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The alarm goes off. You roll out of bed, brush your teeth and get the top half of yourself looking presentable for that big video conference with the boss. But just as you start to present the report you’ve worked so hard on, your computer screen freezes and the video call drops. You’ve fallen victim to your home’s weak Wi-Fi once again. The good news: you’re not alone. The better news: there are tools to help boost your bandwidth that are quick, easy and best of all – free!
Signals Stretched Thin
A recent survey by Navisite of U.S. company executives and IT professionals revealed that employee’s poor internet bandwidth at home is the number one pain point in this new remote working world. Your Wi-Fi may have worked fine in a pre-pandemic existence. But now, there could be multiple adults as well as school-aged kids all fighting for bits of that same signal. Not to mention all of the other smart devices in your home you may have forgotten about.
“So many homes have so many connected devices, and a lot of people don’t even realize how many connected devices they have,” explained Navisite’s CEO, Mark Clayman. “They have printers that are wireless, everyone in the house has their phones, there’s the Amazon Alexas and Echoes, and obviously your kids – whether they have Xbox or PlayStation or something like that – they’re all chewing up bandwidth.”
The Need for Speed
But before you throw your router out the window, there are some easy troubleshooting tools that can help get your Wi-Fi in working order.
First, you need to find out exactly what you’re dealing with. This can be done by running a simple internet speed test with Yahoo Plus Protect Wi-Fi Speed Test. With a simple click and within a matter of seconds it tests your internet's download speed and upload speed. The results are a measurement of current connection speeds based on the device, location, and connection type where you run the test.
So what are upload and download speeds, exactly?
Upload speed is how fast information travels from your connected device to the internet. This includes sending emails and those endless video calls. Download speed is how fast information travels from the internet to your device. That includes things like streaming videos and music or accessing that large file from work.
In general, you want your download speed to be at least 25 Mbps, that’s megabits of data per second. And while an upload speed of 3 Mbps is considered acceptable, if you do a lot of group video calls for work, you may want that number to be higher.
With the Yahoo Plus Protect Wi-Fi Speed Test, you’ll also take a brief quiz to learn whether you have the right Wi-Fi speed for your household’s needs, get tips for increasing your Wi-Fi speed and if you need it, information to talk one-on-one with an expert for added support.
4 ways to make your Zoom meetings go more smoothly
Here are some top tips to take stock of your Wi-Fi signal:
1. Run the speed test during peak usage hours and in a variety of areas around your house to get an idea of where the strongest signals are. If your download speeds are less than half of what you see listed on your internet provider’s bill, then there could be room for improvement.
2. Hardwiring your computer to your router with an Ethernet cable is your best bet. But if this is not possible, try setting up shop in close proximity to your router. Make sure it’s a location with as few obstructions as possible such as doors, floors and microwaves that can cause signal interference.
3. During video calls, close all other programs and applications that are running on your computer and pause any files that may be uploading or downloading.
4. And if it’s a really important meeting, insist that others in the house stop down on data-intensive activities such as gaming or streaming movies.
Fix Your W-Fi Now. Working from home could be here to stay
According to Navisite’s report, just 14 percent of U.S. companies had more than half of their employees working from home before the pandemic hit. Now, more than 60 percent of those companies have the majority of their workforce operating remotely. And although coronavirus vaccines are beginning to roll out across the country, working from home could be here to stay.
“I think companies are starting to realize that this an environment – a work from home situation – that is sustainable, and I think companies are looking at their physical office locations, and really taking a hard look at, ‘can I sustain a work from home environment even after COVID-19 is over?’” says Clayman. “I think we’re going to see a lot more of that in 2021 and beyond. This will just be a natural way for employees to work.”
In other words, you may need to reconsider that Band-Aid approach you’ve taken with your home Wi-Fi for the past nine months. And instead, take the time is now to find the right tools and support you need for long term success while working at home.
“Set yourself up with a more dedicated office space, a separate monitor instead of looking at a smaller screen on a PC, updating your security policies now, locking down your home network,” suggests Clayman. “Take a day now to build a better policy for your own house and build a more comfortable environment so you can work more efficiently as well, too.”
Shop it: Want Wi-Fi support for all of your connected devices? Check out Yahoo Plus Protect WiFi Speed Test
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