Our home network has proven to be essential these days in our eLearning and work-from-home environment. We’ve all experienced the hit to our workday with impeded online meetings, broken calls and the frustration of not being connected to the network. Here are five simple steps you can take to improve your network bandwidth and get the most out of what you have available in your home.
1. Reset your router every two weeks
It is recommended that you unplug your router at least once every two weeks and leave it unplugged for one minute before plugging it back in. This helps to maintain cleaner and faster connections.
2. Manage streaming services
Streaming services like your favorite entertainment apps , along with social media platforms consume a significant amount of bandwidth. If possible, during work hours, these should be run using cellular data services and not through your home Wi-Fi network. Turn off Wi-Fi services on your mobile devices if you can and/or limit use of these services during working hours.
3. Prevent undesired users from entering your network
You don’t want unauthorized users getting into your network regardless, not to mention more machines taking up bandwidth. Protect your network by making sure your Wi-Fi has a complex password to avoid external users connecting into it. A more complex password is something that has no association to anything personal and includes letters, numbers and special characters. Also check for actual users and devices that are connected that you may not think about. Disconnect those devices you do not need during working hours.
4. Use your provider's configuration tools
Almost all internet providers offer online home network check-ups, configuration and optimization tools that can help you detect threats and identify opportunities to improve your network and internet performance. Make sure you use the tool(s) provided and check in periodically to ensure your network is operating with maximum efficiency.
5. Find the best location to connect to your router
The best location for your router and your workspace is where you can connect directly with a cable (this speed is always faster). I recognize this is not always possible, so make sure to reduce the distance and barriers (aka floors and walls, especially brick for example) between your work computer and the router.
While there are always other potential factors that could limit network performance (e.g., outages, bad weather), these relatively simple steps will help you to maximize your network performance throughout your workday.
As always, you should contact your network provider if you have any difficulties and they should be able to assist you in troubleshooting network deficiencies.