Let’s face it, Spring Break was a bust this year, and while many kids have been at home playing games and streaming videos to stay busy, our network capacity continues to be in great shape for the increased usage we are experiencing.
In addition to parents working from home, students will be returning from spring break and diving into their online studies. Engaging in virtual classes requires upload capacity that students will need to submit homework assignments to their teachers. The good news is, our upload capacity is also in great shape for increased usage.
Some people may not know that generally broadband service plans have faster download speeds than upload speeds because more things are downloaded rather than uploaded. In an online classroom situation, uploading is imperative for student engagement. This is an excellent time to remind people that Wi-Fi isn’t the internet; it’s a wireless way for devices to connect to the internet and there are several variables that can affect it performance.
As more students attend online classes from home, and with some homes having multiple students, this may impact your Wi-Fi experience. There may be simultaneous online learning sessions in addition to parents working from home that will affect the efficiency of your Wi-Fi.
Here are some tricks and tips to help maximize the performance of your home Wi-Fi network.
- Use the latest and best hardware. Not all wireless routers are created equal. Older routers are not equipped to handle today’s internet speeds, and even some new routers don’t have the capacity to deliver high speeds wirelessly. They were also not designed to handle the multitude of wireless devices we now have in our homes. If you’re not sure what wireless router to use, you can always ask us!
- Old devices slow the entire network. Each device can only talk to the router one at a time. Older, slower devices degrade the whole network. Turn off (not sleep) old devices such as old iPods, phones, and wireless printers when not in use.
- Put your router in the right place. The location of your router is the next most crucial part of having a great Wi-Fi signal. Putting your router inside a cabinet, behind a wall, or next to something metal can weaken the signal. Routers are most effective when they are out in the open. Also, if you have a choice, place the router higher than lower – on a top of a shelf or your second floor. Also, the closer you and your device is to the router the better the signal strength.
- Beware of appliances. Certain home appliances, particularly things like microwave ovens or cordless phones, can have adverse effects on your Wi-Fi signal.
- Password protect your Wi-Fi signal. Having a Wi-Fi signal with no password protection is an invitation to your neighbors to use your internet service. And although your neighbors are lovely people, if they use your Wi-Fi signal, it will be weaker for you. Put a password on your Wi-Fi signal (your router’s user manual should tell you how) and make it a strong one.
- Utilize the 2.4GHz and 5 GHz capability in your router. 2.4GHz will go further but is slower and only has three clear channels. 5GHz channels don’t go as far but have multiple clear channels and are much faster. Ensure the 5GHz radio is enabled in your router, and devices capable of this frequency are set to use it. Consider setting up your priority connections on a separate channel to guests and other non-essential devices
- If you can connect the device with an Ethernet cable, do it. Physical connections are still superior to Wi-Fi for speed and error corrections. The fewer devices connected to your network wirelessly, the better even with a modern router. Fewer devices result in less signal to noise ratio and faster Wi-Fi speeds.
If you are still having challenges with your Wi-Fi strength, connect with us at 877.883.2411 or visit SilverStar.com and chat with us. We’d be happy to walk you through some common solutions to help you out.