How to increase speed on your ADSL broadband connection.

OK this is something I see springing up quite a bit on various forums so I thought I would write a simple how-to to make sure you are getting the most out of your ADSL broadband connection.

Check Your Line Quality
First things first, you need to check your line quality as this is the biggest influencing factor on your speed. It’s very simply to do just locate the master socket for your BT line where it enters your home.

Carefully unscrew the master faceplate and ease it off the retaining box. Behind the faceplate there should be a socket that is for testing purposes. Plug an analogue telephone into the socket and dial 17070 and hit option 2. You will then carry out a quiet line test. There should be no or minimal hissing, crackling or popping noises on the line. If there are, ring BT and complain until they sound out an engineer to sort it out. Don’t mention your ADSL speed, just the noise on the line.

Set a Benchmark Speed
Assuming you’ve done the quiet line test, we next need to set a baseline speed to measure against. First plug your modem directly into the test socket above and run a speed test at somewhere like Do a couple of tests to get an average and note the result. Next do the same with your faceplate screwed back together and make a note.

There’s a good description of this here:

If the second set of results is significantly lower then the problem may be down to your internal wiring so read on…

Remove Your Bell Wire
This is used for older style bell ringers which if you don’t use are pretty useless. Its simply an orange wire in the back of your faceplate and removing it can improve your speed:

Fit a New Filtered Faceplate
The standard face plate that comes with the socket is unfiltered. Most ISPs will supply a micro filter but it is well worth replacing the master faceplate with a filter built in. They are not expensive and can be purchased here:

Filter All Other Extensions
On all your other extensions, make sure you either fit a faceplate as above or add a micro filter to the line. This especially important if you have a sky box.

If you carry out all of the above then you should see an improvement in speed. The biggest factor outside of your control though is the distance to the exchange will can dramatically reduce your speed.

An excellent way of checking the location of your nearest exchange is to use Sam Knows:

This will tell you all sorts of handy information about your local telephone exchange.

Finally look at your provider and consider whether they are giving you the best possible service for your money. is an excellent resource for switching…