As families spend more time at home and the number of connected devices continues to rise, Comcast knows it’s never been more important to have a smart, reliable home network that delivers fast internet speeds for everyone in the family, whether it’s for a video conference at work, a digital happy hour with friends, streaming a movie or playing a game at the end of a long day.
Here are a few tips that can help your home network operate at peak performance during these challenging times:
Location. Location. Location. Where you locate your internet modem and router (together called a gateway) within your home can affect how far the Wi-Fi signal travels. For the strongest and furthest connection, put your internet equipment in a central, elevated location so devices throughout your home can be reached. Treat this equipment like a lamp. Avoid hiding it under the stairs, in a bookcase, in the basement, or on the ground where the Wi-Fi signal cannot penetrate as far. Placing your internet equipment next to a window helps broadcast the signal to your front porch or backyard.
Coverage is key. Depending on the size of your house, you may also benefit from Wi-Fi extenders. If your new workspace is in the basement or a spare bedroom, an extender expands the Wi-Fi signal to those harder-to-reach areas. Some internet service providers sell their own. Xfinity offers xFi pods that easily plug into a wall socket to extend Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home.
Understand your need for speed. You may need to stream online video conferences and upload large business documents while your children play video games in the playroom. This heavy data usage could affect Wi-Fi performance depending on your internet plan. The number of connected devices in the home and how they are used could also slow down the network. Make sure you have enough internet bandwidth to handle all your traffic.
Ensure software is up to date. Just like a mobile phone or laptop, internet equipment sometimes needs to download updates from the internet. It’s a good practice to occasionally power-cycle this equipment: To do so, unplug the unit from the electrical outlet, wait one minute, and then plug it back in. While the unit boots up, it may download and install updates.
Upgrade your equipment. To help ensure everyone is covered with a strong Wi-Fi signal, Comcast will offer its most advanced modem and router, the xFi Advanced Gateway (XB8) this April. The latest generation gateway allows you to supercharge your home: It easily handles multi-gigabyte speeds, is capable of powering hundreds of devices at once and has three times the bandwidth for more reliable connections. Its advanced security capabilities block billions of threats annually, helping customers avoid accidentally visiting high-risk sites or downloading dangerous files.
Know what’s running on your network. Many streaming apps will continue to the next episode even if the TV is off. Be sure to fully exit any application that’s not actively in use. Xfinity Internet customers can monitor the devices using their home network with xFi.
Use direct, wired connections if needed. For households using the gateway for multiple business functions — perhaps mom and dad are on video conferences for work, combined with children streaming a movie — try connecting one family member who is nearest the gateway directly via ethernet cable (For newer laptops, you may need an ethernet adapter for USB port.)
Tighten all cables. Make sure cable going into your internet equipment or cable TV boxes are finger tight. A loose cable can cause signal leakage and signal interference that can cause network issues inside the home.