Broadband tips when spending more time at home

Whether you’re working or schooling from home or just spending more time at home, we know how important your broadband is. So here are our top tips to staying connected when you need it most.

Where you put your hub is really important.

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If it’s tucked away in a cupboard or surrounded by clutter it can block your hub’s signal or cause interference. For the clearest signal:

  • Keep it out in the open - not in a cabinet, on the floor or stuck behind the tv. About 30cm of space around it is best.
  • Keep it away from other wireless devices like your cordless phone, games consoles and even speakers – these can cause interference.
  • To avoid electrical interference, try keep it away from other electrical items, like microwaves, washing machine and even fairy lights.
  • Keep your cables tangle free. When cables are all bunched together it can cause electrical interference and can slow you down.
  • Try put it where you use the internet most - the signal is stronger near your hub.

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Lots of other connected devices can slow you down.

Everything you connect to your hub uses bandwidth, and the more you connect the more it can slow you down (especially at peak times). Even when you aren’t using them, app updates, device backups and your smart home devices can still be using your bandwidth in the background.

Try disconnecting anything that doesn’t need to be connected so they’re not hogging your bandwidth when working from home. And try avoiding activities that need a lot of speed, like online gaming or streaming in HD.

Tip: Changing your WiFi password will disconnect all your connected devices in one go. Then just connect the things you want with the new password - don't forget to reconnect your Sky boxes. Go to Find, change or reset your WiFi password for more info.

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Changing your wireless channel might help.

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You might be slowed down if your hub is using a wireless channel that's too busy - like if your neighbours’ hubs or other wireless devices are all using the same one.

It's easy to change your wireless channel. Just turn your hub's power off for a few seconds, then back on again and it will automatically choose the best channel. Wait a few minutes for your hubs light to return to normal and you're good to go.

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Connecting with a cable is more reliable than WiFi.

Try connecting your work computer or laptop to your hub with an Ethernet cable if you can - wired connections are faster and more stable than WiFi. Go to Connecting devices to your hub if you need more help.

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Don’t forget about your workplace VPN.

Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are often used when working from home to make sure the connection to your company’s network and server are secure. They’re important for you work, but you might have issues with certain websites or apps, and you sometimes can be slowed down.

Can't connect to your VPN?

It might be being blocked by your Sky Broadband Shield settings. VPNs are blocked under the Anonymisers, file sharing & hacking category, which is automatically blocked if Sky Broadband Shield is set to PG or 13. Set your age filter to 18 to stop your VPN being blocked or create a custom setting or add your VPN server address to your Allowed list.

Or if you’re using Sky Broadband Buddy, it might be blocked by its setting. Check your devices is unassigned to a Profile or assigned to a Profile that has an 18 selected as the Filter level - VPN and Proxies are automatically blocked by PG and 13. Go to Managing devices for more help.

Trouble with websites?

  • Some workplace sites and apps need to have the VPN turned On to access – check that your VPN is connected.
  • Having trouble with a site that’s not for work?
    • It might be blocked by your work’s security policy.
    • The VPN might be causing an issue. Turn off the VPN and try the website again. If you can now access the website, your VPN is causing the problem. Contact the VPN provider for support.

Go to Problems browsing the web for more help.

Being slowed down? When using a VPN all that internet traffic needs to go through your works network and servers, which can slow you down – it’s not your broadband speed but the speed of your work’s servers.

When it’s busy, like if lots of people are using it, it might take longer for data to pass through the servers. And some companies might limit the amount of data used by each person, to make sure there’s enough for everyone without being slowed down too much – so things that use a lot data like watching videos or video calling might be difficult at busy times.

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Still have a problem with your connection?

These handy guides might help:

  • Go to No connection or slow WiFi to test your connection or try some simple steps to try at home.
  • Have Sky Q TV? Your Sky Q box and Sky Mini boxes act as WiFi boosters, so if they lose connection to your hub, your WiFi coverage at home might not be as good. Go to Sky Q connectivity problems for help.
  • Go to Problem browsing the web if you can connect to your hub but are having issues when browsing actual websites.