Can ISPs Handle Rise in Demand During COVID-19 Pandemic?
To prevent the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak, many companies around the world have opted for the work from home option. Similarly, the majority of the educational institutions have closed down and students are expected to continue their studies through online classes.
The Internet plans you monthly subscribe to might be enough to provide you a reliable and high-speed service in normal circumstances. But during coronavirus pandemic, everyone’s zoom meetings, heavy downloads, and other messaging apps might slow down the service. Since the users of cable have to share bandwidth with their neighbors, their Internet connection can get significantly slow during peak hours.
Can the ISPs Handle the Surge?
When millions of additional people will be using Internet services, Internet services are meant to degrade in quality. The chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, also expressed his concerns recently, saying “We just don’t know how the infrastructure will fare. What is sufficient bandwidth for a couple of home computers for a husband and wife may not be sufficient when you add students who are going to class all day long operating from home.”
The rapid rise in traffic is a serious matter of concern for the ISPs. However, major national service providers like AT&T, Xfinity, Cox, Verizon, and Spectrum have guaranteed that their services will not get compromised at any cost. They have also offered free Internet services and the elimination of data caps during this hard time. For-example Charter has been offering free Spectrum Internet to all households with K-12 and college students since early March. Many other providers like Xfinity have listed plans to improve bandwidth for the customers.
How Can You Boost the Internet Speed?
If you are experiencing an unusually slow connection during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can run a speed test. If the speeds are slower than the ones advertised, below are some of the ways that can help you upgrade your Internet connection.
Opt for a Mesh Network
A mesh network will allow you to enjoy the same speeds anywhere in the household. Instead of the devices getting connected to a single point in your home, they can get linked to the web spread throughout the home. This can ensure more high-speed and reliable connectivity.
Time-Shift Your Video Calls
If you follow a strict meeting schedule for your business, it is high time that you should change it. Your meetings will be full of interruptions in the morning because students and employees will be busy taking classes and attending calls. Therefore, shift your meetings to the evening so that you can have a smooth conversation. You can also drop the call and try reconnecting 10 or 15 minutes later. This’ll surely decrease the chances of disconnections.
Save Downloads and Updates for the Evening
Shift your updates or downloads to the evening because that is when Internet usage is the lowest. You might have a Cable TV package and might be waiting for a stable Internet connection to download “The Platform” movie. The best strategy is to download it in the middle of the night when the Internet connection will be the strongest. For Windows and other software updates as well, you can turn off the automatic update feature and schedule updates for the night.
Switch off Idle Devices
To ensure that you can perform everyday tasks easily, switch off all the idle devices. Sometimes, downloading an app or even streaming a low-quality video can slow down the speeds significantly. So, cease all software updates and turn off all apps running in the background to work without any interruptions.
Place Your Router in the Right Spot
Never place your router in a spot from where it can’t provide good signals. Often, people want to hide their routers because they certainly aren’t décor material. This can seriously compromise the capacities of your router. So, get a Wi-Fi analyzer and find the right spot with the help of it. Place your router in a spot from where it can provide maximum signals throughout the house.
Consider Changing Your Router’s Settings
Depending upon how advanced your router is, you can change the router’s settings in a variety of ways. You can change them in a way that maximum signals can be delivered to your device. In this way, speeds won’t slow down on your device and you’ll be able to work easily.
If you have a router than can support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, switch your device to 5GHz as it can deliver higher speeds at a low range. But make sure to stay close to the router otherwise the quality can get compromised.
Try a New Router
If you have not upgraded your router and the model is an old one, it might be the right time to change your router. This is because your router might not be capable enough to handle all that extra load. So, buy a new router that offers advanced features and is capable of managing multiple devices.
If none of the above-mentioned strategies work, you can consider subscribing to an Internet package with higher speeds. Or if you are dissatisfied with the current ISPs, you should consider switching to another ISP.