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Blog Home Life at Appen   •   August 2, 2018

How To Get The Best Internet Connection In Your Home Office

A work-from-home job gives you the chance to work when and where you want to. With the right tools and a proactive attitude, a flexible job is a great way to add to your income. As a remote worker, your computer is an essential tool for communicating and completing your tasks. Here are ten tips on how to get the best internet connection in your home office.

1. Test the speed of your connection

The strength of your internet connection can be monitored through upload speeds and download speeds. A simple test can reveal a weak connection. When you run a test, connect an ethernet cable from the modem directly to the computer. This will help you assess the true speed of your internet connection, and not just the wifi in your home network. Limit any background activity such as applications and file downloads. And don’t browse the web during the test. You can compare your results with the terms of service provided to you by your internet service provider (ISP). If the connection speed doesn’t meet your expectations, this could indicate an opportunity for different types of network improvement. If it’s an issue with your service, contact your ISP to find a solution.

2. Reset the modem or wireless router

Sometimes your wireless equipment just needs a break. Continuous internet access may lead to overheating or processing issues. If you encounter lapses in connection with the network, try resetting your device. If the problem persists, you may need to contact your ISP for individualized attention. Make sure to follow the installation and start-up instructions included with your device.

Internet equipment on a desk

3. Eliminate sources of interference

Your connection may suffer due to environmental factors around the equipment. If the box is poorly placed in your home, the strength of the signal can be affected. Try placing the router in a central location that is up high on a wall or shelf. Wireless network signals spread most strongly in a downward direction from the router. Avoid placing your equipment near microwaves or televisions as these signals can interfere with your internet connection. Thick walls made of concrete or brick may also inhibit your wireless router. Make sure to position the wifi router antennas correctly and regularly clean the modem to keep dust from accumulating inside the hardware.

4. Use the recommended network settings

Your connection is unique and will work best with the frequencies for which it is designed. Check with your ISP to make sure you have the correct channels and frequency settings. You can also adjust frequencies to optimise your connection. Make sure your electronic devices are optimized to operate on the same frequencies as your wifi router.

5. Anticipate the internet rush hour

The internet is like a highway. Multiple devices mean that backups can occur depending on the amount of users. During internet rush hour, connection speeds might suffer and performance could be slower than usual. You may have experienced this when using your mobile device in-and-around large crowds. This can become particularly frustrating while video conferencing or streaming video. The rush hours vary, but are generally between 7pm and 11pm. Try to work outside of these hours if connection speed is an essential part of your tasks.

6. Scan your computer for viruses or malware

For general maintenance, you should perform regular system scans for viruses. The health of your computer affects its overall performance, including the function of applications and the internet. If your computer is infected by viruses or malware, you might experience delays or an inability to connect entirely. By doing a scan, you’re making sure your computer is safe and able to operate without any obstacles inhibiting its performance.

7. Close or uninstall any apps that are not in use

Programs and apps take up a lot of space on a computer’s hard drive. A lack of storage space affects processing time and could result in a slowed internet connection. By managing your disk usage efficiently, you can optimize internal processes that influence the speed of your system. This improves the overall performance of your device and its connection to wireless networks.

Person on laptop holding a credit card

8. Change and update your browser

Web browsers play a big role in your user experience. Depending on your job tasks, different portals may not be optimised for the features you rely on. Certain platforms may have trouble loading particular types of digital content or specific elements on a web page. It’s also possible that the program is out-of-date. If you’re experiencing issues with your user experience, try using a different browser or checking for updates to your current one.

9. Upgrade your equipment

Equipment degrades over time and old technology becomes obsolete. As improvements to wireless systems become available, it’s necessary to update your equipment so that it can function with the latest frequencies and signals. Newer modems are also more efficient thanks to improvements to internet infrastructure made by your ISP. To have a wider range of connection in your home office, you can also install a range extender. This is particularly helpful in multi-story homes, and homes with thick walls and insulation.

10. Make sure your wifi network is secure

If you share your connection with other people, the speed of your internet may decrease as the connection is split and shared. Limit the time that others can use your network or consider setting up a virtual private network (VPN). If there are unknown devices connected to your wifi, you can manage them in your network settings and only allow access to trusted devices. Another point of security is to change your wifi password regularly. With a strong password, you reduce the risk of cyber threats to your computer and prevent devices outside your home from slowing down your internet speeds.

Whether you’re managing a small business, working as a Social Media Evaluator, or completing independent tasks as a Web Search Evaluator, a reliable and high speed internet connection is essential for working from home. If you experience a slow connection, try running tests to diagnose the problem. Take care of your equipment, and keep your network safe by securing your passwords and monitoring the number of devices connected to your home network.

 

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