Many things can affect the speed of your internet; it could be the positioning of your WiFi router, the type of internet connection available in your area, or the contention ratio of your line for fibre. The contention ratio may seem like a technical term, but it is actually very simple to grasp.
Basically, it is how many people in your area are sharing the same fibre line as you. The higher the contention ratio, the more users sharing the line. The lower the ratio, the less users per connection and the better the quality and speed of your internet. A 1:1 contention ratio means that there is one user per fibre optic cable – or an uncontended line, as marketed by many internet service providers.
Contention ratio relates to internet speed
So how does this affect your internet? You may have seen that at certain times of the day, your internet connection fluctuates. For people using a DSL line, upload and download speeds can change considerably, especially during times when people are using the internet the most. This is due to a high contention ratio.
The evenings and the weekend are the peak times for internet usage, which negatively impacts your internet speed. This can be frustrating and the only probable solution is to find an internet service provider that can offer a lower contention ratio or switch you to fibre.
Improving your internet speed
There are a few other things that can affect your internet speed, apart from contention ratios, such as the signal strength of your WiFi, the distance between your device and the router, as well as whether your hardware and software is up-to-date.
If your device is located far from the router, it would be best to move closer to see how it improves the strength of your signal. Walls, brick and metal may block WiFi signals or interfere with them, so for better speeds, you may want to connect your device directly to your router using a LAN cable.
Having hardware that is up-to-date, like your smartphone, router, laptop and cables, will ensure that your internet speed will be stabilised. Check that all cables are plugged in, untwisted and in good working order. Update software on your devices to ensure that you have the latest version of your browser and antivirus software.
Slow internet speed can be a pain and affects your productivity or enjoyment while online. To ensure that contention ratios never hinder your speeds, switch to fibre internet as these connections are generally uncontended. This means that you will have a dedicated fibre optic cable for your browsing needs.
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