Securing Your Home Internet Connection
In this blog, we will be covering must-know home internet tips to help you set up and maintain your home internet connection. The setting processes described below vary from one ISP/brand to the other. It is recommended that you reach out to their support before making these changes if you are uncomfortable doing this by yourself. Most devices have a reset button on the back, should you change something and are no longer able to get online.
Password Set Up
- Password protect your WIFI network. This password must be different than the default you start with. Make this password secure and complicated.
- Change your WIFI password at least once a year. Change it more frequently if you are giving the password out to people outside of your immediate family.
- Change your WIFI network name from the default. Most wireless routers/modems come with a default network name. Consider changing this to some innocuous rather than your family name or something containing personal information. Something like: Home-WiFi-001
Home Internet Tips: Maintenance
Along with good security practices, you should also be practicing good maintenance on your home network.
If you own your modem or wireless router, consider logging into your admin page and checking for the latest firmware updates. These updates are typically released a few times per year and include fixes and performance increases. Every manufacturer is different, so it is recommended to reach out to the brand’s support for instructions on how to do this. Some devices owned by your ISP are automatically updated, but it may be worth reaching out to them to verify.
Consider rebooting your modem and or wireless router once a month. This will ensure that any errors are cleared and space on the device is purged. This typically entails unplugging the device for 60 seconds and plugging it back in. Devices can take up to 15 minutes to come back on.
Set up your modem and or wireless router in an open environment with plenty of air. These devices generate some heat and can slow themselves down if they reach a certain temperature. Also, make sure to clean the dust off these devices at least once a year. The buildup of dust can increase temperatures and damage the equipment.
Home Internet Tips: Troubleshooting
If you are experiencing internet issues at home, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot your network and get back online.
Reboot Your Computer
Sometimes software or hardware may cause issues when you are trying to connect to your network. A reboot of your computer can sometimes resolve these issues. This also gives a chance for your system to install any updates that may resolve the issue you are experiencing.
Home Internet Tips: Check Your Internet Speed
Speed.cloudflare.com runs the largest content delivery network and has thousands of data centers across the world. This speed test takes advantage of that network and provides a suitable place to test your network in a realistic, consistent way. Your download speed and upload speed will vary based on what your Internet Service Provider offers – what you are looking for is a speed close to what you are paying for.
Your latency is the time it takes for a piece of data to move from your computer to Cloudflare and back. The typical latency or ping should typically be under 75ms. If your latency is over 75ms, then that could be an indication that there is an issue.
Your jitter is a measurement of how much variation we see in the latency measurements. Ideally, we would like to see this under 10ms. If the number is higher, there may also be an issue going on.
If you are seeing slow speeds or high latency, you may want to confirm that you or someone else is not downloading any large files. Smart home devices, including home security cameras and game systems that can download updates at any time, and depends on the content playing on those devices, may be contributing to your slow speeds. Consider turning these devices off and running another speed test to see if your download speeds have increased or your latency has decreased.
Further Issues with Internet Speed
If you are still having issues, then you may wish to reboot the modem that your Internet Service Provider has supplied to you. Be aware that it may take 15 minutes for your internet to come back online.
- Locate your modem provided by your ISP.
- Locate the power cable and unplug the power from the modem.
- Wait 60 seconds, then plug the power back into the modem.
- Wait about 5 minutes before attempting to access the internet again.
- Once you can access the internet, run another speed test, and verify that your speed has increased, and your latency has decreased.
Home Internet Tips: ISP Applications
Some ISPs have apps that you can download that let you interact directly with your modem or wireless router. This can provide deeper insight into what may be occurring with your network. You can reach out to your ISP/wireless router brand to check what applications may be available for you. Some of the more popular applications are listed here:
- Xfinity: https://www.xfinity.com/apps
- AT&T: https://myhomenetwork.att.com/#/login
- Netgear: https://www.netgear.com/home/discover/apps/genie.aspx
If you are still having issues with the speed on your network, we recommend reaching out directly to your Internet Service Provider. They usually can remotely make changes on your modem that can improve performance.