How many of us have actually sat down and thought, ‘what will I use my home network for and what is the best solution for me?’.
A poorly designed network will impact your online experience, whether it is continual buffering of your favourite Netflix shows or your jittery online gaming experience. When this happens, its very common for us all to look at our internet connection speeds…but this may not be the problem.
There are many reasons for poor network performance, these can range from cheap Wi-Fi routers, poorly configured network, devices not up-to-date or your internet connection performance.
To try to improve your performance, here are some simple things you can try;
Updates – First rule of thumb is to ensure that all your devices/hardware/software/apps are up to date. List what you have under the 3 categories above, and you’ll find that its a long list but if you don’t update them performance is the first thing that is impacted.
Internet Connection – Test your internet performance using a test on speedtest.net this test will communicate to one of their local servers to judge your connection. An ADSL connection download speed is 12Mb-16Mb on average. If you are getting below 8Mb on average, contact your provider and get the telecoms company out to test the lines to your property.
Troubleshoot – Secondly, track your performance issues for a period of time. Connect your device, with a cable, to your router, and do you have the same issues? Does it happen at certain times of the day (peak times), who is doing what on your network…..is your Son downloading music/movies 24/7 and using up 60% of your bandwidth?
Wi-Fi – Thirdly, change your Wi-Fi password, physically connect a laptop to your router and then test your performance. With this you ensure that only your device is connecting. If performance is good, you can add devices one-by-one to see if/when the performance becomes a problem again. This will highlight a device that is not working correctly and needs a config change, update or its the limit of your Wi-F and you need an upgrade.
Professional Help – I would then get a Professional in to do a Health Check and performance review of your network. This may include installation of Demo hardware to test against which will highlight limitations of your current setup and will give clear suggestions of upgrades be they Internet, Network/Wi-Fi or Devices.
My Network – In Morzine, ADSL/2 Broadband is available and investments in Morzine’s infrastructure is bringing Fibre in early 2018.
I currently get between 10Mb and 16Mb bandwidth and I have 14 devices constantly connected both physically, with CAT6 cable, and over Wi-Fi to my router. I have disabled the Wi-Fi on the router that cam with the contract, and I have installed a new Wi-Fi Access Point with greater security and management features. I still use the original router, as an ADSL Modem, but I have ensured that all default settings have been changed and unused options are turned off.
My devices range from Smart TV’s, Security Cameras, Lighting, Heating, Laptops and Mobiles. I have a Free Sat TV but also Netflix and Plex.tv subscriptions as well as a PlayStation. I rarely get performance issues running on an this ADSL connection.
Throughout the seasons we have multiple guests which login to the ‘guest’ network. The guest network traffic is kept separate to my homes traffic to ensure that guests do not impact the properties devices. I also ‘block’ certain types of web traffic and websites to reduce the impact that these can have to any network and internet connection i.e. File Sharing/Adult Sites and have a system that block known virus/malware sites. This is both a performance and security improvement.
As more and more devices are being adding to the list of the Internet of Things (IoT), the more important Network Performance and its Security becomes. Your Internet connection is a part of this but wait to upgrade until its actually needed. If you focus on your Network Design and internal Performance first, you will be ready to fully utilise the new hyper-mega-time warping connection when you actually need it.