One of the most common issues clients want to talk to us about is their slow internet connection. A slow connection can be painful for employees trying to carry out their tasks. Even worse, it can be embarrassing if your customers are relying on you to send them data or process their requests. With the business world gradually moving into the cloud, is your connection up to it, and if not, what can you do about it?
First of all, do a speed test. This is an easy check and will give you a rough idea of what speed you're actually getting. http://www.speedtest.net/ is a great one which will tell you your upload and download speeds. Once you've done this, check with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) what speeds you SHOULD be getting. If you're not getting what you're paying for then there's a chance there's an issue somewhere. It's fairly common, and if you don't report it to them it won't get sorted! It's also worth "turning it off and on again" because sometimes if there's been maintenance work carried out on your circuit, it needs a reboot to kick in.
If it turns out you are getting the correct speeds for the connection you're paying for, another test you can ask most ISPs to do for you is a check on what sort of traffic is going out over your connection. It sometimes takes a couple of days to come back but may be worth the wait.
We had a client who discovered by doing this that their staff were streaming films over their lunch period, eating up tonnes of bandwidth! Once you are armed with this information you can then ask your IT guys to make sure only the traffic you want is allowed over your firewall. Don't forget to educate your staff as part of this process - they may be completely unaware that their actions are slowing down the entire organisation.
If you've had the same connection for years, then there's a good chance something better will be available to you now. Go to:
Enter the telephone number and your postcode in the Broadband Checker to see what's available. It will show you a list of the available options in your exchange. Speak to your ISP to see if your slow internet circuit can be upgraded, or investigate other providers if you feel it's time for a change. Make sure you check your contract terms first to see what notice you have to give your current provider!
Unfortunately it's still a bit of a postcode lottery when it comes to availability. We have clients who either cannot get the service they want in their area, or there's a bit of a hefty price-tag involved. However if you're in the fortunate position of having several options available, this is one area where you can really make an investment for your business. Go for the best circuit you can afford because it will be worth it and say goodbye to slow internet sppeds forever!
So don't struggle on with that slow internet connection, do something about it today!