Home Others Working From Home: Wi-Fi / Networking Considerations

Working From Home: Wi-Fi / Networking Considerations

Internet speed (bandwidth) concerns for zoom / remote work:

  • “Bandwidth” generally refers to the maximum rate at which data can be transmitted over a network. In terms of home internet service, the bandwidth you pay for from your internet service provider (ISP) is always a maximum, and not necessarily your actual speed. Many Internet tariffs have different “downstream” and “upstream” speeds. Downstream is data that is downloaded to your device from the Internet. Upstream is data that is uploaded to the Internet from your device. In an application like Zoom, downstream data includes the video and audio of everyone else in the meeting, while upstream data is your own video and audio stream sent to Zoom over the network.

  • You can take your effective bandwidth below. check Speedtest.net or Fast.com (it can be helpful to compare the two).

  • Do I need faster internet to use Zoom? Zoom is very flexible in terms of bandwidth - Visit the Zoom Bandwidth Requirements page - and recommends upstream connection speeds of 1.5-3.0 Mbps for optimal group meeting performance with HD video quality. If your connection speed falls below these thresholds, your video quality will automatically adjust to keep you in the meeting. Most home internet packages are at least 25 Mbit / s downstream / 5 Mbit / s upstream, and your home internet package should be at least 10 Mbit / s down / 5 Mbit / s up to use Zoom effectively. Remember, there is a difference between what you pay your ISP for and what you get. You are not guaranteed to get the full speed you are paying for. If there is a large discrepancy between your effective speed (tested on the websites above) and the speed you are paying for, please contact your ISP.

  • How much bandwidth do i need? A&S recommends that your Internet packet from your ISP be ~ 25Mbps downstream and 5Mbps upstream for one person. If your network has multiple people working from home or family members taking part in distance learning, a faster package from your ISP may be required. Please use the speed tests above as a guide to determine your speeds during the work day. Please also keep in mind that increasing your downstream internet speed from 100Mbps to 400Mbps is very unlikely to affect the quality of your zoom experience. Zoom only uses ~ 3.0Mbps for HD video and audio.

  • Most home internet speeds far exceed the downstream requirements for Zoom. If you can stream Netflix, then you can use Zoom successfully.

  • If you have a wireless router, always try to position yourself as close to the router as possible. This will ensure that you have full signal strength and limit the effects of WiFi interference that can affect your connection speed.

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  • We have received reports that Zoom is struggling under heavy loads during the work day. You can Check the current network status of Zoom to see if there is a known problem. Please note that this site may not list all problems. When the network is congested, users typically see degraded or frozen / choppy video feeds. Audio is usually unaffected or needs to be less affected. In situations where zoom is the bottleneck, please understand that your ability to improve the situation is limited. You may need to create a plan to adjust your teaching strategy or postpone an administrative meeting if the connection quality is very poor or unstable.

  • For non-zoom work-from-home scenarios: in most web-based For applications, connection speed is not an urgent concern. A faster connection can make pages load or respond faster and feel more responsive, but is not required for effective home working scenarios. PAC, ARC, FDS, CUIT VPN etc. do not require high-speed internet connections as they transfer very little data. Almost all of the processing is done on the server side (e.g. Columbia) of the connection - slowness in ARC, for example, while budget checking is not a function of internet speed. This is directly related to the complexity of the operations performed on the ARC servers. LionMail and Outlook also transfer very little data and do not require fast connections.

  • Remote desktop connections to a PC on campus do not have significant bandwidth requirements, and these requirements are lower than those for Zoom. A stable remote desktop connection to a PC on campus can only require 200 kbps (not Mbps) upstream / downstream.

WiFi router for the home

  • When you lease / rent your wireless router from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) - It is very common for in-home routers to be rented from your ISP (Comcast, Spectrum, FiOS, etc.). In such cases, if you have problems with your home WiFi, please contact your Internet service provider directly, as they often have remote management tools that can be used to remotely assess the status of your home network. If your devices are misconfigured or if you have a problem with your leased hardware, your ISP is best able to help you fix the problem or replace your devices.
    • Using your own WiFi router in conjunction with the equipment provided by your ISP can be a non-trivial process. Your first course of action should be to contact the ISP immediately with your connectivity questions and concerns. ISP wireless routers usually combine the functions of a modem (which communicates with the Internet) and a wireless router (which communicates between your computer and the modem and then, in turn, the Internet), so you should check with your ISP In front Buying your own equipment.
  • Consumer WiFi routers (bought out-of-the-box rather than leased from an ISP) vary widely in quality. If your connection is slow or unstable, even if your computer is near the wireless router, you should try restarting your router. To do this, unplug the power cord from the router for 30 seconds, then plug it back in and allow it to restart.
  • If you are looking to buy a new WiFi router to resolve internet speed at home, please check with your ISP first to make sure there are no problems on their side (and not your router). Please also use the resources above to check your actual current internet speeds - different websites work differently depending on network load, so zoom slowness is not an option Not automatically mean your connection is slow or unstable.
  • If you find that you need a new home WiFi router, please consider the following models. The first two are recommended by CUIT for campus placement (more information here), and the latter models are general recommendations for stable, high quality routers.
  • To install routers in CUIT serviced locations, please contact CUIT for assistance at home or by phone. For installation in an external housing, please refer to the manufacturer's installation instructions.

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