The current COVID-19 situation in Australia has created an unprecedented increase in internet demand and internet traffic being carried over the NBN network.
To help alleviate congestion, the National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) announced in late March that every Australian internet provider can order increased NBN network capacity of up to 40% for three months, at no cost. This was a welcome announcement, especially for businesses with employees working from home.
If you are one of the many Australians currently working from home there are also some things you can do to ensure you get the most from your home broadband connection.
Tips to Get the Most from Your Home Broadband Connection
1. Choose the right plan
Many of us working from home are accessing collaboration, project management and video conferencing tools like Trello, Slack, Skype and Zoom, along with any number of other cloud-based applications.
While undoubtedly handy, the more reliant your remote work is on internet-based software, the more bandwidth you may need. So, while emailing and sharing basic documents will have a relatively minor impact on your bandwidth, downloading and uploading massive files could have a noticeable effect.
Examine the plan you are currently on, and speak to your provider about your current usage and alternative plans available to you. Your broadband provider can suggest the best available plan based on your usage requirements.
2. Ensure you have the right speed
Depending on the nature of your work, you may be surprised at the download and upload requirements needed to effectively get the job done.
Sending and receiving large files, taking video conference calls, and simultaneously running multiple online programs are just some of the typical work tasks that can affect internet speed. And this is before you take into account other household members working, using streaming services like Netflix and Stan, or playing online games!
Internet speeds tend to slow down after 7pm at night when there is high usage, so this can be a challenging time to work effectively.
You can also talk to your internet provider about speed tiers available in your area, and potentially change plans – even temporarily – to accommodate usage demand in your household.
3. Optimise your broadband performance
Even with the right speed and plan, factors around the home can affect your online experience.
To help make the most of your work day, start by ensuring you have the best possible internet set up in your home.
- If you are using Wi-Fi make sure your modem isn’t located behind electrical appliances, mirrors or brick walls. This can result in a poor signal.
- How many devices are being used simultaneously? Basic modems can usually support a maximum of eight devices connected at once, so ensure you have the right modem for your requirements.
- Old devices and cables can lead to slower speeds, so upgrade old equipment such as printers and computers, if possible.
- Consider uploading large files in off peak periods – generally overnight between 12am and 7am.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) Issues
Many businesses use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to allow their employees to log in remotely and to access servers and systems.
If you are experiencing internet outages, it could be your VPN access causing the problem. A simple way to troubleshoot and identify the problem is to see if you can access a non-work website. If so, it’s likely that your VPN isn’t working.
However, if all internet access is unavailable, you may have an issues with your broadband connection.
If you have followed our tips to get the most from your broadband but are still experiencing technical issues, contact Surety IT.
We can provide expert IT support and advice to ensure your business runs smoothly during these uncertain times.
For more reading on working from home and business IT security:
- The Importance of Secure Video Conferencing in Your Business
- How to Implement Secure Video Conferencing in Your Business
- Business Cyber Security: An Essential Part of COVID-19 Contingency Planning
- Cyber Security, Working From Home and COVID-19
- Can Your Business Still Function Under COVID-19 Isolation Procedures
- What to include in a Laptop Security Policy
- Why Good Cyber Security is a Positive for your Business
- Five Tips To Enable Remote Work