The lifestyles and careers of millions of Americans have, of course, changed as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
If you’re a remote worker, especially if you have children forced to stay at home, your home Internet service might need to be optimized.
With extra usage of your home network, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued five Internet-consumer tips.
Verify your plan’s capabilities
Your needs might have increased with more people using your service. Double-check your Internet service.
Test your speed
Is your speed too slow?
Sometimes there’s a simple solution. You might start by rebooting your router and service by turning them off, waiting a few minutes, then turning them on again.
To learn your download and upload speeds which are measured in megabits per second (Mbps), you can check broadband speed-test applications or see speed-test sites.
You might inquire about troubleshooting tips with your Internet service provider.
If you have an equipment issue, check to see if you have an outdated router. Look for your router’s model number to see if it can deliver your subscribed speeds for which you’re paying.
If it doesn’t, update it. You might have to resort to buying a new upgraded router or leasing one from your Internet service provider.
Check your in-home connections
Most consumers use a wireless, or WIFI, system. Often, when more than one person is using the same WIFI, the performance is too slow.
Late-model WIFI routers usually have two or more signals – a 2.4 GHz band and a 5 GHz band.
Pros and cons:
The 2.4 GHz will give you broader coverage, but it’s slower than the 5 GHz.
The 2.4 GHz is used in most homes. So check to see if there’s a list of other WIFIs listed in your settings. If you do, your neighbor’s networks might be affecting the performance of your WIFI. In a crowded urban environment, you also run a risk of passersby using your network.
Again, the 5 GHz is faster with a shorter range. With less congestion of other networks, the 5 GHz is more stable.
So you might want to dedicate the 5 GHz on your router for work or school.
To keep unessential devices from connecting to your system, change your password. It’s always a good idea to review your router’s manual.
Put your router in a central location for a better signal throughout your home. If you have a large home, you can get a WIFI range extender or mesh network routers.
To alleviate WIFI issues and/or to obtain the fastest speed, connect your ethernet cable from your router directly into your computer. You might move your router to the room where you use your computer.
Consider using a USB ethernet adapter, if your device doesn’t have an ethernet port.
Because security is your utmost concern, see this FTC guide.
Set schedule usage
If you have multiple family members using your Internet, prioritize usage and arrange a schedule so your system isn’t bogged down.
For a strong signal, many consumers connect their cellphones to their WIFI.
But if you have a good cellphone signal and have multiple family members users, disconnect your device from your WIFI and use the mobile hotspot capability to connect to the Internet.
However, make sure your cellular service plan won’t limit you with data caps, which will result in overage surcharges.
It’s also possible to prevent data overage surcharges, and conserve your data usage and limit cellphone signal congestion by turning on WIFI and WIFI calling.
Postscript: For added security, I’d also advise getting a VPN, or virtual private network. Note, however, some are great and others aren’t worth the money. So do your due diligence for the right VPN.
From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks:
Coronavirus Prompts Best Strategies for a Remote Workforce – To achieve the most productivity with employees working from home as a result of the coronavirus, the right tech-contingency strategies will prevent disruption in your company’s operations.
8 Tips for Security of Your Company’s Wireless Network – Business wireless routers present dangers. Your router is vulnerable to hackers and, hence, security issues. So, you must take these precautions.
Typical Chilling Signs Your Smartphone Has Been Hacked – Why is identity theft escalating in smartphones? Hackers want to capture all the data on your phone. Here are red flags your device has been hacked.
Guard Against Skyrocketing Trend: Cell-Phone Account Fraud – There’s a new cyber crime sweeping the nation: Cell-phone account fraud. You might not know it, but the repercussions are ominous. See these security tips.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
-President Franklin Roosevelt