Is Your Network Not ‘Cutting It’ While Working From Home? Here Are 5 Things You Can Do To Have a Solid Home Network!
We all know the story; COVID-19 is a global pandemic. Life as we have known it has changed. And while we see the USA showing signs of opening back up, many of us are still working at home, drinking out of our favorite mug and wearing our most comfortable PJ’s while we change the world in our way.
Has this happened to you? During a stint of being ultra-productive, the spinning circle of death pops up while doing that thing that you do for work… and on... and on... it spins. Or perhaps, the device that you need to connect to just isn’t having it. Or how about participating in the AM company Zoom meeting, and everyone looks and sounds a little too much like our beloved ‘80s AI character Max Headroom? What you just experienced my friend is a significant case of the inadequate home networks. In this article, we will discuss 5 things that you can do to make your working-from-home experience a better one! Let’s GO!
1. Network Wiring
Our networking motto is "Wires Make Wireless Better!" Yes, the most important place to start with your home network, even if you are only interested in wireless is to ensure that your space is wired with current network cabling. Doing so will help you get the most out of your home network. At the time this article was written, CAT6a is the minimum specification that should be used. To ‘future-proof’ your installation CAT7 or up may be considered. Check with our design team to determine what options would be best for you.
Install a modern router that can handle high-speed networking. Again, since networking technology is always changing, it is best to check with the Capitol design team to ensure the proper router is selected for you and the work you do from home.
Perhaps your router is a WiFi/hardwire router combo, or maybe it is a series of standalone WiFi access points. It is vital to ensure that a current system is installed and optimized for the best results. Some of this has to do with current technology and gadgetry. For example, WiFi protocols are always changing and improving. So you will want to make sure that you have a system set up for the bandwidth demands that you will need for working from home. Check with our team so that we can make sure you have what you need.
There is another crucial aspect to consider when setting up your WiFi network. If using a router/WiFi combo unit, ensure that it is set up in the central point of your home to provide the best coverage. A network of WiFi extenders may need to be used to ensure even distribution of WiFi coverage.
Another option is a Mesh WiFi system, where a master unit talks to secondary devices throughout the home to create a giant WiFi “bubble” encompassing your home.
A third option would be WiFi access points that are located throughout your home, generally mounted on the ceiling and designed to be the most secure, robust, and reliable among all of the other options. Access points are considered the commercial solution, and businesses rely on them the most. Also, if a home is utilizing smart home technology, WiFi access points are the most common choice.
Access points are also the least DIY-friendly option and should be installed by the Capitol Technology installation team. Each point needs to be tuned with the others to ensure the system is working at its peak. A hardline is generally run to each WiFi access point to ensure the fastest connections and performance.
4. Direct Connection From The Router To Your Workstation
To accomplish the best possible user experience, especially when your job is on the line, you want to make sure that your main workstation is connected with a network cable to your network router. Doing so will ensure that you have the most bandwidth possible for your needs. Only rely on WiFi when you need to use your mobile phone for business, your laptop as a satellite system, or your iPad as your secondary device. Either way, if at all possible, connect your workstation directly to your router. You will be happy you did!
5. Update Firmware/Software
We cannot stress enough; the information technology world is changing every day. Each manufacturer of IT gear is responsible for making sure their equipment is tackling the latest security threat or optimizing their hardware as surrounding technology, protocols, and standards change. The good news is that you don’t always need to replace your device each time things change. Manufacturers make provisions to update their devices with firmware and sometimes software to make sure your system is running in tip-top shape. Each device should be checked regularly, at least once per month, to make sure all firmware and software is current. This includes but is not limited to your:
- Network Router
- WiFi system or access points
- Workstation Operating System
Additional devices that you use for work, including your iPad, mobile phone, printer, and other accessories, should be checked regularly and kept up-to-date.
While working from home has been a massive adjustment for many, it shouldn’t be a bad experience because of the inadequate technology in our homes. In many cases, you may only need to do a few things to optimize your home for the work that you need to do so that you can feed your family and keep them safe. And that is really what this is all about, right? Providing for our families isn’t just a goal for the immediate. Instead, we want to make decisions that benefit us now and on into the future. At Capitol Technology Group, we install brands that you can trust and rely on while you’re working at home, including Luxul, Araknis, Pakedge, and Ruckus. With the quality of our trusted partners, along with the experience and customer service that make CTG stand out among our peers, we will have your back. So don’t put up with your just-good-enough network. Instead, do what you need to so that your work can shine!
For more information on how Capitol Technology Group can help you bring your home network to the next level in the Greater Austin, Round Rock, Lakeway, Georgetown, Houston, The Woodlands, Cypress, Sugar Land, Spring, Katy, and Pearland, Texas area, give us a call or CONTACT US by filling out this short form.