Improving speed with low bandwidth internet connections

This article covers a number of possible solutions for slow internet and connectivity issues.

Last updated: Jan 2021

Tip: There are a number of internet speed tests available on the web. Check out this help article for a number of options we have looked at.

  1. Reduce unnecessary internet use
    1. Your internet speed will be greatly impacted by how other people are using your Wi-Fi connection. Ask your housemates or colleagues to refrain from data-intensive activities (like video streaming or teleconferencing), or ask them to hotspot from their phone.
    2. It may be that your patient or client has software or systems running that may be impacting the call. If you're comfortable in asking the question, check if anyone in their household is running streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, on-line computer games etc. All of these services can impact a call.
    3. Close any applications which might be uploading data in the background, such as Google Backup or Dropbox. These can be easily paused.
  2. Check your Internet Hardware
    If the internet is slow for every device on your internet connection (other practitioners in your office, partners or children using the same connection), try resetting your Modem and Router. You may have outdated firmware on your router which will need to be updated by your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
    If the internet is only slow for your device, try:
    1. resetting the device (power off/on)
    2. installing any updates and;
    3. ensuring you have the most up to date Web Browser
  3. Wi-Fi vs Wired (Ethernet) Connection
    1. If you are using a Wi-Fi connection, your internet may be fine but you may need to reposition or boost your Wi-Fi signal. Signal boosters and home-mesh wifi systems can be bought relatively cheaply from your local IT supplier.
    2. Brick, concrete and corrugated iron walls may block your Wi-Fi signal from getting through. Placement and distance to your computer can make a big difference.
    3. If you have the option of using a wired connection, also known as an Ethernet connection, this is more reliable than a Wi-Fi connection.
  4. Use your smartphone as a "mobile hotspot"
    It is possible to turn your smartphone into a "Wi-Fi hotspot" and access it's fast 4G or 5G internet from your computer. To do this, simply turn on "mobile hotspot" in your smartphone's settings and connect to it like any other Wi-Fi connection. To determine whether your 4G/5G or Wi-Fi is faster, run an internet speed test on both devices and compare the results. Mobile routers (like the Telstra Nighthawk) can also provide fast 4G internet connections. Coviu recommends a minimum of 350Kbps upload and download speed.
  5. Call your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
    After trying all of these troubleshooting options, the next thing to do is to call your Internet Service Provider and see if this is a problem on their end that can be fixed for you. I recommend noting the times in a day where you experience problems so you can share that with your provider.
  6. Find a New ISP
    At this final stage, you may need to look at getting a new ISP. Depending on your location, you may be able to access a variety of different ISPs on a number of different connections and speeds. Do some research to find out what is relevant for your local area.

 

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