Here are some helpful tips and things to consider when managing your home network:
The cornerstone to your technology set up is your network. It is no longer just the thing that brings in the internet and connects your computer to your printer. Your network is also supporting your smart TV, your sound system, your security system, your webcams and your heating and A/C controls.
How you connect to the internet, how you create your wireless network, what devices you connect to the network and how you secure those devices on your network are the most important technical decisions you will make.
Choosing your internet service provider: Cable companies have provided faster service and more capacity than AT&T and U-verse in the past. AT&T is coming out with fiber optic cabling which can offer faster speeds than your cable company. If you are a family with multiple smart TVs, computers/tablets and phones that will be accessing the internet and streaming or downloading things at the same time, you want Cable or AT&T Fiber Optic. Do your homework and select the right package for your family. Basic cable or AT&T U-verse may not have enough bandwidth for your family’s needs.
Networking equipment: if your modem or router is more than 5 years old, upgrade it. If you have a larger home and demand a lot of your wireless network, the built in wireless router on your modem will probably not give you the speed and reliability you require. You may need an additional, more powerful wireless router.
When creating your network, take into consideration where you will be using your wireless devices. Wireless routers cannot broadcast the network thru architectural barriers like chimneys or heavy masonry walls. You don’t want your modem/router located in the basement if you have a home office with wireless connections on the 2nd or 3rd floor. If there are architectural barriers that you cannot avoid, think about running cable to those hard to reach spots. You can create a wireless access point from these connections.
Resist the temptation to name your network anything that can be identified as you. Do not include any part of your name, address, pet’s name, sports team affiliation… We like to leave the default name, something generic that is associated with the router.
Password protect the wireless network with a serious password. The modem/routers also have firewalls built in that provide security. DON’T TURN THEM OFF.
Parental Controls: try to have your devices located in a central area of the home where you can easily supervise their use. In addition, many routers can be programmed with parental controls that will control anything connected to your wireless network; computers, TVs, phones, gaming consoles, friends’ phones and devices. This can be a very effective tool.
Lastly, if you are having issues with speed or connectivity follow these steps
- Reboot your modem/router and all your devices
- Call your internet service provider and ask them to check your speed and your connections. They can do this while you are on the phone with them.
- Call us for help.