Adjusting to New Normal: Optimizing Your Home Internet

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Our new normal of work-from-home, school-from-home, and staying in for entertainment, is putting serious strain on our internet networks. The internet service providers (IPS) are seeing an unprecedented change and increase in our consumption patterns, leading to network congestions.

As a result, you may be seeing the effect as connectivity issues and slow load times. To mitigate these issues, internet service providers are optimizing their networks to increase their capacity and better manage increased internet access demands.

Within your home environment, there are actions you can take to optimize your home internet. Here are 6 actions to try to better your internet connectivity:

Increase your internet plan.

When was the last time you upgraded your internet plan? For example, the internet plan that may have worked well for you when you signed up 5 years ago is likely not able to handle the increased demand within your own home. There may be more devices suddenly requiring connection at the same time and demanding bandwidth that your old plan cannot handle. Talk to your internet service provider about their newest offerings. Many IPSs have created new plans and programs in response to this sudden increase in demand for internet service.

Manage the bandwidth for devices.

Identify the priority devices in your home and allot the most bandwidth to those that need it the most. If you’re working from home, including trying to have online video conference meetings, while the kids are downloading games and streaming movies, it is very likely your home network is strained. By managing the available bandwidth available to specific devices, you get to direct the internet connections to where is most needed. Many internet service providers give you this control through easy to use applications.

Newer modems/router combos provide dual-band Wi-Fi of 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. The 2.4Ghz band provides a signal to a larger area. However, this bandwidth sacrifices speed and shares the 2.4Ghz range with many other devices in the house that operate on the same band, potentially causing congestion. Some of these devices include microwaves, garage openers and baby monitors. Additionally, if you live in an apartment building or condominium complex, your neighbours’ routers in the vicinity are also likely competing in this bandwidth which can cause poor Wi-Fi connectivity.

If you have a dual bandwidth router, try switching to the 5Ghz bandwidth. It provides higher speeds, is less susceptible to interference, and has fewer devices using this frequency vying for bandwidth. Your internet service provider can help you determine what type of modem they’ve provided with your plan and direct you on how to switch bandwidths if you require assistance.

Ensure you’re getting the strongest wi-fi signal & consistent coverage through your home.

Is your modem in the basement or a storage closet? Your modem may not be the nicest looking home accessory to have out on display but ensuring that it is not is a spot that may cause a loss in its signal strength throughout your home is key to optimizing signal strength and coverage. A wi-fi signal can be decreased by having to go through many walls, different materials, or long distances. Now is the time to bring it out into the open, if possible.

Some internet service providers are including booster/signal extension pods in their plans that will help to eliminate dead spots and increase the coverage in your home. Ex) Shaw Bluecurve Pods or Telus Boost Wi-fi. Talk to your ISP to ensure that you have the latest hardware for your wi-fi internet connection

The strength of your wi-fi signal is only as good as the hardware it runs through. 

How old is your modem? How old is your computer? You may be signed on to the latest and greatest internet plan, but outdated hardware may not have the processing power to take full potential of greater internet speeds and bandwidth. It may be time for a hardware upgrade.

Consider disconnecting non-essential devices.

In the last few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has boomed and provided us with countless devices that connect to the internet – home security systems, thermostats, coffee makers, fitness trackers, home assistants (Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant) … etc. Prioritize which connected devices are essential to your well-being and consider removing the non-essentials from your network.

Tap in straight to the source. 

If the kids won’t trip over it, the dog won’t chew it, you won’t accidentally catch on it and cause the whole thing to come crashing down… Consider connecting to the internet with an ethernet cable.

If your device can connect physically, you eliminate potential wi-fi signal loss by tapping directly into the internet conduit for your home.

 

Your home network environment may not be as secure as your work environment.  Read our related article: Practices for Working Securely from Home.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We make I.T. easy.

info@pccorp.com | Calgary: 403.266.3000 | Edmonton: 780.428.3000

Read about how we’ve changed the way we work – COVID-19: Business UNusual.

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