Checking and Optimizing Your Home Internet Connection

Introduction

Working remotely? Understanding your internet connection capacity is an important component to a successful remote work experience. This article will provide information and best practices when it comes to internet connections. See our Article - Working From Home with the ... (teamdynamix.com) for more guidance regarding working from home.

Weak wi-fi signal or a poor broadband internet provider -- meaning less than 15 Mb/s download speeds, 5 Mb/s upload speed, or high latency -- can make it difficult to work remotely. 

Testing Your Service At Home

It is recommended you test your internet service to make sure you are ready to work. We recommend using the free speedtest.net . This provides an end-to-end test of all the factors affecting your device’s connection: your internet provider, your home network setup, and the device you’re on.

When you run Speedtest, there is an option to choose a server to test against -- we recommend picking Purdue (West Lafayette or Terre Haute, IN – Joink, LLC), both of which approximate a connection to Indiana State University. For best results, you’ll want at a minimum:

  • 15 megabit per second (Mb/s) or better download speed 
  • 5 megabit per second (Mb/s) or better upload speed 
  • A ‘ping time’ of less than 75 millisecond

If you are not reaching the levels described here, think about whether it might be your in-home set-up, or your Internet provider.  Guidance for assessing each one is provided below.

Do You Have Adequate Service?

First, consider whether your internet provider is up to the task. Depending on where you live, not all of these options are available to you.

  • Fiber and cable internet providers (such as Spectrum, NewWave, Joink, etc.) generally offer the highest quality connection and will work well for remote work. 
  • service is a generally lower-quality service but is the best choice for some rural neighborhoods and homes. This service is provided usually by a local telephone service provider like Frontier Communications.
  • A cellular hotspot may work, depending on the strength of the cellular coverage in your area, but often restricts how much bandwidth you can consume. 
  • broadband (HughesNet, etc.) and dial-up internet options won’t work well for access to Indiana State University resources.

Is Your Home Connection Set Up in the Best Way?

After the internet provider you use, the next most important factor is how you connect to the network within a house or other location. Three things to consider, ranked from most important to least.

  • If possible, directly connecting to the internet router or access point via a wired (Ethernet) cable will provide the best quality, especially for audio/video applications like Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, WebX or Zoom. 
    • If you connect via Ethernet, you don’t need to worry about wi-fi quality.
  • If you need to use wi-fi, the quality of your wireless connection will significantly impact your overall internet quality.
    • Avoid having two or more walls or one floor between your computer and your home’s internet router/access point. 
    • Houses larger than 1,500 square feet or so (depending on layout and building materials) will usually need multiple wireless access points for good house-wide coverage.
    • If you’re using the wireless access point that came with your internet connection, note that these often have average to poor coverage.
    • Consider installing a newer wi-fi access point, or wi-fi mesh networks that cover your home with multiple access points.
  • Wi-fi signals are transmitted at two different frequency modes: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 2.4 GHz is an older technology; it’s more prone to interference and runs at slower speeds. 
    • For best results, make sure your computer is using 5 GHz wi-fi; then, disable 2.4 GHz on your router and update other devices on your network to use only 5 GHz.

 

Was this helpful?
0 reviews

Details

Article ID: 102353
Created
Fri 3/20/20 2:16 PM
Modified
Tue 8/3/21 10:28 AM