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How to maintain a stable internet connection during the MCO?

As schools, workplaces and non-essential services are halted due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) restrictions, it is the availability digital platforms such as smartphone applications, online banking and social media that is keeping us connected with one another.

However, these platforms rely heavily on other factors such as location, network traffic and the availability of an Internet connection.

Certain groups, especially those residing in rural areas have been affected by slower connections due to the sudden surge of internet traffic, with most of the global population now being restricted to their own homes, forcing them to continue their work and education from home.

“My internet connection can be unstable at times, leading to constant drops in connection. This interrupts my activities, especially in terms of work and entertainment. However, I expected this issue to happen as everyone is at home due to the MCO, creating an influx of traffic, therefore, reducing the network quality.”, said a resident of Kampung Sugud, Sabah.

Another person who resides in Kampung Kepuakan, Sabah said that the persisting network issues disrupt his source of entertainment.

“As an avid user of on-demand video streaming services, the constant lag and connectivity issues which causes the video to be buffered constantly, make these services unusable. The same applies to my kids who are currently undergoing online classes.”.

The slowdown in network speeds is a global issue as more countries implement movement restrictions. Almost everyone is working from home, leading to a significant increase in traffic.

Hence, if you are facing connection issues, try following some of the tips below to improve connectivity!

1. Leverage on the “Hotspot” feature on your smartphone

Picture source: www.maketecheasier.com

This feature transforms your smartphone into a Wi-Fi device, allowing multiple devices to connect to it. This feature may not be a total replacement to your home broadband/Wi-Fi service, but it can be a good alternative to those who require an immediate internet connection for usage in emergency situations.

2. Always make sure your router is kept away from other electrical devices

Electrical devices such as televisions, computers and microwaves can cause signal interferences, affecting the stability, coverage and speed of your internet connection. For example, using a microwave affects network speeds, so try not to use it when you’re attending important online meetings, discussions or video calls.

3. Use the traditional method of using an Ethernet cable

To obtain the highest speeds during high traffic, use an Ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to your router rather than using the usual wireless connection. This will affect your mobility but can help improve connection issues.

4. Connect to a 5GHz bandwidth network if possible

If your router and devices (laptops, smartphones, TVs, etc.) support 5GHz bandwidths, utilise that instead of the traditional 2.4GHz as it provides higher speed, but at the cost of range.

This can be done when connecting to your network – a label “5GHz” will appear next to your network’s name. For example, the 5GHz bandwidth connection will be appear as “example@unifi-5GHz” whereas the regular 2.4GHz connection will appear as “example@unifi” or “example@unifi-2.4GHz”.

5. Lower the demands of your internet connection.

Smart appliances such as tablets, smartphones and smart TVs often have applications running in the background. If possible, turn off the Wi-Fi reception if not in use to lower the impact on your connection’s bandwidth. Another tip would be to turn off the video function (if possible) when attending online meetings and downgrading the streaming quality of on-demand video platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to ensure a smooth, bingeworthy session of your favourite shows.

As the demand and internet traffic continues to rise around the globe, the slowdown in network speeds is inevitable. To ensure demands are met around the world, leading video streaming companies such as Netflix, YouTube and the newly launched Disney+ has agreed to sacrifice streaming quality to avoid straining the network even further.

To improve the network condition in Malaysia, the government has allocated RM400 million for the improvement of network quality and stability in the country.

*Tips sourced from: www.bbc.com, www.cnet.com, www.itv.com

*Featured image sourced from: www.morethanshipping.com

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