The entire world is going through an unprecedented crisis right now with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a measure to fight against this rapidly-spreading disease, millions of people across the globe are taking refuge by working from home.
And when you’re working from home, a reliable internet connection is vital. Considering the current situation, we have enough things to be stressed about. The last thing one would want to deal with is a WiFi connection that isn’t up to the mark.
Recently, Openreach, a firm that runs the UK’s digital network, said that it did not see any significant issues across our broadband or phone network. “We’ve seen a circa 20% increase in daytime usage over our fibre network, but that’s in line with what we expected and not as high as the usage levels we see during evening peak times.”
On top of that, several Internet firms have announced that they’re making changes to the way they work to take off the pressure on networks.
Also, several streaming players, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and social media tech giant Facebook have agreed to lower video bitrates, to help prevent internet congestion during the coronavirus lockdown. Basically, bitrate is the amount of data streamed per second while watching a video online.
There are several other factors beyond our control that affect our home WiFi signals, including the area we live, available service providers, and more. Even if you don’t know the best way to change them, there are some easy steps that you can take to ensure your speeds are as fast as possible,.
Avoid using a microwave oven while using WiFi!
Well, this one is new! Yeah! Reportedly, according to the media regulator Ofcom, microwave ovens can also reduce WiFi signals. The company also suggests not to use the microwave when making essential video calls, watching HD videos, or doing something important online. Other devices that interfere with router signals include halogen lamps, baby monitor, stereos and computer speakers, TVs, cordless phones, and monitors.
Position your internet router as far as possible!
Location plays a very important role, meaning where you place the router can affect your wireless coverage. The WiFi signals can be partially absorbed by various obstacles like walls, ductworks, and at times people as well. For obvious and technical reasons, it is better to keep your router somewhere high off the ground and if possible, in the center of the house, so that the signal can reach out to all corners equally.
Keep your router updated!
Router manufacturing companies always roll out software tweaks as an update to supply a bit more speed. If you have new routers by any chance, the update process is built into the administration interface. All you have to do is just to hit the firmware upgrade button. If they’re older, visit the manufacturer’s website, download a firmware file for your router’s and upload it to the administration interface.
Lower the demand!
The more the device, the lower the speed you get! Try carrying out audio calls instead of video calls, which requires less internet connection. If possible, try managing your family’s online activity, so that different people aren’t carrying out data-heavy tasks like streaming movies or online gaming. In the case of movies, it is better to download in advance rather than streaming it.
Prioritise your work traffic!
These days, most routers operate in both 2.4 and 5GHz bands. During the initial setup, most people will split those bands into two separate networks. If you are unaware, the 2.4GHz offers a better range, while the 5GHz band is faster. In this case, dedicate one of the two bands to work and another for your family.
Use Ethernet for the best speeds!
If you are looking for the best broadband speed, it is better to connect Ethernet cable from the router to your computer rather than using WiFi. The Ethernet connections turn out to be not only faster but also safer.
Get an extender!
If distance is the problem, it is better to get a WiFi extender. It is also called WiFi booster or repeater, which are the same thing! These are simple devices that pick up the existing signal from your WiFi router and rebroadcast it as a new network. This new network is an extension of your primary network, and all the data that goes through it passes through the main network as well.
Try not to use a telephone extension lead!
Generally, the telephone extension lead can cause interference, which could lower the speed. If you have to use the lead, it is advisable to use a new high-quality cable with a short length. According to Ofcom, the tangled and coiled wires can also affect speeds. It is better to use ‘microfilters’ into every phone socket in your home. They look like little white boxes and split the phone and broadband signals so that they don’t affect each other.
Main image credits: Sergii Sobolevskyi/Shutterstock
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