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Advice on BT download speed issues


So I’ve had BT Infinity Broadband in for almost two months now on the 52mb package. However the speeds I’ve been getting are terrible. Generally mornings are ok with a download speed of around 30mb but after around 1pm up until early morning it’s been averaging around 2.5mb, regularly even dropping to 0.5mb. If more than one device is connected to the WiFi it’s practically unusable, any attempt at streaming results in constant buffering and it ends up taking 20 minutes to watch 5 minutes of video. Trying to download games on Steam takes forever with the download speed peaking, on average, at 1.5mb. Considering I’m paying for up to 52mb I don’t think these speeds are acceptable. I don’t expect to be getting 52mb download speed constantly especially during peak times but what is the point in me paying for the 52mb package when I could be on the 17mb package and be getting the same speeds? An Openreach engineer visited earlier and told me there was no problems with the line but there could be a problem with the router so I could request a new one but might get charged by BT. So what is my best option here? Should I request a new router in the hope that it fixes it? Should I go out and buy my own router (suggestions on that are welcome)? Or should I just phone up and cancel it altogether because that seems like the best option at this point. Thanks in advance for any help.


Grand Guru

Hi there,

Sync speed and connection speed are two different things so need to be diagnosed seperately and by different methods.

So which are you having a problem with?

You can check your sync speed in the router config page by navigating to and clicking status, you will see the sync speed like this

Downstream sync speed: 32.13 Mbps

Upstream sync speed: 4.45 Mbps

This shows the the speed the router is synchronised at with the exchange. Refresh it now and again and if this is fluctuating then you have a physical problem and will need to check wiring before reporting it as a fault to the helpdesk. Check this out first:

If the sync speed is stable then the problem is connection speed. This is trickier because it's down to something on your internal network across all your devices and requires trial and error to pinpoint.

So I assume you have some wired, some wifi devices and does the issue happen on them at the same time? or is it just the wifi devices that have an issue?

If you have no wired devices then get yourself a cable and do a comparison when the problem occurs. Go to on a wifi device and a wired one, do they have the same issue with speed.

The reason I'm focusing on this is that wifi speeds are susceptible to interference and rely on signal strength which determines what speed you will achieve. It's also the easiest to eliminate. If it turns out wifi is the issue then get yourself some whole home wifi mesh discs

If the problem exists on all devices, wifi and wired, then it's a case of pinpointing which device is chewing through your bandwidth. This is the tricky part.

If someone in the house is maxing out the download or upload bandwidth then it will affect the whole network and there will be no bandwidth left for anyone else. Your speedtest will also be extremely low, due to lack of bandwidth, so to figure out which device it is:

Go back to the router at and click the My devices panel. This will list everything that's been connected to your router. On the filter button choose Show Connected to see whats connected to your router at the moment.

Make sure you know what every device is here. You can see which are using upload and download via the up and down arrows so straight away you can see your big users, focus on these devices.

You can refresh this page at any time by hitting F5 on the keyboard.


More Below....

Grand Guru

Let everyone in the household know what you're doing and make sure they all have their devices ready so when the connection gets bad you start to disconnect them one at a time. Do it like this:

Wait until the connection is bad, run a speedtest, take note of the speed and confirm it's a problem.

Ask 1 person who is currently connected to disconnect their wifi and only them. Confirm they have disconnected by refreshing the BT router page and checking their device, if it dissppears from the list (or if you haven't filtered it to show only connected devices then it will be greyed out) then they have disconnecte.

Do a speedtest again. If no change then keep doing one after each user disconnects, until everyone in the house has disconnected their devices. During this process hopefully your speed will jump up to what you want and you'll know who the culprit is.

If you have disconnected everyone, apart from your own computer, then connect your phone to the wifi, disconnect your computer and run the test on the phone to make sure it's not actually your device that's the problem.

Be prepared to do this a few times before you figure it out.

If you suspect it's a certain device then have them connect and disconnect while you run speedtests to confirm.

Hopefully it's a wifi issue Smiley Happy



Thanks for the information 









Thanks for sharing.