As part of the ‘new normal’ many people will be working from home for the foreseeable future, even as many parts of our economy return to usual runnings. With that, comes the challenge of making IT work for you outside of the office. Many people have struggled with poor video call connections since lockdown began.

Without access to the usual high-speed corporate internet connections, even simple video calls can become challenging. However, there are a few simple things you can do to troubleshoot your connectivity and make video calls better overall.

Overloaded Bandwidth

In a multi-occupancy household, it’s easy to lose track of how many devices you have connected to the home network at once. With most routers able to handle around 250 devices connected at a time, you’d think there’d be no issue with having two Amazon Echo’s, 3 computers, 2 gaming consoles and half dozen smartphones connected at the same time. 

What you’re probably forgetting is some of these devices will be constantly using data. They do this when trying to retrieve notifications, update themselves and push usage stats through your connection. They will be splitting your available bandwidth amongst themselves with some taking the lion’s share. Consider setting all your devices to update out-of-hours. And turn off any devices you don’t need during your workday. That will save more of the shared connection for your primary working use.

Poor Internet Connection

Do not put your WiFi router in the back of the house, in a cupboard. You’ll have the worst reception imaginable. The WiFi signal will struggle to penetrate all the hard surfaces, resulting in severe degradation as you move away from the source. If you notice you always have less than 3 bars of WiFi available, consider moving your router to a more central location in your home.

If your router is central and you’re still having issues, consider investing in signal boosters. Alternatively, talk to your internet provider about upgrading your connection. Where possible, use a wired connection for the best internet speed possible from your router as a fix for poor video call connections.

Out-of-date Software

One of the most commonly forgotten troubleshooting measures is simply to check for updates. Not only does your operating system need to stay up to date but the drivers may not always be updated along with it. So, you may need to download some updates manually. This can be true for your audio drivers (if you are having sound issues) to your graphics drivers (if you’re struggling with the video display).

Additionally, you’ll need to make sure the video calling/conferencing software you’re using is up to date overall. Software providers send out regular updates (even more so, not that there are heavy volumes) so be sure to install these each and every time you get a notification. You can also check for updates manually within the conference app or website.

Provider Issues

Often one of the last things you’d check, but oftentimes the problem isn’t you. The video calling/conferencing platform could be experiencing outages or high volumes and be temporarily offline for repairs. Your own ISP could be restricting usage at peak times to keep the lights on for everyone, so to speak.

Checking if your providers have any issues is really quick. All you usually need to do is visit the service status page on their website. Alternatively, you could visit their twitter page for updates as well or see if others are experiencing issues.

If none of these tips helps and you’re still having issues, why not reach out to one of our helpful IT Assist team members to discuss how we could improve your remote working connectivity.

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