Don’t waste money by overlooking the simplest solution

Computer says 'no'

Computer says 'no'

We moved into our flat a year ago. We did all the usual things, bought a tonne of furniture from Ikea, tried to locate the stopcock (someone had put it behind an inaccessible wall) and got all the essentials sorted like gas, electricity, phone, TV and internet.

We’d had Sky TV and internet in our previous flat, it had always worked well and we still wanted it in the new flat, so we just transferred it all over (see our Cheap Broadband and TV guides to get the best deals).

The internet worked fine to start with. But over time all we seemed to do was complain about how slow the internet was. We’d find ourselves incessantly turning the router on and off in the hope that it might miraculously fix the problem.

It didn’t. Our patience at breaking point, we went out to a large retailer to get something to fix the problem. After speaking to a sales assistant we came to the conclusion that given the thick walls in our property, the signal was struggling.

The answer? A contraption to boost the signal. The price? £20. Not too bad we thought if it solved the problem.

It didn’t. So off we went again to said large retailer and explained the problem to someone else.

The answer? To buy a new wireless router. The price? £50. Not too bad we thought if it solved the problem. But it didn’t.

Taking things back to basics

Now £70 worse off and in the same sorry position, I went off to catch up on Downton Abbey and left my husband to it. Half an hour later we had fully functioning whizzy internet again.

The answer? My husband took things back to basics and called up Sky to see if it could provide an answer to why we were paying so much for something that effectively wasn’t serving its purpose. The price? £0. What can only be classed as a bargain given it actually fixed the problem.

So, I know you’re dying to know exactly what Sky did to fix the problem (apologies to anyone that already knows this, but we didn’t, so if it can help those that don’t, great). It turns out that wireless routers can broadcast on several different channels and if neighbours are using broadband on the same channel, then it can interfere with your signal.

So Sky just walked my husband though how to identify how many people in the surrounding area were on the same channel as us and then how to change the channel to make sure we were getting the best possible signal.

It turns out he didn’t even need to call, Sky have a handy video that you can watch, which walks you through it step-by-step.

We took both the contraptions that we had thought would help us back, and saved ourselves £70.

I guess the moral to the story is, so often we think spending money is more likely to help solve an issue, but in this case a simple phone call was the answer to all our problems.

Have you ever found the simplest, cheapest solution is the one that works? Do you have any tips on boosting your broadband speed? Please let us know your opinions in the discussion below or in the forum.