Tips and Checks for Your Home Internet Network
As many of us depend more and more on our home network setup, often we overlook the maintenance and setup of making our home network fast, reliable and efficient. There are limitations based on the contract with your local ISP, however there are several steps one can take to make sure network connectivity is ideal.
Below are some tips to make sure your home network is working efficiently:
Internet Speed Testing
Having reliable internet is critical in our increasingly digital age. While wireless internet speeds have improved dramatically, the surefire way to secure top speeds and avoid spotty connections is to go with a direct, ethernet or LAN connection to your home network. Once connected, here are some ways to test the speed of your internet connection:
To ensure you're getting a good connection, you'll want internet speeds of at least 100-200 MB/s for download and 5-20 MB/s for upload. Most internet providers or local WIFI networks hit these speeds, however if not operating from a private network, you will always be at the whim of local network traffic. This is also the case with greater network traffic or outages (think a portion of a town or city all using internet during peak times, etc.).
Further Network Checks
- How old is your home internet hardware? Your modem? Your router? (or modem/router combo unit if you have one of those)?
If you are under contract with an ISP such as Comcast or Verizon, double check to make sure your equipment doesn’t need replacing due to age. If you have had your equipment for a long time (2-3 years) then maybe your ISP has newer hardware that is more up-to-date and supports newer computing hardware and network protocols.
- How often do you power cycle/reset your home internet hardware?
Often times just rebooting your router or WiFi units will resolve connectivity issues.
- How old is your computer and operating system?
If your computer is on avg older than 5 years old then you might see performance issues. Make sure you are running a more recent version of the OS. It might be time to invest in hew hardware.
- Is your home modem/router up to date with firmware? Is it using the latest ethernet or wireless network connections?
Typically, your ISP handles firmware updates on your router but if you purchase any WIFI extenders or if you purchase the router yourself you should visit the manufacturer/ISP website to check on any updates. Firmware updates will address security and stability issues.
- Verify your contract with ISP (Internet Service Provider)
Review your contract to see if your ISP doesn’t offer a better network connection package. You might be on an older contract with slower speeds.
- Some other considerations:
Is your home modem/router under warranty? If not under warranty or the hardware is old, are you considering a replacement?
Are you sharing your connection with others? You might want to consider a faster network package if multiple users are multiple devices/users are expecting to connect on a network.