As more and more of us work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, pressure on both internet service providers and our own home wi-fi networks is increasing, the recent announcement that Netflix will cut its streaming quality in Europe for 30 days is testament to this.
Typically, home workers making video calls, need approximately 2 – 4 mbps (0,25/0,50 megabytes per second) to effectively communicate in a conference call and 5 – 8 mbps (0,625 – 1mb/s) for HD-streaming. With more capacity being drained by a sudden spike in Netflix, Xbox, tv streaming and other internet heavy activities, how can home workers, particularly those who do not usually work from home, manage their Wi-Fi effectively?
Check your network speed
Test your network speed regularly. There is a plethora of excellent free tools available out there.
A simple google search will provide excellent options for you to choose from. If your speed is falling below 3mbps then you will need to take some action.
Switch the router off and on again
This might sound like the archetypal bad IT cliché, but 9 times out of 10 it works. If you feel your network slowing or a speed check indicates problems, accept the wrath of anybody playing xbox live and switch your router off and on again. In most cases a simple reset will solve your problem.
Download don’t stream
Multiple sources of live streaming is thirsty work for a home Wi-Fi network. Download films, music, books, tv shows and any educational materials for later use so that there are not multiple stresses placed on your router. Working offline will free up capacity.
Get the router high
Your router should be placed somewhere high. Keep it off the floor and definitely away from dark corners. Wireless routers are most effective when off the ground. Place it in the centre of your house in order to reach all ends equally.
Routers are similar to humans; they like personal space. Keep any clutter away from your router and keep anything which may cause signal disruptions e.g. Microwaves, home phone sets etc.
Extend your network
Wi-Fi signals do not particularly like thick walls, walls with metal in them or anything in fact that will disrupt it. If you are working somewhere with patchy signal you may wish to consider purchasing a Wi-Fi extender which picks up your signal and rebroadcasts it. Or, use a power line adaptors which extends the signal by broadcasting it along the wiring network of your property.
Internet providers speeds are poor
A second fixed line connection may be worth considering where there are low connections speeds offered in your area by internet providers, (particularly remote locations or where fibre services are not yet available). A second option is a pay monthly 4g router which is offered by most major mobile operators. the latter is cost effective and can be set up in minutes.
Ultimately there is no one single action you can take to maintain broadband and wi-fi connectivity, however in these extraordinary times it is possible to mitigate some of the potential issues by following one or more of the steps above.
Still experiencing latency or other type of disruptions while working from home? Then the problem could be with the platform you are using. Make sure to utilize business quality services so that you can collaborate without any disruptions or inconveniences. Find out here how we can help you achieve a safe and stable connection!