Home Internet & Network Tips

October 23, 2020

Your home internet may not be as fast or as reliable as it is at the university. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when there are multiple roommates or household members online at the same time. If you are experiencing issues on your home network, our ITS team put together a list of recommendations below to help you troubleshoot common problems. 

Check Your Internet Speed

You can use Fast.com or do a simple Google search for "How do I test my internet speed" will display numerous types of internet speed checkers pop up (make sure to use a free resource; you should not need to pay to test your speed). Your speed should be 5Mbps or higher for use with St. Thomas technologies. 

If you experience slow speeds, try the following:

  • Physically move closer to your wi-fi router. The closer you are to your router can improve the strength of your connection. You may want to consider investing in a wi-fi extender to boost the signal into other rooms. 

  • Plug your computer in via ethernet. You may be able to use an ethernet cable to plug directly into the internet source for faster speeds than using the wi-fi. 

  • Restart your router. Most routers have a rest or an on/off button you can use to refresh your connection. Allow a few minutes for it to restart then try connecting on your devices.

  • Restart your computer. If other wi-fi capable devices are able to connect to your home wi-fi but your computer is not, try restarting your computer. 

  • Close other apps and programs. The software on your computer may be competing for your computer's processing power or network resources. Try closing these apps or limiting use of internet devices during work hours to speed up your device. 

  • Limit streaming and large downloads. Similar to having multiple software applications open, using streaming services or doing large downloads of files at the same time as a Zoom session can put a strain on your network's resources. 

  • Coordinate with your roommates and household members. You may need to ask other members of your household to not use the internet while you are performing essential tasks for your courses. For example, if someone is streaming a movie in the next room, that could slow down your internet speed while you are trying to participate in a class or work meeting. 

  • Check if your internet service provider has a widespread issue. Visit the company's website or contact their customer service team to determine if the internet issues you are experiencing are widespread across your city, neighborhood, or if it they are specific to your home.

  • Use a mobile hotspot. Your cell phone company may offer the ability to use your phone's data with other devices in order to access the internet. Contact your mobile porivder to see if a hotspot is an available option. 

Contact your internet service provider if your speeds are excessively slow. Some companies even offer speed increases during the COVID-19 pandemic.