Remote Connectivity Tips

for Virtual Learning

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As e-learning and working from home continues, we are all managing needs through technology and connectivity.  Here are some key tips and suggestions to help get the most out of home connectivity and network performance in our current environment.

 

Tips and Suggestions for Broadband and Wi-Fi Connectivity Performance:

 

  • Video services (streaming) often cause the largest bandwidth consumption in our homes.  When combined with Video/Audio meetings, performance can degrade.  To avoid performance issues, stop and exit streaming services like Netflix before turning off your TV. This will ensure features like auto play won't continue to stream and use data when you're not watching.

  • During a teleconference, switch to lower video quality or turn off your video if the video feature is not needed.

  • If you have security cameras connected to your network, check the video quality settings.  Some cameras default to the highest quality setting which may use significant data/bandwidth. Lower the quality setting on security cameras to reduce data usage while still maintaining acceptable video quality.

  • Distance can sometimes contribute to poor connectivity performance.  If possible, position your router in the room in which you use Wi-Fi the most, preferably on the same floor of the home.  Additionally, ensure the router is as high as possible vs. on the floor or a low shelf to get the best signal strength spread.

  • Another obstacle is Wi-Fi competition.  Routers operate on one of two channels:  2.4GHz or 5GHz. Unfortunately, other 2.4 GHz wireless devices can disrupt your Wi-Fi signal strength.  Items such as cordless phones, baby monitors, and some microwaves can cause interference in your Wi-Fi network.  Keep the router at a distance from competing devices to avoid this.

  • Wi-Fi is all about bandwidth. The more devices that connect, the slower the speeds will be. Certain devices like computers or TVs usually use more bandwidth than mobile phones and tablets depending on the content.

    • When not in use, turn off unused devices such as laptops, tablets, computers, and TVs.  Certain applications may silently use bandwidth.  Look at your device settings and determine which platforms are running in the background. When possible, disable these configurations.

    • Setup device prioritization on your router to allocate bandwidth priority to school and work traffic.

    • Newer routers were designed to provide faster speeds (802.11n specification) and have “dual band” capabilities (meaning the router has a 2.4GHz channel and a 5GHz channel).  It is helpful to separate devices by creating an SSID for 2.4GHz, and for 5GHz.  Priority devices (such as the student Chromebook) should be strategically placed accordingly.  For example, place the student device on a different channel than a parent device if Video/Audio conferencing will be occurring simultaneously.

    • The 2.4GHz channel is a signal that will go further distances with less internet speeds while, the 5GHz channel has higher internet speeds with less distance.

  • Ensure all connections from the router/modem to the wall and any router antennas are tight to get the best signal strength.

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