Getting the most from your Broadband when working from home

02 Apr 2020

Working from home? We are too! Our new found office spaces present a number of challenges - not least of which is a sluggish wifi connection. The good news is there are some easy fixes everyone can use to get an instant boost. Follow our guide below to make sure you're getting the most out of your broadband.

Cat and laptop

1. Use a Wi-Fi extender to reach areas of your house most appropriate for working 

As broadband technology gets better and better, we are finding that devices can successfully connect to Wi-Fi further and further from the router. However it is still possible that your house has Wi-Fi blackspots, which may inconveniently be in the place that would best suit your working from home office space. This is where Wi-Fi extenders come in. There is a vast market of extenders available which can boost and enhance your Wi-Fi. Many companies including Netgear and TP-Link sell top of the line extenders for low costs.
 

2. Turn off HD streaming to ensure your internet is a fast as possible

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Many streaming services now offer HD streaming as part and parcel of their service. Whilst this can help immerse yourself in the latest movies and TV shows, it can also take up a significant amount of your Wi-Fi’s bandwidth. Turning off HD streaming will help maximise how fast your Wi-Fi is, and thus allowing you to work at a greater speed. This way if one of the members of your household wants to stream whilst you are working, there will be less impact on your internet speed.
 

3. Use an ethernet cable if possible, for the best connectivity

The beauty of wireless internet allows us to move all over the house and still have access to the internet. Whilst wireless signal has improved in recent years, connecting your device directly to the broadband router using an ethernet cable still provides the quickest connection. There are circumstances where this may not be possible, e.g. if your router is in an inappropriate place to work or your device does not have an ethernet port (which is becoming more frequent in newer models of laptops), however if it can be done then this is definitely more optimal than using wireless connection.

How to check my broadband speed

4. Think about upgrading to superfast broadband such as fibre optic

Many broadband packages around the UK run off the older ADSL copper phone lines which, whilst effective, do not provide the fastest broadband speeds. However, some packages, such as Virgin super-fast fibre optic, run on the newer fibre network which are able to deliver high-speed data at a faster pace. This means your internet speed will be significantly improved, from an average of 11Mbps with ADSL to an average of 40-50Mbps with fibre. Whilst this upgrade previously came at a high cost, prices have diminished in recent years and have never been cheaper. Upgrading will not only increase the speed at which you work, but also speed up your digital life away from work

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5. Position your appliances so that there is minimal interference with your broadband’s signal 

Ofcom recently provided advice to households across the country to avoid using certain appliances whilst working, and if possible position them away from your router. These devices include microwaves, cordless phones, stereos, and TVs. Whilst broadband does allow for effective working across many households, issues can occur when using other devices that emit interference to Wi-Fi signal. This interference, whilst usually unnoticed, can cause slow your connection when using Wi-Fi calling for work on programs such as Skype, or when trying to do other tasks involving significant bandwidth. Minimise this interference by having a clear path between your router and your work device.

You can check your internet speed for free using Hoppy’s broadband speed test below.

 

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