It can be very frustrating dealing with slow home internet, especially when remote for your job or classes. While IMT cannot assist with all the variables that may be causing you to have glitches with video, audio or file transfers, we do have some helpful tips. The first and most important is to work with your Internet provider.
Troubleshooting Your Home Internet
- Try connecting your computer directly to your internet router using a network (ethernet) cable (instead of using Wi-Fi). The issue could be your WiFi.
- Run some speed tests (fast.com or speedtest.net) checking both download and upload speeds to compare with your plan. Discuss these with your (ISP) to see what can be done.
- Verify whether your (ISP) has posted any reports of service interruptions or performance problems. (downdetector.com)
- Follow your internet service provider's recommendations for at-home troubleshooting.
- Make sure the plan you purchased from your (ISP) is the right size for what you and others in your home need to do online concurrently. You may need to upgrade to a higher level of service.
- Call your internet service provider (ISP) (Spectrum, Frontier, AT&T etc.) for help troubleshooting home internet issues.
What if I don’t have broadband service, will my phone’s hotspot work?
Video Conferencing takes a significant amount of bandwidth (upload and download). We do not recommend attempting to use phone-based hot spot, or dedicated hotspot units with limited or throttled data caps for your primary Internet connection at home. Not only may performance be inadequate, but you could easily be throttled, or pay overages.
If you don’t have broadband service at home, Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
Best practices with what you have
A high-speed broadband internet connection is preferred. If FIOS is available in your neighborhood it tends to provide the fastest speed and reduced lag for intensive interactive applications such as video conferencing.
Several factors can contribute to poor Wi-Fi service at home. Things to consider:
- Streaming video and TV can drastically slow a connection. Consider reducing other household use of your internet bandwidth while you are working, teaching, or taking classes remotely.
- Larger neighborhoods with shared infrastructure tend to have slower connections during peak hours.
- Consider how many people on your network are doing activities that use a lot of network bandwidth, such as gaming and streaming movies and shows.
- Try connecting your computer directly to your internet router using a network (ethernet) cable (instead of using Wi-Fi). The issue may not be with your internet speed at all, but your WiFi.
- Consider whether your Wi-Fi router needs to be upgraded. Newer routers provide better speed and range. If your Wi-Fi router was provided as a rental by your internet provider, consider whether it has become out of date and whether they can provide you with a new one. Some cable modems from providers may not support the higher speeds if you have upgraded your plan. Your internet provider should also remote test and trouble-shoot and let you know.
- If your Wi-Fi is fast in some parts of your home but not in others, try moving your Wi-Fi router to a more central location in your home. If that doesn't help, you may need to consider a "mesh network" to provide better coverage. You can buy mesh networks from retailers that sell electronics.
General concepts and reminders
There are several factors that can contribute to your internet being slow. While there are too many variables to cover, here are some general concepts.
- It could be the service you are accessing. The service or application you are trying to access. In this season where much of the country (and world) is working and schooling from home, some service providers have had trouble scaling their applications. Internet backbone and cloud providers can at times run into moments of trouble.
- It could be your internet connection. Run a speed test (https://fast.com/ or https://www.speedtest.net/) to check whether your internet connection is fast.
- It could be your WiFi. Consider connecting your computer directly to your internet router using a network (ethernet) cable (instead of using Wi-Fi). The issue may not be with your internet speed at all, but your Wi-Fi. If you are in a high density housing area conflicts between neighbors Wi-Fi access points are common. First try restarting your router and Wi-Fi unit. This may cause the unit to find a new “channel” that will reduce conflicts.
- It could be the concurrent devices or activity in your home. WiFi gets slower the more devices (especially different era devices) are connected at the same time. Reduce high bandwidth applications such as video or TV streaming. Evaluate the number of devices utilizing WiFI, including things like printers.
- It could be your computer or device. Troubleshooting your device is beyond the scope of this article, but make sure you are up to date with software, and if you are experiencing a problem and haven’t before, restarting the device is always a good first step.
Here are some public guides and other helps: