5 keys to improve the internet connection in your home
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been an abrupt change in the pattern of internet consumption. According to figures that are handled, traffic has increased by 40% in mobile data; 50% in voice traffic; 40% and 80% in fixed internet traffic.
In addition, the increase of more than 50% in video streaming platforms, more than 200% in the increase in applications, and 70% in the use of social networks.
We all want to have access to quality connectivity, with high-speed levels, but the truth is that we have to understand that digital infrastructure is essential, explains Rodrigo Ramírez, former Undersecretary of Telecommunications, and as such we must take into account the use, maintenance, and use is an essential element, he assures.
Since the start of the State of Emergency due to the pandemic, there has been a change in the pattern of Internet consumption, this expert clarifies, that with a sustained increase in residential places, with the massive concurrence of users to mobile and fixed networks, and as a consequence, the infrastructure that has been obviously “stressed”.
“A network that had to withstand increases of more than 50% from one day to the next, forcing network, infrastructure, service, content, and transport operators to resort to intelligent traffic management” .
To get an idea of what these figures mean, the former Undersecretary of Telecommunications exemplifies: 13 GB would be enough to send and receive about 460 emails, listen to 72 hours of music on streaming music platforms, surf the web for 160 hours, upload 282 social media posts (including the usual photo, he says) and spending 57 hours playing online.
How would we have stayed connected with our loved ones in the toughest months of the pandemic without the internet? We have demanded so much from our internet connection in homes this year, that it is worth understanding a little how it works and also knowing how we can contribute with a small grain of sand so that connectivity has the best possible quality. Together with 3 experts, we developed a guide with the keys you should know to improve the internet connection in your home.
Table of Contents
1. Check what your problem is:
– Coverage and speed: Juan Zago; professional gamer, contributor to pisapapeles.net and full-time geek -as he defines himself-; He mentions that the typical problems related to the poor quality of our internet connection are almost always wireless coverage and speed, a major inconvenience that limits the quality of the signal that we receive on our devices.
– Lack of knowledge about the use of the internet: On the other hand, Rodrigo Ramírez gives a point that is also key, the lack of pedagogy and didactics to understand how wired and wireless networks work. How many really know how that world works?
How many objects connected at the same time are there in your house? Have you ever counted them? Do you know the simultaneous download, upload and download speeds used by the various platforms you use? Knowing the entire value chain until the Internet reaches your home is essential, says Rodrigo.
– Router: the quality of the router installed by the operator, and the location where it is located, are also common problems and of which people have little knowledge, says Felipe Sáez, Huawei Chile Master Trainer.
– Other details: But there is more according to Zago. Other problems to consider are the overselling of the service by the operator, wiring in poor condition, or a poor signal if we have contracted a fixed wireless service, other headaches for many users, who not only do not take advantage of the connection by the one they are paying for, but they can go as far as a complete interruption of the service without further ado.
2. Calculate your consumption
Knowing how much I am regularly consuming is essential and experts recommend knowing our demand. The amount of bandwidth varies depending on the service that is being used, they clarify from Huawei. “Listening to streaming music through a service like Huawei Music or Spotify is not the same as watching a movie in 4k,” says Felipe Sáez.
For example, if your two children access their classes separately and simultaneously via Zoom, Rodrigo Ramírez explains, in 4 hours, they consume 16 Gigs.
Felipe gives us a good tip. In order to calculate and make an estimate, Subtel has a calculator on its page that can make the calculation easier for you https://www.subtel.gob.cl/calculadora/ .
“Consumption can be high, but what matters is that the quality of the user experience is consistent with expectations, even beyond the number of megabytes contracted. One thing is the service that companies provide, but another very different thing is the experience that is delivered in the service. It is the quality of the experience that should not be degraded, ”says the former Undersecretary.
3. The most common mistakes
Now, the main problems that we are going to encounter in a WiFi network in your home are those related to interference, obstacles and the distance to the point of origin of the signal, generally it will depend on the place where we place the router or the connection point. main access, says Rodrigo.
