Is Your WiFi Feeling the Strain of Working from Home?

Jul 22, 2020Blog

Maybe this happened to you:

At first, everything ran smoothly. Then suddenly documents froze, video calls dropped, and big email attachments wouldn’t send.

Even if you have the best WiFi package, your internet can still suffer. Especially when it’s bogged down by school video classes, streaming videos, online gaming, using virtual private networks (VPN) for work and video conference calls all happening at once.

Here are some ways to optimize your Wi-Fi for working from home in a suddenly full home:


Check your Wi-Fi/Internet subscription

What kind of internet plan do you subscribe to? Is your service speed enough for your demands? Check out this article for identifying a good Wi-Fi speed for your needs.


Test your Wi-Fi network speed

Wi-Fi speed is measure in megabits per second (Mbps). You want to make sure your speed is fast enough to support all of your online needs.

You can run a speed test by using tools and other online apps to check your current broadband download and upload speeds.

Slow speeds can be the result of a few things:

  • In need of troubleshooting
  • An outage or service disruption in your area
  • Your router needs a reboot

For the first two reasons, you can contact your ISP to see what is happening. Hopefully, you just need to reboot your router.


Know how you are connecting to the internet

If there are multiple people in your home connecting to the internet at once, your Wi-Fi will struggle. Too much congestion drags down Wi-Fi performance.

You might be able to combat this by switching your priority devices (work/school issued laptop or other issued devices) to a separate frequency. Most modern routers have two options: 2.4GHz and 5GHz band. Switch all priority devices to the 5GHz band.

You can also turn to a direct Ethernet cable connection via MoCA adapters or powerline adapters. This will guarantee your devices have direct connection to the internet. And, it will be solid every time you connect.

To learn more, reference the Complete Guide to MoCA or Complete Guide to Powerline.


Schedule everyone’s internet use

The other way to reduce Wi-Fi strain is to schedule everyone’s internet use in your household.

Are your job hours flexible? Try scheduling your work hours around high-traffic times in your home.

If not, you might have to have the hard conversation of getting everyone else to schedule their time around yours.


Explore other internet options

There is always cellular data to fall back on if all else fails. Using cell data can alleviate Wi-Fi congestion and strain. Or, you can rely on your mobile hotspot.

This is important: Make sure to check your cellular data plan before switching your devices to cellular-only use.

If you have an unlimited cellular data plan, it may be appropriate for you to switch some devices to cellular-only use, especially during your work hours. If you do not have an unlimited plan, be wary of cellular-only use. It can get expensive fast.

If you don’t have Wi-Fi congestion issues, save the data and continue on your home network.

We know that home networking can be overwhelming. If you are working from home and currently experiencing network issues that have you stumped, find more tips on improving your Wi-Fi on Actiontec’s Complete Guide to Wi-Fi Boosters. For the latest in technology and evolving tech trends, check out the Actiontec Blog!

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