One of the many changes brought by the new normal is the work set up of many companies. While most businesses resume their normal work operations, some companies and schools and universities – in the Philippines opt to continue virtual and remote work to keep the workforce and students safe from possible contact with COVID-19. Others find it beneficial as they spend more time with their loved ones, while others have a hard time coping with the challenges of working virtually.
There are many things to consider to make your home an ideal place to work in — is it a functional workspace, is your comfortable desk and chair, and most importantly, fast wi-fi connection. Otherwise, you won’t be able to execute your tasks efficiently.
Unfortunately, here in the Philippines, one of the common issues prevalent in the work-from-home setup is slow and disruptive wi-fi connections. Here is a list of simple hacks to boost your internet speed for online meetings and classes to make working from home more comfortable.
1. Disconnect unused devices
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If you’re using your laptop for work and you don’t need to use your phone, tablets, or other devices, disconnect them from the wi-fi. These devices, although not in use, can still use a marginal amount of bandwidth that might result in slow wi-fi connections.
Many devices are set to automatically download and install updates even if sitting idly, so make sure your devices are disconnected from the wi-fi. If you’re an Apple user, you can turn off your phone’s Background App Refresh so the updates won’t download automatically.
2. Reboot your wi-fi
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Rebooting your wi-fi means shutting the power off the router then turning it on again. This technique doesn’t make your internet speed faster but can improve your wi-fi connection. The software running the program of your wi-fi is located inside the router, and it sometimes has connection issues; that’s why rebooting it will restart the operation.
3. Change wi-fi channels
Try switching your wi-fi router from the usual 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz channel. This is one of the most recommended tips as it gets more bandwidth and lesser interference.
What’s the difference between the two channels? 2.4 GHz offers 14 overlapping channels, while 5 GHz offers 23 non-overlapping channels that result in a faster connection. This also prevents bandwidth clogging which is often the reason for slowing down the internet.
4. Turn off your microwave oven
Did you know that using a microwave oven can disrupt your wi-fi connection? According to the UK’s media regulator Ofcom, microwave ovens use the same 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) frequency as much as in wi-fi routers.
Avoid using a microwave oven when you’re making video calls, streaming HD movies, or need your wi-fi undisrupted. Home appliances like cordless phones, lamps, and computer speakers can also slow down your internet connection.
5. Elevate your router
It also helps to elevate your router and mount it on the high wall or top shelf of your home to speed up your internet connection. Routers tend to spread signal downwards so placing it in a high place will maximize its coverage. Placing it in the center of your home can also make the spread of the signal more evenly.
6. Keep your router in an open space
Wireless routers need open space to acquire signals more efficiently. As much as possible, keep it away from walls or obstructions that keep it from getting signal coverage. Do not place it inside a room unless it is where you need a fast internet connection the most.
7. Use a faster browser
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The browser that you use is also a factor in the speed of your connection. When choosing a browser to use for work or online classes, pick the browser that allows the fastest connection. Browsers like Chrome and Opera are one of the best browsers to use in regards to a fast internet connection.
8. Close inactive apps
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When working online, open only the apps and tabs that you need. Idle apps can still consume some of the bandwidth of your internet, resulting in slow connection. Also, closing inactive apps can prevent your computer from lagging which is one of the common problems in working virtually.
9. Use an ethernet connection
Ethernet is the traditional technology of connecting the router to your laptop device. Basically, wi-fi connection transmits data via a wireless signal while ethernet uses a local area network (LAN) cable that directly connects it to the laptop. Aside from faster internet speed, ether connection generally provides more reliability and security over your device.
10. Upgrade your internet connection
The safest way to minimize lags and disconnection while on online meetings and classes is to upgrade your internet connection. You need to invest in fast wi-fi as there is no assurance on how long the pandemic will keep us from going back to the normal set up.
The ideal internet connection speed for five people is 100 Mbps, considering that all of you use the internet for streaming and downloading files. This is the standard speed to keep your connection stable, even if your family uses the internet simultaneously.
Virtual online meetings and classes are something that people are still trying to grasp in the phase of the new normal. While there are pros and cons of working virtually, having a fast internet connection is a great help to make it easier and more bearable for you. Follow the above-mentioned hacks to boost your internet speed.