Connecting From Home: How to Set up a Home Network

Right now, many people are doing telecommuting work from home, but sometimes having it all up and working seamlessly has its challenges. From sluggish bandwidth to not having WiFi set up at all, there can be a few kinks to work out. Until today, maybe you used your WiFi for email and Facebook, but now your whole family is home, and everyone is connected. 

From video conferencing to chat and email, your WiFi is taking a beating, and that’s just from you. Add in your kids’ gaming and video streaming, and the bandwidth is shrinking to a slow and sluggish pace. Stay with us while we walk you through a few things to make your work from home a better experience. 

Working From Home

Many companies, in addition to schools, are looking to the internet to replace face-to-face activities with virtual and remote solutions. We’re all in this together to slow the spread of coronavirus, and that means telecommuting for everything. Still, with everyone at home and online, home networks are feeling stretched.

To help citizens stay connected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stepped in and published a list of pointers on how to optimize home WiFi performance. They have also started a pledge with internet providers asking them not to disconnect services to consumers due to unpaid bills, and many companies have already signed it. 

If you have a large household and everyone is connecting to the internet at the same time, it could cause an internet traffic jam in your home. There are a few things you can do to make sure, mostly anyway, that doesn’t happen. 

Connecting a Home WiFi Network

If you don’t have a WiFi connection in your home and are now facing the prospect of working remotely. It’s not as complicated as you think to do it yourself. Often you just need to buy a router, and your internet provider will do the rest, but if not, we can help.

Head to Amazon or a local computer store’s online website. Dual-band routers are usually good to aim for and provide stable connections. Just searching using the term router or WiFi modem should return a lot of options. 

Next, contact your internet service provider and ask them for your IP settings. You’ll need to know this information to set up your router. It should include:

  • IP Address
  • Subnet Mask 
  • Default Gateway
  • DNS 1
  • DNS 2

Once you receive your router, it will have instructions and a website-based wizard that will help you set it up. Just connect your internet modem provided by your internet service provider to it and connect to the WiFi router wirelessly to start. You will be configuring a static internet connection usually. 

Once the settings are in the router, try browsing the internet. If you’re getting to pages, everything was done correctly. If not, call your internet service provider, and they may be able to assist over the phone.

If you have a friend who is good at technology, you can give them a call, too. 

WiFi Security

One of the first things you need to do is to set the SSID and set up security settings. Getting these right is essential to prevent nearby residents from using your bandwidth.

  • Change the default administrator password
  • Change the router’s default SSID
  • Assign security
  • Setup WPA/WPA2 and assign a password
  • Change the IP address to keep the router secure from trespassers
  • Change the default login username and set a login password

Optimizing Your Home Network

The first thing you should do is review your internet package. When you selected it, you weren’t planning to work from home or that everyone would need to use it at the same time all day. Make sure your bandwidth covers your current needs. 

If you will have more than one person needing video conferencing at the same time, it’s wise to upgrade to an advanced internet connection. 

What’s Your Internet Speed?

Most of us know that what we think we’re buying from our internet provider isn’t always what we’re getting. Consider that most home connections are on a shared, not dedicated line, the speed we’re getting fluctuates up and down all day long. Still, checking using an app helps, and if it seems low in the extreme, a chat with your provider might be warranted.

How Are You Connecting?

Most WiFi routers on the market right now offer dual bands. What this means is you can connect to either a 2.4Ghz connection or 5ghz. While 2.4Ghz is usually fine for most of your tasks, 5Ghz is often more stable. 

Take a look at your computer and see which bandwidth you’ve selected for your WiFi connection. If your connection is choppy, try switching to the other band and see if it helps. Check who else in your home is connected and what they are doing. 

Scheduling Internet Use

With everyone being home, internet use gets a bit complicated. Trying to make a schedule of everyone’s video conferencing and more substantial use times can help. Being that most of this activity will be day time, try staggering video conferencing so that everyone gets a better quality video connection. 

Make sure that cellphones are off the network when you are teleconferencing, and it’s a good idea to unplug smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo. Besides, using bandwidth, there are security issues related to them while you are working from home. It is especially true for people who work with confidential information.

Work From Home the Old School Way

If all else fails to resolve your internet connectivity problems, and you have a laptop that can take a network cable, you can connect to your router using a cable. You will get a more reliable connection with a cable. 

If you have a network built through a computer, you can find out how to map a network drive to keep your office work separate. 

We’re All in This Together

Many of us haven’t worked remotely before, so there are a lot of adjustments to work from home. Establishing a routine and dedicating a space for your work can help in many ways. Resolve internet sharing and connectivity issues as soon as possible. 

We’re all in this together, so let’s keep our cool. Keep ourselves safe and look for appropriate ways to reduce stress. Keep coming back to read about more great topics.