11 Hacks for boosting your Internet Speed Connection while WFH 0 67

wi-fi router

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues redefining how we work, many employees working from home are likely to experience slow internet speeds which require a few solutions to fix.

Do you feel doubtful, anxious, or furious about your sluggish internet connection?

Well, in the current “work from home revolution” period, you’ll most likely experience poor connectivity that can drastically reduce your productivity.

Fortunately, you can rectify this issue. In this post, we list a few of the typical reasons behind slow internet speeds and what you can do about them to allow superior performance.

Let’s dig in:

First off, a few of the main issues behind slow internet connectivity, especially when working from home, including the following:

  • A surge in the number of internet users
  • A faulty router or modem
  • A weak Wi-Fi signal
  • A slow DNS server
  • A saturated network bandwidth due to the connection of many devices

To rectify any of these problems, you can perform a single or combination of the following procedures:

1. Make a comparison between your internet speed and a given plan

Understanding your internet subscription plan can save you lots of effort and time that you may need to troubleshoot a slow internet connection.

You can use speedtest.net to find out how fast your network is, to determine if your service provider or internet subscription plan is to blame.

But first, you need to shelf off any other activities that need immense internet resources—for instance, the uploading and downloading of files and a live stream performance. These would allow you to get a more accurate answer.

Nonetheless, you should note that a few other factors can affect the results. This includes your geographical position concerning your ISP’s servers; for instance, the nearer you’re to them, the faster your internet connection speed and vice-versa.

Furthermore, your internet access time; as an example, less busy hours would provide you with the highest speeds, while peak hours would offer slower speeds due to network congestion.

You can get your internet speed from your internet service provider’s bill or website.

In case you determine that your subscription plan or ISP is the primary reason behind your woes, then it’s time to upgrade

2. Check your network infrastructure and Wi-Fi connection

Your network components, such as your router and associated cables, can significantly determine your network’s speed. As such, a consistent countercheck of their worthiness is worth your effort. In case you find out anything flimsy, clunky, or not up to the task, you can always swap them with gadgets from reputable companies.

Similarly, a weak Wi-Fi connection often leads to a poor connection. These can result from connecting many devices to a 2.4 GHz band Wi-Fi instead of a 5 GHz band Wi-Fi, causing network bandwidth congestion.

In other cases, you could be living in a dead zone area, or your Wi-Fi signal is being interfered with by your neighbor’s network, different wireless networks in your home environment, or Bluetooth interference, among other issues.

To improve your Wi-Fi signal strength, you can upgrade to a 5 GHz band if you’re on a 2 GHz band. Alternatively, you can consider a mesh Wi-Fi unit that allows more excellent wireless coverage, improved reliability, and faster speeds.

3. Reboot your router and modem, as well as update your router’s firmware

Like any other electronics out there, your modem and router are susceptible to overloads, hangs, and throttles.

Luckily, you can fix such by performing a simple reboot process. Even better, once, if your unit comprises both a router and modem.

To accomplish your mission, unplug your unit from its power source for ten seconds, and reinstate it back.

Wait for a few minutes for your internet connection to resume before determining if the speed has improved.

If not, you can consider upgrading your router’s firmware, which can also solve extra problems.

You can either start a manual or automatic process, depending on your type of router. This is informed by the fact that newer models and mesh-networking kits auto-update themselves, eliminating the need for manual updates.

On the other hand, older models would need a physical upgrade, which can be achieved by login into the router’s administrator page and carrying out the due process.

In case you’re stuck. You can Google search your router’s model number to get a user manual that would guide you on how to update its firmware.

Still, if this doesn’t work, it would now make sense to acquire a new router to support your current needs. For instance, one that supports MU-MIMO in case you have several gadgets and want them to simultaneously receive and send data, rather than waiting for their turn.

4. Perform a malware scan

Malware can significantly slow down your internet speed and computer system. Though antivirus software can clear most of the infections, a few can override your antivirus settings.

