Under the “Stay-at-Home” directives in most states many of our clients have implemented “Work-from-Home” initiatives to keep things moving forward as we face COVID-19. For a large number of VPSG clients these initiatives are working well, yet we have noticed in the last week that more calls are coming in regarding poor connectivity to office resources along with slower response from hosted applications such as WebEx, Zoom, or Teams and web sites. Unfortunately, unless you are on a dedicated circuit this is to be expected. The typical bandwidth provided to you at home through your cable provider is very different than the bandwidth you may have at the office. And, you are sharing that bandwidth with everyone else in your neighborhood and beyond. Add to that remote access to files, video conferences, online classes for the kids, Spotify, YouTube, Netflix or Hulu and your home Internet bandwidth (including WiFi) is most certainly being maxxed out. One last thing to consider is that most cable companies will begin to slow down your internet speed when they notice you are using a lot data or constantly streaming.
Below we have listed a few things you can do to help get the maximum productivity while working from home:
- Call your carrier and see if you can increase your bandwidth. This may not work if you’re on a shared circuit like Comcast. Comcast and other coax based internet services are technically “shared” even though you have your own bandwidth, you are sharing with everyone else in your neighborhood on that same leg of the circuit.
- Examine your connections. First and foremost, if you can be plugged directly into your modem you will get the best speed in the house. If you are using wireless then speed will be based on whether you are connected at 2.4 vs 5Ghz. 2.4 has more range, but 5 is faster. And there are usually more devices on the 2.4ghz network. If you can move some to the other, that may help. This is a limited solution if the issue is your overall speed in and out of the house.
- Change your streaming services to use standard bandwidth, instead of 4K or High Def. That will definitely reduce some of the bandwidth usage.
- Turn off some systems. If you need to have music, maybe stream your Spotify on your phone’s mobile data. If you don’t have unlimited data, then be careful as you can use up your plan’s data before you know it.
- Schedule Internet Usage. Hold a family meeting and map out when you need the internet for work, then limit the other device uses during that time. Limiting the streaming of TV or movies during the day while you are trying to get work done can be very helpful. Maybe tell the kids that they can’t stream TV or movies during the day while mom and dad are trying to get work done