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We rely on the Internet for everything from communication to file storage and e-commerce so it not surprising that less than optimal speeds can make things go haywire. Slow internet is a sure way to frustrate workers, reduce productivity and impact profitability. The upload and download speeds in your office depend on several factors.
- The Internet plan you signed up for
- The type of connection your internet service provider offers
- The quality of your route
- The age and specs of your computers
There are some things you won’t be able to change unless you switch to another plan or another ISP. For example, if your current provider does not yet offer fiber optic connections in your area, you will be stuck with a slower DSL service. It’s also possible that you signed up for a low-cost plan when you had only two employees and a few clients. Now that your business has grown, you will need a new plan. There are also other considerations like how many users are logged on at any one time, the tasks they’re performing and the websites they’re visiting. However, before you change plans or providers, see what you can do to optimize your current situation.
Perform Multiple Speed Tests
People tend to perform speed tests only when the Internet seems painfully slow. However, the best practice is to conduct multiple tests at different times of the day over a period of time. This will allow you to track how your speed fluctuates. You can then determine whether your speeds are linked to specific tasks, the number of people logged on, a generally poor router or ISP problems.
Get a High-Quality Router
Wi-Fi routers come at varying price points and the cheapest one is probably not the best one. Even if your internet service provider is offering high speeds, a poor router can cause connectivity problems. If you’ve had your router for a while, check to make sure it hasn’t become outdated and inefficient. If you’re buying a new one, do your research to make sure it will meet your current needs. The speed of a router is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Speeds range from 54 Mbps at the lower end to more than one gigabyte per second or 1,000 Mbps. A faster router is better but it won’t be able to surpass the speeds offered by your ISP. Another thing you need to consider is the router’s technology standard which indicates the possible speed range. 802.11g is the most basic while 802.11n allows faster speeds and 802.11ac is at the upper end.
Make Sure Your Wireless Router is in the Best Position
If your computers are far away from the router, the signal will be weaker and the Internet will be slower. If your office is small you may need to rearrange the layout so the important devices are closer to the router. Larger offices will need multiple routers to ensure adequate coverage. You also need to make sure there are no objects between the routers and the devices. Placing your router behind the office plant or a stack of files can shorten the range of the Wi-Fi. So too can walls. Your Wi-Fi signal can also be blocked by non-tangible things like radio frequencies. Microwaves are common culprits so monitor to see if your internet speeds are reduced when people are heating meals during the lunch period.
Reduce the Load on Your Network
Gone are the days when only computers were connected to the Internet. Phones, printers, security systems and several other types of devices may be connected. Try reducing the number of devices connected to the home network and see if this makes a difference in your speed. Another thing to consider is that workers are probably using the office Wi-Fi for their personal devices. They may be downloading movies or music or uploading vacation photos. Your Internet plan and router may be adequate for work-related tasks but these personal activities may be slowing down your Wi-Fi.
Schedule Major Downloads or Uploads
If you need to send a large project to a client or download a large file, it may be best to do this at the time when you get your best speeds. Once you’ve done your speed tests, you’ll know exactly when this is. It may be early in the morning before the office is fully populated or in the evening when most people have gone home. This means you’ll be able to use your usual office hours to complete your tasks instead of simply trying to get the initial material you need.
Slow internet doesn’t have to bring business to a halt. Take the time to investigate why your connection is slow then use these simple tips to make optimize your Internet connection.
Author Bio: Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org She loves to write latest technology trends and loves to share her knowledge through her articles.