Help & Support

Why is my connection slower than usual?

Your Internet connection can seem slower from time to time – often, the cause is simply that a large number of people are trying to use the Internet at the same time as you.


If you are finding that you’re getting this a lot, click on How to boost your fibre optic broadband speed and we’ll help you get the fastest speeds possible with your connection.

Here are some steps you can take try and speed things up:


  • Reboot your broadband modem. Click here to find out how.
  • Optimise your computer and optimise your web browser.
  • Turn off file-sharing programs (also known as Peer to Peer software, or P2P). Examples of this kind of software are Napster, Kazaa, iMesh, eMule and so on. This type of software can consume a large chunk of your connection speed. Remember, too, that your broadband speed can only be as fast as the connection of the person you are downloading from.
  • Make sure you fully close down TV download programmes such as BBC iPlayer and Channel 4's 4oD. They may continue to run in the background of your computer, even when you think you've turned them off. Check that they're not still running in your task bar/dock.
  • If you’re running a home network, connect your broadband device directly to one computer and recheck your speed to rule out local network problems.
  • Monitor how much you are downloading in total to ensure that you are not hitting the traffic management thresholds. More about this can be found here.
  • If you’re using USB, we recommend that you switch to Ethernet to get the best possible results over Virgin Broadband.
    Click on Ethernet vs USB for details on how to connect over Ethernet.
  • Advanced user? If you’re an advanced user comfortable with using Windows DOS commands, you can also try refreshing the Windows TCP/IP component. TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is used to send data between computers, however it can become damaged. Try running the netsh command to see if this solves the problem.
    Click here for guidance on running this utility.