To fix such an occurrence, you might need to perform a full system scan. The good news is that with our advanced ESET Internet Security you can establish and end any malware threats in an instant—So that everything is up and running in a jiffy.

5. Move closer to your router / connect to a router/ use a wired connection

If your wireless connection isn’t stable enough. Try moving your laptop to the nearest point bordering your wireless access point or router when carrying out high bandwidth activities. For instance, when zoom conferencing or live streaming.

Alternatively, you can ditch your wireless connections in favor of Ethernet cables, which enable a direct connection between your router and personal computer system.

What makes this solution dope is that it improves the speeds at which the signals travel back and forth.

6. Connect fewer devices / turn off idle devices

Without question, the fewer the number of gadgets connected to your access point, the higher the internet speed. This makes it essential to connect the least number of devices to your network when working from home.

Again, you can schedule heavy bandwidth activities such as playing games or watching movies on Netflix by family members, outside your working time zones, in case of a shared home network.

Or, prioritize access to only those devices that you’re currently using by switching off other idle gadgets connected to the internet.

This stems from the fact that idle gadgets can still download software updates, which would consume your precious bandwidth.

7. Check on your Coax splitters, if any

If your internet cable features Coaxial cable splitters, you may have to determine their suitability since they might be the ones slowing down your internet speed. For instance, procuring a low-quality coaxial cable splitter would often result in low signal strength compared to a high-quality one.

As such, try removing them to troubleshoot your network connection if they aren’t located on the cable line. If your internet speed improves, then you’d have found your problem.

8. Disconnect from the VPN

Connecting your computer system Via a VPN translates to more internet bandwidth due to the many encryptions, decryption, and tunneling activities involved.

These can slow things down, especially if your network isn’t robust enough.

Thus, reconsider when to use or avoid a VPN.

9. Consider rescheduling your video chats

When working from home, you’d most definitely engage your boss or co-workers in video/teleconferencing at some point to share vital details/opinions.

But, you don’t want to experience lousy chat sessions characterized by video freezes.

A remedy for such is identifying the busiest time in your neighborhood when everyone is on a high bandwidth activity and shift your call time to ten minutes before or after. This avoids overburdening video conferencing and calling services, as well as reduces connection problems.

10. Consider changing your DNS server

It’s the duty of your ISP to provide you DNS servers responsible for connecting your devices to the various requested IP addresses. If they are overloaded or slow, you can always try out another set of DNS servers to save the day.

You can find them by googling OpenDNS and Public DNS but might come at an extra cost. Thus, consult your employer to find out if they would compensate for the excess internet bill while working from home, if applicable.

11. Call your internet service provider

These should be the last resort after trying out all the other options listed above. Call your ISP to determine if the problem emanates from their end—for instance, issues to do with their infrastructure or equipment.

It’s your right to get a stable internet connection from your service provider since you’re paying for it. As such, they need to fix any issue on their side. Even so, ensure it’s from their side and not yours.

Final thoughts

Conclusively, a slow internet connection can bog you down; hence, affect your performance and quality of time. So, it’s essential to try any of the above hacks or a combination of them if your network connection speed is wanting.

At ESET, we provide Cybersecurity solutions configured to support online safety. What’s more, our software comes with helpful support and a winning strategy for your business. Request for a demo today and see how the platform can boost your business operations.

Pass on the love by sharing this post widely and most importantly stay safe.

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Dennis Waliaula
Dennis Waliaula is a skilled freelance writer who offers copywriting, ghostwriting, and blogging services to B2B and B2C businesses. His specialty is in technical, cybersecurity, and SaaS freelance writing. He can easily handle other niches, as well due to his versatility.

Coronavirus con artists continue to thrive 0 480

Man working on laptop

The scam machine shows no signs of slowing down, as fraudsters continue to dispense bogus health advice, peddle fake testing kits and issue malware-laced purchase orders

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate, more companies are now shifting to remote work as a way of containing the spread of the disease. Similarly, lockdowns and travel bans, among other stringent measures, have become the order of the day across several nations. And to worsen the situation, there is a massive shortage of the required medical kits.