And there is something essential to understand, he explains, the strength of the wireless signal is proportional to the distance, that is, the further the router or wireless access is from the room to which you want to bring coverage, the lower the speed and quality of the connection. Hence the importance of properly choosing the location of the wireless signal source. It seems truism, but there are many who make this blunder.
According to experts, these would be the most common mistakes we make:
a) Being away from the router. The closer the better, since Wi-Fi networks work with radio technology, that is, the further you get from the source, in this case from your router, the weaker the signal.
b) Another point has to do with the antennas of the router. If your router has antennas, the most logical thing is to point them towards the device you want to be connected to, but the efficient thing is to place the antenna perpendicular to the device so that a type of ring is formed so that it emits its signal more strongly.
c) Another point, are the obstacles . The electromagnetic frequencies used by Wi-Fi networks have this problem and it is that any type of obstacle reduces its strength and range, this happens with anything, from the type of ceiling, the floor or the quality of the construction of the walls, and even the water pipes. Also, Wi-Fi signals when there are crowds of people, reduce their strength.
d) Not changing the internet password: It is common for people to never change their password, says Felipe Sáez, and yes, it is very unpleasant to have to constantly change it, however, not doing so leaves the door open for nearby users They can enter the network and consume bandwidth without our knowledge. In addition, according to Sáez, we should also monitor the router, entering its configuration and checking the connected devices, identifying if we have any parasitic users.
e) Do not update the firmware of the router: it is always good to update the internal software of the router since optimizations are added in security and quality of the network, adds Sáez.
4. The internet plan:
Juan Zago recommends that, before contracting any plan, it is best to evaluate which are the nearby providers or those that have availability at our home, to rule out those alternatives that may be out of the budget, that have poor service, or that offer a lower speed than the competition, as well as the technology they use to distribute their signal. In this department, fiber optics is hard to beat, he says.
His advice is also that when we are clear about the alternatives we have, it is very useful to ask other people who have the contracted service for their opinions, in order to rule out again those that do not offer the contracted speeds, or that present falls constant, as well as the quality of customer service.
5. The Router: the most important
We do not look at whether that router covers the contracted connectivity or not, which is why we consider whether it is necessary to change them for more advanced equipment, and perhaps it is extremely necessary.
The routers, adapters, amplifiers or extenders you have used become outdated in terms of standards, protocols or even Ethernet connections, explains this telecommunications expert.
As we have already pointed out, we must take into account how many users and how many objects and equipment will be accessing the Internet, so we can distinguish between sporadic, intermediate and advanced users. A good router allows you more than 5 simultaneous users, advanced and semi-professional use.
You also have to look at the hardware of the computer, the processor, the RAM, the number of antennas and ports available. The better the hardware, the more workload it can handle without slowing down.
Wi-Fi networks that are in the 5 GHz frequency of modern routers that support the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard have more channels and offer more options in this regard, but not all devices are compatible.
There are of course other alternatives in this area to ensure more connectivity: 5G routers are increasingly attractive in view of the appearance of unlimited data rates.
How to know if we have a good router: the keys of an expert
There are several applications and software that allow you to simulate the capacity of the router in the home and that helps to place it in the best possible place. Rodrigo Ramírez recommends some: WiFi Solver FDTD, NetSpot, Ekahau, HeatMapper, Acrylic, VisiWave, AirMagnet, Survey PRO.
The serial routers offered by companies that sell fixed Internet, mostly come with versions that allow you to have a couple of devices at the same time, but that fail if we make intensive use of the wireless network. For this reason, the former Undersecretary of Telecommunications helped us to elucidate the keys to find one that suits our needs.
What should we pay attention to? They come with the 802.11ac wireless communications standard, which operates dually in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands to offer better coverage and speed, achieving minimum figures of 433 Mbps, but combining several data flows can reach 1.3 Gbps in even the most advanced equipment 1,900, 2,400 or 3,200 Mbps.
It is also worth looking at whether the router has advanced Quality of Service (QoS) protocols, which allow the router to intelligently redirect traffic through the different frequency bands, giving priority to devices and applications that need more speed and less latency.