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Wifi Pro-tips and Suggestions

Tips for Improved Internet Experience

  • Restart your computer each day.
  • Plug your computer directly into your home router using a wired ethernet jack to prevent WiFi dropouts and speed issues (newer computers may require an Ethernet dongle).
  • When using a WiFi connection, move closer to the WiFi router.
  • Reboot your router to reset the internet connection.
  • If you can access the settings on your router, and if it's possible for you to switch from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz, you might want to consider switching. The 5 GHz band provides less coverage than 2.4 GHz but transmits data at faster speeds.
  • Consider device age. Older devices may not be able to handle advanced speeds. Newer smartphones, tablets and computers will be faster than older ones.

 

Common Bandwidth Requirement

  • Zoom Group HD Video (3.0 Mbps down, 3.0 Mbps up)
  • Zoom 1:1 DH Video (1.8 Mbps down, 1.8 Mbps up)
  • YouTube HD 1080p (5 Mbps down)
  • YouTube HD 720p (2.5 Mbps down)
  • Panopto HQ Viewing (1.92 Mbps to 3 Mbps down)
  • Canvas Page Viewing (512kbps down)
  • Cloud.yc.edu (Securecloud) (500Kbps to 1Mbps down)

Bandwidth

  • Check your internet bandwidth using an online speed test, such as Bandwidth place, nperf, Speedtest, or Comparitech. The results aren't 100% accurate but are a good indicator of what your experience will be using applications like Zoom.
  • While your available bandwidth plays a major role in your overall Zoom or Secure Cloud experience, the health of your local computer is important too. Keep in mind that running CPU or memory intensive applications while using Zoom and Secure Cloud can negatively impact the quality of the session.
  • Viruses and malware can slow device performance considerably. Please make sure your anti-virus software is up to date. If you don't already have antivirus/anti-malware software or are concerned that the free solution built into Windows (Windows Defender) may be insufficient, our YC license for antivirus/anti-malware software extends to home use for employees (for up to 10 computers per employee). You can learn more and download Sophos for home use here: home.sophos.com/employee.
  • If you are using home or public WiFi, your available bandwidth is shared among all the users on the network. If you or someone else is uploading or downloading large amounts of data, that can impact your WiFi experience. For example, the quality of a Zoom meeting might be negatively impacted if other users on a home network are also streaming video or games at the same time.

Optimization

  • Try connecting directly using a wired connection (with a network cable) if your internet router has wired ports.
  • Move your computer or mobile device closer to the WiFi router or access point.
  • Eliminate "blockers" or physical objects that can interrupt a Wifi signal. For example, don't place WiFi routers behind obstacles such as doors, or in a cabinet.
  • If possible, upgrade your WiFi router firmware; check your WiFi router vendor support site for firmware upgrade availability. This is often managed by internet providers and might not be possible to do independently.
  • If you have a router from an internet service provider and it's been a while since it was installed, it may be worthwhile to ask them for a newer model router.
  • When wireless speed issues arise, one potential backup is using the hotspot feature on your smartphone, which turns the device's cellular connection into a miniature Wi-Fi network. Please be aware that any data limits on your cell phone plan will apply, and Secure Cloud can use over 2 GB data per hour, (though this is in extreme cases, usually data use won't exceed 1 GB per hour).

Troubleshooting WiFi Connection Issues

If you are in a public place trying to use their WiFi connection, it is usually helpful to look up and find the closest Wireless Access Point (usually a white square shaped box on the ceiling). Usually, the closer you sit to the device, the better the internet connection.

At home, if you're using WiFi for video and voice sessions, please stay away from strong sources of interference, such as Microwaves. When powered on, devices like Microwaves can disrupt WiFi signals.

For home internet connections, be aware that internet service providers (ISPs) will sometimes schedule maintenance for late hours. Ideally their maintenance hours will be posted on their website, but sometimes it is a good idea to call your ISP if you are having persistent internet connectivity issues. It could be due to maintenance, or an unplanned outage.


Mobile Hotspot Suggestions

  • If you have an existing cell phone plan, then you may be able to add a hotspot for an additional monthly fee.
  • Generally, you will have a faster speed and a better connection in areas with more bars, especially if you're on a 4G, LTE or 5G network.
  • In some cases, particularly in metro areas, the upload bandwidth of the cellular network is greater than home internet connections. In these cases, it might be a good idea to use this solution for streaming video out of your location to remote locations for better quality.
  • If you are using a cellular network such as LTE or 5G you can still use public websites such as www.bandwidthplace.com to measure your bandwidth.
  • Keep in mind that some plans, even unlimited plans can throttle your bandwidth and negatively affect your experience if you go over certain use thresholds, or if their network has a large amount of connections.
  • When using a cellular network like LTE or 5G, your experience can vary depending on place, location, and time.
  • If you use your cellphone as a hotspot, ensure that it is fully charged. Low battery will result in performance issues.

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