Remote working has become increasingly common due to the impacts of COVID-19. Even before the virus’ outbreak, people were aware of the benefits of home working; such as convenience and savings on travel costs.
However, one of the main downfalls of home working is dealing with slow or temperamental broadband.
If your internet connection is proving to be an issue whilst you work from home, this guide will provide you with all the advice you need to find a better deal and get the most out of your broadband package.
What broadband speed is best for home working?
The ideal broadband speed for your work will depend on the type of activities you’ll be performing. For example, will you be downloading files? Will you be conducting video calls? Or does your job mainly entail sending emails?
Below we highlight the typical broadband speeds required for different work activities.
This is considered a relatively lightweight activity unless you’re frequently sending emails with large attachments. A standard ADSL broadband connection will usually suffice.
Again, a standard ADSL connection is usually suitable for simple web browsing. As the average size of a web page is approximately 3MB, the minimum recommended broadband speed for browsing is between 1-5 Mbps (megabits per second).
Downloading and uploading files
If uploading and downloading large files is a key part of your daily work routine, it could be worth investing in a high-speed internet plan. Upload speeds tend to be slower than download speeds as the latter is given priority by service providers.
You should note that fast broadband can be particularly useful if you use the cloud for backups or file synchronising, as this typically requires frequent data handling.
If the files you work with are small, an ADSL connection should be suitable.
VOIP and video calls
If you conduct voice calls over Skype or any other VOIP services (Voice Over IP), you don’t necessarily need a superfast broadband connection. However, you may require more speed if you’re using these services for video calls. Skype typically requires a minimum download speed of 1.2 Mbps, whilst Google Hangouts and Apple Facetime recommend 3 Mbps. Zoom generally recommends a broadband speed of around 1.2Mbps. These requirements tend to increase with the number of people included in the call.
How do I check if my internet broadband is fast enough?
You can check the speed of your broadband by conducting a quick and easy broadband speed test. There are plenty of free tools available for you to use online.
It’s also a good idea to check whether your broadband is fast enough for your specific work tasks. You can do this by conducting tests and measuring the performance and how long they take to complete. For example, you could perform a quick video call test to see whether the quality is clear and if there are any delays. You could also make a note of how long different files take to upload and download.
If you find that your work tasks take longer than desired, it may be worth comparing broadband prices on the market to find a better deal.
Should I get a business broadband package?
If you’re currently working from home because of COVID-19, or if you only work from home once or twice a week, your normal broadband plan should suffice. However, if you run a business entirely from your home, you could benefit from getting a business broadband package.
Business broadband deals offer features that aren’t generally included in standard broadband packages. For example, you could benefit from faster speeds, better online security and phone capabilities. Business broadband deals can also include 24/7 customer service support and a more powerful router. These added benefits can help make your business more efficient and easier to run.
Are broadband packages with usage limits recommended?
If you choose a broadband package that has a usage limit, you should ensure that you know how much internet data your business needs and select a deal that can cater to this. Failing to do this can result in slower internet speeds or charges for exceeding your data usage limit.
We recommend avoiding broadband packages that have usage limits. Instead, opt for a plan that offers unlimited data, this way you have peace of mind that there are no restrictions on your usage.
You should also bear in mind that some broadband packages can include a restriction on traffic management. This doesn’t tend to cause much of an issue as they are usually used to slow down file sharing, however, some internet services use them in other ways. We recommend that you thoroughly check over your contract’s terms and conditions prior to signing it to ensure that the traffic management restrictions (if included) won’t hinder your work.
What happens if I share my internet connection with others?
Since COVID-19, people are spending more time indoors. This can mean slower broadband speeds due to increased data usage. If you share your internet connection with others in your household, this can be all the more reason to invest in a better broadband deal.
How can I improve my broadband performance?
If you’re struggling with slow broadband, we recommend switching to a new deal that offers a stronger connection. However, there are a few measures you can take to try to improve your broadband’s performance.
Here are some of our top tips:
- Ensure that your WiFi router is set up correctly and plugged into your home’s master socket instead of an extension cord.
- Position your router in an open space; unobstructed by furniture or walls and away from other devices and windows. You should also ensure that it is upright and facing you.
- Invest in a WIFI booster/ powerline adapter
- Reduce the number of devices connected to your WIFI.
- Close any unnecessary tabs and apps on your computer/laptop.
- Switch off HD streaming on entertainment devices whilst working.
- Change your wireless channel settings and ensure that it is not set to the same channel as your neighbours.
- Avoid using appliances such as microwaves and halogen lamps. These can interfere with your WiFi signal.
- Use an ethernet cable to connect your computer to the router. This can help to limit interference.
- If possible, arrange for audio and video calls to occur during off-peak usage times.
- If you have a landline, use it to make calls instead of using your mobile.
- Close any unnecessary tabs and apps on your computer/laptop.
Love Energy Savings can help you find the best deal for your broadband. We can recommend a package that can meet your home working needs and ensure that your work is never affected by slow internet speeds.
For an internet connection that meets your requirements, compare broadband deals with us today.