Slow internet can be frustrating at any time, but even more so if you’re trying to do online learning. This is an especially topical issue today since the pandemic has made remote learning a regular thing in many areas of the country. According to available data, more than 40 percent of elementary school students in grades four and five were learning this way about a year after the pandemic began. What’s more, approximately half of all higher-education students were taking at least one remote class during the ’19-’20 school year.
As for those digitally distressful moments when things are slowing down during online learning sessions, there are some things you can do to resolve this problem. We present our recommendations and solutions below.
Unplug and Reset
Sometimes the simplest solutions provide the quickest fixes. This is why our first recommendation is to unplug everything to give your internet connection a chance to reset. By “everything” we also mean your router or modem, too.
See If Your Device Needs Some Attention
Check your laptop, PC, or another internet-connected device if online learning is getting too sluggish speed-wise. Check to see if your operating system is updated and whether or not you have some updates waiting to be installed. Another option is to temporarily switch to a different device.
Check Your Wi-Fi Signal
If you notice that you generally get a good internet signal but experience service disruptions or slowdowns in certain areas, the problem may be WIFI-related. Check your modem and router to see if there are any indications of a weak or fading signal.
Move Your Router
Location is important with routers. So, take a moment to see where yours is located in relation to the computer or laptop you’re using for online learning. If it’s physically located in another room, the other side of the house, or behind the sofa, the signal can be blocked or disrupted. Try moving your device closer to your router or moving the router closer. If you’re still not noticing a significant improvement, try plugging your PC or laptop directly into your router. Now, this means you’re no longer using a Wi-Fi connection, but it may do the trick.
Look for Any Damage Outside
If you have cable or fiber optic internet, or a hybrid internet connection like Spectrum internet, take a look outside to see if there’s any physical damage. Only do this is you can safely inspect your exterior connections. Should you notice any damage, contact your internet service provider. Your ISP is better equipped to safely address such issues.
Don’t Forget to Check Your Internet Speed
One other thing we recommend doing, even if you’re not yet having online learning delays, is to take a moment to check your internet speed. The results will let you know if you may need to contact your service provider or consider a switch to another available internet source. Internet speed test options include:
• Xfinity Speed Test
• Online Speedtest by Ookla
• Verizon Speed Test
• Google Fiber Speed Test
According to Temple College’s Survival Guide for Online Learning, online learners need an internet speed of at least 1.5 Mbps. This is what’s recommended for both uploading and downloading.
Look for Free Local Internet Sources (If You’re in a Pinch)
If you’re in a pinch and you need to find a quick internet boost for online learning purposes, there are some local sources to consider. Common free local wireless internet service locations include Starbucks, McDonald’s, Subway, and Walmart.
5G is on the Way
5G is the latest in wireless technology. It’s worth noting since we’re in the middle of the 5G rollout. It’s also good news for online learners since it’s a much more reliable way of receiving internet service. It also boasts impressive speeds and other perks that can make remote learning easier. On a related note, it’s estimated approximately 75 percent of the global population will only use a smartphone to access the internet by the time we get to 2025.