A slow Internet connection should be the least of our worries. With so much of our life at work and at home dependent on the internet, this most minor of inconveniences can be one of the most frustrating experiences in modern computing. Here are a few important factors to consider to make sure your business and home are well connected.
Identifying an Internet Provider and Speed
Most businesses and homes have multiple options for Internet service providers (ISP) and speeds. These include Verizon FIOS, Comcast, and others. Perhaps your plan is outdated. If you haven’t made inquiries with them into your service options, you should. You may find that there is a better option for you available. You should select a speed based on:
- Number of devices that are connected to the internet,
- How much data you are transferring,
- How fast you need to upload and download files, and
- The fastest connection that falls within your budget.
Connect to Your Network via Hardwire
For fastest performance, we always recommend plugging your laptop or workstation into an Ethernet connection. This simple step will always provide a faster connection to the Internet than is possible via wireless connection. It’s sometimes surprising when we see clients that have an Ethernet connection available at a given desk, and the person chooses to run wirelessly anyway. If you are going to be sitting at a desk, it is to your benefit to use the wired connection if available.
Choosing the Correct Wireless Device
Of course as you travel through an office or your home, it’s likely you’re connecting your laptop wirelessly. If that performance seems slow, it may be due to the wireless device you are using. Older wireless access points (WAP) may be limited in speed and security capabilities. This may be an easy item to upgrade for better performance. You should also evaluate the options with the same four points above.
Placement of Your Wireless Device(s)
Something else to consider, is where you place your WAP(s). Where practical, we always install wireless devices as central to an office or home as possible. We typically mount them to a ceiling or other high location. Some companies we meet have wireless devices near the end of their office, or sitting on a desk, or hidden in a closet. The signal broadcast will be widest when mounted higher, and obviously the more central the location, then the better coverage.
Chances are, your WAP operates at a frequency of 2.4GHz. It’s possible that your microwave, cordless phones or other devices also operate at 2.4GHz. The more devices you have that function at the same frequency in the area, the more interference there will be to deal with. If there are other businesses or residential users in the area, their network could cause some difficulties in yours as well. If your WAP works with other frequencies, it will also try to find the clearest channel when it is rebooted, minimizing interference.
Here at Howard Tech, we are always shopping for quality, affordable, and optimal service. If you need any advice on any of these, ISP, Internet speed, selecting a WAP, and more, feel free to reach out to us.
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