Demands on home internet continue to increase. Social media, IoT (Internet of Things), remote work requirements, and the call to “cut the cable TV cord” are taxing home internet capacity. In response, internet service providers (ISPs) are delivering faster data rates to quench our internet thirst. However, are you maximizing your home internet performance with an efficient home network? The following are some tips on how to get the most value from internet contracts and keep your family happy.
While all ISPs offer multiple tiers of service, the goal is to get the fastest speed for the lowest price. 30 Mbps – 50 Mbps should be considered the minimum for acceptable performance. Premium packages offering upward of 100 Mbps – 300 Mbps are available in many areas. Beware of deals that feature an asymmetric connection where downloading is fast, but uploading is slow. For some uses, such as general web surfing or heavy media streaming, asymmetric internet is acceptable and may save you money. However, if photo upload or online backup performance is important to you, select the plan that provides the fastest upload speed you need. Note that internet services can often be unbundled from TV or landline telephone, making it possible to shop multiple ISPs for optimal service.
Consider the equipment that distributes internet to devices inside your home. Wi-Fi has become the standard for home networking (although cabled Ethernet is faster and more reliable). If a mid-quality Wi-Fi router was included in the ISP’s package, replacing it with a higher performance model may boost internet speed to connected devices. For large homes or expansive back yards, add a range extender or a radio-meshing product to stretch signal delivery into hard to reach areas.
Check the Wi-Fi router settings. Today’s best practices encourage 802.11AC and 802.11N protocols for general use. 802.11B devices use outdated security protocols and, therefore, should be avoided. Regardless of Wi-Fi protocol, signal is delivered over “channels” across the radio spectrum. Configure the router for automatic channel selection, unless congestion is suspected on the default channel. Detailed analysis may be needed to fully optimize the Wi-Fi radio setup.
Use Windes’ internet speed test to check download and upload speeds. Run this test from multiple devices (phones and computers) in various locations around the home. Once optimal performance is confirmed, maintain the Wi- Fi router by rebooting once a month and applying any software patches available.
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Norm DuBow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 844.4WINDES (844.494.6337).