10 things to try if bad internet is slowing down your business
Whether it’s phone calls dropping out, glitch face while you're in an important Zoom meeting or even documents that take forever to open... slow internet can be incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to run a business.
The trouble is pin pointing what the issue is and when you’ve got sales to meet and staff to pay it’s the sort of job that can fall down the list until the phrase “xxx internet!” is uttered again.
Here’s a list of things you can do when dealing with a slow business broadband connection and what you can do about them.
- Conduct a speed test
Running a speed test is an easy and quick way to start troubleshooting slow broadband or check what speed you're getting right now.
It is a free web-based service that measures the speed, latency (delay) and jitter (difference in delay) of data sent between your computer or device and a nearby test server.
Tests are usually best done by plugging an ethernet cable into the modem and can help identify if there’s any issues with the network that brings data or the internet to your place. If the test is performing as per advertised speeds for your broadband plan, it might be more of an issue with your Wi Fi.
- Connect to a broadband network with plenty of capacity
Broadband capacity is affected by the number of people online, also known as congestion. The time of day you use the internet can affect your broadband speed – we see the traffic on our network peak in the afternoon when school finishes and at the end of the work day.
And as some broadband networks cope better with traffic at peak times than others, it’s good to ensure the type of broadband you’re on has plenty of capacity.
A good example is in the first week of the level 4 lockdown in March last year, average download speeds for Fixed Wireless broadband plans decreased by 20-to-25%. However, average download speeds for copper broadband connections (VDSL and ADSL) and Fibre 100 broadband plans remained unaffected. Average download speeds for Fibre Max packages decreased, although not materially. *
- Make sure devices are in range of your modem
WiFi wirelessly connects your devices to your modem and ultimately to the internet. If the signal isn’t strong it can impact your user experience and there are two main reasons it could be weak.
- too many devices connected to the internet at the same time.
- the distance and number of obstructions between your modem and your device is too great.
A good rule of thumb is if you can see your modem, your WiFi performance should be good. The more walls between you and your modem, the weaker the signal.
- Get more bandwidth
Make sure your broadband plan has sufficient bandwidth to meet your business needs.
If you're running your phone system over the internet (VOiP), video calling or performing other data hungry activities in the office (at home or otherwise!) you'll want to make sure you've got plenty of broadband bandwidth or speed to process that data. Learn more in this blog.
- Go for a broadband connection tailored for business use
In the same way you wouldn't use a blender you use at home to run a smoothie bar business, it's important to make sure your broadband connection is business not residential grade. There’s a range of broadband connections on our fibre network tailored specifically for businesses with no shortage of bandwidth either.
So it’s worth checking with your service provider whether the plan you’re on is one of the Chorus wholesale busines connections or one of our residential connections.
- Plug in data hungry devices
An oldie but a goodie when it comes to improving broadband performance. A correctly installed wired connection will provide a more consistent and faster internet experience, so where possible use an ethernet cable to plug your computer into your modem.
- Update your modem
In the world of tech, oldies aren’t necessarily goodies. If your router (sometimes called a modem) is 5 + years old this could be affecting your broadband performance. Like all technology, age is a factor, so it is best to upgrade routers every few years to stay up to date with advancements in broadband and wifi technology.
Your router needs to be compatible with your broadband package. Some routers can only reach maximum speeds of 100, 200 or 500Mbps, so ask your broadband provider whether your router can handle the required speeds.
- Update your hardware
As above, the hardware or operating system on the smartphone, tablet or computer you’re using in the office are out of date or an older version, they could have trouble processing high-speed broadband. Check that your computers, laptops and devices have the capacity for ultra-fast broadband technology
- Update your software
Similarly, if you haven’t updated your device with the latest software, it may not be fully compatible with your broadband connection, so make sure to regularly check and complete updates.
- Install a mesh system or Wi Fi extender
To boost your WiFi signal throughout your workplace or home office, consider investing in a WiFi extender or Mesh systems like Google Wifi, AmpliFi or Orbi. Mesh systems are pretty easy to use, often via a smartphone app. You can pick these up from your local electronics store.
If you’ve explored all of these issues and your business still suffers from bad internet it could be time to give up on going digital altogether and revert to paper trails and doing things manually by calculator.
Just kidding, there's always a way to tackle broadband issues and for more advice head to our website at https://www.chorus.co.nz/business
* Page 4, Measuring Broadband New Zealand Report, 18 May 2020.