Lockdown 3.0 has inevitably brought extra pressures to our home broadband with families all under the same roof, working, studying, and entertaining for extended periods of the day. Our internet usage has risen exponentially with streaming services, gaming, shopping, and that’s without any thought for work or study. At Chess, many of our support calls come from customers who tell us that their internet, and subsequently Wi-Fi, is slower than usual. It’s not a new complaint, back in March when the whole country made the transition from offices to home working residential internet connections became strained. So, what can you do to fix this?
Here are five simple tips to help you get peak performance.
1. Check your router location
The router position can affect Wi-Fi performance. Make sure it’s clear of any obstructions and away from anything electrical. You may want to consider mounting it on the wall or putting it on a shelf. Have you tucked it away in a cupboard because you don’t like staring at wires? Is it balanced on the radiator in the hallway? Is it sat directly under the TV? Is it next to a neighbour’s adjoining wall? You may be surprised by some of the other things that will affect signal. Refrigerators, washing machines, cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices and believe it or not… fish tanks!
2. Use the shortest possible cable to connect from your wall socket to the router
Now this would be a marginal gain but we’re talking about squeezing as much as possible out of your connection. The quality of cable matters too and can also reap rewards.
3. Consider a range extender
Essentially a range extender will grab the Wi-Fi signal and throw it further. Centrally locating these in your home or premises will allow for the best coverage but be sure to try the first 2 steps first.
4. Replace your router for a higher quality model
Your router may not be fit for the job if you’ve gone from a single user to the whole family using it? Traditionally working from home would have meant that the kids are at school for most of the day, so you may not have had any issues. Having everyone at home may strain your current device, especially older devices that may only transmit in 2.4ghz which is the standard for most routers. A newer device would have the option for 5ghz which may provide a stronger and less contended signal. Chess is happy to talk to you about options but ensure you have carried out the first 2 steps or it may not make a difference.
5) Upgrade the speed
So, you know you have a good router, you’ve cleared it from any obstructions, put a range extender in and maybe even got one of the kids to hold it in the middle of the room for 20 minutes for a test! If it’s still under-performing, maybe it’s time to see just how fast the internet could be. A standard ADSL connection may not be enough anymore, and a fibre connection might be the answer.
Why not ask for help? Our experts deal with connectivity solutions every day and will be happy to talk through all the options available to you. So, take away the pain and let us take the strain- we’ll soon have the whole family working together.