We know fast and reliable internet access is crucial in our modern age. Our aim is to have the best and fastest broadband package available at every property we own.
If you encounter issues with your internet, please consider where and how they might be arising. Is the problem likely to be (a) between the supplier and the router or (b) between the router and your device?
We have written this webpage to help diagnose problems with the internet and help you resolve them.
broadband Supply vs Wifi Connectivity
The connection between the telephone exchange and the router is the responsibility of the supplier, whereas connectivity between the router and your device is our (and your) responsibility. In the event of less-than-optimum internet performance, the key is diagnose what is actually at fault.
If you experience slow speeds in your room or elsewhere in your property, we ask you to rule out wifi connectivity issues by standing next to the router and seeing what speed and connectivity are like there.
Lights on the router should show its status. Does it show a connection to the exchange? If not, it may need a reset or something has interrupted its supply and we will need to call the supplier and potentially book an engineer visit.
If however there is a good wifi signal close to the router but you are experiencing issues at a distance from it, then that is a different problem and might be solved by a wifi booster or by using an ethernet cable connection from the router to your room.
In summary, broadband supply to the property is one issue. Wifi connectivity the router is a different issue.
expected speed, reliability and performance
speed vs bandwidth
Most of the broadband services we will subscribe for should have speeds of 200Mbps - in other words, very fast. Speed is however only part of the story.
Bandwidth - that is, the volume of data that can be transmitted at any one time - is perhaps more important. Like on a motorway, fast driving is only possible if there are clear lanes, not just a high speed limit.
The connection to your property only has so much bandwidth. If you and your housemates all use that connection simultaneously, perhaps playing games or streaming HD videos, then like a motorway in rush hour, it will become choked. You will need to agree a fair usage policy between you. If one of your housemates uses an undue amount of bandwidth, then just like a motorist hogging the fast lane, it will reduce capacity for the rest of you.
The third variable is the stability of the line. We want the supply to be stable and for the internet supply to the router not be interrupted or be unreliable. To extend our metaphor of the road, we want the experience to be smooth, not bumpy.
Diagnosis of Problems
If you experience issues with the internet, please follow this step-by-step guide…
Just you? Are you the only person in the property having issues? If everyone else is connected and you are not, it would suggest your device or set up could be to blame
Router Connected? If all housemates are having the same issues, check the main router into which the broadband is supplied. What is its status? Do its lights show internet connectivity? If the internet is down at the router, then switch it off and on and see if that restarts internet connectivity. Does it have its proper cable connections at the back? At a minimum it will need its power cable, its ADSL cable (ie the broadband input) and probably a couple of ethernet cables connecting our ethernet hub of cables to each room. Check that none of these cables are loose.
Router Not Connected? If after all this the router is not connected, a call is needed to the supplier. The router might be faulty, there could be a fault at the exchange, at the local ‘green cabinet’ where the supply tees off to the houses in the area, or a fault with the cable from the green cabinet to our router.
Router Stability? The router should not lose connectivity very often. We would say that anything more often than once a month indicates a problem.
Wifi Speed at the Router? If the router’s status lights suggests it has an internet connection, can you connect to it wirelessly standing next to it? What speed do you get? What speed do your housemates get using the same test? Use a speed-checker app like www.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk whilst standing next to the router. We suggest taking three readings over the course of a few minutes and averaging them. A single reading is not very instructive and could have been affected by many factors. As you take this reading, who else is using the internet? Remember the laws of bandwidth…
Expected Speeds? Move progressively further away from the router to check speeds in different parts of the property. As a guide, when you’re alone on the property, we feel you should get a speed of c50Mbps when you’re close the router and c20Mbps in your room
Booster Required? If there is good speed at the router but poor speed in another location that is important to you, we should be able to boost the wifi signal to that location either by using an ‘extender’ (that links to the main router over wifi and then rebroadcasts the signal) or an ‘access point’ (which connects to the main router via a cabled connection and then broadcasts rebroadcasts wifi). You will be able to see a list of the router, extenders and access points we have installed on your property’s webpage
Router Problem or Booster Problem? Sometimes, a wifi booster or extender might lose its connection, or lose one of its broadcast frequencies, or its connection to the main router, without the main router itself having problems. The boosters and extenders are another link in the internet chain and you need to diagnose whether you’re connecting to the main router or a booster or extender
Frequencies and Channels? Routers and extenders broadcast on different frequencies and on different channels within those frequencies. The 2.4mhz frequency has longer range and is more stable but at lower speeds, whereas 5mhz is faster but has a shorter range. Each frequency has a number of sub-channels. 2.4mhz tends to have 11 sub-channels, whereas 5mhz has 45 sub channels. Occasionally, the broadcast channel routers in nearby properties conflict with the ones used by our router so they might need changing
Router Settings? We do not want housemates changing the router settings, wifi names, passwords etc. We have sought to standardise them across our portfolio and it is essential our superuser admin access is not changed or we will be locked out of our own equipment
Keeping a Log if Problems are Intermittent? If speed, bandwith and reliability vary from time to time, you will need to keep a log between you of what you experience. Problems that are intermittent are hard to diagnose. You need to spot a pattern… time of day, number of housemates using the internet concurrently, type of device connected, location of connection, type of connection whether to router or booster, over wifi or hard-wired
Router Firmware ok? Occasionally, the router’s own operating system (known as its “firmware”) will need updating. This usually happens automatically but sometimes it needs to be forced. And like any piece of hardware the router itself will need updating from time to time and can malfunction.
What we Can Fix and What we Can’t Fix
We can’t provide faster internet than the fastest available service provider. What we can ensure is that we have bought the fastest available broadband package available. And we can call the supplier and book engineer visits if that that package is not delivered correctly to the house
We can’t legislate how your housemates use the internet. Just like the cooking, laundry, bathroom and other facilities, you need to ensure a fair usage policy between you
We can’t know when the internet is working and when it isn’t. It’s not efficient for us to be notified of internet issues only to attend the property at a later time and find everything ok. With persistent problems, it is better you liaise directly with the supplier and book an engineer visit. We can attend the visit itself to save you taking time off work. But ultimately only you know what you’re experiencing.
We can add boosters and access points to ensure a good spread of wifi signal around the property