The ability to learn and work remotely has evolved from a luxury to a necessity over the past couple of years. What’s more, the trend shows no sign of going away any time soon. As you plan for the new normal, there are a couple of key focus areas which will set you up for long-term success. Here are a few ways you can make sure your e-learning and telework technology is set up and ready to go!
If your home network isn’t configured properly, your remote work or kids’ e-learning is going to be miserable. Your current setup might but fine, but think about the additional strain incoming. Gaming, streaming, video conferencing, and more at all hours of the day can put stress on your network. A poorly designed network will start to show its cracks pretty quickly when taxed with more traffic than it was designed for.
Here are some factors to consider when evaluating your network:
How much are you paying your internet service provider (ISP – i.e. Verizon or Xfinity)? Using a calculator can help you figure out the right package. It’s pretty easy to rack up a 300 megabits per second (mbps) package for a family of 5.
This piece of gear acts as the conductor for all the network traffic in your home. Which one should you get? Just like anything else, it depends. Most homeowners may be fine with the router provided by the ISP. Others may benefit from an upgraded router for performance or security reasons. Many large companies have specific requirements around telework. Make sure to check with their IT department before buying anything.
This is the category we hear the most about at Livewire. Often it’s because the ISP router can’t push the wireless signal everything it needs to be, creating dead spots. This is where a great wireless mesh product or hardwired wireless access points make a huge difference. If you have a limited budget, investing in your wireless infrastructure will go a long way to bringing peace to the home.
Companies vary on which telepresence platforms they use, but hardware tends to be fairly agnostic. The question really to ask is whether you might want a better camera, better lighting, better sound or anything else to improve your online meetings. You could’ve taken a selfie and posted that to your LinkedIn profile, but you didn’t. Ask yourself why? Appearances matter when you telework and making some small tweaks can really change how you’re perceived in an online get-together.
If your kids’ school hasn’t moved to e-learning yet, it’s a good time to prepare. Do they have the right laptops, Chromebooks, or tablets? Do they work properly on your network?
Last but not least, for the endless hours you may all be spending together as a family, now is a great time to make sure you’re able to stream all the apps you need. Consider this a great time to upgrade any old set-top boxes (Apple TVs have been out since 2006!) or cut the cord. There are a ton of resources to help you DIY or a bevy of tech professionals out there to help configure it all.
DIY or Pro Install?
As always, this one is a matter of personal preference. If you like tinkering with technology and have a good grasp on how things go together, you’ve probably already taken the plunge. Consider a home technology pro for peace of mind or a second set of eyes on your telework technology configurations. In the words of George Ellis: It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Interested in having a second set of eyes take a look at your network? Livewire has been in the home automation industry for over a decade, and we have the expertise you need to get started.