New cases of the novel Coronavirus are being reported every single day. The virus spread from its Wuhan epicenter to the rest of the world. The COVID-19 virus is now present in 175 countries and has exacted a death toll of over 24,000.
The disease has infected over half a million people worldwide, and its newest epicenter is now in South Europe. In Italy alone, the pandemic has infected 80,500 people and caused the deaths of 8,200. There is a growing fear that the virus’s next epicenter is the US, as the country’s infection rates surpass those of China and Italy.
The United States has now reported over 85,800 infections, and a death toll of 1,288. Health officials say that the number of infected people worldwide is higher than the confirmed cases. They believe that more people are living with the virus but are only exhibiting mild symptoms of it.
Therefore, there are still many who have not been tested, nor have their details been recorded. The virus was given the World Health Organization (WHO) status of a global pandemic on March 11. According to WHO, the virus spread to 100,000 people in the first three months of its emergence. They noted that afterward, the virus spread to 200,000 people in 12 days. Four days later, the virus had infected 400,000 people.
You can check out the latest stats here.
How Companies Are Enforcing The Work From Home Policy
Consequently, draconian measures to halt the virus have been enacted in different parts of the world. China had a total lockdown on several its cities but is now planning to lift them as infections in the Asian country flatline. Governments in other parts of the world have adopted China’s lockdown measures with cities and towns minimizing human movement.
People have been asked to stay at home, and international flights have been grounded in many airports worldwide. Populous nations like India are enforcing total lockdowns for the next few weeks. Thus, billions of people are now living under different forms of restrictions that affect social contact and movement.
The US, for instance, has enacted travel bans on dozens of countries, meaning that international trade and business meetups are now a thing of the past. Many countries around the world have also shut down learning institutions, turning the global learning community to the distance learning system.
Large employers such as Microsoft and Google have asked their employees to work from home. Twitter, Amazon, and LinkedIn have also asked part of their staff to work remotely, to reduce the chances of spreading the infection.
Fortunately, the policies and infrastructure required for businesses to handle remote working have been maturing. Most large company employees now own laptops and other internet-enabled devices. Tools like Zoom, Slack, and Skype are now on high demand since they support secure content collaboration, remote working, and mobility.
Set Up a Work from Home Station
If you, like many other millions of workers, must work from home, then you need to set up a workstation to foster productivity. While working restfully from your plush power recliner is an attractive option, it might not be high yielding at all. To set up a work at home station, you need a few items such as:
- A robust internet connection
- A dedicated workspace where possible
- A computer
- Conferencing and chat apps
- Discipline and self-motivation
- A solid work routine
- A phone
The phone is an optional item because chat applications of the day are direct call enabled. The phone is, therefore, not an essential device but a business requirement. One feature that you need to collaborate with your company on is cybersecurity. Working from home can expose sensitive company data to various security risks.
Businesses, therefore, need to guide their employees on various remote working security measures such as full-disk encryptions, password policies, machine log-out, and internet access security. The use of home monitoring apps can monitor and scan any vulnerability and minimize data security vulnerabilities.
Do your employees need access to sensitive company data? If so, use protective measures such as VPNs, use of company only devices, and external device data storage restrictions.
Also Read : COVID-19: How B2B Marketing Is Responding
How to Speed Up Your Internet to Get the Most Out of Your Wi-Fi
Employees forced to stay and work from home in various parts of the world are beginning to notice alarming internet glitches. Sometimes, the glitches may manifest as a freeze during a Zoom meeting or a grainy YouTube video. A working connection to the internet has never been as crucial as it is today.
It is emerging that the internet right now is clogged as more users go online for learning, entertainment, purchases, and work. There have been notable reductions of internet speeds in Hubei, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the US, regions that have enacted lockdowns and social distancing.
As an illustration, the broadband speed-testing platform, Ookla, says that broadband speeds in the US declined by 4.9% in March. In New York, the current epicenter of the pandemic in North America, internet speeds dropped by 24% and 38% in San Jose, California.
Internet technologists have said that the increased need for live video streaming, conferencing, and gaming is putting a strain on the infrastructure of the internet.
In Europe, regulators have asked video streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix to cut down on HD video streaming to minimize bandwidth usage. In the US, regulators have expanded the wireless carriers’ access to spectrum that bolsters the capacity of their networks.
