Evaluating Home Internet
OTS provides steps for evaluating your home internet connection quality, and resources for support when it affects participation in TU classes or meetings.
IMPORTANT: Please Read
This information is provided as guidance
The university does not provide direct support for home Internet issues. Please contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for assistance.
Test your Internet
Test. Each of TU’s online meeting solutions has a built-in Internet connection quality testing function. We recommend testing these services as they will provide estimations aligned with the specific online meeting experience. Test a service using these links, and follow up with your ISP if you discover any issues:
- Webex Meeting Health Checker
- Zoom Meetings Diagnostics
- Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Network Connection Management
You can also test your general internet speed.
Compare your results against the internet speed you should be getting from your provider. Keep in mind, 3 mbps download/3 mbps upload speed of sustained dedicated connectivity is needed for participation in online courses. Higher sustained upload and download Internet connection speeds may upgrade your video and audio quality and the number of people in your household that videoconference/stream at the same time.
Evaluate. If you’re getting the correct speeds to your home but your connections still seem slow, it’s could be an issue with your home network. It might be that your internet connection can’t hold up to your whole family suddenly getting online at the same time. It might also be because your equipment is outdated. Here are recommendations to address the issue:
- Consider using an ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to the broadband modem. This could improve connection quality and download/upload speeds and reduce disruption.
- Talk with your ISP to see if there is a problem with service or to see if an upgrade in speed is needed to get to a specific level of service.
Finding an Internet Service Provider
Home Internet: Look up your zip code on a site such as Broadband Now. OTS doesn’t recommend a specific ISP, so research options to find the one that best suits your needs. Be sure to check for low income, student, and/or military discounts that might apply to you.
Hotspots: Most providers have mobile hotspots available, in addition to home Internet. Visit mobile phone provider websites, or contact them directly for pricing, plan, and support details.
Try these suggestions when your Internet is disconnected
Use your phone to connect to online meetings: use the Zoom, WebEx, or Blackboard apps to reconnect. Meeting invites typically contains phone numbers so you can hear the audio. You can also try travelling to a location that offers public Wi-Fi, rebooting your modem/router, or calling your Internet Service Provider.
- Learn more about the Federal Communications Commission's Keep Americans Connected initiative.
- Research and compare the different types of Internet connections.
- Learn how to secure your home network with tips from the National Cybersecurity Alliance.
- Install patches and latest updates for all devices (routers, workstations, tablets, etc.).
- Use antivirus software.
Follow these home router recommendations:
- Change default password(s) to something complex.
- Enable your network/Service Set Identifier (SSID) password to use Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) encryption – don’t use open Wi-Fi networks.
- Only allow access to the router’s configuration from your local network.
- If available, enable Firewall and/or High Security options.