Optimise Your Connectivity
This page has been provided for two reasons:
- There are ways in which those with poor connectivity can optimise their current broadband to squeeze out every last bit of Mbps (megabits per second) in the connection; similarly there are ways that your phone can be optimised to use the connections available.
- With the prospect of much faster broadband available to some through fibre rollout, we thought it would be helpful to link to some resources that allow you maximise the benefits of this superfast connectivity.
Improve your broadband
- if you notice a rapid change in broadband speed, it can help to reset your router – this can help by resetting something called ‘contention‘ on your phone line.
- be aware that hard-wired connections (e.g. by ethernet connection direct to your router) will be more reliable and sometimes faster, than the convenience offered by wifi.
- be aware of your own broadband speed – and see if there are patterns to how this varies over time. The Broadband.co.uk speed checker is Ofcom approved. You are likely to find that overnight speeds are higher than early evening or first thing in the morning. Arran also tends to see speeds drop during period of peak tourist activity too, quite simply as there are more people trying to use the finite connectivity that exists on the island.
- as a result, you might find it better to schedule things like online backup, large downloads or software updates for overnight or early morning.
- try out the Ofcom Wifi Checker app which can help to determine issues with your local wifi connection.
- see this advice from OfCom about improving your broadband connection
Improve your mobile signal
- visit the Ofcom advice page on this very subject
- use the Ofcom coverage map to get an idea of what you should be able to expect from your provider
- ask your mobile provider about tools such as wifi-calling. This is developing all the time, and more phones are now able to use certain networks over a wifi signal.
- be aware that SMS text messaging is generally more reliable than reception for voice calls in areas of poor coverage. Consider turning off the facility for wifi-messages (e.g. iMessages on the iPhone) so that your phone always uses the SMS system.
- be aware that on some phones, you can achieve a more reliable voice/SMS reception if you turn off 3G and 4G capability. If you travel around the island, small patches of 3G/4G can encourage your phone to hunt for more. This uses more battery life, and can result in a less reliable basic signal. (However, be aware that femtocell boosters such as the Vodafone SureSignal need your phone to have 3G switched on to work!).
- use contract/upgrade times as an opportunity to haggle for lower rates/a free signal booster
- shop around whenever considering a new phone contract: the map of mobile coverage on Arran is constantly changing.
We hope to develop this page to include more tips and advice on achieving optimum connectivity. Please let us know any hints that you have – by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.