Shelter-in-place brings together work from home, home schooling, and binging watching at the same time. It can really put a stress on your network. On the first day of having everyone home, I had work meetings, my daughter and her friend were in different eLearning sessions, and a preschooler wanted to watch Frozen 2. We pushed the network to its breaking point. Luckily, I was the only one not to have a network issue. Here’s some tips I’ve been using for years.
- Prioritize Traffic – Most home networks are preconfigured to give the maximum bandwidth to streaming and on-line gaming. Many home routers will let you set priority for devices on the network. If so, prioritize your work or educational devices to have the most bandwidth.
- Skip Video in Web Meetings – When possible, don’t share video. The etiquette I use is if my client turns on their video, I will turn on mine. But at first signs of network issues I turn off my video.
- Decrease Video Quality – Lower the video quality of streaming services. It may be best to leave high definition video for later in the evening. Another alternative is to download movies and series during off-hours to watch during peak network demands. Frozen 2 was running in a loop all day.
- Create a Schedule – The last alternative may be to come up with a network bandwidth schedule. It may seem archaic but break out a note pad and block off time. It also lets you get involved. My daughter’s class live streams once a day. By not taking call during that time, I get to see her interact with her teacher and fellow students. It’s a great treat for the day.