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Get yourself better connected

28 April 2020

If you’re temporarily working from home you may be experiencing some issues with your broadband speed and connectivity. The following advice should help you understand what might be affecting your connection and how to improve it.


A wired connection is always better than wireless. If you’re within range of your internet router you’ll always get the fastest speeds and most stable connection by using a network cable from your router to your device. You can buy a network cable (use field 6 to request a network cable and include the length of cable you need).

If you want to work with a wifi connection, make sure you’ve got a good signal. The stronger the signal the better. You can see your wifi signal by looking at the icon in the Notification area. The higher the number of bars in the icon, the better the signal. Thick walls between your router and device can make a huge difference to your wifi signal strength. Distance from your router will also affect your wifi signal. It’s best to experiment with your wifi to see what signal strengths you get in different parts of your house.

The need for speed

Even if you’re using a network cable connection or full strength wifi signal you may still experience slow network speeds. Here are our tips for ensuring you get the maximum performance out of your broadband connection:

  1. Close down any apps on your device that you’re not actively using. Apps running in the background still have connections and will continue to check for updates.
  1. If you’re sharing a house with other people, they may be using internet connected devices while you’re trying to work, and using your internet bandwidth. TV streaming apps (e.g. iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime), music streaming apps (e.g. Spotify, Apple Music, internet radio), online gaming, internet browsing and downloading will all affect the performance of your internet connection. If your internet connection does seem slow when others are using internet connected devices, try and turn off other devices to see if your internet performance improves.
  1. It’s possible that your internet connection may be slow due to your internet service provider or connection to your property. Perform a speed test to determine what broadband speed you’re getting. There are 2 types of internet connection commonly available, ADSL and fibre. ADSL can achieve a maximum internet connection of 24mbps (dependant on location), and on average delivers speeds of 10mbps in the UK, and costs £15 to £25 a month. Fibre delivers broadband speeds of between 30 to 80mbps, and costs £20to £30 a month. To give you an idea of usage, if you’re streaming a HD TV service such as iPlayer or Netflix, it needs a minimum of 5mbps, which is half of the average ADSL connection speed.

DirectAccess

DirectAccess is the way that your county council device connects over the internet to our applications and services. If you experience an issue with DirectAccess, try these steps first before contacting the Service Desk:

  1. If you can’t connect to your work applications and services, open the 'DCC VPN Tools' folder on your desktop, launch the 'DirectAccess Troubleshooter' and choose the 'check' button. The test will determine if your device is connected via DirectAccess. If it fails the test, shut down your device, restart your router and try again.
  1. If you’re connected via DirectAccess but can’t see your mapped network drives open the 'DCC VPN Tools' folder and launch the 'Map Drives' app.