Such a crisis provides fraudsters undue advantage over a vulnerable lot that is financially destabilized, as well as emotionally drained as a result of the pandemic. 

In this case, you would likely receive fake updates regarding the pandemic, as well as non-existent offers for personal protective equipment, among others. Likewise, if you’re a business, you would certainly receive faux purchase orders and payment information.

Fortunately, as a follow up to our previous article about the ways scammers are exploiting coronavirus fears, we provide you with a few examples of the new campaigns aimed at stealing your money or personal information. To enable you to keep your guard up. Shall we?

Fake news/information

As the virus continues to escalate, more people are currently searching for practical information on how they can protect themselves. As a result, scammers have conveniently positioned themselves as the true COVID-19 information “crusaders” by impersonating well-known health organizations, such as the World health organization.

Don’t act surprised if you receive an email (containing an attachment) supposedly coming from a reputable health organization offering you “vital information” on how you can protect yourself from the disease.

For instance, our research team identified one such file containing a Trojan designed to steal personal credentials.

Apart from the WHO, fraudsters are also impersonating the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Accordingly, the FBI has given a warning about scummy emails mainly riddled with malware-infested attachments and links purporting to originate from the CDC.

 To reduce the number of people falling for such schemes, the WHO shares examples of its official email addresses and methods of communication on its website.

Urgent purchase orders and late payments

Owing to the increased pressure from governments to reduce the spread of the virus, Companies, as well as factories, have been forced to streamline their operations according to the current situation. As an example, companies to integrate work from home modules, while factories to either increase or reduce their production capacities depending on their products.

Such erratic changes have brought about a climate of uncertainty that offers fraudsters a thriving environment.

In this case, as a factory owner or executive, be on the lookout for “urgent purchase orders” from “company representatives.” Since this fake orders come from scammers who want to make a kill out of your desperation of making some revenue before things go south.

Sadly, if you download such “urgent orders” (usually in attachments), your PC will be installed with malicious code designed to steal your details.

Below is an excellent example of such an “urgent order”:

Similarly, you would receive a “proof of payment” for you to take care of the order. However, like the last example above, instead of receiving a bank statement, the attached document contains a Trojan injector.

High demand products

A massive increase in demand compounded with an inadequate supply for essential protective items, such face masks has created another avenue for scams.

A typical example of such a scam involves a fraudulent site that is offering “OxyBreath Pro” face masks at a reduced price. These can lure you since there is a shortage of masks, and what is available is highly-priced.

However, if you click on the provided links, you’ll be at risk of exposing your sensitive personal information to the scammers.

Bogus testing gear

The unavailability or short supply of medical kits for testing folks for the virus has also attracted fraudsters in droves.

For instance, the existent low supply of masks, respirators, and hand sanitizers, among other necessities, has prompted scammers to impersonate medical officials.  So that, they can provide non-existent or fake COVID-19 test kits, as well as illegitimate “corona cures.”

As an illustration, more than 2000, links associated with fake coronavirus products have already been identified. Similarly, law enforcement bureaus alongside other relevant bodies have been able to seize US$ 13 million worth of potentially hazardous pharmaceuticals.

To contain these despicable actions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings that it hasn’t allowed the sale or purchase of coronavirus self-testing kits; therefore, it is currently bursting such sellers.

Final thoughts

In a wrap, what we have shared is a representative of the many current fraudulent campaigns doing rounds in our media spaces due to the prevailing situation.

Thus, it is critical to maintaining high alertness to avoid falling victim to both the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ensuing scam epidemic escalating through the internet. To keep yourself safe from the scams, you can practice the following basics:

  1. Avoid downloading files or clicking on links from unknown sources
  2. Never fall for unrealistic offers or order goods from unverified suppliers. You may also make a point of checking out the purported vendor’s reviews
  3. Invest in an excellent endpoint solution which can shield you from phishing attacks, as well as other forms of scams
  4. If an email suggests coming from a reputable organization, double-check with the firm’s website to confirm its authenticity

If you require consultation, as well as endpoint solutions for your cybersecurity needs, then ESET has been here for you for over 30 years. We want to assure you that we will be here to protect your online activities during these uncertain times, too.

