Writers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders…
If you’re spending more time online in streamed meet-ups —
Here are the most common (and easy) ways to get rid of irritating remote Internet connection issues...
I have to admit: working remotely for almost 20 years has been nothing short of fabulous.
Do you work online, too?
As a writer/editor, I get to spend time online with clients from all over the world. As an entrepreneur and director of two online programs, I’m excited to meet with web designers, assistants, and customer care experts in meetings. And as part-time professor, I’m honored to spend time with students in remote classrooms and one-on-one on Zoom.
Within those 10-hour screen time days (don’t tell my eye doctor), online meetings and live events line the calendar every. Single. Day.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
(I love what I do!)
BUT — working online has its issues, including the threat of poor Internet connection.
Some Internet problems can be funny (can you say, “I’m not a cat”?)…
But other issues such as bad or lost Internet connections can also mean bad impressions and lost business.
Blipping in and out, freezing in an embarrassing positions with our mouth open and eyes half-mast, and sound issues that make our voice like Darth Vader or Greedo (the Tatooine bounty hunter whose voice makes me want to clear my throat) can taint our professionalism in a way that can’t easily be taken back.
Bad Internet connections are not an option.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few modest tricks to ensure a strong Internet connection—tricks that have become everyday fare (and, because I’ve said them for so long, have by osmosis turned into training musts for one of the companies I work for… they’re that important).
And they’re simple.
1. Be the “one and only” using the Internet.
During your time online, make sure that nothing else in your home is using the Internet is open and using up the bandwidth. Ask others in your home to stay off the Internet while you’re on—because bandwidth can be “eaten up” by another computer… as well as a smart phone, gaming systems, television Internet use, and more. The fewer Internet browsers open, the more bandwidth we have, and the better our connection.
2. Have only one window (page) open.
While we’re on the Internet, any browser tab that’s open can “suck away the bandwidth,” too. Keep only one browser tab open—the one you’re using—and close all other browser tabs, to ensure the strong connection.
3. Get closer to the “black box.”
Our Internet signal travels from one point in our homes to all devices. The closer we are to the source of power, the stronger our signal—and “the more juice” we have to stream live video. Set the computer or laptop close to the source (my “black box” is under my office desk, to maximize connection). If you have to, rearrange the furniture. A strong connection for streaming is worth it.
4. Use a direct connection.
The best insurance for a clear Internet connection is a direct “Ethernet cable” that hooks into the box and then connects directly into the computer. Ethernet cables make the Internet completely stable. Invisible signals are great, but if connection problems continue, getting and using a cable can make all the difference.
5. Check with your Internet Company.
If you’re constantly experiencing bad connections, it may not be your fault. Give a quick call to your Internet provider, to see if the unclear connection is on their end. Okay, I admit: “quick call” is a misnomer. But for some companies, the ability to say, “Reset modem,” is a first-line option when calling in.
Sometimes the simple modem reset fixes the issue, but other times, issues can be more series. For example, your Internet service company may be working on bigger connectivity issues outside your home, and the fix may take longer. Whether a simple modem reset or a deeper problem with outside connection, calling the company to rule out such issues is a good move.
So before streaming, go through the simple checklist:
Turn off other Internet connections in the house
Close out other tabs
Get closer to the box
Plug in the Ethernet cable
(Call the company/reset the modem)
You’ll have fewer freeze-face embarrassments, avoid some of those awkward moments that can derail your focus, and maybe even get more respect—because smooth streaming can (and does) make a difference.
Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA (a.k.a. Erin Brown Conroy/EB Conroy), is the author of ten books and editor of too many to count; has written hundreds of online pages and articles; multiple programs, courses, and curricula (on reading, writing, leadership, student success, and communication); and has created over 70 full online courses used across the world.
Erin has been speaking nationally and internationally since the 1980s (live, radio, and online) and has a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in a visual rehabilitation field, and a terminal degree (MFA) in Creative Writing.
Erin taught research, writing, interpersonal communication, and leadership and management courses at two universities and then was the curriculum content lead for General Education Communications courses (writing, English, communications, critical thinking) with Western Governors University.
She’s the creator and Director of “True North Reading: The Complete Mastery Reading & Spelling Program” (www.truenorthreading.com), a hands-on, multi-sensory, research-based learn-to-read program for preschool through middle school students that has been used successfully for over 25 years across the United States and world. She’s also the creator and Director of Aquinas Writing Advantage (www.aquinaswritingadvantage.com), a complete online writing program with over 45 courses for middle through high school students used worldwide, and the newly-launched True North Book Club (www.truenorthbookclub.com) featuring authors and literary guides leading kids and teens in safe online book discussions to build critical thinking, reading fluency, and a love of story.
Erin is a member of the International Literacy Association (ILA), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). She is also a member of the Authors Guild (AG), Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and Romance Writers of America (RWA). When not speaking or traveling from Michigan (US), you can usually find Erin writing books and sipping coffee with a few collies curled up at her feet.