With everyone conducting both work and school from home, households are relying on multiple connected devices at the same time. Here are some key considerations from EarthLink’s Chief Product Officer Leon Hounshell to help you ensure that the technology in your home stays fast, safe and secure for everyone involved:
- The speed you need depends on how you use the internet; the number of people and devices that use the internet at the same time can multiply your speed needs.
- 40-50 Mbps is usually enough speed for a household to use video conferencing, play online games, post pics, stream HD movies, and more. Families who are heavier internet users, serious gamers, 4K binge streamers, etc., will need closer to 100Mbps or more to make sure the internet connection will not be the bottleneck.
- If you have a smart TV – but watch TV and movies over a cable or satellite connection – your usage will be less because that content doesn’t come over the internet.
- Search for a speed or bandwidth calculator that will help assess your particular situation. Enter your household’s number of people, devices and online activities and the calculator will recommend how many Mbps you need.
- Nearly all of devices now connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. And Wi-Fi signals are like light: some objects interfere with it, while others let it through. It doesn’t matter how fast the internet speed coming into your house is, if the Wi-Fi signals are being blocked or absorbed or if they have to travel too far, you’re going to have internet dead zones.
- Leveraging advancements in Wi-Fi technologies will allow you to take advantage of the speed you’re paying for and greatly improve the overall internet experience by getting that speed to all the right places. There are two types of boosters to fix the problem: Wi-Fi extenders and Wi-Fi mesh networks.
- Additional concerns include privacy and security: does your current service plan include features for real-time protection from malware and viruses? What about identify theft protection?
- And finally, consider available parental controls to protect your kids’ usage as well as tools to block unauthorized access to your camera. Check with your provider to learn more.