Mr Mac shares his top tips for optimising WiFi at home, essential while we are online schooling and working remotely
Get Tech Smart
With kids doing their school learning online and people working from home, your home WiFi has never had to work so hard. Below are three free and simple ways to keep your network running fast and smooth during these challenging times, and two extra tips that require an additional cost but are sure to make life easier.
Free ways to get fast, smooth internet service
1. Ban or limit streaming video services (Netflix, Youtube etc) during work/school hours. This keeps your bandwidth free for Zoom calls and online learning which take up a lot of network traffic. With the right router you can ban these sites within the router settings for scheduled hours. Also, if you have set up Apple’s Screen Time and/or Google’s Family Link, you can set times that these services are available on devices in your home.
2. Make sure your WiFi router is in an open space. If your router is tucked away in a corner of your home, in store cupboards, or near other devices that transmit radio signals, these will interfere with communication over the network. We suggest your router to be at eye level and in the most central place in your home as possible. You can boost your router signal with extenders, but if you want to do this we recommend future proofing by upgrading to a mesh Wifi instead (See Tip 5).
3. Turn off ‘background refresh’ on apps that you don’t use regularly on any of your devices in your home. Many of your apps on your phones and tablets are constantly accessing Wifi even when they are closed and the screen is off. This is how you get notifications from Whatsapp/Facebook/Instagram/Gmail even when they are not open. You have the option to turn this off for apps that you do not use often.
Extra Cost Tips (but guaranteed to make a big difference)
4. Upgrade yourself to Fibre Optic (if available in your area). If this is not available where you live, then we recommend looking at getting a data SIM card with unlimited data and a 4G router. This is the setup Mr Mac actually has at home, combined with a Google Nest Mesh WiFi system which has internet speeds up 55mbps upload and 19mbps download. This is far above the 6mbps his local ISP was providing.
5. The best option, which requires spending quite a bit more money, is to upgrade your home to a Mesh WiFi network for faster and smoother WiFi speeds throughout the whole house. Mesh networks can increase your home speeds up to 40% without upgrading your ISP plan. This is the tip with the greatest results for optimising your home network. This upgrade also future proofs your system in case we end up in lockdown again or for a longer period.
If all this seems a bit daunting then get Mr Mac to come round to help you optimise your digital/online life and take one less stress away during these unprecedented times.
For more information, check out Mr. Mac online or contact him.
Whatsapp 6873 9880
For advice on managing your child’s online learning schedule here
More on Internet Safety here https://www.commonsensemedia.org/privacy-and-internet-safety