As many fellow Detroit area PR professionals continue to stay safe and hunker down at home, we are adjusting to life as telecommuters. Some of us have taken on the added responsibility of managing online learning for our children at home.
As a result of this new normal, it is no surprise that internet usage peak times have shifted and the load on networks has significantly increased. Fortunately, this additional activity has not broken the internet. Even so, newbie work-from-home types may discover the in-home WiFi powering their new home offices and online classrooms is a little spotty.
The following three simple tech tips can help boost your in-home technology performance.
Location, Location, Location
Where you locate your internet modem and router within your home can affect how far the WiFi signal travels. For the strongest and furthest connection, put your equipment in a central, elevated location so devices throughout your home can be reached. Treat this equipment like a lamp. Avoid hiding it under the stairs, in a bookcase, in the basement, or on the ground where the WiFi signal cannot penetrate as far. Also, placing your equipment next to a window broadcasts your signal outside.
Coverage is Key
Depending on the size of your house, you may also benefit from WiFi extenders. If your new workspace is in the basement or a spare bedroom, an extender expands the WiFi signal to those harder-to-reach areas. Some internet service providers sell their own. (Xfinity offers xFi pods that easily plug into the wall socket.) There are also many options through third party providers.
The Need for Speed
You may need to stream online video conferences and upload large business documents while your children video chat with teachers and submit homework through the web. This heavy data usage could affect WiFi performance depending on your internet plan. Also, the additional number of connected devices in the home and how they are used could slow down the in-home network.
Make sure you have enough internet bandwidth to handle this additional traffic. If your internet does not seem to be firing on all cylinders, it may be time to assess your internet plan and see if you need more bandwidth to support all the new connected gadgets and their increased use. In general, 100 – 200 Mbps should support up to eight devices at a time with multi-device streaming and downloading large files.
These three easy tips should help remedy any in-home WiFi speed and coverage concerns. If you find you are still having trouble, contact your internet service provider to further trouble shoot and find a solution. To learn more about all Comcast is doing in response to COVID-19, click here.
Rob Ponto is a PRSA Detroit member and senior manager of public relations for Comcast’s Heartland Region, which includes Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.