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Fix slow broadband speeds

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We know how frustrating it is when your broadband is running slower than usual, so we’ve put together this guide to help you fix the problem without having to call in.

 

Just joined or upgraded?

If you're new to TalkTalk or you've just upgraded to Fibre, your line will go through something we call the stabilisation period. This is when we monitor and tweak your speed to make sure you get a stable broadband connection in the long term.

It usually lasts for around 10 days and it's normal to experience varying speeds and occasional drops in your connection during this time. Please bear with us and keep your router switched on. This helps us gather information about your line so we can give you the best service possible.

 

What you'll need

Here's what you'll need. Don't worry if you don't have everything, many of the steps don't require extra equipment.

  • Pen & paper
  • Your welcome pack
  • Ethernet cable
  • Screwdriver
  • Spare microfilter
  • Your router 

 

Let's get started

When you're ready, work through the steps below.

Turning your router off and back on again is one of the most common solutions for getting your internet back up to speed, although please bear in mind that you shouldn't restart your router more than twice within 24 hours.

  • If you're a regular broadband customer, you can switch it on again after 30 seconds.
  • If you've got fibre broadband, you should leave it switched off for at least 20 minutes.

Now that your router has been restarted, try browsing the internet for a few minutes. If your speed still seems slow, continue to Step 2.

This is the speed we expect you to get when you've got a single device connected to your router with an Ethernet cable. You can find it in the welcome pack we sent you when you joined us.

Now let's check your current speed by running a speed test.

When you've got the result, make note of your current download speed and compare it to the one in your welcome pack.

If you haven't got your welcome pack, or your speed is slower than the one in your welcome pack, move onto Step 3.

If the speed test results match the one in your welcome pack, the good news is that your broadband is working as we'd expect it to.

 

If your router is connected to lots of different devices, it can put a strain on your Wi-Fi signal and slow it down.

To make sure you’re getting your estimated line speed, find everything that’s connected to the internet in your house and take it offline. The only thing you should leave connected is the device you're completing this test on, and your wireless powerline adapters (if you have any).

Once you've disconnected everything, let's do another speed test and see if it's improved your broadband performance.

Write your result down and then compare the download speed with the one from the last time we checked your speed.

If you speed is slower or the same as last time, continue to Step 4.

If your speed has increased, then device congestion on your network was likely the problem. If you start switching everything back on, your speed could degrade again, so it's important to monitor and limit how many devices you have online at once.

 

Your master socket is the point where the external phone line enters your home. It's a white, plastic square built into your wall, and can usually be found in your hallway, or near your front door. It will be bigger than any other phone socket in your house and offers the strongest broadband signal.

If your router is already connected to your master socket, you can go to Step 5.

If you've moved your router to your master socket, let's run another speed test to see if this has fixed the problem.

Write your result down and compare the download speed with the one from the last time we checked your speed.

If you speed is slower or the same as last time, continue to Step 5.

If you broadband speed has improved, then you probably had your router plugged into an extension socket. These sockets are connected to your master socket with extension wiring, which isn’t built for carrying broadband signals. For the best speeds, keep your router connected to your master socket at all times.

 

Next, we’re going to see if there's a problem with your wireless signal. The best way to do this is to temporarily connect your computer directly to your router using an Ethernet cable. This is the yellow cable that came with your router.

Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into any of the yellow ports in the back of your router Then plug the other end into the Ethernet port on your device. Wait until you have an internet connection again, then run a speed test.

Write your result down and compare the download speed with the one from the last time we checked your speed.

If you speed is slower or the same as last time, continue to Step 6.

If your speed has gone up using a wired connection, then wireless interference could be the problem. Try to keep your router free from obstructions and away from other electronic devices. You may also want to invest in some Powerline adapters to help extend your Wi-Fi signal in your home.

 

A microfilter is a small device that stops your phone signal from interfering with your broadband signal and vice versa.

If you have a pre-filtered master socket (with two ports built in) you won't need to use microfilters, and you can skip to Step 7.

