The U.S. has quickly turned into a working-from-home economy. America’s labor force was already gradually moving toward this type of economy, with the increase of freelancing work and remote jobs, but the COVID-19 pandemic further expedited it. According to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, an estimated 42 percent of American workers are working from home full-time. This internet-dependent switch means at-home workers need the right internet connection from the right internet providers.
The internet connection between on-site offices and at-home offices is typically set up very differently. To make sure you keep up with the demands of remote work, it’s important to equip your home with a fast and reliable internet connection. This guide will help you learn what’s needed to optimize your internet for working from home.
Figure Out the Internet Speed You Need
Not every remote worker will need the same internet speed to keep up with their job duties. A writer may use the internet to research and browse the web, draft and upload copy, and utilize more simple Microsoft Office programs. A software engineer will need an external monitor (as many engineering programs won’t run on a typical laptop), specialty equipment, and lightning-fast internet speeds.
Take a look at the suggested speeds for the type of activity you think you’ll be doing most:
• 0-5 Mbps: Works for checking emails, Google search, and streaming music on a single device.
• 5-40 Mbps: Works for video calling via Skype and FaceTime, online gaming for a single player, and streaming music on one device.
• 40-100 Mbps: Works for streaming HD videos on a handful of devices, multiplayer online gaming, and downloading large files.
• 100-500 Mbps: Works for streaming videos in UHD using multiple screens, downloading files at super-fast speeds, and online gaming with multiple players.
• 500-1000+ Mbps: Works for nearly everything. You can stream the highest quality videos across multiple screens or download large files at ultra-fast speeds.
If video conferencing, especially with large groups of people, is a routine part of your remote work day, consider these speeds for the various group video conferencing apps:
- FaceTime: Minimum 128Kbps
- Skype: Minimum 512Kbps
- Zoom: Minimum 600Kbps, 1.5Mbps recommended
- Google Hangouts: Minimum 2Mbps
- GoToMeeting: Minimum 1Mbps
- Microsoft Teams: Minimum 500Kbps, recommended 1Mbps
Have additional activities not listed here? You can always check with internet providers from bestsatelliteoptions.com to make sure your specific duties will be covered by the speed you choose.
Check Your Speed
Now that you’ve determined and secured the type of internet speed you’ll need, you’ll now need to check your speed. The packaged speed listed on your internet bill may actualize differently in practice. Some factors that affect can affect your connection may include the type of route you have, where it’s located in your home, local internet congestion, and the infrastructure of your area. Check your speed using this speedtest by Ookla.
Determine Many People and Devices Are Using the Same Connection
Sometimes it’s not the type of activity that slows down connection, but the number of people, and devices, using the same internet connection in your home. Determine how many people are using the internet at home, and how they’re using the internet, to get a better idea of the true speed you’ll need to work efficiently. As a general rule of thumb, with each additional person’s use, increase the speed by about 50 percent.
Try Moving Your Router
Where you set up your router, and how far you are from it, can affect your speed. If you live in a multiple-story home and your router is located on the lower level, while you work upstairs, there’s a good chance your internet connection is being affected. If you work in a specific room or area of your home, try moving your route there to see if the connection improves. Alternatively, if you are unable to move your router, try working closer to it to see if that helps.
Connect With Trusted Internet Providers
A faster internet plan can help your work-from-home experience be a seamless one. Connect with trusted internet providers to optimize your work day.