4G Mobile Review and Guide

4G antenna

Over the past few weeks, I have been trialling 4G mobile services from both Vodafone and O2. I would like to thank 4G specialist 4G National Broadband for providing me with the 4G subscriptions, 4G router and a high-gain antenna. Mobile broadband has clearly come a long way, and I’ve found that 4G delivers performance … Read full article

Review of the Ubiquiti UniFi 6 Long Range Access Point

Do you want the very best Wi-Fi performance possible? I’m delighted to report that Ubiquiti’s newest Access Point – which uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) technology  – is absolutely superb and represents excellent value for money. Even several months after launch, this exciting product is in short supply. Deploying several of these devices in … Read full article

Wi-Fi 6 Versus Wi-Fi 5 – real-world performance and speeds

Wi-Fi

With broadband speeds continuing to accelerate, Wi-Fi – often the weakest link in the broadband chain – is playing catch-up. The latest Wi-Fi technology – called Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax – promises to deliver significantly better performance than Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). Although Ubiquiti’s new Wi-Fi 6 Access Points are currently like gold dust with very … Read full article

FTTP Installation Phase Begins in Spaldwick as Gigabit Speeds Near

FTTP installation

In my blog post back in October 2020, I wrote that Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) would be coming to the village of Spaldwick in Cambridgeshire as part of a new demand-led Openreach pilot. Following the excitement of the success of the local campaign, there has been little to see as part of the initial ‘Survey’ phase. The … Read full article

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

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

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! Historically, urban areas have always been favoured when it comes to the latest broadband … 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

Reviewing the Disney Plus Streamed TV Service

As an AV enthusiast and broadband advocate, I’ve been very excited by the rapid roll-out and take-up of TV streaming services. These have increased consumer choice and introduced Ultra HD 4k content and Dolby Atmos sound. Disney has just launched its Disney Plus service in the UK and at the great price of £5.99 per … Read full article

Where Next for Superfast Broadband? (With Video)

Superfast broadband arrived in Spaldwick in July 2014. With take-up well above national levels, our village received a great deal of national attention, including a visit by Ed Vaizey – the then Broadband Minister – and senior figures from BT and Government. I have seen Broadband Ministers come and go, and now over 80% of … Read full article