The Best Internet for Remote WorkersWorking remotely has a lot of benefits, however, in order to do it successfully one must find reliable high-speed internet.
What Remote Workers Need From Their Internet Connection
70% of professionals around the world work remotely at least one day a week, while 53% work remotely for at least half of the week. To “work remotely” means to work outside of a traditional office, oftentimes, from home. A few benefits of working remotely include increased productivity, better work-life balance, and money savings.
However, successful remote work cannot be accomplished without an internet connection that is strong, which has a high-speed, and is reliable.
High-speed Internet is beneficial because it allows its users to get their work done without interruptions caused by lagging or slow internet connections. This can be especially important for those in graphic design who have photos or videos that they need to edit and upload for their clients.
What Are Good Download and Upload Speeds?
There are multiple professions that can be done remotely, with each requiring different internet speeds. Here are different tasks that your employer might ask of you, and the different internet speeds that are recommended for each:
- Graphic Design: For professions that require heavy upload and download activity, such as graphic designers, internet speeds around 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 25 Mbps upload speeds are recommended. This will allow you to upload and download massive files in high-definition.
- Conference Calls: Working at a remote job doesn’t mean you’re free from meetings; it just means they’re done differently. Whether the company chooses to use Skype or any other type of video conferencing software, they’ll all want an internet connection with equally fast upload and download times. For video conferences, it is a recommended 0.5 Mbps to 1.0 Mbps and for voice calls, 0.1 Mbps to 1.0 Mbps.
- Writing/Emails: For more basic activities, such as writing, emailing, and browsing in general, maximum internet speed isn’t necessary. Users will want speeds around 0.5 Mbps, upload and download, to make sure everything runs smoothly.
The ping rate is the reaction time of your internet connection. It’s how fast the user will get a response after they send out a request on the internet. Ping is measured in milliseconds, so the lower the ping rate, the faster the connection. Those who are in a profession that requires streaming will want a faster ping rate.
How To Improve Your Internet Speed
If you feel like your internet has “slowed down,” there are different ways you can increase your internet speed.
- Test a different modem/router;
- Scan for viruses;
- Check for on-system interference;
- Check your filters;
- Get rid of your cordless home phone;
- Plugin straight to the modem;
- Check for external interference;
- Shorten and replace cables;
- Update firmware and software regularly;
- Check the cabling and do a line test.
A reliable internet connection is important because it means that those who work remotely are able to meet deadlines without having to worry about disconnections. You can compare high-speed internet deals online in order to find the most reliable connection that also fits your remote work needs.
Cable internet service provides high-speed internet via the same lines that are used to provide cable TV services. Depending on the plan the subscriber chooses, cable internet speeds range from 3-2000 Mbps, with typical offerings ranging from 50-100 Mbps. Cable internet might work best for those who are in video game design or video streaming, or those who often engage in video and voice conference calls frequently. An average cable internet plan generally costs $40-$50 per month with high-performance plans ranging between $100-$200.
Users will want to keep in mind that some companies will apply data limits to their plans and will charge a fee if you exceed that cap. Unlimited data or increased cap plans might be available for a higher price.
Digital Subscriber Line Internet Services (DSL Internet Services) allow for high-speed internet via traditional phone lines and are typically offered by local phone and telecom companies. With download speeds typically ranging from 3-50 Mbps, this internet service would work for those who are frequently downloading and uploading projects for clients, such as a graphic designer.
DSL services cost about $25-$55 per month with “lite” services that can be found for just $15-$20 per month. However, this internet option is not suitable for video streaming or online gaming.
Fiber optic internet is super-fast high-speed internet with speeds of up to 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps). Fiber optic technology uses specialized cables that transmit signals as pulses of light. Upgrading to fiber optics requires new lines to be laid throughout a community, which is why it isn’t as popular or available as the other internet service options.
Users will notice that local congestion can reduce performance during peak times. Those who work remotely during unconventional hours might benefit the most from this internet service.
Most providers offer the service at $70-$80 per month and upwards to $150 per month. However, pricing may vary depending on the length of the contract with the provider. Availability itself will depend on whether the fiber optic cables have been laid in the area.
Satellite internet service is available anywhere as long as one has electricity and (in North America) a clear view of the sky. The new generation of satellite internet has changed the name of the game. In the past, they had a maximum speed of 1.5 Mbps — but now speeds up to 30 Mbps are available with unlimited data. It’s important to keep in mind that the performance of satellite internet can be affected by bad weather and any other physical obstructions that may block the signal. This is a great internet option for those who work away from the city where access to wireless internet service can be difficult to find.
Satellite internet costs about $50-$90 per month depending on the service options and has an initial installation fee of about $600.
When working remotely, employees may want to have the ability to move around. Which is why it’s important that they have a good internet connection throughout their entire work area.
Wired vs. Wireless Internet
Remote workers have two options when it comes to an internet connection: wired or wireless. Wired internet, also known as ethernet, is a way of connecting devices with cables, hubs, crossover cables, and routers that enable devices to transmit data over a network. This direct connection would work best for those who deal with large downloads. However, the ethernet connection means they would be tethered to their modem, which would ultimately reduce mobility.
Wireless internet, or Wi-Fi, is offered over wide coverage areas in a dedicated private frequency range. Services may be provided either through a fixed point-to-point wireless network or as fully mobile wireless services. There are different types of mobile wireless internet: 3G, 4G, 5G, WIMAX, LTE and more.
Using Mobile Hotspots for Remote Work
A mobile hotspot comes in two different forms: either built into a smartphone or as a standalone portable gadget. A mobile hotspot is used to connect another device to the internet, without having to use a public Wi-Fi source. However, it will only work as long as it has cellphone service.
Although convenient, this form of internet service may not be ideal for remote workers due to the possible risk of accidentally disconnecting and losing all the hard work that was completed thus far.