To mitigate the ongoing strain on internet networks, YouTube has decided to cut down on HD video streaming and to stream standard video quality content globally. Microsoft’s Xbox has put measures in place that only allow game and new release updates in instances where the internet network is less strained.
If you, therefore, have noticed that your internet connection speeds are less than stellar, worry not. It is a problem that is keeping internet enthusiasts, engineers, and tech journalists up at night as well.
The internet is nevertheless resilient and robust and will keep adapting as the days go by. If your internet connection is worryingly slow, then you need to perform checks and speed it up through the suggestions below.
#1. Reset Your Router
A simple router reset can alleviate a myriad of problems. By restarting the device, you can fix various unnoticed problems and boost your speeds. So, first, switch your router off then on. After that, test your speeds.
#2. Eliminate Any Bandwidth Leeches
One of the easiest ways that you can speed up your connection is by tightening its security. If your home network security is compromised or weak, then you have opened it up to freeloaders who will cause overloading.
Any extra users will slow the connection down since they are utilizing your allocated bandwidth. Employ security measures such as WPA2 and complex passwords.
#3. Optimize The Settings Of Your Router
Some entrainment settings on routers will prioritize video or streamed content first, slowing down any other activity. You should turn off such settings. Some other rather technical settings that you can optimize are the router’s Request to Send (RTS) limits.
A lower RTS threshold will increase your Wi-Fi speeds by improving network reliability. It will also improve data sending and receiving efficiency.
#4. Change Your Wi-Fi Channel
If you have a regular 2.4GHz channel, move your Wi-Fi channel to 5 GHz. Your Wi-Fi connection will receive more bandwidth and experience minimal interference. Note that some routers cannot go beyond the set 2.4 GHz band but have the 1, 6, and 11 bands open.
If you can collaborate with your neighbors, use different channels so that you can all enjoy increased speeds and fewer bandwidth clogs.
#5. Purchase a High-End Router
If your router has become part of the dusty basement environment, it might be time to give it a much-deserved rest. Replace it with an up-to-date router. There are many advantages to a new router, which include faster connection speeds, compatibility, and better security features.
How to Improve Your Wi-Fi Range And Reception At Home
#1. Angle Your Router’s Antenna
Wi-Fi signals are significantly affected by walls. Some providers suggest angling of antennas to boost the connection, especially in a walled environment. You simply need to angle one antenna vertically to create a side-to-side direct signal flow through walls.
Your router’s other antenna should remain horizontal to channel the signal downward and upward through the floor and ceiling.
#2. Update Your Router’s Antennas
Upgrade your device’s antenna with newer ones that produce stronger signals than the ones provided with the device. You can purchase omnidirectional antennas whose signals remain unaffected by positioning.
#3. Elevate Your Router and Clear Clutter Around It
The placement of your router will significantly affect its signal strength. The optimum location for a router should be open, high, and clear of obstructions. Wi-Fi signals have a perpendicular travel pattern, so if your router is placed on the floor, your signal will get to fewer parts of the house.
Placing the router next to a solid brick or concrete materials will also obstruct the broadcast of the signal. Some of the best central locations for a router include;
- The second-floor landing for multi-level houses
- A coffee table on the living space or central hallway
- On a family or central living room mantle
Avoid placing your router in the kitchen since other devices can affect the signal transmission.
#4. Buy a Wi-Fi Range Repeater Or Extender
Signal repeaters can send you Wi-Fi signals further to other devices in your home. A repeater is easy to configure and utilizes the same router login credentials and settings. An extra router can pick up your primary router’s Wi-Fi signal and transmit it to other devices in your home.
Alternatively, use internet extenders. This is a complex solution, but it is less likely to limit your router’s bandwidth, an action common amongst Wi-Fi repeaters. Extenders are the perfect solution for large homes rebroadcasting the Wi-Fi signal further than a regular router can.
As mentioned above, there is an ongoing demand spike on the internet network, and we can all minimize the impact of demand by utilizing the resources responsibly and ethically.
Regulate heavy usage from apps and video streaming services. Besides, mobile data services have favorable Wi-Fi charges in this period, which will keep you connected.