As we have gotten into the groove of the “new normal,” many businesses are offering employees the option to stay remote or adopt a hybrid work-from-home/ in-office schedule. With these changes becoming more permanent and kids e-learning, there is a whole host of new challenges in our day to day life.
Recently, a challenge we have noticed is low network capacity or weak Wi-Fi connection for at-home workers with kids who are e-learning.
Before this new normal, home networks were built for streaming TV, playing video games, scrolling through social feeds, and maybe some work here and there. Now your home network’s bandwidth is being spread thin as family members make long simultaneous video calls and work at their computers for a good majority of the day. People are experiencing poor connections and slow internet speed.
To keep up with your responsibilities, you have to get the most out of your network. Not everyone can upgrade their plans or add more devices to their home, so we have put together a couple of tips to improve your network capacity without doing so.
Increasing Your Available Bandwidth
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data your network can transmit in a given amount of time. Think of bandwidth like a pipe; the larger the pipe, the higher the capacity. High bandwidth allows data to move quickly and doesn’t require a lot of effort to be pushed through. A network with less bandwidth can’t carry as much data as quickly because it is getting clogged in the small space. Here are some ways you can free up space to allow for a faster and more reliable connection:
- Remove any unnecessary devices. One of the quickest ways to improve your network capacity is to disconnect any unnecessary devices from your network. Even if you aren’t actively using them, devices like Amazon Alexa, gaming consoles, tablets, smart TVs, and video doorbells take up your network’s bandwidth.
- Find any unknown users or draws. Unbeknownst to you, Malware could be eating up your bandwidth when communicating with an external server. Home networks are rarely protected, and with kids’ browsing activities, you might likely find something worth removing. Additionally, if your Wi-Fi is not private, other devices than your own could be connecting to it. Lockdown your network by removing any unknown users and downloads that could be taking up space.
- Coordinate your network usage. Work with your family members to minimize the concurrent use of devices, applications, or websites that require high amounts of bandwidth. For example, scheduling concurrent Zoom calls while someone else streams a Netflix show is sure to overload your system. If possible, divide up the day and plan to schedule video calls when others aren’t on them and respectfully refrain from high bandwidth activities like streaming TV shows or online gaming.
- Work from areas with the highest signal strength. It is possible that your connectivity issues aren’t stemming from a lack of network capacity, but a weak wireless connection. Depending on how far away from your access point you are and what lies between you and it (walls, furniture, etc.) your connection could be weak. If possible, connect your computer to your access point via an ethernet cable for the strongest connection.
Finally, if these options don’t provide enough improvement, an upgrade to your network may be needed. This would allow more activity on your network without compromising its stability. Based on your geographic area, internet providers may or may not offer upgraded plans. If you or your team are experiencing these issues or any other IT problems you can always reach out to us here at Seltek.