The internet is just another commodity that is pumped into homes and offices, like gas, water or electricity. What’s more, they want it to be as convenient as turning on a tap. After all, the dark days of dial-up are long gone and people expect high speed performance and a connection that is reliable. If you are running a company that relies on the internet, it’s essential you have a network that is optimised for success. Poor performance will hurt your revenue and image and, if your hosted and cloud applications are sluggish, people will simply go elsewhere. After all, another business will be just a click away.
Access and speed
Consider how you access the internet. Is it through a digital subscriber line (DSL), cable modem, wireless back haul, landline, or broadband? Then, before you think about optimising your internet connection, you need to know the speed your current network is working at. This speed will be your starting point so you know where improvements can be made. There are many online tests that can tell you within minutes how good your performance is.
Once you know your current speed, you can start to optimise its performance. There are a range of things you can do to achieve this, depending on how you access the internet.
Install bandwidth control
One way of managing the performance of your internet connection is by installing a system of bandwidth control so that you can more easily manage the bandwidth consumption on your network. With Wi-Fi increasing everywhere, and your staff or customers accessing networks on their own devices, controlling bandwidth is more important than ever. Some people may carry one or two Wi-Fi enabled devices at once or, if you run a hotel or restaurant, there may be several dozen people expecting to access your networks. And while a lot of people may be simply surfing the web, others could be playing games, or using streaming services such as YouTube which can consume up to 50 percent of a company’s bandwidth. Making rules about who can use such services, or even blocking such sites, could help speed up your networks considerably.
Bandwidth control software can help you prioritise sites, assign quotas to users and stop any unauthorised usage. With the right programs in place it is also possible to:
- Track and monitor bandwidth usage and those abusing it
- Troubleshoot network slow-downs relating to bandwidth
- Assign quotas on a per-user, per-site and per-application basis
- Guarantee network bandwidth for your users or certain applications
- Limit users to certain bandwidth quotas by the hour, week or month
- Penalise those who abuse Acceptable Usage Policies
Move your routers
If your staff and users are accessing the internet via Wi-Fi, many connection problems could come down to how your router is positioned. Try raising it higher to improve the broadcast range, or placing it in a more central position, nearer to the computers that need to access it.
Time for an upgrade?
The world of Wi-Fi is changing fast and what was cutting-edge technology just a couple of years ago is now outdated and could be slowing your network down. You may need to upgrade by installing a new repeater or wireless amplifier. There is also a range of new tech and hardware that gives your system a boost, most of which networking experts like those at Empower IT can help you with.
Clear the cache
Whenever you, your staff or third parties access your network, your web browser cache takes web data and elements from every page visited. This speeds up future visits to the same pages, but over time this data starts to accumulate such that it can eventually slow down your systems and freeze your browser. There is also a security risk posed by having so many files in your temporary internet files folder. So a regular clean out is needed and this is easily done via your settings. Another way to deal with this issue is to get a caching server. This stores web content and serves it from your local network, saving up to 40% of your bandwidth.
Get a WAN Balancer
Another way to improve your internet connection performance is by getting a WAN Balancer as offered by Empower IT partner Untangle.com. A Wide Area Network (WAN) Balancer improves the efficiency of your network by sharing traffic across several internet connections. You can assign percentages of traffic to certain IPs or make your server or certain PCs use a specific ISP. This allows you to maximise bandwidth and improve network performance as you can support up to seven independent WANs.
Run a TCP/IP optimiser
This is a simple but effective tool to download and run. It can help you fine tune your broadband connection and maximise your registry settings. A TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) optimiser uses advanced algorithms to find the ideal TCP window to be used for enhancing the particular connection speed. Be sure to check optimal settings for best results and follow through with a reboot of your device.
Often, the best course of action is to partner with a provider who is familiar with integrated internet solutions and who can assess the needs of your company and ensure you’ve got the best solution to optimise your networks. They should also be able to suggest simple improvements that can improve performance without you needing to make major changes or spend a lot of money – so you can enjoy internet on tap, for as long as you need it.
If you’d like to enjoy fast internet without hassles and the greatest bang for your buck, talk to the experts at Empower IT Solutions today.