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Work from home and slow connection? Here's how to make up for it

By 21 January 2022No Comments
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Work from home and slow connection?

With today's article we return to talk about smart working. More and more people, in fact, are forced to work from home from the new wave of infections that has hit the country. However, many of them have not yet been able to solve the connection problems of your home landline. And this can become a serious problem. 

The "frozen" webcams during video conferences, the audio that is heard at times, the slowness in downloading documents and the loss of image quality, are just some of the problems that afflict many employees who are forced to work from home. Many blameinternet provider or to the modem, but this is not always the case. Let's see why.

How to understand where the problem is 

The first step is to try to understand what the cause of the slow connection and, to do this, one must go by exclusion. First we advise you to check the actual speed of the Internet connection, through one speed test

There are many websites that provide this service and it is very quick and easy. Before proceeding with the verification, make sure that none of the devices connected to the home network are downloading or uploading. Then carry out the test. 

The chosen service will provide you with the maximum download and upload values reached by the fixed line. This data will tell you whether the provider is delivering all the speed available, based on the speed stipulated in the contract you have signed, or not.

For example, if you have a landline that provides up to 2.5 Gbps, but in reality only goes up to 1 Gbps, the Internet connection it is not performing properly. In this case the solution is to contact the provider, exposing the problem. It will be his job to verify its origin and resolve it.

If, on the other hand, the speed test values are in line with those expected, but the connection is still slow, the problem is elsewhere (see paragraph Set up your home computer).

But what is the Internet connection best for the work from home? Here are some tips.

Connection technologies

Let's start by saying that one Internet connection performance shouldn't drop below 50 Mbps. So make sure you sign a contract with internet provider that guarantees at least this navigation speed.

That said, the connection technologies currently available in Italy are three:

  • optic fiber;
  • ADSL;
  • FWA. 

Let's see them in detail.

Optic fiber

Definitely the most performing technology at the moment, both in terms of speed and performance. The only problem is the partial coverage of the national territory. In fact, optical fiber does not reach all the municipalities of Italy and, at times, is absent even in some districts of the city where most of the areas have it.

Also pay attention to the type of optic fiber to install, as there is a difference between optic fiber FTTC and FTTH. The first, slower, involves the connection of the fiber up to the state control unit, while, from the control unit to the home socket, the connection passes through the normal copper wires, slowing down. 

The true" optic fiber it is instead the FTTH, much faster since it reaches inside the house.

ADSL

This is an (almost) outdated technology, given that, where possible, we tend to prefer the optic fiber. However, it represents a fairly high-performance solution for those who are forced to work from home, did not have access to the fiber. 

FWA

It uses radio waves, instead of the telephone line, and can therefore reach virtually anywhere. Furthermore, by not using cables of any kind, it always manages to guarantee the minimum bandwidth, regardless of traffic. 

It can be a good solution, especially for whom work from home in small municipalities, where other solutions do not reach.

Set up your home computer 

The work from home (smart working) forces you to use your own computer, which does not always guarantee the same level of performance as the company computer. Slow navigation could be a consequence of the incorrect configuration of personal devices. Here are some useful tips to improve the situation. 

A solution that can speed up the Internet connection and, consequently, the work from home, is to change the DNS. DNS are servers that “translate” the IP address (the real address of a website) of a site into a line of text (the name that appears in the browser's search bar). 

Given their function, it is imperative that they are fast and if not, they can be changed (here is one guide how to do it). 

The second tip to speed up the work from home it concerns the advanced parameters of the connection. The easiest and fastest thing to do if you are using a wireless connection is to try changing the channel of the Wi-Fi network. Modern routers have multiple radio channels, which can sometimes host other devices, causing the connection to slow down. 

Finally, if the above steps didn't fix the problem, it could be a virus. Download a software antimalware (there are several on the web, both free and paid) and run a virus scan on your device. If so, follow the steps to eliminate the threat (for more information on computer security see this article).

Other possible causes and solutions

The problem persists? There are other small tricks that could solve it, let's see which ones. 

The work from home it involves some difficulties that office work does not present. There Internet connection domestic, in fact, is almost certainly less powerful than the corporate one and therefore natively slower. Make sure there are no other devices connected to the network while you are working. If during a meeting with the boss your child decides to download a video game, for example, the Internet connection it will certainly be not optimal. 

Another factor that can affect performance, albeit minimally, is the choice of the browser, as some are faster than others. Our advice is to choose Google Chrome. Also be careful not to install too many extensions, which risk slowing it down.

However, it should be noted that the page loading speed is not linked to the actual connection speed. 

The last point we would like to touch concerns the distance of the device in use from the internet router. During the work from home choose a location not too far from the source of the internet signal. The walls of the house, in fact, can act as a "screen" for the wi-fi signal, with consequences on performance. 

If getting closer to the router is not an option, there are so-called wi-fi repeaters, small devices to be connected to an electrical outlet that pick up the router signal and branch it into the room where they are installed.

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