With many adults working from home, the demands on your WiFi are probably much greater than in the past. You could be trying to connect with colleagues over Zoom while several kids are watching online lessons from their teachers. And with everyone stuck at home a lot more, several family members could be streaming movies or other content during the evening. As a result, your WiFi could be slow or disconnecting much more than it did in the past.
Our REALTORS® suggest the following tips for making sure your WiFi is up to the task:
- Check your Internet service plan
Your internet service plan may have been fine for your needs earlier in the year, but now that more users are logging more screen time, you should make sure it covers your current needs. If you have only two users with only one streaming video or attending a teleconference, a medium speed is the lowest level recommended. For multiple people — with at least two using video — advanced speed is needed.
- Test your speed
Use an app or website to check your broadband speed. If your speed is too slow, contact your internet service provider for tips on how to improve it. In some cases, a newer, upgraded router can improve your connection speeds.
- Disconnect cell phones from your network
If you have cell phones connected to your WiFi network, consider disconnecting them from this network if you can get a good cellular signal at your home. This can eliminate several devices that may place an additional burden on your home WiFi. Before you do this, however, check your cell phone plan to make sure you won't go over any data caps and incur additional charges.
- Check into Wi-Fi 6
WiFi 6 is the next-generation wireless standard, and even if you don't upgrade your internet speed, you should still seek some significant improvements with a WiFi 6 router. It has shorter or even no delay times as data is sent, so pages will load faster, and disconnections will be less common. You'll also have fewer dead zones in your house since WiFi 6 is better able to focus signals on a particular device, especially if it's having connection issues. In order to take advantage of this new technology, you'll need to own devices that are capable of using WiFi 6 features. Look for packaging that says the laptop or other device is WiFi 6-compatible.
- Add a mesh router
Traditional routers broadcast WiFi signals from one point, but mesh router systems have multiple access points. One links to the modem, acting as the router, while the others capture the router's signal and rebroadcast it. This type of router can help with your WiFi connection if you have a large home, one with an unusual layout, or one with interior brick walls since it can reduce WiFi dead zones. They can help if you frequently have WiFi connectivity issues, but they usually aren't needed in small homes.
- Try to create a schedule
If possible, set an internet usage schedule where family members stagger times when they use WiFi. For example, you may be able to work at less high-traffic times if you don't have a specific work schedule, or your kids may be able to download lectures and watch them offline when family WiFi needs are lower.
Contact us to learn about Mansfield homes for sale, many of which have space for a home office!