March 30, 2020
Learn how to become a good steward of bandwidth and keep your speeds optimal.
As more news unfolds around the COVID-19 crisis, more and more of us are being mandated to self-quarantine at home. With students taking their education online, more of us streaming content through multiple devices, and professionals being asked to telecommute, the demand on home wifi networks has never been greater. As networks around the country strive to meet this new increase in demand, performance issues like slower loading speeds, gaming latency, and streaming resolutions compete for bandwidth and cause a lot of frustration.
The good news is there are a number of simple things you can do right at home to alleviate this demand and become good stewards of bandwidth.
Conserving bandwidth - what can you do right now?
Try to schedule ‘bandwidth-hogging’ activities for times of low network demand: In normal times, internet rush hour (a time when internet demand peaks) occurs between the hours of 7pm – 11pm. Currently, disrupted routines are being replaced with almost constant and continuous demand for bandwidth. Try timing events such as software updates, game downloads or large-file uploads for non-peak times, ideally overnight, when most people are asleep.
Pre-download instead of stream content: Much of the content we consume can be downloaded rather than streamed in real time. Movies, video games, shows and even most on-demand content can be downloaded at non-peak times to be enjoyed later.
Not every teleconference needs to be video: Face-to-face virtual interactions are wonderful, but broadcasting video is much more demanding on networks than voice alone. Save video-conferencing activities for only the most important virtual conferences.
Audit your network for bandwidth-sipping devices: Another way to conserve bandwidth is to limit the amount of devices attached to your home network at a given time. The more devices and activities you demand of your network at the same time, the more your internet connection will be affected. Additionally, if you have devices that aren’t in use, but still connected to your home wifi, consider disabling these devices or removing the network connection.
Lower your video surveillance resolution: Most modern security systems and pet cams have options that allow you to reduce the resolution of recording devices. Running streams continuously at higher resolutions can bog down the performance of a network.
Find more tips for bandwidth conservation and improving the overall performance of your home wifi network in our easy to follow wifi optimization guide.