Is it slow, programs not responding, or audio/visual choppy? Working from home places a great deal of pressure on your home network and connection. Let’s see what we can do to improve this.
The first thing we need is to see what your speed is compared to what you are paying. There are many services for this but a fast one is called http://fast.com. This is a free service that tests your internet speed. If you click on “more information” it will show you your latency.
Now let us say that you have paid for a 1000MBs Verizon FIOS account. This is what I have paid for. The speed test shows you are getting 70mbps. Is this a problem? In my opinion yes. You should be getting close to what you are paying for most of the time. Another important number is latency. If your latency is more than 300ms you will experience reliability problems with audio/visual and things like remote computers like Amazon Workspaces. So to fix that, we have a variety of solutions.
One solution is to buy a better internet package that promises higher speed and smaller latency. Your ISP can give you their options. Latency can also happen due to your equipment. So if you have fast internet and the ISP says their latency to your router/WAP is low, then the problem is your equipment. I wrote an earlier article about how upgrading to Wi-Fi6 was worth it. I wrote there that buying newer equipment resulted in a 30% improvement in internet speed for me with the same internet connection. It also decreased my latency and if you have latency often buying a newer WAP/Wifi will fix that.
I have helped many coworkers with their network issues and it usually turns out that buying new equipment is the quickest fix to this. Temporary fixes are to ask the roommate or family member to not watch Netflix or play games during the workday. However, most people don’t want to put limitations on others. Another temporary fix is to move as close to your WAP/router as possible. This also reduces latency. Still, these are short-term solutions and not ideal.
As WAP/routers age they can also become slower. If your equipment is older than 5 years, it is time to upgrade. The internet can be fast, you just have to invest so that it works the best it can for you.