Make Work From Home, Work For You

Working from home has its own unique challenges, add in complications with technology at home, and it can turn into quite the headache. We’ve put together a list of common tech problems users working from home often experience, provide information on why, and offer solutions for a better experience.

Working from home has its own unique challenges, add in complications with technology at home, and it can turn into quite the headache. We’ve put together a list of common tech problems users working from home often experience, provide information on why, and offer solutions for a better experience.

The situation:

My video calls are slow/choppy.

Let’s talk tech:

There are a few different things that could be the culprit for your slow connection and choppy video. When video calls run on your computer they are consuming a lot more of the central processing unit (CPU) than something that uses less of the CPU like a word processor. Meaning your computer is working harder to run a video call, resulting in a slower overall computer speed. If your computer has quite a few applications running in addition to a video call, you’ll also notice a slower connection.

Your home internet speed can also affect the speed of your video calls. If you have other individuals working or studying from home, chances are high you’re all using the same internet and bandwidth. As there’s greater distribution of these among everyone at home, it may result in a poorer connection — especially if everyone’s watching videos online or on video calls at the same time.

A good rule of thumb for home Internet is to have about 75 Mbps. For comparison, Google Meet consumes ~2.2mbps (megabits per second) of bandwidth for group video meetings and can increase based on how many people join the call.

The solution: 

If you are in a video call and your connection is slow try turning off your video and only using audio. This will reduce the bandwidth used and should provide a better connection.

Another solution to consider (if you have flexibility in when to participate in video calls), is to select times when other members of the household are not participating in video calls or watching videos online. This will help distribute bandwidth throughout the day.

 

The situation:

My Internet is slow.

Let’s talk tech: 

A good rule of thumb for home Internet is to have about 75 Mbps download and upload speed. If you’d like to test your internet connection to check speed, test it here. If your download and upload speeds are over 75mbps we consider your speed to be adequate. This number will of course vary through the day depending on how many people are using the internet and what content is being accessed.

If you have other individuals working or studying from home and all sharing the same bandwidth there may be a slower connection as there’s greater distribution. This is why if all members of the household are on a video call or watching a video online on different devices, at the same time, chances are high you’ll experience a poor video connection.

The solution:

Distribute bandwidth use throughout the day. If at all possible, stagger when members in the household are watching video online or participating in video calls.

Note: Keep in mind a hardline connection to your Internet (ie plugged in with an Ethernet cable) will typically provide a faster connection than solely connecting to your home wireless. This is another option to try if you’re experiencing slow Internet.

 

The situation:

My Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) is slow.

Let’s talk tech: 

A remote desktop connection or RDP (Direct To Desktop) allows you to connect to your work computer from home for access to specialized applications unique to your work. A remote to desktop connection consumes around ~15 mbps.

The solution: 

Distribute bandwidth use throughout the day. If at all possible, stagger when members in the household are watching video online or participating in video calls.

Note: Keep in mind a hardline connection to your Internet (ie plugged in with an Ethernet cable) will typically provide a faster connection than solely connecting to your home wireless. This is another option to try if you’re experiencing slow Internet.

 

The situation:

My computer is old and doesn’t work well when multitasking.

Let’s talk tech: 

In today’s age of online classes, live streams, and video call work meetings we’re asking more of our computers than ever before. It’s important to note computer standards are ever changing based on new applications and uses. The standards recommended today may not be adequate for use a few years from now.

The solution: 

We’ve developed a list of recommended computer hardware standards to best support your computing needs here: Computer Hardware Standards. These are a good starting point to determine if your computer’s hardware could be out-of-date or if there’s another underlying issue.


For tips to keep your computer in shape and your information secure, visit How to Stay Secure