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Affected classes? Yeah, we’ve all been there. We can all relate to the frustrations of losing a bonus worth hundreds of dollars for an issue you can’t control… or can you? Here are some tips and tricks from a fellow teacher on how to deal with Internet issues and make sure you protect your bonus.

#1. Sharing is caring! Or maybe not?

Imagine, you’ve got family and friends over and you’ve got a few classes left before the end of the day. Suddenly, as you’re about to enter your class, your Internet connection starts to fluctuate and you can’t even enter the room! What happened?! Well, there’s a good chance it was the other users.

First off, try limiting the number of people using your connection while having a class. Having too many people using your Internet connection can lower its speed and reliability. This also covers devices connected to the router and programs that use up bandwidth like Skype, other browsers, or messaging apps like WeChat or Viber.

There are many ways to limit the usage of your Internet connection. Let me list down some of them:

  • Physically disabling the device, like unplugging cables or turning off devices that might be using up a lot of bandwidth
  • Close other programs using the Internet. Some of these programs include Skype, Microsoft Outlook, Steam, and other messaging apps. You can close or disable these apps through your task manager (Press ctrl + alt + del)
Windows Task Manager allows you to close or end applications and processes
  • Other bandwidth eaters include Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Make sure you’re not using these while having your class
  • Another way is using the router menu through your browser. The username and password differs from router to router but is generally accessed by putting the address as the IP Address 192.168.1.1 in the browser
Typing 192.168.1.1 in the browser instead of a website

Using the router menu, you can use different ways to restrict the bandwidth usage. Some of these include:

  1. The number of users allowed at a given time
  2. Block certain devices from accessing the network
  3. Use parental control to restrain or block certain websites that might drain the bandwidth of your Internet connection.

Unfamiliar with your router menu? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to access and use it: Click here

#2. No signal? No problem!

Okay, so maybe you have a solid Internet connection. However, depending on where you are in the house, the signal fluctuates. So what do you do?

One option is a Wi-Fi booster or Repeater. These can serve as signal boosters, making your connection faster and more reliable, especially in places with no signal.

What is the difference between a repeater and a signal or Wi-Fi booster?

Wi-Fi boosters and repeaters are mostly the same thing with all of them functioning to improve your signal coverage. Some of these devices can significantly increase the coverage of your Internet connection. However, not all devices are the same, with some having more features than others.

A lot of these repeaters are just plug and play, so you don’t need to have a lot of technical know-how to be able to set these up. Another thing that makes these devices convenient is that they’re affordable and easy to purchase. You can check out this link for Amazon’s top Wi-Fi boosters or you can check out this repeater called “Super Boost“, which is one of the more popular Wi-Fi boosters available.

Still confused on what to get? Here’s some of our recommendations!

  • Plume Superpods

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Easy to use
  • Maximum Coverage

Cons:

  • Very Expensive

Amazon Link

  • Netgear AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6150

Pros:

  • Minimalistic design
  • Easy set-up

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Only 1 Ethernet port

Amazon Link

  • D-Link Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender DAP-1520

Pros:

  • Minimal size
  • User-friendly design

Cons:

  • No Ethernet port
  • Only has basic functions

Amazon Link

  • Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Gigabit Range Extender / Repeater (RE6500)

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Is capable of streaming audio

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Bulky

Amazon Link

  • Linksys Velop Wi-Fi extender

Pros:

  • User-friendly set-up
  • Simplistic design

Cons:

  • A little pricey
  • Needs to be in a good position

Amazon Link

#3. More connections, more secure!

So you might have a good Internet connection, or maybe the signal is great in your area. However, there are times where your Internet service provider might fail you. In that case, why not get a back-up or secondary line?

This is actually a very common practice for people who regularly work from home. You never know when your connection will fail and a secondary line might be able to prevent you from having a lot of affected classes. Having a secondary line ensures that at the very least, you can be online to send a message to your supervisors about your Internet connection problems.

Make sure that you get your secondary line from a different provider so that you don’t lose both lines if their network goes down. It doesn’t have to be as fast as your primary line, and you can use your secondary line for other users while you’re using the main or primary Internet line for your classes. It just has to be fast enough to let you take your classes. We recommend a minimum of 5 Mbps for a secondary line as a back-up.

#4. Handy Internet on the go?

Let’s talk about worst case scenarios. Imagine that you have a lot of classes lined up, then suddenly both your primary and secondary Internet lines go down. What do you do?

A lot of people would just give up the classes and have them subbed. Would you? Not a First Future teacher! In a worst case scenario, you might just find that your mobile phone could be a last resort to keep you online.

By setting up a mobile hotspot, you can connect your laptop to your phone’s Internet, making your smartphone a pseudo router. At best, your phone can let you take your classes until your Internet connection returns. At worst, it could at least let you stay online and coordinate your situation with your supervisors.

How to set-up a mobile hotspot

It differs from phone to phone but in general, first, go to your phone settings.

  • You should be able to see the Wireless & networks option for Android and Personal Hotspot option for Apple 
  • Tap those and you should see the Tethering & portable hotspot for Android and Personal Hotspot options for Apple. This is where you’re going to set up your mobile hotspot.                                                       
  • For Android, tapping on the portable Wi-Fi hotspot option, you’ll be able to see your hotspot settings, such as device name, device password, data limit, and encryption type.
  • It’s all up to you how you want to configure your device but we recommend at least a strong password that uses an uppercase, a lowercase, a number, and a special character so that your device can’t be easily accessed by other people.       

Once you’ve set up your mobile hotspot, all you have to do is turn it on and your all set to connect to your phone. For more details, check out this video from one of our First Future mentors on how to use a mobile hotspot.

And that is it. These are just some tips on how to cut down your Internet connection issues. Be sure to check these out so that you can have a better and more reliable Internet connection

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