At Home in Berks Fall 2020 - 16

FEATURES

Broadband Capacity -

Is It Meeting Your Demand?
by Kyle Angstadt, Elements Integration Inc.

W

ith the current need for school, work, and
meetings to be virtual many people have found
that their current home network just cannot
keep up with the new demand. The first step toward
solving this problem is to test your internet speed with a
wired connection plugged directly into your router. For
many, this is supplied by your internet service provider.
If you live an area with the option for either DSL or
cable, you may want to switch to cable as it will provide
much faster service than DSL. DSL service typically
has a maximum speed of 6 Mbps in Berks county. In
comparison with cable you can get 1000 Mbps, although
for most residential clients 300 Mbps is sufficient for a large
household. With a network cable plugged into your router,
go to speedtest.net and run 4 or 5 tests from various rooms
throughout your home to compare your results.

Next, look at the level of internet service, or download
and upload speed, on your bill. It's associated with the level
of contracted service from your internet provider. These
download and upload speeds will be different, and they
project the maximum throughput available in a perfect
world. Hence, you could be paying for 300 Mbps download
speed but your actual speed should vary from about 225325. If your upload or download speeds are consistently
lower than approximately 30% of what you are paying
for then your problem is either a bad or older
modem/router or a signal problem with
the wire feeding the modem.

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AT HOME IN BERKs Fall 2020

You can do your own diagnosis before calling your
internet service provider. First, check that your cable
fitting is screwed on tightly at the modem and wall plate
connections. If you still have low upload or download
speeds you should call your provider to have them run a
signal test. Once you know that your service is stable your
provide will want you to look at your wired switches.
Older switches will be rated at 10/100 Mbps which is a
bottleneck if you are paying for speeds over
100 Mbps. You will want to replace them with a
new 100/1000 Mbps switch.
The next and most common problem bandwidth issue is
with Wi-Fi. Make sure your Wi-Fi is up to date. It should
be dual band. This means it will use both 2.4GHz and 5Ghz
bands. The 2.4 is slower but reaches farther. The 5Ghz
band is much faster but will not cover much area. Most
homeowners want to run everything on Wi-Fi. If possible,
to open capacity, hardwire Wi-Fi-hogging 4K streaming
devices like TVs and media players. The reason Zoom is
now a problem for most homes is there's no buffering with
video conferencing since it is in real time. Also, if you have
too many devices using Wi-Fi at the same time, it will most
likely result in poor video conferencing. Just because you
have a strong Wi-Fi signal does not mean you have good
Wi-Fi connectivity.
Another factor in speed and Wi-Fi connectivity is walls
and objects. The more materials the signal needs to pass
through the more lag you will have. Wi-Fi signals do
pass through solid objects but they will bounce off
some nearby surfaces before passing through which
is why it is best to have your Wi-Fi out in the open.


http://www.speedtest.net

At Home in Berks Fall 2020

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