Maintaining the quality of your Broadband Service in France (keeping it at peak performance)
This bullet point check list should be kept handy to speed up the technical support you get:
- The telephone number of your telecom company’s support service and opening hours
- Your account number
- Your wifi password (especially important if you have asked for it to replace the factory pre-set one
- An alternative telephone number you can be contacted on (usually a mobile)
So, you have moved in and are ready to start making and receiving calls and to use the internet for any number of things. What do you need to know that is never put in any of the sales or user information?
Getting the best from your modem
Let’s start with getting the very best out of your modem. You will probably connect a PC or a laptop directly to your modem using an Ethernet cable. However most homes these days have about 6 internet connected devices connected to your wifi. This will include mobile phones, baby monitors, iPads and tablets and if you take services similar to our UKTV products your TV as well. So, the wifi facility provided by your modem is usually very important.
You will have to use the wifi security code (clé de çéavité wifi) usually shown on the back of your modem each time you connect a new device. These codes are often very long and difficult to remember. They have to be inputted for each device and this can be a nuisance. Just ask your provider to reset the password to something shorter that you can easily remember. We do this remotely without charge whilst our customers are on the phone.
By locating your modem in the most suitable place you will be able to squeeze the fastest speed possible from it. Here are some important things you should know to get the best performance from it.
First, think about where you locate your modem. It is best to locate it in as central part of your property and as high possible as far as it is practicable. Above all modems should never be located in kitchens. The modem and its wifi feature are easily disrupted by electromagnetic signals. These are emitted by microwaves and white goods commonly found there. Similarly switching a light on and off has a disruptive effect, but generally is less noticeable.
When looking elsewhere remember that close proximity to TVs and mirrors can also reduce wifi performance. The technical name for this problem is Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise (REIN) and even Christmas lights can have an unwanted effect. However the new generation of LED lights should be less of a problem.
Hidden reasons for slow wifi
Your wifi connected devices will always be slower than those connected with an Ethernet cable. Whilst this is to be expected do remember that the more devices connected using your wifi the slower your speed will be. If you have visitors who also connect to your wifi the speed could become slower still. So, remember to disconnect unused devices from your wifi when not being used if this is a problem.
If the wifi speed remains stubbornly slow compared with equipment connected with an Ethernet cable it could be that the wifi channel being used by your modem is congested. This is where close neighbours have the same service as you and their modem is using the same wifi channel. Modems could have up to 14 channels and when sent from the factory are usually set to one of two channels. You can search on the internet for information to set your modem to a less busy channel but it is easier to call your broadband company and ask them to do this for you. It will only take them a few minutes and we will do this when our own customers are on the phone.
Simple fixes for slow modems
Modems have been steadily improving over the years and it allows your telecom company to interrogate its performance remotely and working with you address many problems straight away. Even so over time the speed of your broadband service could decrease. Speak to your broadband provider and ask them to check for any faults on your line or broadband service. If there are none you are likely to be asked to shut off the power to your modem, often called a ‘reboot’. You will then be asked to switch the power on after a few minutes and your modem will then re-synchronise with the ISP.
This will address many routine problems. If it does not work for you may be asked to ‘reset’ your modem by pushing a sharp object into the reset hole in the modem. This will reset your modem to the original factory pre-sets and this in turn will change your wifi channel and password to the original settings. Make sure you speak with your broadband company to have your personal settings reinstated.