Is the internet connectivity in your office testing your patience? Internet access is essential for modern business, and without great connectivity, your business could grind to a halt. So often, though, the strength of an internet connection seems beyond our control.
If you’re finding that your internet is weak or erratic, don’t despair. There are plenty of troubleshooting steps you can take to diagnose or even fix the issue on your own. Often, when you’re having internet issues, all that’s really needed are some quick fixes or hardware upgrades.
Read on to learn how to troubleshoot the internet issues in your office.
1. Restart Your Hardware
Sometimes the most obvious solution really is the right one. If you’re experiencing internet problems, the first step is almost always to restart your router. Sometimes hardware just needs to be reset, and it’ll be good as new.
When troubleshooting almost any technology, restart first to rule out the easy fix. If nothing improves, you can move on to the following next steps.
2. Run a Speed Test
The next suggestion is to check your internet speed and make sure it’s within the range promised by your ISP. There are a number of free online sites where you can test your internet speeds, though these are usually geared at smaller home-based networks. You may also be able to ask your IT team to run their own speed test with their own equipment.
If speeds are consistently slow everywhere in the office, it may be time to reach out to your ISP. If you notice that speeds are only slow toward the end of the month, you may be experiencing throttling due to data caps. Data caps are a set amount of data that ISPs allow over certain periods of time. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do about data caps besides changing your internet plan, so it may be time to consider choosing a better provider.
If your internet is slow and there isn’t anything you can do to change your plan, there are a number of measures your business can take, such as connecting devices to ethernet or limiting the number of data-heavy applications in use at one time. There are also some additional steps you can try before taking such drastic measures.
3. Check Your Router Locations
If your WiFi is only slow in certain corners of your office, you may be able to fix the issue with something as simple as moving a router.
WiFi signals will have the greatest reach if they’re being emitted from a central location, so make sure your routers and modems aren’t tucked away in corners. Additionally, while WiFi can travel through walls, it does get slowed down by them. To the extent that it’s possible, make sure your routers aren’t being blocked by walls or thick furniture. Finally, WiFi signals can get distorted by metal or glass, so make sure they aren’t near any filing cabinets, aquariums, or mirrors.
If your routers are already in an optimal location but the signal still doesn’t reach the far corners of your office, you can solve the issue with some additional hardware. Range extenders are just what they sound like – devices that send your WiFi signal farther, though the signal does get a little weaker. Meanwhile, access points emit their own WiFi signals. Another option is an adaptive WiFi solution like Plume Workpass that learns and adapts to WiFi needs so the connection is always strong when and where it’s needed.
4. See If Other Networks Are Interfering with Yours
If your office is located in close proximity to many other offices, you may be receiving interference from your neighbors’ WiFi signals. In cases where your speed tests come back perfectly fine, this could be the explanation.
Your IT team can use a free software to confirm if this is the case. If it is, you can fix the problem fairly easily by switching your WiFi to a different channel. This will help your network avoid clashing with other networks without otherwise impacting your WiFi’s performance.
5. Monitor What Users Are Doing on Your Network
In a perfect world, an infinite number of users would be able to use an infinite amount of data without any issues. In the real world, though, there’s a limit to what your ISP allows for. Keeping track of what’s happening on your network to limit unnecessary data use can be key to ensuring great performance in the long run.
To properly monitor network usage, you’ll want a service that collects data on how your network is used and delivers analytics to you. These services can show you how your WiFi is being used and what could possibly be taking a toll they take on your WiFi.
If you notice, for example, that an excessive amount of video calls happen at the same time, you can encourage users to reschedule their calls or use voice only. If you see heavy downloads being performed while other users are trying to do their work, ask users to do these downloads after normal business hours.
6. Use Analytics to Identify Peak Usage Times
Sometimes, the issue may not be that your users are doing particularly demanding tasks, but simply that they’re doing a lot of them. Peak usage hours can often lead to slowdowns.
Again, WiFi analytics solutions can help you identify and prevent the problem. You can receive data illustrating when too many people are on the network and adjust work schedules accordingly. There are also WiFi solutions available that use AI to keep track of when the heaviest WiFi usage occurs. These solutions proactively bolster WiFi strength during those time periods to support seamless WiFi use.
WiFi troubles can be incredibly frustrating, but they can often be overcome with some simple troubleshooting. You can use these tips to deduce exactly why your WiFi is slowing down, and what needs to be done to keep your employees productive.