Home Networking Best Practices

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Published on Aug. 28, 2020

If you find yourself working or learning remotely, you'll notice a different network experience than the one on Duquesne's campus. Several factors can affect your network experience when connected to a home Wi-Fi router, such as the number of devices connected at once or the location of the router.

Below are tips and best practices for securing your home wireless network and obtaining peak network performance.

Secure your home wireless network

Your home Wi-Fi router acts like a turnstile that all network traffic travels through. Yet, many people forget to secure this important device, leaving it susceptible to hackers.

You can secure your home wireless network by changing the default Wi-Fi network name and password. Changing the admin account password for your router can prevent unauthorized individuals from adjusting your router's settings.

Steps for changing your Wi-Fi network name and password can be found below:

Be as close as possible to your wireless router

The location of your home router plays an important role in your wireless connectivity. If your router is located in a far corner, it's wireless signal may not reach certain areas of your home.

For the best wireless coverage, try to either place the router in a central location in your home or move your device closer to your router. If you cannot change the location of your router, explore a wireless signal booster or mesh network system to expand the wireless network coverage in your home.

Close bandwidth-hungry applications

Some applications use a large amount of bandwidth, which can result in network slowness. Below are the top five applications that use the most bandwidth on your computer:

  • Skype and VoIP/video conferencing - 14%
  • Dropbox and online backup - 11%
  • YouTube - 3.0% (all online video adds up to 8.9%)
  • Pandora - 2.5% (music apps add up to 6.7%)
  • Facebook - 0.8% (all social web adds up to 1.1%)

Closing these applications when you are not using them can help increase your home wireless network performance.

Limit devices connected to your internet

With many people working and learning from home, more devices are being connected to your home wireless network during the day, which can cause slow network speeds.

Some internet service providers (ISPs), like Verizon and Xfinity, allow you to view and control devices connected to your home wireless network.

Run speed tests

If you're curious about your home network's speed and performance, you can perform a network speed test by going to speedtest.net or fast.com.

Running a network speed test will provide a summary of your home network's upload and download speed. For comparison, the average download speeds in the United States are approximately 150 Mbps (fixed broadband) and 40 Mbps (mobile).