Submitted by Nick McDonald, Comcast.
Many families who’ve transitioned to working and learning from home have had to make technology adjustments, particularly around their internet service. Expanding WiFi signals, placing the router and modem in the most ideal location, ensuring all software is up to date and cables are tight to name a few.
Even a quick scroll through our local social media channels will demonstrates a frustration with in-home Wi-Fi.
And while organizations like Comcast and CenturyLink play a major role in supporting connectivity… you don’t need to be a cable technician to take control of your in-home Wi-Fi destiny, and set yourself up for the best internet connectivity at home for their whole family.
Here are five simple steps anyone can take to improve internet performance:
- Coverage is Key. Depending on the size of your house, you may also benefit from WiFi extenders. If your new workspace is in the basement or a spare bedroom, an extender expands the WiFi signal to those harder-to-reach areas. For example, Comcast and Xfinity has just introduced a new version of its WiFi extenders, xFi Pods, which help families and households elevate their WiFi experience by creating a wall-to-wall mesh network that seamlessly extends coverage throughout their homes. The new xFi Pod is equipped with a tri-band WiFi radio capable of delivering high speeds to more connected devices and works with your xFi Gateway to extend WiFi coverage. It also includes two ethernet ports, allowing customers to connect directly to the device if desired.
- Location. Location. Location. Where you locate your internet modem and router (together called a gateway) within your home can affect how far the WiFi signal travels. For the strongest and furthest connection, put your internet equipment in a central, elevated location so devices throughout your home can be reached. Treat this equipment like a lamp. Avoid hiding it under the stairs, in a bookcase, in the basement, or on the ground where the WiFi signal cannot penetrate as far. Also, placing your internet equipment next to a window broadcasts your signal outside.
- The Need for Speed. You may need to stream online video conferences and upload large business documents while your children video chat with teachers and submit homework through the web. This heavy data usage could affect WiFi performance depending on your internet plan. Also, the additional number of connected devices in the home and how they are used could slow down the in-home network. Make sure you have enough internet bandwidth to handle this additional traffic. If your internet does not seem to be firing on all cylinders, it may be time to assess your internet plan and see if you need more bandwidth to support all the new connected gadgets and their increased use. In general, 100 – 200 Mbps should support up to eight devices at a time with multi-device streaming and downloading large files.
- Ensure software is up to date. Just like a mobile phone or laptop, internet equipment sometimes needs to download updates from the internet. It’s good practice to power cycle this equipment every so often. Simple unplug the unit from the electrical outlet, wait one minute, and then plug it back in. While the unit boots up, it may download and install updates.
- Tighten all cables. Make sure cable going into your internet equipment or cable TV boxes are finger tight. A loose cable can cause signal leakage, which can lead to signal interference that can give you network issues inside the home.
If you find you are still having trouble, contact your internet service provider to further trouble shoot and find a solution.