April 7th, 2020
How to set-up the whole family to work and learn online from home
By Adam Leeflang - General Manager - Products
The world is changing in many ways as the global Covid-19 pandemic upends the way we live, learn and work. We have lots of adults and children now working or schooling from home and using video conferencing and other collaboration tools to do so. For some, this may be an easy adjustment, but for most, the transition to remote working is challenging.
In this post, we will discuss how to deal with multi-users in a home environment operating on lower bandwidth (5MB to 20MB).
Collaboration and learning tools
The sudden rise of remote working and education from home has caused the popularity of learning and collaboration tools to explode. Video conferencing software Zoom’s share price has more than doubled in the past month, and Microsoft’s cloud computing SaaS Azure and collaboration tool Teams has seen an astonishing 784% rise in use!
However, the challenge at home is when your family connects several desktops, laptops and phones on one network, making it difficult for Mum to make that all-important video conferencing call. With Dad streaming Netflix, daughter Jess studying her next curriculum online, and little Danny uploading his TikTok masterpiece, and you might soon have some Wi-fi wars breaking out in the homestead, which is the last thing we need right now!
The answer here is to downturn all these applications by changing their bandwidth use and quality. As a result, you will improve your quality of service (QOS).
What is QOS?
Quality of Service is an excellent, and often unknown, tool that allows you to train your router to distribute your available bandwidth between applications. With smart QoS rules, mum’s Zoom conferencing video call won’t stutter while Jess uploads her assignment online. However, managing QOS on routers can be technically hard. For the not-so-tech-savvy, adjusting the bandwidth use and quality on the applications themselves may be a more straightforward solution.
For example, Zoom video conferencing allows you to adjust the priority for Zoom traffic on their network (Source). Likewise, streaming platforms such as Netflix also have the option to adjust your data usage settings by following the steps here. Ultimately, most applications will allow you to down-turn use and quality to determine which takes priority for the home user.
If you find yourself having trouble keeping the whole family connected and happy, check out your application settings and adjust their bandwidth.