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Every device you add to your home Internet network takes a bite out of your bandwidth. If you’re reading the news on your tablet, you’re only taking a small bite. But if you’re streaming high-definition video, then you’re eating up a lot of bandwidth.
Bandwidth is a term used to reference the rate of data transfer on a network or Internet connection, usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps). We're here with some helpful tips on how to optimize your bandwidth usage.
Use a wired connection
To get optimal speeds, a wired Ethernet connection is recommended. There are limitations with this, not all devices can support a wired connection and your devices must be close to your connection point (modem or router) to be wired.
This form of connection is best for desktop computers, gaming consoles, or streaming devices that are going to stay in the same place.
Manage your streaming
Most households are routinely streaming content. In fact, streaming now makes up the majority of web traffic in homes. Make sure your streaming applications aren’t streaming content that you aren’t watching as it will eat up a good portion of your bandwidth.
If you have a slower Internet connection, you may have to settle for lower quality videos that don’t require as much bandwidth. If your current speeds are unable to support your streaming habits, it might be time to upgrade to a higher speed.
Adjust your app settings
Mobile and desktop applications often run in the background of your device without the user even being aware. When an app does an automatic update or stays connected to the Internet, it’s taking a bite out of your home’s bandwidth.
Make sure you close apps after you exit them on mobile devices, or set your apps to only be able to access the Internet when open.
For Windows computers use the magic sequence; Ctrl+Alt, Delete, then open task manager. I had 103 background processes running on my desktop. None were taking up massive amounts of bandwidth individually, but they do add up and many aren’t necessary to run.
Reboot your Modem and Router
Periodically rebooting your modem and router will restart processes and clear memory cashes. Basically, you're giving your modem and router a fresh start (like a good night's sleep).
When rebooting, have the device unplugged for at least 10 seconds. This will allow capacitors to drain and the memory to clear.
Turn off or disconnect devices that aren’t being used on your network. Each additional connected device will take another bite from your bandwidth.
If you’re only using your tablet to play Tetris, disconnecting it from your network will free up more bandwidth for another user to stream hard-hitting HBO series like Chernobyl (great show by the way).
Changing the password on your wireless network can also get devices off your network that you don't want connected to it (like my neighbour Bart's iPad). Be forewarned, you will have to manually add all of your devices to the wireless network again with the new password. This should only be done if you're prepared to reconnect all of your devices.
Upgrading your equipment or Internet package
Lastly, upgrading your equipment (items such as the modem, router, and Ethernet cables) will ensure your network can handle more bandwidth and heavier traffic. If your Internet package can’t keep up with your Internet usage, it might be time to look into a higher bandwidth subscription to accommodate your needs.
Contact us today to learn about our new Internet products built to suit your household's needs.