During this strange time, we’re understandably getting more questions about computer and network health than ever before. We wanted to provide you with some technology health elements and troubleshooting tips. These are points that may help to cut down on frustration and make you more productive. This is somewhat of a long read but please check it out as we’re confident this can help now and in the future. See below:
Got an important Zoom or video call tomorrow on your computer?
- PREPARE: If your meeting is at 8 AM, don’t start doing updates and tweaks at 7:50 AM. If you do, you’re not going to make that meeting. Do these updates the day before DURING TECH SUPPORT HOURS and go onto the needed web platform to ensure that you can connect. Updates can cause certain functions to stop working so you want to make sure that tech departments are open in the event that you need to call to get support.
- DON’T USE THE INTERNET FOR OTHER THINGS: While you’re on your call, tell your children to stop playing video games, no Facebook Live, etc. These types of activities can slow up your network drastically and can contribute to glitching, delays, etc.
- DON’T CALL THE CABLE COMPANY IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO: With everything that is currently going on, the cable companies are more taxed than they have ever been. This is not the time to raise your Internet speed (see our point below about the Gigabit lie/Internet speed and why it isn’t that important), attempt to change providers, get new services, etc. We would recommend waiting on any non-essential tweaks until things get back to normal. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
- CHECK YOUR BACKGROUND PROCESSES: If you have anything going on such as Carbonite back-ups, Dropbox syncing, iCloud uploads, etc. these services can all cut down on your Internet bandwidth and can cause issues with video conferencing. Turn these off if you have important video calls that need to be perfect. NOTE: If you do turn these off, make sure you turn them back on.
Want Healthy web browsing?
- RESTART YOUR MODEM AND ROUTER REGULARLY: This will help to prevent lock-ups and disruptions in your Internet service.
- RESTART YOUR LAPTOPS, TABLETS, PHONES, ETC: Restarting your devices regularly (turn off power, wait 30 seconds and then power them back up) will help to keep your electronics working properly.
- CLEAR YOUR BROWSER CACHE: Another phrase for this is “Don’t have 57 windows open on your laptop”. Close these unused browser windows and history for better surfing performance.
- MAKE SURE THAT YOUR BROWSER AND OPERATING SYSTEMS ARE UPDATED REGULARLY.
Random tips and opinions
- DON’T WORRY ABOUT INTERNET SPEED: The cable companies have been advertising their Gigabit service very frequently. Don’t believe the hype as you don’t need 1 Gbps for quality Internet connections. Here’s why Gigabit is good and bad:
- Most of our clients that have “gigabit” service are receiving 250-400 Mbps (25-40% of Gigabit speeds). Based on speed solely, ANYTHING in the house will run perfectly with this. Typically, most networks at 100 Mbps+ will allow household networked devices to run properly. Another point about this is that ALL of your devices, wallplates, connections and cables need to be Gigabit to theoretically get Gigabit speeds. Unfortunately, they almost never are. Our recommendation is not to get hung up on the idea of getting specifically Gigabit speed but just to know that having a Gigabit package will allow you to get GREAT speeds that should work with anything in your home.
- Throughput vs. speed: Throughput is how much network information (packets) gets to a location successfully. Elements such as using wired connections when possible, being in rooms/areas close to your WiFi routers and practicing good device health (see points above) will do more for your throughput than just concentrating on speed alone.
- ONE DEVICE WON’T CONNECT: If you have 1 device that won’t connect but 39 others that do, focus on the device that won’t connect as opposed to working on the other 39. If everything else works aside from one component, do the potential updates, resets, etc. on the device that won’t connect before you start resetting everything else.
- “IT AIN’T GOT NO GAS IN IT”: In the movie “Sling Blade”, this is one of Carl’s iconic lines. The point being made in this movie is that Carl looks for the simplest solution first. If your lawn mower doesn’t work, don’t take it completely apart and starting oiling the motor…check the gas first. Getting back to networks, if you have something that isn’t working, think about what might be the simplest thing first. This picture is of an Ethernet cable.
My computer stopped connecting to the Internet the other day. All of my other wired devices were working as well as my WiFi devices. Therefore, the simplest thing was to replace my Ethernet cable. TA-DA! My computer was working again! There was no reason that the cable should have gone defective…but it did. The point is that most problems are fixed by doing the simple stuff first.
We hope that this information helps you to become more Internet-savvy and that your devices behave. Need further help in San Diego with WiFi, computer troubleshooting or electronics...give us a call!