Computer expert offers tips for working or learning from home

With millions of Americans working from home and many children learning at home, your internet service may have slowed to a crawl. Help is here from Dr. Ravi Prakash, a professor of computer science at UT Dallas.

Suggestions for a Good Networking Experience

1. How fast is the service that your internet service provider is offering to your home?  Contact your service provider about possibly moving to a higher capacity plan.

2. How good is your wired or wireless (WiFi) home network in terms of signal strength and speed it can support? Find the dead zones in your home and consider options like an upgraded modem, WiFi repeater, or mesh network to improve the signal strength. There's also the option of a hard line or wired connection, which will offer the fastest speeds.

3. Try to economize on bandwidth consumption. Close other applications that may be consuming bandwidth in the background, like downloading movies that you plan to watch later that night.

4. In an emergency, you can use your smartphone as a hotspot, especially useful if you have a data plan that is generous.

5. Patch and update software so your network is secure.

6. Lastly, be prepared for things to go wrong when you least expect them. Stay calm, and be considerate towards the other party when they experience problems.

7. Find out if your router has both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. If so, reconfigure your devices to divide them between the frequencies and expand your bandwidth.