Enhance your network performance, especially as increased demands are being placed on it.
Connectivity is more important now than ever. You’re leading a work presentation on Zoom while your kids are attending school virtually or streaming “Trolls World Tour” on their iPads. In fact, the average U.S. household owns an average of 10 connected devices. All of these devices depend on a reliable home network to operate. A home network allows devices to communicate with each other — and also connect to the internet.
To avoid network connectivity issues, it’s important to ensure that your network is designed to support the demands your home is now placing on it. So, how can you enhance your home network’s performance?
Here are some quick-fix solutions you can do yourself, as well as long-term solutions that may require help from a Definitive Network Specialist.
Quick-Fix Solutions You Can Try Yourself
Turn Off Internet-Dependent Devices that Aren’t In Use
We spend most of our days at home bouncing from one device to another — checking our phones for news updates, working on our laptop and streaming movies after work. However, sometimes we leave devices connected to the internet that we aren’t even using.
Older Wi-Fi devices tend to hold on to network connections longer than newer devices, which can bog down your network unnecessary. Consider unplugging or turning off technology that’s not currently in use, but is connected to the internet. This might include older cell phones, tablets or an internet-operated security camera.
Put Your Router in an Open, Central Location
Home networks can generally consist of a cable modem, router, network switches, wireless controller, and wireless access points. However, most homes may just have the modem and router or a device that is both in a single piece. In this case, your router is performing all of the necessary functions — converting the signal from your service provider to a usable connection for your devices. If your network consists of just those one or two components, placement of the router is essential to achieve optimal performance of your wireless connection.
If you’ve tucked your router away in a closet or cabinet for aesthetic purposes, you’re probably not getting the best wireless connection. The materials used to construct your closet or cabinet could be blocking Wi-Fi signals. Ideally, you’ll want your router placed in an open, central location. If that’s not an option, consider placing it on a nearby shelf or somewhere high up in the room, without anything obstructing it.
If you’re having network connectivity issues while on a work call, you can temporarily move closer to the router, as a short-term solution.
Long-term Solutions That May Require a Specialist
Treat Your Wireless Network as an Extension of Your Wired Network
When utilized for the specific applications in which they perform best, wired and wireless networks can provide the best of both worlds. You can plug your laptop in and use the Ethernet connection for fast, uninterrupted connectivity during a work presentation. Then have the freedom to stream your favorite playlist.
Wireless networks use Wi-Fi to connect you to the internet. They offer greater mobility and are easier to install. However, wireless networks are slower than wired networks. Wired networks use Ethernet through UTP cables. This leads to greater reliability and reduced odds of network connectivity issues. When you’re running a wire from one point to another, there are fewer things that can go wrong.
That’s why, when possible, we recommend utilizing a wired network coupled with a wireless network for more flexibility. One of Definitive’s highly-trained specialists can create a customized home network for you, based on your home, lifestyle, and preferences.
Consider Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6
Released in 2019, Wi-Fi 6 delivers nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5. It promises increased throughput speed, improved range and reduced network overcrowding, according to PCmag.com. That’s all thanks to a few new advancements, such as Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and Target Wake Time (TWT).
To improve throughput, OFDMA breaks Wi-Fi channels into subchannels. This allows up to 30 users to share a channel simultaneously. Additionally, TWT reduces power consumption by controlling when devices should “wake up” and begin sending and receiving data. This could potentially extend the battery life of our devices, from iPhones to smart home security cameras.
Wi-Fi 6 also supports a wide range applications and devices. It can noticeably enhance Wi-Fi network performance in challenging environments, such as stadiums and airports, while also supporting low power and low latency in smart homes. (Read: you’re going to love it.) Fortunately, Wi-Fi 6 will also be compatible with devices that use older versions 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.
Definitive Network Assessment
You might be working from home and also assuming the role of your own IT department, which can be overwhelming. Definitive can help to ensure one of the things you’re depending on most — network performance — is working to its utmost potential.
Our specialists can perform a network assessment to troubleshoot any issues you may be facing, and even identify issues you may not be aware of yet. Definitive has a more than 20-year history in both commercial and residential networks and will work with you to ensure you have a home network solution that meets your individualized needs. That way, you can focus on the many other things that require your attention right now — not fixing the internet.
To learn more or to schedule a network assessment,
reach out to us at whatever showroom is closer to you.
Seattle (206) 524-6633 | Bellevue (425) 746-3188