Improve Broadband Performance by Changing DNS Settings

DNS figure

Most broadband users have little awareness of the Domain Name System (DNS) but this plays a critical role in ensuring your broadband experience is fast and responsive. While we (as humans) distinguish between different websites using their domain names (e.g. www.bbc.co.uk and www.google.co.uk) , the Internet works in numbers (IP addresses). So, every time you … Read full article

A Showcase of Website Speed For Google Ranking Advantage

Spaldwick website

I am nearing completion of a major redevelopment of the Spaldwick village website, to demonstrate the ‘art of the possible’ in terms of website speed and responsiveness. With Google changing its search engine ranking priorities, the days of slow, bloated websites are thankfully coming to an end. I first launched the website for the Cambridgeshire … Read full article

The Changing Significance of Mobile Devices For Websites

With my Increase Broadband Speed website being in existence for many years now, analysis of usage statistics (using Google Analytics) has revealed many interesting trends. Perhaps, the most striking trend over the years has been the increasing access to the website by mobile devices. Figure 1, below, shows the proportion of sessions delivered to different … Read full article

The Increasing Importance of Website Speed and Simplicity

Screenshot

2021 will be a very important year for website developers, and change brings opportunity. There is a lot of research to show that users prefer websites that are quick to load and which deliver a good experience. There’s a reason why Google’s search site looks so simple and loads so quickly. For a company worth … Read full article

Dr Who Fans Will Be Delighted With its Move to Ultra HD

Bird eating

The BBC has bolstered its Ultra HD (4k) content on iPlayer with the introduction of a number of programmes, including ‘A Perfect Planet’ and ‘Dr Who’. While streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and Apple TV+ have been providing a broad range of 4k content for some time now, it’s great to … Read full article

Review of the Ubiquiti UDM Pro Router

Happy New Year! Following a downbeat 2020, which was completely dominated by the coronavirus pandemic with a little Brexit deal anxiety added in for good measure, the rollout of several vaccines brings much more hope for 2021. In one key regard, it’s going to be an excellent year where I live because ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) … Read full article

At Last, Sky Launches Movies in 4k Ultra HD HDR Format

Harry Potter on Sky

Just in time for Christmas, Sky has provided viewers equipped with 4k TVs with an early Christmas. It has released a raft of 4k Ultra HD movies in High Dynamic Range (HDR) format. There’s an impressive choice of movies from the outset but I hope Sky will eventually upgrade all remaining HD titles to Ultra … Read full article

New 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) Guide: speed up your home network by a factor of ten

Ethernet remains a much better way to connect devices than Wi-Fi. Speeds are greater and latency (time delay) is substantially lower. While Gigabit Ethernet (or 1000BASE-T) is the most widely deployed Ethernet standard in modern electronic devices currently on sale, it is possible to get better. 10 Gigabit Ethernet increases the transmission speed of Gigabit … Read full article

Guide on Improving Video Conferencing to Get the Most from Zoom and Skype

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly increased the take-up and usage of video conferencing services such as Zoom and Skype. With many people working from home, it has been an invaluable tool to keep in touch with work colleagues and customers. Outside work, video conferencing has provided a lifeline to keep in touch with family and … Read full article

We Will Remember Them Even With Coronavirus

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the world, England entered its second nationwide lockdown on the 5th November 2020. The lockdown is planned to end on Wednesday 2nd December. Remembrance celebrations across the country were unable to go ahead in their normal form. Here are some photos I took of the war memorial … Read full article

FTTP Guide For Rural Communities Across the UK

Voucher

To help communities across the UK to upgrade their broadband capabilities to Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), I have written a new guide on my Increase Broadband Speed site. It can be viewed here: Guide for Rural Communities: How to Get Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) Now! With the recent improvements in the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme and the introduction … Read full article

Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) Coming to Spaldwick in Cambridgeshire as Part of Openreach Pilot

