How COVID- 19 Has Slowed the Internet

In the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed things moving a bit slower online. Perhaps you’re having login issues or certain services are loading at a snail’s pace. Video calls may be dropping and the work you normally accomplish at the office is taking longer to do at home. A lot of people are becoming concerned and wondering if the issue lays in their own home network. The issue, may not actually lay in your home network. While the world is #SaferAtHome we are all turning to the internet for entertainment, work and school we are draining the bandwidth.

So what is happening?

Schools and businesses are closed across the country, and an increasing number of Americans are using the internet from their homes. Between working, schooling and entertainment, the internet has been put under unprecedented pressure. Internet usage is up over 50% in parts of the world and while normal internet traffic usually peaks around 4 hours a day, it has recently been peaking for over 1o hours a day.

Video calls have replaced work meetings and are the most popular way to reconnect with family and friends. Video calls require more bandwidth, causing a surge in usage. Steam, a popular online PC game store has seen a 25% surge in sales, while online gaming is up 75%.

Fortunately, many companies have made changes to allow for this influx. Services such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime have lowered video quality from high definition to standard to decrease the strain on the demand. These companies lowered quality on their own accord, not with any governmental interference, to help make sure everyone can enjoy the internet together with minimal hiccups.

 

Infrastructure of the Internet

 

Currently the infrastructure of our internet can handle these changes in our lives. Fortunately, internet does not just “wear out” like a car that has been driven hard for many miles. Some people have concerns of the internet shutting down all together. As the demands may grow, the internet will not disappear or “break.” You do not need to worry about an internet blackout.

Europe has been having significantly more problems with their internet than the U.S. European’s internet speeds are half of that from the U.S. due to their older infrastructure. So while you may see news stories regarding Europe’s internet issues, you will not have to expect anything like that in the U.S.

The latest standard of WiFi along with the 5G rollout is allowing our infrastructure to grow with our needed changes. WiFi 6 will allow for more devices to be connected while preventing network congestion. The rollout of 5G will help many industries including telemedicine and education.

 

How to Double Check Your Connections

 

If you want to make sure that your home network is running smoothly there are a few things you can do. If you’re in a smaller home with a small router/modem combination make sure the router is in a center position in the house. Location of your router is essential to make sure all areas of the home can receive the best signal possible. If you have a larger home make sure you are using the latest in seamless roaming WIFI. Advanced Integrated Control uses Ruckus Network Systems. This type of WIFI system uses a smart controller to coordinate multiple access points throughout a home. As always, try and use a wired connection when possible. This will allow for static IP addressing. You may want to try an internet speed test, however, before you do, make sure to read our blog: The Truth Behind Internet Speed Tests. 

It will be a touch and go situation for now. Some days will be better than others when it comes to our internet connections and speeds, but you wont have to worry about losing the internet at all.

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