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Tips For Optimizing Your Internet Speed

Customers often ask us how to test, choose, and optimize the speed of their Internet connection.  Here are some tips on testing and optimizing your Internet speed.

Follow these steps to run the most accurate speed test:

  • Limit the number of applications and devices using your Internet connection at the time you do the Green Mountain Access speed test.
  • If possible, test your wired (as opposed to Wi-Fi) Internet performance first. To do this, connect an Ethernet cable from the back of your router to your laptop or computer.

A Wired Connection is Always the Best

A physical wired connection from your Internet router to your device is always the fastest, most reliable connection and should be used whenever it makes sense. Connecting your devices via Wi-Fi is more convenient, but speed and reliability will be reduced. Try to match each of your devices with the best connection option. For example, you might use a wired connection for desktop computers, laptops, and gaming consoles. But for mobile devices that don’t support a wired connection or when using one isn’t feasible, choose your Wi-Fi network.

Inside Wiring Requirements

Inside wiring is critical to maximizing the performance of DSL (non-fiber) Internet connections. At minimum, the use of Category 5 (or even better, Category 6), twisted-pair inside wire from Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom’s Network Interface Device (NID) is recommended. This NID is usually a square gray box located on the exterior, where the telephone outside plant connects to your homes or business’s inside wiring. Do not use substandard wire such as speaker wire or “daisy chaining” of telephone jacks; the result will be a poor Internet connection.

For Maximum Reliability, Use an Uninterruptible Power Supply

We highly recommend using an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). It offers the safety of a battery backup for your router and computer equipment. A UPS will also provide consistent, clean power to your Internet router and help avoid equipment damage resulting from power fluctuations.

Tips for Optimizing Your Wi-Fi

We often find that slow Internet speeds and “drops” are often caused by Wi-Fi related issues.  There are a variety of factors that can affect the performance of your Wi-Fi network. For best results, do the following:

  • Properly locate your router. The placement of your Wi-Fi router is critical to maximizing the speed and reliability of your Wi-Fi connection. Your router should be in the center of your home, closest to the location where you frequently use your devices. This is because walls, appliances, and distance will all degrade performance. When troubleshooting Wi-Fi problems, we often find the cause to be routers placed in sub-optimal locations such as in the basement, the corner of the house, or an upstairs office. These locations are often used because they are conveniently located next to a telephone jack, so the initial installation was easier. However, it is well worth the effort to install your router in the best location possible for optimum performance.
  • Minimize interference. Because they operate in the same frequency, cordless phones should be located as far away from your Wi-Fi router as possible to avoid speed and reliability problems. Other common causes of Wi-Fi interference include fluorescent lights, compact fluorescent light bulbs, metal, mirrors, and radiant floor heat.
  • Secure your Wi-Fi network. Are your neighbors using your Wi-Fi? Remember, the more devices you have connected, the slower the Wi-Fi performance. We highly recommend you secure your Wi-Fi network with a password.
  • Protect your devices from threats. Viruses, adware, and spyware can make a device and Wi-Fi network unusable. All devices should utilize a firewall and antivirus software, and be sure to stay current with all software updates.
  • Select the best frequency. Our latest Wi-Fi router provides dual band coverage in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. If your devices support it, we recommend first selecting 5Ghz, which is a faster frequency. However, if your Wi-Fi is not working satisfactorily throughout your house, switch to 2.4Ghz, which has a longer range.