What can we do to help increase the network capacity in our homes while teaching/learning?

Your home network may not perform at the same level as the CWRU wired and wireless network, but there are some things that you and your family can do that could help improve the teaching and learning experience from your home network.

Step 1. Minimize the bandwidth usage on your home network during interactive class sessions. The following are most likely to interfere with the successful use of Zoom video conferencing.

  • Streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu can use a lot of bandwidth. Try switching to physical media (Blu-Rays, DVDs, or CDs) during classes.
  • Gaming services such as Steam and Epic Games can also take up a lot of bandwidth, especially if updates or new software is being downloaded. Try to identify alternative forms of entertainment during classes.
  • Cloud-based storage is great, but sometimes a large file sync can take up significant bandwidth. Try temporarily disabling Box Sync, Google Drive Sync, and other backup software during classes.
  • Disconnect from the CWRU VPN if you don’t need it for course materials.

Step 2. Try to reduce the number of devices sharing your home wifi network. Today’s homes are connected in many ways and the number of wireless devices on your network might be more than you think. Each device will take up a portion of the overall bandwidth available in your home.

First items to turn off or disconnect:

  • Streaming Media Devices (Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV)
  • Computers not in use
  • Smart TVs
  • Gaming systems
  • Tablets
  • Network connected exercise equipment

Secondary items to try disconnecting (these will have minimal impact):

  • Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.
  • Ring doorbells
  • Smart outlets, light bulbs, speakers
  • Cameras
  • Wearables (Apple Watch, FitBit, etc)
  • Switch mobile phones or other capable devices to cellular networks during interactive classes. Reminder: Don’t forget to switch back after class!

Lastly, you might want to try connecting to your Internet provider via an Ethernet cable. Nearly all PCs have an Ethernet connection available. Some laptops do too, but you may need a USB to Ethernet adapter for this. This page covers the basics of wired Ethernet connections. Please contact the UTech Service Desk if you have questions about connecting via a wired connection.

Zoom Reminder - These are the minimum network requirements for Zoom:

  • An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE). Minimum bandwidth is 600kbps (up/down) and recommended is 1..5 Mbps (up/down). Check your Internet bandwidth using Speedtest.
  • A microphone – built-in to your computer or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth.
  • If you have echo and/or background noise interfering with your video conference, consider using a dedicated headset. This may provide a better experience.