The Bone of Contention

Why is Broadband slower at night?

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Ever wonder why your Broadband connection is slower at night? The reason for this is Contention ratio.

Contention ratio describes the number of users sharing one unit of data capacity at a given time.   The lower the contention ratio the higher the quality of service. A 50:1 contention ratio would mean that up to 50 broadband customers are sharing the same bandwidth at any one time.

The quality and speed of your broadband connection is dependent on the number of users online at any given time. Business broadband services will often have much lower contention ratios to give business users a more consistent quality of service.

The higher the contention ratio the cheaper the broadband package is likely to be – and additionally, different ISPs have different contention ratios. The contention ratio is an important factor involved in the quality and speed of your chosen broadband package.

The average contention ratio for a home user package is 50:1 and 20:1 for a business package. That means that at any one time home users may be sharing their internet access with up to 49 other users all sharing the same bandwidth.

If you are using a 1MB connection, then, and each of the other users sharing the access are using it at the same time, your connection speed could be reduced to as little as 0.02mb!

Fortunately, it’s unlikely that everyone uses the connection at the same time.

More people are however online between 6pm and midnight – that means less bandwidth per person and slower speeds.

With more people at home during peak times there is also likely to be more noise on the line as a result of people using electromagnetic equipment in their homes which may also slow down your broadband speeds.

There’s not much you can do about this as it’s a quirk of broadband technology which, unlike water or electricity, isn’t just ‘off’ or ‘on’.

However, this does highlight the importance of choosing an Internet Service Provider with a low contention ratio as the fewer people sharing the line, the more bandwidth you potentially have.  Why not talk to us at Reach Broadband because with contention ratio’s of 15:1 for residential customers and from as little as 10:1 to 5:1 for business customers, we’ve got one of the lowest contention ratios not just in the county but in the country! Contact us now: 059 6477011

Tweens, Teens, and Screens

internet safetyFor today’s tweens and teens, technology is part of the fabric of everyday life. They’re watching TV on lots of devices and using smartphones and tablets to maximum advantage — texting, researching, sharing, connecting — and generally causing lots of hand-wringing among parents who don’t know how much is too much.  Over the course of our work here at Reach Broadband we talk to a lot of parents who are always concerned about the level of internet use their kids are using and of course what content they are being subjected to.

This extensive use of the web by kids does bear some serious risk. Here’s some of our guidelines on how to keep your kids safe in the World Wide Web.

Agree on internet rules with your children

Agreeing on rules everybody is happy with is the best way to internet safety. Totally forbidding your children to go online is not the right way. Instead, show your kids which websites are safe for them to visit. Also, you might want to accompany your children on their first steps on the internet.

If you aren’t familiar with the web, ask you children to introduce you to it. They are often quite savvy with the internet as they’re growing up with it.

Be aware of what your children do on the internet

It can be useful to have an overview about what sites your kids visit regularly. Also, you should know if they have any online friends.

This doesn’t mean you can spy on your kids. Everything must be based on trust. If you spy on your children, they might hide their activity from you on purpose.

Agree with your children on always telling you instantly when they see something on the internet that makes them feel uncomfortable. In that case, don’t get mad at them or punish them, but talk with them about it. Otherwise they won’t tell you such things anymore.

Make your kids aware of potential dangers

It is essential that you teach your child not to blindly rely on any information they get from the web. They should never give out any personal information without thinking about it twice. Also, they can never be sure that their online friend’s identity is real.

If your kids want to meet an online friend, they should talk to you about it before. You should check the friend’s profile together with your children. If you decide to permit your children to meet someone they know from the internet, better accompany them on the first meeting.

Tell your children about the possible dangers of downloads. Younger children should never download anything without your permission.

Security settings on your computer

The security settings that your operating system and most browsers offer are a good way to protect your children and your computer.

Your kids should always use a restricted account (Standard account on Windows 8 or later) on the computer. Windows 8 even comes with a specific account type for children that offers even more protection.

Search engines, such as Google often offer a filter that hides inappropriate search results. It is recommended to turn this filter on the highest level for your children.

There are several web blockers available that can block the access to inappropriate websites. It someone attempts to visit such a website, a failure message appears or the browser asks for a password.