply more severe restrictions to your speeds for all applications during peak times (for more details see the Usage Policies section of the Sky Broadband Terms and Conditions ).

      Speed & Connection Testing
      To test the performance of your line, we will start your Sky Broadband at a low speed on the first day. Over the first ten days we will try to increase your speeds and will then set your line to provide the best speeds supported with a reliable connection. During these first ten days you may notice some variations in speed and your connection may be intermittent at times; this is normal.

      Everyday Lite and Unlimited customers only
      Sign in to My Sky and check the Broadband Service Details section under My Broadband for the current status of testing on your line, and the maximum download and upload speeds your Sky Broadband connection has been set to after testing.

    • View More: Sky Glossary of Sky Broadband speeds
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    • View Answer at http://www.sky.com/helpcentre/broadband/speed-and-connection-problems/understand-your-speed/glossary-of-broadband-speed-terms/
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  • Find your broadband speed

    • The Access Line or Connection speed is the speed of your Broadband connection between the local telephone exchange and the Sky wireless router - this is the speed that Sky Broadband is able to provide into your home rather than the actual speeds that you experience when using the internet. 

      When you purchase Sky Broadband, we will provide you with an Estimated Access Line Speed (Connection/Download) that your line can support and confirm this by letter. You can also view your speed estimate by signing in to My Sky and selecting My Broadband

      To check the Actual Access Line Speed of your broadband connection, open a web browser window (e.g. Internet Explorer), enter 192.168.0.1 in the address bar, and press Return. In the login box, enter the username admin and the password sky. You will then see a screen which shows your Sky Broadband Access Line (Connection) speeds. 
       

      Ofcom Code of Practice 

      Making sure that we set an accurate expectation with our customers around broadband speeds is a key element of the Ofcom Code of Practice. The full Code of Practice is available on Ofcom's website, or you can read the full Code Of Practice: Broadband Speeds by downloading our PDF of this document (requires Adobe Reader or similar).


    • View More: Sky Find your broadband speed
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    • View Answer at http://www.sky.com/helpcentre/broadband/speed-and-connection-problems/understand-your-speed/find-your-broadband-speed/
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  • Speed and connection testing

    • To test the performance of your line, we will start your Sky Broadband at a low speed on the first day. Over the first ten days we will try to increase your speeds and will then set your line to provide the best speeds supported with a reliable connection – note if your phone line is very long or has a lot of 'noise' on the line your connection may be set slower than your first day's speed, this is only done where our testing determines that the line cannot maintain a reliable broadband connection at a faster speed. 

      During these first ten days you may notice some variations in speed and your connection may be intermittent at times – this is normal. Please keep your Sky wireless router turned on for the first ten days of active Sky Broadband – this helps us to get the maximum information about your line's performance during testing, so we can select the best settings for your connection.

    • View More: Sky Speed and connection testing
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    • View Answer at http://www.sky.com/helpcentre/broadband/speed-and-connection-problems/understand-your-speed/speed-and-connection-testing/
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  • What can I do to speed up my broadband?

    • Check your connections

      Don't use extension cables. Connect your O2 wireless box straight into the telephone master socket. That's the phone point closest to where the landline comes into your home. It's usually somewhere easy to get to, like the hallway.

       

      Only use the cables we gave you

      The cables that came with your O2 wireless box are designed for broadband. They reduce interference as much as possible. So don't use other cables.

       

      Ease the pressure on your landline

      Anything that's plugged into your landline could cause interference. The more equipment on the connection, the slower your broadband. If you're watching a video, someone else is downloading music and your games console is online too, your speed will be slower. Unplug anything that doesn't need to be connected to your landline.

       

      Move your cables away from interference

      Electrical equipment can interfere with your signal. If your DSL cable  runs close to electrical equipment, move the cable or the equipment.

       

      Fit broadband filters

      Broadband filters are small white boxes that look like phone adapters. They separate your broadband signal from your phone signal. So you can go online and talk on the phone at the same time.

      Everything that's plugged into your phone line must be connected through a filter. That includes phones, fax machines, burglar alarms and satellite receivers.

       

      Stop things interfering with your wireless

      Wireless connections are more exposed to interference. They can be slower than wired ones. There are a few things you can do to make it faster:

      • If you have other wireless equipment (like cordless phones) in your home, move it away from your O2 wireless box. 

       

      • Adjust the wireless channel on your O2 wireless box. (You'll find instructions in the Broadband speed links below.)

       

      • Connect your equipment to your O2 wireless box directly using an Ethernet cable.

       

      Turn off software you’re not using

      Your computer might contain programs that run in the background. Things like security programs or the peer-to-peer software you use to download songs or videos. They could be using your connection when you're not aware of it. See if it makes a difference when you turn them off.

       

      Check your speed accurately

      There are lots of online broadband speed tests. But not all of them are accurate. Many don't do a full bandwidth test. To find out how to test properly, see the Broadband speed links below.

       

      View our interactive guide to get more support setting up and going wireless


    • View More: O2 What can I do to speed up my broadband?
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    • View Answer at http://service.o2.co.uk/IQ/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE/,/?St=64,E=0000000003153600202,K=1722,Sxi=2,T=guruCase,VARSET_COBJID=23960,Problem=Obj(23960)
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  • What affects my broadband speed?

    • All sorts of things: some you can control, some you can't.

       

      Things you can't control

       

      Where you live

      Your broadband comes through the telephone cables from your local BT exchange. So if you live one kilometre away from it, you'll get faster broadband than someone who lives five kilometres away.

       

      The state of your phone line

      The better the phone line, the stronger the broadband signal.

       

      Noise and interference on your phone line

      Underground phone lines that run beneath motorways or large buildings suffer interference, known as 'noise'. Noise also affects older phone lines strung from telegraph poles.  The more noise you have on your line, the worse your connection.

       

      Things you can control

       

      The layout in your home

      The closer your O2 wireless box is to your master phone socket, the better. So plug it straight into the main BT master socket using the filter and cables we supply. (Don't use extension telephone cables because they weaken the signal.)

       

      Plug a filter into every phone socket that has telephones or other equipment attached. If you want to connect to your O2 wireless box with wires, use Ethernet cables.

       

      Your equipment

      You'll get better performance from a newer computer, and new equipment (like wires and sockets). If you're using other modems or routers, replace them with your O2 wireless box. We designed it to work with the O2 Home Broadband network.

       

      The websites you visit

      Some websites send out information slower than others. Sites hosted overseas can be slower to download than sites hosted in the UK.

       

      When you visit

      At peak times, websites that stream video can't always keep up with demand. You get something called a ‘buffering’ message. That's nothing to do with your broadband connection. It's the server that can't send out data fast enough for everyone who wants it. Give the video clip time to load up or see if you can download the file to watch later.

       

      Shared connections

      If you share your internet connection with other people in your home, you'll slow each other down. Your broadband speed has to be shared out between all the computers and equipment that are online at any one time.


       
      Your software

      Some internet applications slow your broadband down. You can easily find out by switching them off and testing your speed. The usual culprits are peer-to-peer and file-sharing software.

       

      Viruses and spyware

      Viruses or spyware will slow you down. Use up-to-date anti-virus or anti-spyware software to keep them out. And run a regular scan to check that nothing's in your system already.

       

      View our interactive guide to get more support setting up and going wireless


    • View More: O2 What affects my broadband speed?
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    • View Answer at http://service.o2.co.uk/IQ/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE/,/?St=64,E=0000000003153600202,K=1722,Sxi=2,T=guruCase,VARSET_COBJID=23960,Problem=Obj(23960)
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