Last Updated on 30th June 2020 by Toby Bell
With the majority of the UK workforce now working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people are doing so for the first time in their careers. This can take a bit of getting used to – check out our guide to the things you need for working from home to get the most out of your working days.
One of the biggest things to get used to about remote working is the difference between business Wi-Fi and domestic Wi-Fi. Simply put, home Wi-Fi doesn’t perform as well as business Wi-Fi. Home Wi-Fi often has restricted speeds and has a tendency to drop out, whereas business Wi-Fi has much quicker speeds, with guaranteed service and uptimes.
If you’re working from home, chances are other people in your household are doing the same, or you’re trying to keep the kids quiet with a movie. Sound familiar? With two, three, four or more members of your family accessing the internet, performance will be affected. In a lot of cases, domestic Wi-Fi can’t handle everything. Here are our tips for managing your home Wi-Fi network.
All devices connected
A few years ago, chances are you’d only access the internet on a computer. But now, it seems like every bit of tech in the home needs to connect to Wi-Fi to work! Here are just some of the devices you might have in your home that will use Wi-Fi:
- VoIP phones
- Headphones, including AirPods
- Mobile phones
- Smart TVs
- Sound systems such as Sonos
- Smart speakers such as Alexa
- Games consoles
- Smart watches
- E-readers such as Kindles
- Other IoT devices including Nest doorbells, home automation systems, lights, radiators, heating
If you have some (or all) of these types of devices in your home, they are all reducing your bandwidth, and slowing you down. Do a quick quiz at home and try to find out how many devices you have that are connected!
What’s more, when multiple devices are in use, live streaming will have a massive impact. This includes Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, iPlayer and more. And if you have gamers at home, online gameplay will use a significant amount of bandwidth.
How to manage your home Wi-Fi
There are a few things you can do to manage your home Wi-Fi. Here are some suggestions:
1. Turn off devices you’re not using
If there’s something in your home that’s connected to the internet and you’re not using it at the moment, turn it off or unplug it. Have you got an Echo in your bedroom but you’re working in the kitchen? Switch it off until you need it. Streaming internet radio? Listen instead on a DAB radio while you work. Reducing the number of devices in use while you’re working should help your connection. When you’ve finished for the day you can turn them all back on!
2. Internet rota
This is more relevant if there are lots of people in the house at the same time. Suggest a family detox from the internet and see how much quicker it is for you! It’s particularly useful if you’ve got a day with lots of video conference calls where you can’t afford to have any downtime. Set some rules for when others need to do something that doesn’t involve the internet, and why not reward kids with their favourite film at the end of the working day for good behaviour?
3. Wired over wireless
If your Wi-Fi is proving to be too unstable, you could always try connecting your computer to your router through an ethernet cable, establishing a wired connection. Its generally a quicker connection, but doesn’t have the convenience of wireless internet. But if you’re staying in the same place to work this wont matter! If you need a cable, we recommend a long ethernet cable and suggest a 3, 5 or 10-meter cable, depending on how far away you are from your router. You can get them online – this is a link to an example we found on Amazon.
Wi-Fi performance on a home network is unlikely to ever be as strong as it is in an office setting. But if you’re able to limit the amount of internet traffic at home during your peak business hours you should see considerable improvement. If you’d like to discuss anything you’ve read here, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch with ACUTEC today.