10 – Ask for interleaving

If you can’t solve an electrical interference problem and can’t yet prise an iPlate out of your broadband provider, asking your ISP to switch on interleaving might improve the performance of your connection.

Excessive noise on your line can cause packets of data sent over your connection to corrupt, leading your router to re-request the data, which affects your overall data throughput. Interleaving takes those data packets and hacks them into smaller pieces, leaving your router to reassemble them. “BT can apply interleaving to lines, which can significantly improve stability and speed by correcting errors that would normally cause a loss of sync and reduction in speed,” said Zen’s Phil Long.

So if interleaving is such a great idea, why doesn’t BT do it for all our connections? “The downside is that latency is sacrificed, which may be seen as a problem for some online games,” explained Long. BT also claims interleaving can reduce the maximum throughput of the line, although anecdotal evidence on internet forums suggests many people find their connections still achieve the same speeds after interleaving is applied.

If you’re suffering from an erratic connection, talk to your ISP to see if it can switch on interleaving on your line.

Next: How to measure your broadband speed

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