Working from home

How good is your work from home set up?

By
Chorus
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March 30, 2020

In the past few weeks, the way we work, study and socialise has changed dramatically.

However, one thing remains the same: the need for reliable broadband at home.

In fact, having a fast and dependable connection at home is now more important than ever.

With more people at home, some countries have reported up to 30% increases in peak-hour internet traffic. One impact has been Netflix reducing the resolution of its streaming service in several continents to help the internet run smoothly.

It’s natural to have concerns at this time with an elevated dependence on the internet, so we’d like to: 1) tell you more about the Chorus network’s capacity, and 2) suggest ways you can improve your connection at home. 


The Chorus network is robust

The good news is, our network is operating well within its capacity.

Daytime usage across the country is at around 2 Tbps (terabits per second), and peak usage in the evening is about 3 Tbps. This is still below the 3.5 Tbps we can accommodate. 

If demand increases, we can add additional capacity to meet it and keep the network performing well. 


Six ways you can improve your connection at home

1. Fibre and unlimited are best: if your household has several people using connected devices throughout the day and evening, you need a broadband package that will keep things running smoothly. This is especially true if you need download and upload large files for work or take part in video conferencing with colleagues. The most reliable way to keep your household’s users happy is with an unlimited fibre plan. You’ll enjoy faster speeds that won’t slow down at peak times, plus there’s no cap on data usage. That’s particularly important with streaming TV and downloading or playing games.  Since the pandemic, a growing number of New Zealand broadband suppliers have been moving all their customers across to unlimited plans. 

While, we're only doing essential fibre connections currently, there’s nothing stopping you from using our broadband checker to see if fibre is available at your address and order it to be installed at a later date.


2. Ethernet cables increase speed and reliability: if you’re working from home, you’ll want a quick solution to improve your connection. Linking your device directly to the router with an ethernet cable will do this because you’re bypassing wifi, which is always slower and less reliable than connecting directly. Ethernet cables up to 100m are an option, to make it possible to reach all areas of your home. Better still, if you're renovating or have easy access under your house, you can have hidden ethernet cables running to all the places you need it.


3. Get the latest router: another way to increase speed and consistency is making sure your router or modem is up to the job. After five years, routers begin to struggle with the latest broadband and wifi technology – so it’s worth checking with your provider to see if it can handle your connection’s speeds. There’s also the option of buying a new router; the latest models offering the best performance are labelled ‘wifi 6’.


4. Extend your wifi range with a booster: if wifi doesn’t reach the furthest areas in your home, you can extend your router’s wifi range with various booster options. Wifi coverage across your house can be improved with a mesh system, powerline networking or wifi booster. You can find out more about boosters here.

5. Put your router in the best possible position: improving wifi consistency and speed is sometimes as simple as re-positioning your router. It’s best to put it in a central, unobstructed space in your home, and at eye level when standing. Try to position it away from other electrical devices which can affect the signal, including microwaves, cordless phones, baby monitors, halogen lamps, dimmer switches, stereos, computer speakers and TVs.


6. Control downloading games and streaming TV: these are two of the biggest users of data, and will certainly slow down connection speeds for others in the house. So if you have an important work file to download or send, or if you’re about to take part in a video conference – ask others not to stream TV or download games while you’re doing it.


Next in this 3-blog series are some practical tips on ‘Ways to be more productive when you’re working from home’.
                                       

Image credit: www.lyncconf.com                                        

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