Work anywhere – wifi woes?
Are you swearing at your wifi yet? With an increased number of us at home, some of us trying to work from home but other members of the house hold prioritising Netflix of Spotify over all others. How do you work?
Given any budget and time we can create a perfect solution to this but unfortunately time and budget is finite and onsite work is out of the question during the current climate of isolation.
I’m going to over simplify troubleshooting your wifi but give you some solid steps to improve it:
Step 1 – how big is your pipe?
Do you know how much internet is coming into your house? Download speed AND upload speed?
Run a speed test: https://www.speedtest.net
- Less than 10? Change to fibre if at all possible! For any kind of modern remote working setup this is going to be challenging – even if you live in a one person household
- 10 or above? Great your are in an ok position
- 20 or above – getting better
- 30 or above, lovely! Let’s move onto upload!
This is actually the most important figure if you want to work from home!
- Less than 2, this is normal but terrible for…. making calls, cloud backups, sending anything. Remember upload is the speed to get stuff from your computer to another.
- between 2 and 10, this is going to make a huge difference
- above 10, cooking on gas! You’ve got Fibre!
In an ideal world, I would recommend at least 20mbps up & download… if it is available!
Step 2 – don’t use Wifi
Yep, that’s right – wireless is still not a perfect solution. If you can, use an ethernet cable.
Using a cable makes the single biggest difference to internet based calls (Skype, Teams, Zoom) and video conferencing. Wifi can still have tiny “dropouts” which is what can cause crazy voices, blurry images or dropped calls when video calling! The cable eliminates this and they are cheap – chances are you have on in that draw!
Step 3 – if wifi is our only option
There have been lots of supposed solutions for improving wifi over the years (Power line adapters). They are “ok” but if your pipe into the house is slow already these really are not going to help!
As I said before, keeping this simple – the way forward is a “meshed” network.
Your first port of call should be your broadband provider (BT, Sky, Virgin). Ask them about Meshed network routers they provide. This saves headache down the road if you need support.
If this isn’t an option (or you have a slight geeky inclination), then here are a few of the mesh networks I like:
How many base stations you need depends on the size of your house. There are many available – always happy to talk through your specific requirements before you purchase.
The best part? The setup is super easy as long as you are ok downloading apps – Can you remember your password? 🙂 You don’t need a geek for this but if you get stuck, I’m on the end of a phone
Why spend all this money?
Spending money on Wifi can seem crazy right? It’s just at home and my “free” router is just fine?
There is nothing wrong with the above, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?!
However if you are reading this, chances are you want to improve something. Don’t think of the home environment as simple as far as IT requirements go.
If there are 4 of you in the house, chances are:
- you each have a phone
- +/- a tablet
- +/- a laptop
- A couple of smart TV’s
- Smart home devices? Hive, Power, Phillips Hue, Alexa
Well that soon adds up to 20-30 devices per household…. a “home” or “free” router isn’t going to cope with that number of devices.
I hope this help a little, just remember – cables are still king!!