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Easy Ways to Maximize your Home Internet Experience for School or Work

By Sam Attisha

 We’re all trying to adapt to the new normal as we work and learn from home, and practice social distancing, which means we’re using internet-connected devices even more from home these days to download files, host work meetings and virtual family gatherings, or stream video – even our children are participating in classroom video chats.

So, how can you preserve bandwidth in your home and make sure your internet is as fast and reliable as possible?

The good news is that, while Cox has seen an increase in internet traffic as everyone shelters in place, we’ve invested more than $15 billion in the past 10 years in our network to better serve our customers and bring next-generation gigabit internet speeds to homes. And, today, we continue to invest in our network, which was built to handle peak usage.

We monitor our network 24/7 and manage it in a way that will provide the best internet experience possible for our customers. As peak times have shifted from evening and are now spread throughout the day, particularly in mid-afternoon – and as internet traffic is currently more in demand in residential areas than office buildings and retail locations – we’re keeping a close eye on our network.

Here are also some easy tips that will help you maximize your home internet experience.

  • Use voice instead of video. Not every conference call needs to be a video call. If there isn’t a visual component to your call, stick with a telephone conference call to preserve your bandwidth. Or schedule them in the morning or evening to avoid peak hours.
  • Time your upgrades right. Are you a big gamer? Download your upgrades in the evening. Gaming devices eat up a lot of bandwidth, slowing speed to other devices that rely on wifi in the home.
  • Download ahead of time. Streaming movies online can slow up the home network, so why not download them ahead of time to your device during off peak hours?
  • Don’t default to streaming. Check your cable guide to see if what you want to watch is available on a cable channel, so you don’t consume your bandwidth. With Cox’s Contour service, which offers cable channels as well as streaming options, your programming will have the “Internet” tag displayed if a particular show or movie is a streaming option.
  • Location is key. Your internet may be slowed down if your wifi router is near a microwave, fish tank, or mirror. Also make sure to elevate your wifi modem on a shelf or tall piece of furniture since wifi signals travel outward and downward, Check out more wifi tips here.
  • Adjust security camera settings. Consider lowering the resolution on your doorbell camera and other security cameras while you’re at home or adjust the settings to record upon movement only.
  • Turn off devices not in use. Don’t forget to turn off devices not in use such as a wifi coffee maker or the kids’ iPads when they’ve reached their screen time limit. Or simply pause their wifi connection when you have to take an important video call.
  • Secure your wifi. Make sure your home internet is password protected so that no one else but your family is using it.

And here’s a tip to share with families that don’t have computers or internet access in the home – check with your local internet provider to see if they offer a special broadband adoption program for students. Cox’s Connect2Compete program offers qualifying K-12 families $9.95 a month high speed internet service to help underserved students gain access to the technology they need for distance learning. Families interested in Connect2Compete can get started here.

And to help students without internet access finish the school year from home, Cox is offering free internet service through July 15 for families that sign up for Connect2Compete by May 15.

It’s our way of helping everyone stay connected during this unprecedented time. Stay safe.

Sam Attisha is Vice President and Region Manager for Cox Communications in California. Cox has contributed nearly $8 million in cash and in-kind COVID-19 related contributions throughout its Southern California markets, including San Diego, Orange County, Palos Verdes and Santa Barbara.