Here are some tips for improving and diagnosing your home internet connection.
- Restart your device.
This can resolve problems with Zoom video and audio problems, software programs that are not working correctly, internet and bluetooth connection issues, and speed up your computer.
By restarting your computer, you clear out temporary and unimportant data that may be bogging down memory.
- What else is using your Wifi?
Are there other devices on your wifi using your internet bandwidth? Is someone streaming video (YouTube, Netflix, etc.)? Do you have a bunch of smart devices around the house?
You have a limited amount of bandwidth and these other devices may be using up your limited capacity. Therefore, limit streaming while you are working.
- Move closer to your Wifi Router.
You will get the best internet speed the closer you are to your Wifi Router. Additionally, if your router is in your closet or in a cabinet, it’s time to move it out. The more central and prominent the better. Walls can limit the Wifi signal.
- Use an Ethernet Cable.
A wired connection is faster and more stable than a wireless connection. If your work station is located close to your router, consider plugging it in. Your internet performance is sure to improve.
- What’s the frequency, Kenneth?
Most routers use dual band technology. This means that the broadcast at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. If your router allows you to, you may be able to prioritze one or the other for your devices. 2.4 GHz has longer range, but is a slower connection. Conversely, 5 GHz is a faster connection but has a shorter range.
So, if you are close to your router, choose the 5 GHz. If you are on the other side of the house, choose the 2.4 GHz.
Did you get the reference to the REM 1994 song?
- Reboot your Router/Modem.
Most router/modem from your cable company is one unit. It is usually a black box with lots of lights on it and the coaxial cable plugs into it. Unplug the unit’s power cable and wait 15 seconds. Then plug the unit back in and try your Internet again in about a minute. If you find that you need to do this frequently, then you probably need to replace your router/modem.
- Do you have a password on your Wifi?
This is so important for keeping hackers away and preventing your neighbors aren’t sharing your signal and slowing you down. AES encryption is the most secure and speed friendly security option.
- Run a speed test at https://www.speedtest.net/
Download speeds of less than 5Mbps are going to present some challenges (upload speeds are less of an issue). Try running the speed tests in various locations in your home to find the optimal location.
- If none of these solve your Internet issue, you should call Internet Service Provider.
Internet Service Provider Troubleshooting pages: Spectrum Comcast SELCO RCN Verizon
This is a modified version of advice from the Worcester Public Schools IT department (Thank you!). Additional information from Wired Magazine.