Let’s face it: the Internet speed in the Philippines is a joke. Last year, the country ranked 74th out of 77 countries in terms of fourth generation (4G) mobile internet technology speed. While this technology’s speed peaks at 100 megabytes per second (Mbps), the Philippines’ average download speed clocks in at a dismal 8.24 Mbps.
It’s bad enough when you’re trying to get your Spotify or Netflix fix, but slow internet speed is especially worse when your livelihood depends on it, as we remote workers know all too well.
Say, you work at home and you share the wi-fi with your neighbors or with other family members. While that could slow down your internet speed, there are a few simple hacks you can do to counteract that:
Elevate Your Router
They’re not exactly ornamental, so most people hide their routers behind sofas, underneath desks, or in corners. On the other hand, the incorrect positioning of your router can diminish its effectiveness.
Rather than keeping it next to a window, which makes much of the signal useful to, I dunno, the birds chirping outside, it’s better to perch the router on a shelf that’s high up off the ground.
Lastly, thick walls are kryptonite for high-frequency, low-power wi-fi signals, so don’t put your router next to those. Ditto for any walls you might be sharing with a neighbor unless you actually want to share your wi-fi with him/her, bless your heart.
Rename Your Network
While some network names can make you chuckle, there’s a pretty good reason why some tech-savvy people don’t stick to their networks’ default names.
Chances are, there are other people in the vicinity using the same kind of device or router and unless you distinguish one from the other, PC’s, phones, tablets, and other gadgets could get confused and try to connect to both networks, thus diminishing your bandwidth.
Keep Your Router Away from Other Electronics
Having your router next to your phone and computer might seem like the standard set-up, but your other gadgets’ unshielded wires can mess with the radio waves, theoretically, at least.
So, if you want a clear, uninterrupted signal, keep your router away from anything that blinks, beeps, or needs to be plugged in.
Plug It into the Right Socket
This pertains to the master socket, where the phone line enters the house. If your router isn’t plugged into it, your house’s wiring could degrade the signal.
Change the Channel
Yep, your wi-fi network has a channel and switching it up can help, especially if you live in a building with a lot of other people.
You can do this by hooking up an Ethernet cable to your router and typing 192.168.1.1. Once you’ve accessed your router’s admin menu, keep trying different channels until you get a faster speed. Pro-tip: Most routers’ channels are automatically set to “6,” so using a different channel, especially in a crowded building, can help make your wi-fi faster.
While the steps mentioned above wouldn’t really bring the local internet up to speed, globally speaking, pardon the pun, they’re certainly a better alternative to just sitting around and waiting for that third telco to launch in the Philippines. Converge can be a good option also for a faster and more reliable Internet provider.
After all, being a self-starter is part and parcel of being an effective remote worker, so having a few tricks up your sleeve comes in handy when something as crucial as your internet connection isn’t always in its ideal state.