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Smart Parents' Guide to Optimizing Your Home Internet

September 12, 2023

Today's kids and teens have grown up in a time when access to the internet was ubiquitous. Here are smart steps parents can take to optimize their Cox home internet and ensure reliable connectivity.

When it comes to using the internet, kids are usually the teachers and the parents are the students. The digital-first younger generations tend to be in the know about the latest apps, the hottest platforms and of course TikTok stars. But parents don't have to lag behind, especially when it comes to optimizing and managing your home internet — they can learn to outsmart their kids and stay one step ahead by following these tips:

1. Know Your Internet Speed Tests

Before you can optimize your home internet, you need to understand its current performance. Running speed tests regularly helps you identify the actual download and upload speeds you are receiving. Several online tools are available, including a Cox speed test. Conduct these tests at different times of the day to identify patterns of peak and off-peak performance and decide if you have best internet service for your needs.

2. Adjust Wifi Network and Placement

Wifi performance can be affected by various factors, including the placement of your router in your home. To optimize your Cox home internet service, start by placing your router in a central location within your home. This ensures even coverage throughout the house and minimizes dead zones. Avoid placing the router near large obstacles, dense walls or electronic devices that may interfere with the signal. Keep the router elevated and away from the floor to enhance its range. If your home is large or has areas with weak signals, consider using wifi extenders.

3. Stay on Top of Modem Maintenance

Cox Panoramic Wifi, which combines a modem with a router, is a critical component of any home internet network, serving as a gateway to the wider internet infrastructure. That's why regular router maintenance is so important. Keep the router's firmware up to date, as manufacturers often release updates that include bug fixes and performance improvements. Check whether the router can operate on different channels, so that no one channel becomes congested by devices. And don't forget to create a strong password for your network, so you don't inadvertently provide wifi to your neighbors.

4. Utilize Parental Controls

Parental control tools can provide some peace of mind, as they help manage and regulate the content accessible to young users. The parental controls within the Cox Panoramic Wifi app allow you to set up profiles for different users, block inappropriate websites, institute time limits for internet usage and monitor online activities.

5. Pause Wifi

Most routers offer the ability to pause wifi as needed. This can help kids, tweens and teens not only step away from their screens, but it also frees up bandwidth for the rest of the household. You can use the Cox Panoramic Wifi app to schedule specific times when the network is turned off automatically for some or all users — perhaps during dinner to promote family time or at night to help the kids settle down and get ready for bed.

6. Upgrade Your Internet Plan

If the speed tests consistently return less than desirable results, it might be time to upgrade your Cox home internet service. Cox offers a range of plans for its fiber-based network with different speeds and data allowances. Consider your household's needs, including the number of devices connected and the types of online activities performed, to choose the appropriate plan. For example, a single device used for basic browsing, checking emails and light streaming requires a minimum speed of around 5-10 Mbps. However, a household with multiple users engaging in online gaming, video conferencing, 4K streaming and downloading large files would likely need a plan with one GIG or more.

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