With more Stay At Home decrees in order, we have seen an increase in people working from home. However, that also means there has been an increase in devices connected to your home WiFi. As business owners, you might have received complaints from employees saying how their internet is slow. You may have experienced slow internet speeds yourself. Networking (WiFi) is complex, so we won’t get into the technical stuff here. We first want to point out common drains and fast solutions so you and your teams can achieve max productivity while being apart. We also want to provide a more long term solution.
The Circle of Life
WiFi (Networking in general) has turned more into a necessity in our day to day life. However, our home WiFi hasn’t been tasked to this degree ever before. Below are four points we consider when evaluating WiFi.
First, we usually recommend running a speed test (speedtest.net). This is a great way to begin, and will tell you what your current network speed is. If you’re on a laptop, try moving it around to different areas of the building and running the speed test. This will paint a picture of where the WiFi signal is the strongest.
Second, look at which tier of bandwidth you are paying for. If you’re only paying for 200 mbps, even the best router will not go beyond that. If you can afford it, consider increasing the tier to whatever is comfortable.
Third, the placement of the router makes a big difference. WiFi signals decrease when going through thick walls and water (fish tanks). The best placement for the router would be in the middle of the house, away from any thick walls, fish tanks, and even appliances, like microwaves.
Fourth, with everyone home, there are a lot more devices connected to, and actively using the router. We all have multiple devices – our phones, personal computers, work computers, TVs, speakers, etc. Whereas we usually need our computers and phones on our WiFi, consider turning off devices you are not using, like a tablet.
We looked at repositioning the router and turning off devices not in use to help with the WiFi signal. For more of a long term solution, look at upgrading the home router. The home router is just like any other piece of equipment in the house. And usually one of the last we upgrade.
When shopping for a new router, there is a lot to consider. The first thing is what kind to get: traditional wireless router vs mesh router. After that, there are loads of features to consider, which include, but not limited to: number of LAN ports; number of USB ports; ease of setup; VPN capability; etc.
There are so many articles published online and in print, which reviews routers, and then ranks them. PC Mag (https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-wireless-routers) and NBC (https://www.nbcnews.com/shopping/tech-gadgets/best-wifi-wireless-routers-n1111341) just to name a couple. This article isn’t one of them, because the router is going to depend on each home setup, and use. For example, apartments can get by with a traditional wireless router.
If you are still unsure how to proceed, please give us a call! We have a staff of engineers, all holding certifications in Networking. With our fully trained staff, we can better consult with you and your employees in making the correct choice for home networking needs.