Your home network may not be as fast or reliable as your internet connection at school or work, especially if multiple members of your household are online while you're trying to work. If you're having trouble with your network, try some of the steps below to improve your connection.
And if you don't have reliable access to the internet at home, some internet and mobile data providers are offering expanded access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before you start working:
Test your network speed. Check your internet speed.
Open a separate browser tab and Google Search window. Search for "Internet Speed Test"
Click the blue Run Speed test button.
According to the FCC Guidelines, You will want at least 5 Mbps of Upload Speed to use Google Meet and other collaboration tools.
What to do if your connection is slow
Move closer to your wi-fi router. Getting closer to your router cna impove signal strength. Wifi extenders can boost the signal in other rooms.
Restart your router or computer. Most routers have a reset button. If your comptuer isn't connecting both other devices are still working online, reboot your computer.
Close other programs and limit streaming/large downloads while your work. Other programs on your comptuer may consume processor or netowrk resources. Try disconnecting or limiting use of other non-essential devices on your network.
Call you internet service provider or check their status website to determine if there are any known issues. Ths will help you learn if the problem is widespread in your area or specific to your home.
Upgrade your internet service, modem or router. Consult with your internet service provider for compatible equipment.
Use a mobile hotspot. A hotspot lets you share your phone's data with other devices to access the internet. Check wit your mobile provider to see if a hotspot is an option for you.
If you don't have access to the internet at home...
Outdoor Library Wifi Map - https://libraries.state.ma.us/wifi
Access Wifi even when the library is closed.
Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone:
Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit https://wifi.xfinity.com/. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
COMCAST - Internet Essentials Free to New Customers
Comcast is offering 60 days of free service to new Internet Essentials customers (9.95.month after 60 Days) and free remote installation for those who apply by June 30. It's also increasing service speeds to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
PCS FOR PEOPLE
PCs for People offers low-cost Wi-Fi hotspots and computers to qualifying households. They now accept Pell Grant documentation for eligibility for higher education students impacted by COVID related school closures.
Additoinal Resources listed on the Department of Education COVID-19 Remote Learning Guide: Students and Families
COVID-19 Digital Access National Programs: Major Carriers continue to update their offerings that have historically supported the low cost programs through the FCC. Many of these offerings have been expanded to ALL students, however, these services may be just for NEW accounts.
Lifeline: Monthly discounts on landline or wireless phone
EveryoneOn: Free or $9.95 home internet service, discounted devices, & free computer & Internet courses
BroadBandNow can help discover providers in an area. (enter your zip code)
HighSpeedInternet.com provides a listing of current Major Carrier offerings
The FCC Lifeline Program provides low cost internet to those who can demonstrate they are using a federal assistance program.
AllConnect.com outlines how to take advantage of the Lifeline Program and what you would need to provide to demonstrate need.