Communicating online with patients, insurers, colleagues, and national health organizations has become especially urgent. Combine health care practice communications with millions of people working from home—all accessing the Internet at the same time—and you have a recipe for slowdowns in Internet speeds. To keep communications flowing, consider how to improve Internet speed in the office.
Check Your Modem and Router
The simplest or most obvious solution is often the correct one. Try resetting your modem and your router. Unplug the router first and then the modem, and wait thirty seconds. Then, reconnect them in the reverse order—modem, and then router. Connect a laptop directly to the modem to see if the speed increases dramatically. If so, the problem could be your router, and you might need to upgrade.
Move Your Router to Boost Your Signal
The intuitive thing to do is hide the router under a desk or in a closet. However, your Wi-Fi signal then has to pass through additional barriers to travel to all the corners of your office. One suggestion is to hang the router from the ceiling. You’ll have to rig up a shelf or hanger and contend with cables connecting your router to your modem, but your signal will encounter fewer obstacles. One or more signal boosters positioned in zones with weak signals could also improve speed and access in the nooks and crannies of your office area. Finally, if your router is a few years old, it might be time to invest in a newer model with greater capabilities.
Minimize Interference and Ration Bandwidth-Heavy Use
The office kitchen can be a source of interference for your Wi-Fi signal. Microwave ovens, especially, create electromagnetic interference. If you have diagnostic devices that create magnetic fields in or near your office, they could be causing interruptions in the signal as well. Furthermore, videoconferencing consumes a lot of bandwidth, but it’s a critical means of communication during social distancing. To conserve bandwidth, make sure none of your network users are streaming video or downloading large files simultaneously.
Try a Wired Connection
If your office configuration can accommodate it, try connecting your computers though a wired connection. Many offices simply can’t operate without wireless Internet access, but wired connections are faster and more secure. Most routers have several ports for Ethernet cables to connect directly while maintaining a broadcast signal for other devices to connect wirelessly.
Run a Speed Test or Contact Your ISP
Try a free speed test app to determine whether your connection is slow or the problem is with your devices. Contact your ISP to see what they have to say about slowdowns and fixes for sluggish connections.
Medical offices are especially careful about information security, but now is a good time to run a security checkup. Check that you’ve encrypted your network, and change network passwords regularly to deter unauthorized users. Most up-to-date routers provide dual-network setups. This allows you to set up a separate guest user network for visitors who require network access.
Health care businesses are currently overloaded enough without having to contend with slow Internet connections. These are a few ways to improve Internet speed in the office so that your office can concentrate on the urgent needs of patients and heath care workers.