Internet access is often something we take for granted until we need it most. To ensure working from home goes as smoothly as possible, here are some quick tips for improving your work from home broadband from Broadband Genie.
These tips are divided into improving broadband speed and improving broadband security: both are essential while working from home.
Improving broadband speed
Here are some tips to help you improve your work from home broadband to make sure you get maximum productivity from your connection.
Use a network cable
Wi-Fi is convenient but connecting via Ethernet is much, much faster. If you can use a cable, you will instantly see a boost in your internet speed. If you can’t get a cable to reach your workspace, a powerline network adapter kit – which uses your electrical circuits to transfer data – is a cheap and easy way to build a wired network.
Check Wi-Fi coverage
Most homes will have stronger and weaker areas of wireless signal. Using a Wi-Fi analyser app on your smartphone to check signal strength in all areas could improve internet speed. Also, use it to check the Wi-Fi channels of your neighbour’s networks; multiple networks using the same channel can cause interference, but you can manually configure your router to use a different, less busy, channel.
Minimize other network use
If possible, ask other members of your household to limit their internet use while you’re working. Time any big downloads for evenings or overnight, try to limit streaming as much as is practical and ensure you have priority over your broadband while trying to work.
Try a faster DNS server
Your ISP’s DNS server (which translates web site addresses into IP addresses) is okay for most uses, but there are much faster alternatives. Try changing your DNS to Google (18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124) or Cloudflare (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52) to speed up your web browsing. If you type ‘changing your DNS’ into Google, you’ll see results for how-to guides which will help you set this up.
Check your speed
If your broadband is slower than you’d like, make sure you’re getting the speed you’re paying for. Use a speed test tool and compare the speed you’re getting with the speed you’re paying for. For accurate results, run the test while connected with a network cable and disable other devices or software using the internet, and run the test several times throughout the day.
See if you can upgrade your broadband
If you’re not happy with your speed or just want more, now would be a good time to check whether you can upgrade or not. You may be able to switch to a faster connection or provider which could make life much easier while working from home! If your existing ISP cannot deliver a better speed and you are out of contract you can switch for free, and there’s a good chance you’ll save some money too.
Improving broadband security
You would be amazed at how many people leave their home broadband routers at the default security settings, or don’t take basic steps to improve their online security. A few simple changes can make a huge difference to your internet security.
Change your router admin password
If you haven’t done it already, log into your broadband router and change the default admin login. The administrator password is often not unique and shared with all models of that router, which is dangerous when it’s protecting your core network settings.
Change your Wi-Fi access password
Still using the default wireless access password that came with the router? Change that while you’re logged into your router. You will have to change the password on devices that use Wi-Fi too.
Keep your router firmware updated
Router firmware, like computer software, is regularly updated to fix bugs and vulnerabilities. While you’re logged into your router, why not check to see if there is an update? Failing to do this regularly can leave you vulnerable to newly discovered flaws.
Make sure your router firewall is enabled
Most routers include a built-in firewall, which protects you against remote hacking attacks. While you’re logged into your router, make sure yours is enabled.
Protect your devices
Make sure to use an antivirus program on all computers that connect to the internet. You can also install an anti-malware tool, if your anti-virus software does not include this already. It’s not necessary to pay for these applications as there are multiple free packages available which provide adequate protection for most purposes.
Use secure passwords
Your password is often the only thing keeping a hacker out of your network or device so it’s crucial to use secure passwords. Use a mix of upper and lower case, special characters and numbers. Try to avoid dictionary words wherever possible, and consider a passphrase rather than single words. And never, ever, use the same password twice. To make life easier, use a password manager to store your logins so you don’t need to remember them.
Use multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication bolsters your online security by requiring an additional verification method (such as code or mobile app prompt) when you enter a password. So if someone does get hold of a password they would still be unable to access your account without also possessing your secondary verification. For this reason, you should enable multi-factor authentication whenever it is available.
This is a collaborative post with Broadband Genie
About the author
Louise is an award-winning journalist and speaker who focuses on working from home, remote work and wellbeing. She is the founder of The Homeworker, which is dedicated to helping you thrive when you work from home. The Homeworker publishes articles that are designed to keep you healthy, happy, fulfilled, and more productive in work and life.