The most unhappy broadband customers

Updated on 23 May 2011 | 24 Comments

Fed up with your broadband speed? It might be time to move house!

If there’s one thing that frustrates a lot of people it’s the speed of (or rather, lack of) their broadband. Indeed, a recent consumer satisfaction survey by Consumer Choices revealed that speed satisfaction overall is down for the third year running.

The survey also revealed the five UK regions where speed satisfaction was at its lowest, as well as the five regions where speed satisfaction was at its highest. So let’s take a closer look.

Top five unsatisfied regions











If you live in any of the above regions, broadband speed is probably something that really gets on your nerves. In fact, almost half of the people surveyed in all five of these regions said they were dissatisfied with their broadband speed.

Perhaps it might be time to move to one of the following regions instead...

Top five satisfied regions




West Yorkshire


West Midlands





In contrast, 72% of people surveyed in Gwent said they were happy with their broadband speed, while 71% of people in both West Yorkshire and the West Midlands said they were also satisfied.

But if you are fed up with your broadband speed, and moving to a different region isn’t really an option, what can you do to improve your speed?

1. Test your speed

It’s really easy to measure the speed of your broadband by using a speed tester such as this one from By entering your details, you’ll be able to measure the speed at which your broadband connection is running.

You’ll then be able to see how much of a difference the following suggestions can make.

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2. Speak to your provider

If you’re not happy with the service you’re receiving from your broadband provider and the speed at which your broadband is running, give your provider a call.

Ask your provider whether there’s anything it can do to help you boost your connection speed. It may be able to re-grade the line, for example.

3. Reposition your router

Where your router is positioned can significantly affect the quality of your wireless connection. So ensure you place it in an area where the signal will be affected by as few obstructions and as little interference as possible. Keep it away from appliances that emit wireless signals – such as cordless phones – and avoid barriers such as walls and doors between the router and your PC.

4. Clean your cache

Whenever you visit a webpage, your browser will store, or ‘cache’ it. All these items stored in your cache take up space and over time it can get very full. So it’s a good idea to regularly clear out your browser’s cache as this will help it to function more effectively.

5. Upgrade your browser

If you’re not happy with the browsing speed of your connection, you should definitely consider installing a newer web browser. By using the latest browsers, you can reduce the time it takes to download a web page.

For free downloads of the latest browsers, take a look at – just be careful when making any changes to the settings on your computer.

6. Monitor your applications

Applications such as RealPlayer or Windows Updates may start to run in the background when you log into your computer which can slow your connection down. To avoid this, set the applications so they don’t run automatically – by doing so, this should reduce your bandwidth overhead and make a difference to your connection speed.

7. Disable P2P software

Similarly, P2P applications can run in the background, even when you think you’ve turned them off as they continually upload and download. Not only will this slow you down, but it can also use up your download allowance.

So ensure you check the settings and set the programme to ‘no peer to peer’ so it won’t run when you’re not using it.

8. Don’t share your connection

If you have wireless broadband, ensure you secure your wireless network. If you don’t, people in your street may be able to access your connection, using up valuable bandwidth. As a result, the speed of your connection and download allowance could be affected. What’s more, this also poses a security threat.

Follow our five easy tips and get better value for money from your broadband package.

Your wireless network will have a name – usually something the manufacturers have given it. Ensure you change this name because if you don’t, hackers will be more aware that you’ve not changed your security settings and are therefore more likely to use your connection.

It’s also worth setting up a WPA (Wifi Protected Access) encryption if your hardware is compatible. At the very least you should have a WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) password which will mean that anyone wanting to access your network will have to enter a password first. However, this is relatively easy to crack, so you’ll be better off using WPA or WPA2. For more tips, read Your wi-fi network is at risk.

9. Go off-peak

The performance of your broadband can be affected by the time of day at which you go online. When a lot of people try to access the internet at the same time, there is increased traffic on the physical phone lines and also each website’s servers.

Generally-speaking, heaviest traffic will be in the evenings, so if you want to enjoy the best speeds, you should try to go online when internet traffic is low – this is usually during the day or very late at night.

10. Get a better deal

If you’ve carried out all of these tips and you’re still having no luck, it may be time to switch to a better deal. You may be able to find a package that has a faster connection speed than the one you already have at a more competitive price. Take a look at a comparison site such as BroadbandChoices to help you find a deal.

Thanks to for these tips.

More: Five sneaky mobile phone tricks | Get £10,000 for making your home greener


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