Protect yourself from threats to your security online with an extended trial of our award-winning software.

Try our extended 90-day trial for free.

How To Easily Set Up a VPN at Home 0 337

Woman working at home

As the COVID-19 pandemic has many organizations switching employees to remote work, a virtual private network is essential for countering the increased security risks

Probably, you have been forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak (recommended to reduce the spread of the virus). However, you are wondering how you will set up your VPN to enable secure communication.

Well, don’t agonize too much; we shall first explain to you what a VPN entails. And then, provide you with a step by step procedure for setting a basic Virtual Private Network. Here we go!

First, what is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

Essentially, a VPN is a private channel within a wider (open) network that enables you to communicate with your peers (other nodes with similar settings) without leaking your information through the use of encryption.

Besides, you can utilize a VPN to initiate communication through any network without revealing your location. In any case, a significant number of vendors deal with clients needing such services to avoid being tracked or be able to bypass particular network filters. 

However, in our case, we shall consider a home office VPN that will create a communication tunnel for your practical and secure home office communication.

Is it necessary to set up a virtual private network?

For there to be any communication between two endpoints ─ your pc and the computer in the main office –, they must be configured.

In this case, you’ll require the services of your IT department (if you have one), who will guide you regarding the applications to install, as well as provide you with VPN credentials depending on your needs. Upon installing and configuring the said app, you can automatically establish communication through the provided link. Easy-peasy, right?

On the other hand, if you don’t have an IT department behind your back, then you may have to do it yourself. These shouldn’t; however, scare you at all; it’s not as tough as you might imagine.

But before we explore the nitty-gritty of setting up the VPN, we first need to identify the options we have. In our case, we shall examine two options:

  • Open VPN: standard in small office/home office and business-class routers
  • IP Sec: Is Built-in and commonly used by desktops, smartphones, and laptops

The Open Virtual Private Network

This type of VPN has been around for a long time and has proved itself secure and reliable. It is ideal for small office/ house offices, as well as business-class routers, thanks to its open-source nature.

Procedure for installation

  1. On a contemporary device, go to the router’s configuration screen and click the relevant buttons to access your office network
  2. Download the configuration file generated by the router
  3. Use this file to configure/setup the OpenVPN in your pc, smartphone, or desktop that you want to use to access the Network behind that particular router. In case you get stuck somewhere, you can download or follow an online tutorial for your specific router.
  4. Download the required apps that will enable you to access your new home office VPN from this website.
  5. Install the downloaded applications and then configure them using the files generated when setting up the Open VPN on your office router.

In the event you find the going tough, you can always consult with an online tutorial or IT personnel.

Internet Protocol Security

IPsec is also another technology that has been in use for an extended period to provide reasonable security. It utilizes the same working principles as the OpenVPN; however, it is mostly used on lower-cost routers. Besides, it is a built-in technology in most desktops, laptops, and smartphones; therefore, it eliminates the need for installing another application on your device.

The installation process is similar to that one of OpenVPN. However, implementing a particular router IPsec can sometimes be a little more complicated compared to installing an open VPN.

Fortunately, with the use of native tools on your remote endpoints, you can offset this by just typing in a few things, such as the required IP address and credentials.

Final thoughts

Conclusively, these are some of the simplest virtual net protection options you can install on your home system without requiring massive/no input from IT experts.

Importantly, you will need a beefier than standard broadband for quick communication over the VPN. Also, you may experience slower connections due to the much horsepower required to keep the connection encrypted and tunneled. Nevertheless, this is a small price to pay in exchange for a secure home office communication.

In case you required any advice regarding VPN options or installation services, then ESET has been here for you for over 30 years. We want to assure you that we will be here to protect your online activities during these uncertain times, too.

Protect yourself from threats to your security online with an extended trial of our award-winning software.

Try our extended 90-days trial for free.