Can your internet cope with lockdown?

With the COVID-19 lockdown moving into week three, internet usage has skyrocketed over the past 2 weeks. So the question is, can your internet cope with the lockdown? Internet providers have been trying their best to cope with the demand. But with 1000’s more people trying to access their internet and expecting high speeds, it can be difficult. Many have found themselves having issues with internet speed and their WiFi failing.

person using laptop computer

Why does the internet struggle to cope with demand?

As you can imagine, right now there are thousands of people trying to access the internet. Whether it be video calls across the nation or trying to log onto networks. Many Sky users recently complained that their broadband was down or going incredibly slow. This led to boxing sensation Tyson Fury launching a hilarious rant which you can see below:

What are the recommended internet speeds?

Netflix recently released some statistics looking at the kind of internet speed you need when streaming Netflix. This gives you some idea of what your package may offer you or why your internet may be running slowly:

  • 0.5 megabits per second – Required broadband connection speed
  • 1.5 megabits per second – Recommended for general computer use
  • 3 megabits per second – Recommended for SD quality video
  • 5 megabits per second – Recommended for HD quality video
  • 25 megabits per second – Recommended for 4K quality video

These figures, of course, presume, you’re the only person using the internet and you’re not doing anything else online at the time. 

What can you do if your Wifi speed is slow?

First and foremost you can test the internet speed yourself using the Speedtest app on iOs and Android. Using the app, you can find out if you’re getting the internet speed that you paid for. It tests your speeds in a few different ways using local servers. This gives you a reasonably accurate representation of your real-world download speeds. It’s important to remember that if you’re testing on mobile, you’re connected to WiFi to test the broadband speed. Otherwise, you’ll be checking your mobile speed.

There are a few different ways that you can speed your WiFi speed up, they include:

  • Don’t use your microwave when you’re wanting quick WiFi
  • Move your WiFi box off the floor and away from any lamps
  • Don’t stream video/Netflix when using WiFi for work
  • If you live in a large house you may need to purchase a WiFi extender to reach other parts of your home
person using laptop

Can your WiFi cope?

It’s worth using the Connection Speed apps to get a general insight into whether your WiFi will be able to cope. A lot depends on your provider, your package and how many people will be using it at one time. If there’s just one of you in the house, then the lower end WiFi speed may be enough. If there are a lot of your trying to access the internet at one time, then you may need to contact your internet provider to upgrade your WiFi package. 

Sky and BT have both added incentives to boost your WiFi speed. Sky has launched a fast WiFi guarantee at a cost of £5. BT has also produced WiFi discs that could potentially boost your internet speeds by 25%. 

How do I contact my internet provider?

If you need to get in touch with your internet provider, all you need to do is use their contact number. You can find some of the numbers you need below:

It’s worth noting that, over the next few weeks, phone lines will be incredibly busy due to the increased demand. So you may need to be patient and expect to be on the phone for a while. It’s always best to call outside of peak times.