How to Improve your internet speed

Slow internet can be frustrating for many people, especially when it doesn’t perform how you expect it should. You can test your current internet speed on our speed test page

There are a number of factors which could be slowing your internet speed down. We’ve suggested nine tips below that can help improve your internet speed and get the best from your broadband.

Consider the location of your router

Where you place your router can affect your WiFi speed. Whilst you may not be able to change the room it needs to be in, you can help increase its signal strength.

If your router is currently on the floor, move it to a table or shelf. When a router is on the floor, the internet signal will be absorbed by the ground it is placed on.
If you can, avoid placing your router directly next to a wall. Walls will also absorb your signal strength whilst placing it near an open doorway will allow your signal to reach the rest of your rooms.

Check the coverage in your area

It’s possible that your broadband provider doesn’t offer you the fastest broadband. You may be limited by your current plan’s speeds. You can look at your current speed and compare to other broadband providers on our speed test page

You may also want to consider increasing your broadband speed. At Vodafone, we’re the largest full fibre provider with plans offering speeds of up to 910 Mbps*. Explore full fibre plans

Consider your number of connected devices

The number of devices connected to your router can affect your internet speed. The more devices connected, the slower your speeds will be. This is because all your devices are competing for the same internet connection supplied by your provider.

If you’re a Vodafone Broadband customer, you can use the Vodafone Broadband app to check how many devices are currently connected. You’ll be able to remove any devices you no longer want connected. Learn more about the Vodafone Broadband app

Consider how your internet is being utilised

How your internet is being used by your devices will also affect your speed. If multiple people connected to your WiFi router are streaming a movie at the same time, it’ll slow down your connection. Similarly, if someone is using your WiFi for gaming, this will also have an effect on your bandwidth and speed performance. If you’re gaming in real-time online, this will also significantly utilise your upload speed.

This is referred to as ‘network traffic’, which means the amount of data which is moving across a network at any given time. In this scenario, your WiFi may be slightly slower during this time but will improve when less people are connected.

Try a wired connection, not WiFi

If you have the option to do so, plugging your laptop in via an Ethernet cable or your games console via Ethernet jacks could quickly improve your speeds. Both Ethernet options connect your devices directly to the internet, as opposed to connecting via WiFi – resulting in less network traffic.

Nowadays, you can buy WiFi extenders with Ethernet ports, so you can boost your WiFi signal whilst also having the ability to connect devices to your extender for an even faster connection.

Try extending your router range

If you don’t already have a WiFi extender, these can help with ensuring even coverage throughout your home. Ideally, an extender is placed in between a ‘dead zone’ (an area where signal is struggling) and the router. The extender picks up this signal and rebroadcasts it to more areas of your home. There are various WiFi extenders which you can buy. Some offer higher speed capabilities, have moveable antennas to manually control the signal or have a mesh design for improved range.

Alternatively, you can opt for a Wireless Access Point (WAP) device instead of a WiFi extender. These devices need to be connected to your router via a wire, making them less portable. However, they offer better reliability and speed through the wired connection.

Whatever your choice, both options are at similar price points.

Change your WiFi frequency channel

By default, your WiFi router will be automatically set to a frequency channel. This is great for ease of use but you’re likely to be using the same channel as your neighbours, which could slow down your signal.

You can choose your own WiFi channel, which less people are using to optimise your signal strength. As this is more advanced, this is recommended if your internet speed issue cannot be improved by the other suggestions discussed in this article.

Every router is different, so to change your frequency channel we recommend following advice from your broadband provider.

How to improve broadband speeds in rural areas

It’s well known that fast broadband speeds can be more difficult to achieve rurally. If you’ve struggled with standard and full fibre broadband or it’s just not available in your area, there are other options you could try.

One option is mobile broadband which uses 4G or 5G. If you have good mobile coverage this could be a solution and on the plus side, you won’t need to pay any line rental charges. At Vodafone, we offer different mobile broadband options, from dongles to portable wireless routers. Explore devices

The portable wireless router is our 5G or 4G GigaCube, offering our fast mobile speeds with easy connection for up to 64 devices. Plus, we even offer a 30-day rolling contract, allowing you to control your plan with a set data allowance. Learn more about GigaCube

Boost your internet speed with an upgrade

Is it time for an upgrade? A quick way to boost your internet speed is to upgrade to the latest WiFi router. This may be an option to consider if you’re router is an older device or if you’re coming to the end of your contract.

At Vodafone, we launched Pro II Broadband, the UK’s fastest WiFi technology throughout the home. Powered by WiFi 6E, Pro II offers three devices which work together for reliable WiFi coverage in every corner of the home. The router which we call the Ultra Hub, supports connection for more than 150 devices and in the event of an internet outage we’ll keep you connected with our 4G Broadband Back-up. Learn more about Pro II

*910 Mbps speed is achieved by a wired connection

Frequently asked questions

You can boost the signal of your WiFi for free. Think about the location of your router, make sure it’s not on the floor or directly by a wall or an electrical appliance – this will make your signal much weaker. You can also try removing any devices that don’t need to be connected or use an ethernet cable to connect your router to your laptop or games console.  

You can also try changing your WiFi frequency channel to optimise your signal strength. We outline in this article how this can help but remember, every router is different so please check with your provider.

Bad weather can lead to internet downtime. Extreme heat, wind, and excessive rain can cause disruption to radio signals so you may need to use your mobile data until it’s working again.  

If your WiFi is not working well due to the weather, try moving closer to your router, disconnecting devices that aren’t being used, and connecting your router using an ethernet cable to your device for more reliable speeds.

If you’ve tried to improve your internet speed with our advice and it hasn’t improved, it may be time for a new router. In this article we’ve recommended upgrading to our Pro II Broadband plan – but you can check our range of plan options using our availability checker

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