5 tips to improve your home internet

March 20, 2020

With the impending lockdown due to COVID19, it is expected a lot of people will be using home internet for work and entertainment. This will put some stress on the telecommunications networks and could impact internet speeds. Whilst the speed will always depend on your provider, your modem and your internet package (eg, ADSL or NBN), here are a few tips on how to improve your internet connection at home.

1. Security – before we do anything, security should be your number 1 priority. Make sure you have a secure password and consider changing it (but you’ll need to change it on all devices using it). You don’t want your neighbours pinching your internet!

2. Location – make sure your modem is placed in a central open area and not too far from your computer. If you have metal, wood or concrete walls between your modem and your computer, this can decrease your wifi signal. You might have “black spots” in your home so walk around and test your speeds in different locations – you can test your speed online here – https://www.speedtest.net/

If you have a poor signal, you can also get a wifi extender/booster or a wifi adapter that plugs into your laptop to pick up the signal better.

The best way to boost your internet is to ditch wifi and go “wired” by plugging in an ethernet cable between your modem and your computer – cable connections are always stronger than wifi.

3. Sharing – if your housemates are also working off the same wifi, this will reduce your speeds. For example, if your child is watching a movie on Netflix on the TV or another device this will hugely impact speeds for other devices using wifi. Consider negotiating times with your housemates when you need to have priority access to your internet.

Also make sure you don’t have interference with other devices like your smart TV, cordless phones, baby monitors, security systems. Consider disconnecting other devices if you don’t need them – turn off the TV while you do a video conference, or unplug the baby monitor and security system during the day.

4. Go Mobile – the mobile network is another way to get access to the internet. This uses mobile towers for internet connection, rather than the copper/fibre internet connection that your home does. Depending on the mobile reception in your area/home, this could be a better option. There are a few ways you can use mobile broadband:

· Use your smartphone as a “mobile hotspot”

· Use an iPad or Android tablet with a SIM card in it

· Use a mobile broadband device – this could be a wifi or USB (aka “dongle”) device

5. Upgrade – if you’re on NBN, most home packages are on a basic 10mbps package but most providers allow you to upgrade your plan to a higher speed package – usually 50mbps and 100mbps.

You can also look at upgrading your modem – this can provide increased speeds even on a slower plan – however you should check with your internet provider what are the recommended modems.

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