Addicted to Speed
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
I started my remote meeting the other day with every expectation that my connectivity would not be a problem. I've been on other remote meetings lately with little to no connection problems, so why would I expect anything different? During the meeting, in which over 20 people had connected all using video, I found increased lag times and video and audio freezes, missing entire sentences from participants.
Then things got worse, much worse.
I was the host of the Zoom meeting, and I lost my internet connection, twice! Both necessitating a re-connection to the meeting. And at one point as I moved people into breakout rooms, my laptop internet connection dropped, and my entire home router lost connection to the internet. Remember, this is in the middle of the meeting. I was the host. I was hosed. A full reboot of my cable modem, router, and laptop brought things back to tolerable. Enough to finish the meeting. That's when I truly realized how addicted to speed we all are.
How can we find out what is sucking up our bandwidth? Internet Speed Tests. These tests help us understand how much bandwidth we have and what may be sucking up our bandwidth which we can turn off. I ran the one below as I write this post: https://www.speedtest.net/
Run speed tests at different times and see what helps you get a good download and upload speed. We use: https://www.speedtest.net/
Try these bandwidth increasing techniques if your Remote Meetings are hanging up or running too slow. Don't wait until you have a total meltdown!
On Your Hosting Computer / Internet Router
1. Reboot Your Computer Before Starting Meeting.
2. Close all Apps not needed to run the Remote Meeting. That means things like mail, Dropbox, Slack, Discord, corporate VPNs, etc.
3. Turn off Startup Apps not needed to run the Remote Meeting. Do this before rebooting, then reboot.
4. Reboot Your Internet Router at the Beginning of the Day.
5. Connect Computer Directly to the Internet Router using Ethernet Cables.
6. Move your WIFI closer to your computer if you are not using Ethernet Cables. Or get a WIFI extender to service more remote locations.
On Other Computers / Phones / Other Devices
1. Turn off all unused Tablets, Phones, and Computers. Turn them all the way off so they do not update themselves. If you want to take notes on a tablet or iPad, turn off their WIFI connection and take notes locally.
2. Turn off Televisions / Netflix / etc.
3. Remove Phones from the WIFI Network (Turn off WIFI). Yours, your spouses/partners/children's. Disconnect ALL phones from WIFI.
4. Turn off (unplug) Network Printers.
5. Turn off (unplug) Remote TV Devices.
On Your Internet Router
1. Reboot Your Internet Router at the beginning of the day. This is important enough to say twice.
Upgrade Your Internet Services
1. By following the suggestions above, I've been able to run virtual meetings without total meltdowns. At least for now. But if all else fails to satisfy your needs, you may need to purchase Business Speeds. Business class service is about 10x better than consumer class service.
Away From Home?
Many of our Remote Masters travel continually all over the world. They report that many hotels are notoriously poor in providing fast internet speeds. Now you know what to do! Run speed tests on your hotel's internet connection. If it is poor there may be some options:
1. Use your cell phone as a hotspot
Most good cell phones allow you to turn your cellphone into a web connection. They call this turing your cell phone into a "hotspot" to access the internet. Run speedtest on your phone connection. See how well it performs. It may be a better than using the hotel's connection. Treat your cell phone as a hosting computer and follow the ideas listed above: reboot the cell phone, close apps, turn off background apps and notifications, etc. The less you have your cell phone doing when it is your "hotspot" the better your speed tests perform.
2. Upgrade your hotel connection Some hotels sell faster internet connections. So, try paying for faster speeds if that is an option. Test the faster speed. If it isn't fast enough get your money back.