Now that virtually everyone is working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting internet traffic patterns and capacity needs, the WiFi connection speed has become the new most valuable currency for many organisations.
There’s nothing worse than being on an important video call or presenting a webinar then suddenly you’re disconnected because your internet signal dropped. Or even if it didn’t drop completely, the connection becomes weak and now you’re scrambling through your house trying to find a decent connection.
The question now, how can the average professional boost their home connectivity without spending a fortune?
1. Find the best place for your WiFi router
Before your next Zoom meeting with your peers, take the time to walk around your home, with your router in hand, to figure out where you will get the best connection based on your home’s WiFi configuration. If your strongest signal is in the bathroom, you’ll probably want to know that in advance. Just remember to avoid placing your router close to metal objects and appliances that emit electromagnetic waves. Metal is the main disrupter of a WiFi signal, which easily creates a large dead zone.
2. Ensure your router is always updated
Since many of us are glued to the news with this pandemic, you’ve heard about the growing number of large-scale malware attacks that are costing businesses and individuals alike billions every year. Once any malware infects a router, it can steal bandwidth and spread itself across the network to other devices. Many of these attacks wouldn’t be possible if all routers were kept updated.
|To check if your router is running the newest firmware available through the following steps:
3. Adjust your household’s consumption habits to reduce bandwidth needs
Observe your family’s or housemates activities over the next few days and see where you may be over-consuming the WiFi’s bandwidth unnecessarily. Such as when streaming a video on anyone’s smartphone, do they need the highest resolution or can you choose standard definition?
As the self-quarantine continues, consider deleting bandwidth guzzling apps while working from home from 9 to 5.
If you have children at home, ask them to sit together to watch a video on one screen rather than having each in their room consuming massive amounts of bandwidth and pre-download kids’ videos at night so there is additional bandwidth available during the day.
4. Buy a WiFi Booster
WiFi boosters amplify the existing signal before rebroadcasting it to create a second network and have a greater range – they make sense in situations where the original signal is very weak.
A good booster costs less than RM100, and it can be installed in a few minutes by any average professional since the installation process usually involves only the press of a button.
Before achieving the best performance when using a WiFi booster, it’s a good idea to use a WiFi booster app to analyse existing WiFi coverage and determine the optimal way on how to extend the existing WiFi network.
5. Explore backup connectivity options
While you can typically use your mobile phone as a backup hotspot, data may drain quickly so you might want to consider purchasing a mobile hot spot for smoother future Zoom meetings. Having that additional back up can act as a bit of an insurance policy if your WiFi network is notoriously inconsistent or your phone has limited data available. Also, remember to reach out to your internet provider to see if they’re providing enhanced data plans for little or no additional cost during this time.
Remember, it is times like these where need we keep our heads above the water for the sake of ourselves, our loved ones and our community. Keep calm and carry on the Malaysian spirit as high as you can! #StayHopefulWithIQI