Our latest village broadband campaign – to bring leading-edge broadband capabilities in the form of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to the rural village of Spaldwick in Cambridgeshire – has been successful. Gigabit Broadband, offering speeds up to 910 Mbps, will arrive in 2021! This is at a time when the Conservative’s election pledge to bring Gigabit Broadband … Read full article

Celebrating VJ Day with the Sony 135mm GM f1.8 lens

On Saturday 15th August 2020, my daughters shouted that I should look out the window as a convoy of military vehicles were passing – clearly on the way to some VJ Day celebration. I grabbed the Sony A7 III camera (with the Sony 135mm f1.8 GM lens attached) and took some photos of the vehicles … Read full article

An Exciting New Musical Theatre Adventure With Spotlight Productions

The last few months have been very frustrating for Graham and Sarah Wilkinson and all the team at Spotlight Productions. They have had to cancel their annual show – ‘Oliver!’ – and income from their costume and scenery hiring ‘business’ used to fund their annual show has been decimated. Being the positive people they are, … Read full article

Helping to Improve the UK’s Wi-Fi Speeds One Step at a Time

I cannot think of another area to Wi-Fi where performance claims exceed the reality experienced by broadband users by such an extent. With so many people connecting every device to Wi-Fi, inadequate Wi-Fi performance often masks the underlying (often excellent) performance of a broadband connection. I’ve just written a new Wi-Fi speed enhancement post on … Read full article

How to Disable Wi-Fi with Sky Q to Use Ethernet Instead

One of my bugbears is the widespread overuse of Wi-Fi. While Wi-Fi is convenient, there’s generally a price to be paid in terms of performance. Wi-Fi is responsible for a substantial proportion of broadband problems. I strongly recommend that, when you have devices that do not move (such as a set-top box or TV), connect … Read full article

Average Monthly Broadband Usage to Triple by 2025

Over the next five years, average home monthly Internet usage in the UK will triple from its 2019 level, surpassing 1 TB per month by 2025, as shown in my forecast shown above. This growth, which is in line with usage growth predicted for the USA, will be primarily driven by TV and video services … Read full article

BBC Resumes its iPlayer Ultra HD Trial

In an attempt to alleviate strain on broadband networks during the coronavirus pandemic, the BBC ceased its iPlayer Ultra HD trial. I’m delighted to report that the BBC has now recommenced the trial. The following series are currently offered: ‘His Dark Materials’, ‘Dracula’ and ‘Seven Worlds, One Planet’. Image quality looks fantastic. The images here … Read full article

Disney Plus Increases UK Bit Rates to Match the USA

The great news is that Disney has substantially improved its bit rates to match its US streaming service and Disney Plus now looks and sounds much better in the UK. The images shown are photographs taken of a Sony 77-inch OLED TV. In general, the higher the bit rate used, the better the picture and … Read full article

Best Broadband Routers and Wi-Fi Access Points for 2020

I’ve been steaming ahead producing new content for my Increase Broadband Speed site. I’ve now revised my Which Broadband Modem Router Guide, which covers the key capabilities you need to maximise broadband speed. As I’m always asked to recommend equipment to buy, I’ve also produced two new ‘best buy’ guides: – Best Routers For 2020 … Read full article

Reviewing Sky’s New Ultra HD HDR Service

It’s finally here – High Dynamic Range (HDR) on Sky’s Ultra HD (4k) service – and it looks amazing. HDR makes pictures more vivid and realistic, with more intense colours and, for many viewers, HDR makes more difference than the extra resolution provided by Ultra HD. It’s not good news for everyone though as some … Read full article

Launching the New Increase Broadband Speed Guide

Technology inevitably moves on and my current focus is performing a major update of my Increase Broadband Speed website. It’s a huge job and will take many months. Last week, a new WordPress theme was installed, with lots of technical changes behind the scenes to make the site run faster. One of the most important … Read full article

Photographing VE Day in Spaldwick

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, VE Day was a somewhat different affair to the one that may have been envisaged many months ago. However, despite the restrictions currently in place, villagers where I live made a tremendous effort decorating their homes to commemorate VE Day. On the 8th May 1945 – 75 years … Read full article