Sharing Bandwidth in Your Home

With many people working and schooling from home due to COVID-19, as well as the need to spend more time inside in general, we are turning to technology more than ever. It’s likely that everyone in your household may be using the internet at once. Whether they’re attending video conferences, live streaming a lecture, or binging their favorite Netflix shows, your devices may be eating up a lot of bandwidth. How can you make sure your internet runs smoothly so everyone is able to accomplish their tasks?

Create a schedule.

Designate certain times for certain individuals to accomplish their tasks. Leave the daytime hours open for work and/or school-related internet usage. When the necessities have been taken care of, then you can move onto things like streaming shows and movies or playing your favorite video games.

Reposition your router.

Your router is the device that puts out your WiFi signal. WiFi signals can be dampened or blocked all together by walls. Try putting your router in a location that’s centralized to the majority of your family’s internet functions.

Make adjustments.

Try using an ethernet cable to connect your computer or laptop directly into the internet rather that operating off of a WiFi signal. A hardwired connection provides a more stable internet connection and tends to work better for things like live streaming. If you have to stream over the WiFi while other members of the household are using the internet, try altering your settings to stream in standard definition (SD) instead of high definition (HD). HD requires more bandwidth, which can take away from others.

Explore alternatives like using your mobile data.

Many mobile plans offer unlimited data, so you don’t have to worry about going over your cap and paying extra for it. Some plans also offer the ability to turn your phone into your own mobile hotspot. This is a source of WiFi separate from your household’s main internet connection, which means you won’t be eating into the bandwidth that others are using.

If all else fails, upgrade.

You can upgrade your router or modem. Some of the “default” equipment your ISP gives you upon initial setup of your service may be outdated. Newer versions can be bought from places like Best Buy, Walmart or Amazon to be delivered right to your door. You can also try upgrading the internet package you have with your service provider to supply more overall bandwidth to your household.

The adjustments many Americans have to make can seem stressful. Thankfully, technology is here to help us. It may take some planning to establish a system that works for your household, but don’t be discouraged. There are many options available to ensure everyone is able to accomplish their tasks and do the things that bring them joy.