If you have a standard master socket, with one port on the front, it's essential that you use microfilters and set them up correctly as per below:

  • Don’t use two microfilters by plugging them into each other.
  • Make sure you've plugged a microfilter into every socket that you're using in your home.
  • Don’t plug a microfilter into an empty socket – only plug them into the sockets you’re using.
  • If you don’t have enough microfilters for all the sockets you’re using, unplug some devices and leave them unplugged until you can get some more. You can purchase them in the TalkTalk Shop.

If you've checked the above and are still having problems, one of your microfilters could be faulty. Try replacing them one by one and run a speed test every time you make a change.

Write your results down and compare the download speed with the one from the last time we checked your speed.

If you speed is consistently slower or the same as last time, continue to Step 7.

If your speed has improved, then you likely just needed to change your microfilter setup or replace a faulty one. Remember that if you change things back, your speeds will likely reduce again, so it's important you keep this configuration going forward.

 

Next, we’re going to see if your router is set up correctly. Even if an engineer installed your equipment for you, wires can easily become loose over time or get knocked out of place.

Go to check my router setup for reference, and then come back to this page once you've checked.

If your router setup looks correct, you can continue to Step 8.

If you made any changes to your setup, let's run a speed test to see if there's been an improvement.

Write your results down and compare the download speed with the one from the last time we checked your speed.

If you speed is slower or the same as last time, continue to Step 8.

If your speed has improved, then you likely just needed to change your router's setup. Remember that if you change things back, your speeds will likely reduce again, so it's important you keep this setup going forwards.

 

This step only applies to you if you're currently using wireless powerline adapters. These plug into your wall sockets to extend your wireless signal further around your home.

If you don't use these, please go to Step 9.

If you do, we’ll need you to disconnect your powerline adapters. To do this, just temporarily switch them off at the mains, or unplug them.

Now that we've temporarily switched off your wireless powerline adapters, let's do another speed test to see if there's been an improvement.

Write your results down and compare the download speed with the one from the last time we checked your speed.

If you speed is slower or the same as last time, continue to Step 9. If your speed has increased, your wireless powerline adapters may have been set up incorrectly. Follow the steps in setting up your wireless powerline adapters to reconfigure them properly.

Once you've done this, you'll maintain your new broadband speed.

This step only applies to you if you've got a test socket. You'll know you've got a test socket if there's a horizontal line across the middle of your master socket.

If you haven't got a test socket, you can go straight to Step 10.

If your master socket has a test socket, follow the steps below to connect your router to it: 

  1. Carefully unscrew the faceplate with a screwdriver. If your master socket doesn't have screws, squeeze the sides of the faceplate to detach it.
  2. With the faceplate removed, you'll see the test socket on the right-hand side.
  3. Plug a microfilter into the test socket.
  4. Then plug your router's broadband cable into the microfilter port labelled ADSL.

Now that you've connected to your test socket, let's do another speed test and see if there's any improvement. Remember, whilst you're using your test socket, none of your other phone sockets will work.

Write your results down and compare the download speed with the one from the last time we checked your speed.

If you speed is slower or the same as last time, reconnect the faceplate to your master socket and continue to Step 10.

If your speed increases when you're connected to your test socket, there could be a fault with your internal phone wiring. This isn't something we can fix online, please contact us so we can help you.

 

A splitter is a small device that plugs directly into your phone socket or the phone port on your microfilter. It's job is to split your phone connection into two or more.

Even if you don’t think you have a splitter, it’s still worth double-checking your sockets because some services fit them as standard. Sky, for example, will sometimes fit a splitter when they install your set-top box.

If you definitely don't have any splitters, please skip to Step 11.

If you use splitters, you'll need to check that they're set up correctly:

  • Your microfilter should be plugged directly into the socket.
  • Your splitter should be plugged into your microfilter, not the other way around.

If you've made changes to your splitter setup, run another speed test.

If you speed is slower or the same as last time, continue to Step 11.

If your speed has increased, your splitters may have been set up incorrectly. Keep any changes you've made to your setup and your speed shouldn't decrease.

 


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