An email that takes longer to start or a video that is struggling to load. Not to mention an error in connections to streaming platforms. At a time of confinement, teleworking and digital leisure activities, which are more in demand than usual, Internet networks are recording consumption peaks that are more or less hard to take.
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Good news: fixed Internet networks have so far, in the opinion of several experts consulted, really resisted this unusual overconsumption.
“If it has held up so far and if it holds this week, the networks will hold the load in the weeks that follow,” reassures Philippe Ciblat, professor at Télécom ParisTech and specialist in communication networks.
Many of you, however, experience connection problems outside of one-off failures. Here are several ways to explain the slowdowns observed and to sometimes be able to resolve them yourself.
Unprecedented consumption. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) expected this, they were not disappointed. “The slowdowns noted by customers are partly due to peaks in consumption on streaming services but also on voice or video calls between confined people”, explains Arthur Dreyfuss, president of the French Federation of Telecoms.
ISPs monitor in real time where the Internet speed is going, the platforms used and the exchange capacities of “packets” or information they require. Particularly popular, VOD platforms appropriate a large part of the traffic, in particular for downloads of several gigabytes of content.
Telework weighs during the day. Many companies have had to adapt to the exodus of their employees and urgently deploy communication tools to continue working at home.
Problem: they no longer use the bandwidth dedicated to professionals they pay all year but the fixed network of individuals.
“If it’s just for exchanging information like documents and e-mails, there is no problem,” analyzes Maurice Gagnaire, professor specializing in optical and radio networks at Télécom Paris.
This is complicated when it comes to multiple video conferences that replace meetings. This transfer of load then causes a few bursts but “the operators had anticipated a long-term increase in traffic among individuals so there is still room,” insists Philippe Ciblat, specialist in communication networks.
An unbalanced ADSL connection. Of the 29.8 million households with a fixed Internet subscription, almost 60% of subscribers are still on broadband ADSL.
These users are all the more concerned by the hiccups of the networks.
In addition to reduced bandwidth, this technology is based on asymmetrical Internet use. “The ADSL corresponds to a downward use ideal for watching or listening in streaming but the upstream bandwidth is 10 times more limited, this limits for example video calls or the sending of heavy files”, details Thibault Ducray, director of Talan Labs and specialist in digital transformation.
It would then be necessary, and only in this specific case, to call rather on the 4G mobile network while keeping an eye on its consumption of mobile data.
Over-requested servers. It is on these infrastructures that the bottleneck is located. If your connection to Netflix or OCS slips, it is probably not a question of network speed. It’s just that there are too many people who have had the same idea to pass the time.
“The network is well shocked but the servers of all online services that are at the end of the pipe are struggling to increase their capacities,” says Pierre Bonis, the director general of Afnic, the registration office of domain names in. Fr.
“It’s normal that it coughs a bit and that it affects all the popular applications and websites at the moment, from administration to entertainment platforms,” he explains.
Poorly configured Internet boxes? “An Internet box has no reason to be saturated because it is connected to the heart of the network by fiber,” said Professor Philippe Ciblat.
“If four different streams will make her suffer, the wi-fi remains sufficiently strong” according to this expert.
Unless this router does not charge the maximum of its wireless network to your devices. To remedy this, first do a speed test via an application on your smartphone or tablet or dedicated sites to find out the quality of potential reception.
All ISPs also offer online tutorials to improve your connection.
It would then be necessary to check on which wi-fi signal you are connected. Since the first models of 2012, all boxes have indeed broadcast a signal in 2.4 Ghz and another in 5 Ghz. “The first reaches a theoretical speed of 50 to 100 MB / s while the other increases to a theoretical speed of 700 MB / s”, explains Renaud, engineer at SoftAtHome who develops the software for Orange Liveboxes.
“So I advise to check on which signal we are connected and at what distance from the box because the most powerful surprisingly has less range” he says. “A device used, for example at the back of a room far from the box, automatically switches to the weakest network,” he noted.
In any case, it is strongly advised to download your films and series at the end of the evening when many Internet users are sleeping in order to avoid weakening the network and to prevent it from being restricted in the medium term.