Based on BT, why may you be liable for your frustratingly gradual broadband?

As millions of us continue to work, study, and socialize from home, having a high-speed broadband connection at home has gone from a nice bonus to an absolute necessity. If you have a busy household, broadband speeds can soon stall. When you need to make video calls, collaborate on documents, upload a backup, or stream a new boxset on Netflix it can be incredibly frustrating.

It’s not always obvious why your WiFi is slowing down, but thankfully BT has released some insights to help you figure out what to turn off to get your internet back on track. In addition to providing insight into what causes slow speeds at home, BT Home Tech expert Tayyab Farid offers some helpful tips to ensure you can work, stream, and study on your home internet as planned.

Play online

Since the beginning of the global pandemic, BT’s broadband network has seen web traffic increase by 60 percent. BT, Virgin Media, Sky and other broadband providers have all set new records for most of the data downloaded by customers nationwide in a single day. And when it comes to slowing down the download speed – and slowing down the WiFi for everyone else at home, nothing beats online gaming.

Yes, more time inside has led to a surge in video games – with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles selling out everywhere, Nintendo Switch bundles hard to come by at the start of the pandemic, and the fitness-centric Ring Fit Adventure always still hard to find on the shelves … it’s clear that millions of people have rediscovered their love for gaming. Games with huge online components like Fortnite, FIFA and Call of Duty: Warzone have also been very successful over the past 12 months.

However, playing online with your friends can only be really fun if you have WiFi that can keep up.

Findings from BT have shown that in order to play online games at an “optimal” level, gamers need speeds between 15 and 25 Mbps – which has a significant impact on broadband connectivity in the rest of the home. After all, the nationwide average broadband speed for an entire house is only a shadow of 60 Mbit / s.

To reduce the impact of online gaming, gamers can reduce their graphics settings to a lower quality. Sure, things might not look quite as sharp on the screen, but it could mean everyone else at home can still video calls, stream, and shop online. A hard-wired connection for the computer or console could also give the WiFi the much-needed break.

Video calls

While online gaming could be a (sizable) niche, video calling is something we are all to blame for this year. Whether it’s Zoom, Teams, or Apple FaceTime, we’ve all gotten much more used to video calls over the past year. Every video call needs a download speed of at least 2Mbps to keep the picture clear and the sound in sync (nobody wants to deal with Eurovision-style delays where you end up talking about each other), and video calls need im Ideally, with some privacy, it is important to have a strong connection in different rooms in the house.

If you’re having trouble making calls, the best thing to do is to check the speed your router is giving you. and are two great services that will quickly show you how fast your broadband is. A number of providers, including BT, offer speed guarantees with some of their packages. So if you’re consistently below the magic number, you can get a refund.

Stream movies

It’s fair to say that one of the most common activities at home over the past year has been streaming TV and movies. Some content providers recommend 25Mbps to ensure a flawless experience. Hence, it is important that you have a strong connection in order to stream your favorite content with ease. As with online games, that’s a healthy amount of bandwidth.

If you’re having trouble streaming, with other family members playing, making calls, shopping online, and more, it may be time to upgrade from your provider to a faster speed. Fiber connections up to 1,000 Mbps are now available in some regions of the country – more than enough to allow your entire street to be streamed in your living room without slowing down connections. However, if that’s not an option – maybe you download the movie overnight instead of streaming it? Or do you have a family movie night together – so no one is using the WiFi for anything else while you’re watching?

Tayyab Farid, a member of BT’s Home Tech Expert, also shared some tips on how to get the most out of your Wi-Fi facility.

1 / location, location, location

Position your hub in the center of your house to reduce the number of walls slowing down your signal.

Once you are more than two walls from your hub, it will have to work harder and your speed may drop.

Mesh systems like BT’s Complete Wi-Fi, Amazon Eero, or Google Nest Wifi can help extend Wi-Fi coverage in every room in the house to increase overall speed and capacity. To do this, they add several nodes throughout the house. So your devices are never more than a wall away from a source of super-fast WiFi.

2 / device speed and connection

If your WiFi feels sluggish, it may be due to the device you are using. The newer your devices, the faster the wireless speed we support.

The more devices you use, the more you are using the total capacity of your home broadband network, especially if you have multiple Netflix streams and online games for kids.

BT customers can test their speed with the My BT app. There you can check your speed to your hub and your speed to your device.

3 / Increase bandwidth and future-proof your home with full fiber

Recent research found that the average home now has 28 devices connected to Wi-Fi, including four smart TVs, three tablets, two laptops, and two game consoles. As households get smarter, that number is only going to increase, so the need for a decent in-home connection grew bigger and bigger.

If you haven’t changed your broadband contract in a few years, you may be suffering from outdated speeds. New offers keep popping up. And when you’re switching from one Openreach provider to another (which includes brands like BT, EE, Plusnet, TalkTalk, and Sky), these have all of the hassle of switching connections for you! So you don’t have to worry about not having access to the internet for days.

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