Herald

telecommunications reporter Helen Twose asked the experts into her Auckland home for some tips about getting the most out of her internet connection.

LOWCOST
1: Upgrade your modem

Get a modem that is capable of handling ADSL2+. Even if you live in an area where this higher speed broadband technology has not been installed in the local exchange, you will still get some benefit from having a new device containing better technology. Ask your internet service provider nicely and you may get a new device for free.

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2: Filters

Install low-cost line filters (around $20 each) on any connection where phones are plugged in.

3: Fewer phones

Having a number of phones plugged in around the house can create interference and reduce broadband speeds. Instead have one cordless phone plugged in and a couple of handsets on base stations (from around $100).

4: No extension cords

Unplug long extension cords running from jackpoints to computers and phones.

5: Modem at master jackpoint

Where possible, plug your modem into the jackpoint closest to the point where the phone line enters the house. Often a master jackpoint will have an "M" on it.

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MEDIUM COST
6: Splitter

Have a professional splitter installed. This separates your phone calls from your broadband.

7: PC/laptop software

The latest version of Windows will handle broadband traffic a lot better than earlier versions.

8: Broadband plan

Move to a full speed/full speed plan, that is, one that goes as fast as possible uploading and downloading.

9: Replace jack points

Homes built before 1997may have an older style three-wire jackpoint unless rewiring work has been done since. The newer versions only have two wires. Installing new jack points (around $30 each) could improve speed by up to a megabit per second. Could be installed at the same time as a splitter.

HIGH COST
10: Home wiring

Replace home wiring with Cat5 or better and completely separate the home computer network from the home phone network. An option if renovating or adding an extension (around $2000 depending on the style and size of house)