Middlebury

Tips for Improving a Home Network

In most cases your home network works just fine for you and your family. When trying to participate in a video conference call or a class, however, you may run into bandwidth constraints. In those cases you may experience choppy audio or video. Zoom may notice and send you a message along the lines of “Your Internet Connection is Unstable”.  

Here are some steps you can take that may address those stability issues, listed in priority of effectiveness:

 

  1. Close applications on your computer that may consume bandwidth in the background unless you’re actively using them. (Don’t close Zoom while on a Zoom call!)
    • Microsoft OneDrive
    • Google Drive File Stream
    • MS Teams
    • DropBox
       
  2. Turn off other computers that aren’t actively in use,
    • or at least disable their WiFi or wired connection temporarily.
       
  3. Ask family members to stay offline temporarily while you’re in an online meeting, conference, or class.
    • No Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, gaming, or streaming music.
       
  4. Temporarily turn off devices that use the network, including:
    • Television devices
      • Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, etc
    • Mobile phones
    • Personal assistants
      • Siri, Alexa, Google Home, etc
    • Video cameras
      • Ring doorbell, Nest Hello, any video camera that uses the network and can upload video to cloud storage
    • Gaming systems
      • XBOX, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, etc.
    • Smart Televisions
    • Music Streaming
      • Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, etc.
         
    • Close other browser tabs that aren’t in use, like Facebook or other pages that may auto-refresh.
       
    • Try an Ethernet cable rather than WiFi.
    • An Ethernet cable is often “faster” than WiFi, but it can also bypass a problematic WiFi configuration.
    • If the Ethernet cable works better than WiFi, it may be worth seeking assistance in the setup of the WiFi router.