By The Bigpipe People                                                           @BigpipeNZ

At Bigpipe, we do everything we can to make your broadband experience as good as it can be, but we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on the things you can do in your own home to help you improve your own broadband experience.

Choosing the fastest possible broadband plan in your area so you can get the most out of what is available to you. with Bigpipe, our 100Mbps UFB plan is only $79, that’s the same price as our most popular ADSL2 plan.To check what broadband technology is available in your area, use the address checker on our site (link to homepage) to see what plans are available at your address. If you can get UFB at your place, we highly recommend going for that.

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Bigpipe’s UFB plans, available in Auckland and Wellington.

Pick a decent router, this small piece of equipment is essential in contributing to your home’s broadband experience, especially if you have lot of devices accessing the net at the same time. You wouldn’t buy a new 64” LED TV and place it onto an old, wonky and unsuitable TV stand, so why have broadband and use a really cheap router? Ensuring that you have a decent router with updated firmware will optimise your Bigpipe broadband experience. The expected lifespan of a cheap router is 1-3 years whereas if you invest a little more, you can expect your router to last you 5+ years. Bigpipe recommends the Netcomm NF8AC as this router is suitable for all broadband plans including UFB all the way up to 1Gb speeds, so you’re really investing yourself in the broadband of the future.

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The Netcomm NF8AC router

If you have ADSL or VDSL, ensure that your home wiring is in order for optimum broadband connectivity in your home. Older homes especially often have wiring not optimised for delivering good broadband. Over time, wiring in your home can corrode or get damaged, this corrosion seriously inhibits the maximum speeds that you can obtain from your connection. If you notice that your internet sometimes slows down and can cut off from time to time, we recommend you get a technician to have a look at your internal wiring and fit a ‘master filter’ to bypass any bad wiring. As your ISP, Bigpipe can organise this for you, although there is a cost of around $200.

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A master filter

Don’t allow your neighbours to piggyback off your network. This is important, if you don’t have a secured password on your home network you open yourself up to people leeching your connection, or, worse, using it for illegal purposes for which you might get the blame! Most routers come with the wifi connection already secured with a default password, but if your doesn’t just follow the manual to make sure you turn it on and set a secure password.

leeching Apple wifi

Members of the public leeching off of Apple’s free Wi-Fi outside one of their stores.

Placement of your router around your home is very important. If you have your router placed in an unsuitable location in your home, you’re instantly limiting your broadband speed capabilities. It is also best to keep your router away from any electrical devices in your home that could interfere with the Wi-Fi frequencies that your router omits. When placing your router somewhere in your home, think about the most central place, or the place closest to where you want to be using the internet the most. The fewer walls/floors between your device and the router-the better! Here’s an example of how poor router placement in the corner of the house inhibits wifi signal strength.

wifi connectivity around the home

Diagram showing the Wi-Fi signal around the home and how the infrastructure of your home inhibits the signals strength from room to room.

Also, if you find your Wi-Fi speeds are much lower than expected, it could be your neighbours Wi-Fi interfering. Try logging into your router and changing the Wi-Fi channel to see if that improves things. Try channels 1, 6 or 11 for the best chance of avoiding interference.

Choose an ISP that doesn’t throttle your speeds. Some ISP’s throttling their customers speeds to keep their costs down. This occurs during peak usage times on their networks (usually between 4pm and 10pm). Bigpipe believe in providing enough bandwidth for all our customers to use, all the time, so we don’t throttle our customers speeds and we’ve got the evidence to prove it. We’re the top performing download ISP in New Zealand during peak times. See our performance as tested in the TrueNet report.

Manage your auto-updates and see when your devices are scheduled to update their own software. You don’t want to get home in the evenings ready to stream your favourite series online and to then realise that your laptop needs to update a million programs at once. Also, ensuring that other devices around your home aren’t running programs in the background will help you to ensure that only the devices you’re using are what is connected to your network.

Spread your traffic. If you have housemates who do a lot of downloading, try and get them to do it overnight or when other people aren’t trying to use the internet. Sharing is caring.

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