Working From Home – IT Advice

If you are able to work  from home during this COVID-19 lockdown, then the chances are you will be using  a computer or laptop and your home broadband/internet connection. There are a few things you can do to help ensure smooth operation.

Write Down the Contact Details for Your Broadband Service Provider

Firstly, identify who supplies the broadband (internet) service for you. Then go to their website and find contact telephone numbers that you can use in the event of a problem. If your internet goes down then you won’t be able to get to a website to find this information.

Common broadband service providers include –

  • Sky Broadband : 0333 7952 018
  • TalkTalk : 0345 172 0088
  • BT Broadband : 0800 800 150
  • Plusnet : 0800 432 0200

Identify Your Router

The router is the device that connects to your telephone line and provides internet and WiFi coverage to your house. It is generally located close to the telephone master socket, where the telephone line comes into your house from the outside.

A selection of Broadband Routers

The router will be a small plastic box, with several lights on it, in black, grey or occasionally white. It will either have your service provider’s name on it (e.g. Sky, BT, TalkTalk etc.) or it will have a manufacturer’s name (e.g. Netgear, TP-LINK, Draytek etc.).

Locate the router in your house and have a look at the lights displayed when everything is working correctly. Generally, there will be green lights which may be steady or flashing.

If you see any red lights or other colours, then this may indicate a fault.

Know How to Restart Your Router

Restarting (or “re-booting”) a router is simply  the process of switching the router off and then on again. In many cases this will resolve internet and WiFi connection issues and should be the first thing that you do whenever a problem occurs and before you call the helpline.

If your router has an on/off switch, then simply switch off the router and wait for around 5 seconds, then switch it back on again.

Press on/off switch to restart/reboot your router

If there is no on/off switch, then unplug the router power cable (or unplug/switch it off at the mains) and wait for around 5 seconds, then plug it back in again.

When you do this it will take several minutes before the router has completely restarted and before your internet connection will be restored. During this time you may see different combinations of lights or light colours on the router.

If your internet connection is NOT restored after restarting the router, or if you see different light combinations on the router compared to normal operation, then contact your broadband service provider.

Note that “RESTARTING or REBOOTING a router” is NOT the same as “RESETTING a router”. You can restart or reboot at any time without having to change anything else. The router will come back online again within a few minutes and will retain all of its settings.

When you RESET a router you are restoring it to factory settings – any information that has been entered into the router will be lost. If your router was configured with specific settings at some point (e.g. broadband login details, a specific WiFi name or password) then these settings will be lost and must be re-entered if you RESET the router. This is less common with home-use routers but is often the case with routers in small businesses.

For more useful information on working from home see the following articles in the blog –

Checking Broadband Speed

Using Dual Screens

Avoiding the Scammers

Author: Plus1Support

Owner of Plus 1 Computing - IT services for businesses and home users

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