Getting the best from wifi and VPN whilst working from home

IT Service Desk have been getting a lot of questions about VPN usage and WiFi speed, and have developed a list of tips to improve speed and reliability.

  1. Where possible, connect to your home router using an ethernet (RJ45) cable.  This eliminates wifi connectivity altogether.
  2. When having to connect using Wifi, remain in the same room as your router (not immediately above or below the router as the signal can be too strong) to increase reliability.  
  3. Moving the wifi router away from other radio sources such as cordless phones or where you charge your mobile phone may help.
  4. Some houses have poor wifi signal distribution due to wall-types, electrical items etc…It may be worth looking into installing additional wifi access points or mesh wifi to help achieve better signal coverage throughout.  This wouldn’t be the responsibility of our service desk to discuss, but there are plenty of articles on the internet which can help with this.
  5. Rebooting all equipment involved (laptop, router etc…) can sometimes resolve what didn’t used to be a problem.
  6. ‘Powerline adapters’ can provide a stable, wired, connection to the other side of the house, with one near router and one in another room of choice 
  7. Since more people are currently working from home, the Internet Service Providers are experiencing significantly increased levels of traffic.  Try to speak with them or check internet service status pages to see if there may be a known issue in your area which they are already trying to resolve.
  8. It may sometimes not be possible to download large volumes of data with any speed over VPN due to bandwidth issues.  In this case, it may be necessary to travel to an office, where a direct connection to the network would avoid the use of VPN altogether.
  9. Try to reduce other household members consuming large amounts of bandwidth; streaming high quality video or downloading large files, especially over wifi.
  10. Paying for a ‘faster’ home broadband connection would not necessarily be a solution to slow downloads over VPN.  It is more often the quality of the connection that’s the problem, rather than the speed.