Cloud access – when the clouds are full

Daoudi Aissa

We have helped hundreds of users prepare for remote and home working in the last couple of weeks. For some, remote working has been an existing option of convenience but, for others, it is one of the many new changes to daily life.

We have the perfect storm scenario at the moment; school children are all home-learning with on-line lessons, many still able to work are accessing hosted data and office networks throughout the working days, others now on furlough may be filling some of their time with Netflix and Amazon, people are participating in exercise classes, social groups and work meetings through the likes of Teams and Zoom, etc.

In short, the internet is taking a battering – BT observed a 20% increase in the first week of our early lockdown and this figure is not going to drop. With everything online taking that bit longer there are a few small steps we can each take to optimise what we have.

In the home environment, turn off any devices which don’t need to connected (e.g. IP cameras to monitor the pet whilst you are out). This helps maximise the bandwidth available from the local connection. Planning a movie night? Download the movies the night before rather than stream in real time. Turn off any BitTorrent file sharing services – if you don’t know what this is, you probably aren’t using it but we have worked with at least one end user recently who was concerned regarding the speed of his connection….whilst running BitTorrent software (trust me, it makes a difference).

If the work office building is now deserted on a daily basis, ask the IT admin to power down anything not needed. This helps lighten the load on the firewall to which you are trying to connect and also reduces the general load on the internet at large as you remove unnecessary traffic and updates, etc. (not to mention the environmental benefits).

When you open a basic webpage there is a modest amount of downloading whilst the page first opens and, subject to changing content on the pate, that is it. In contrast, activities such as remote control to an office-based PC and VPN connections require a constant flow of data from source and destination. Even if your connection and that of your office is performing well, you remain at the mercy of all the hops in between over which you have no control. Connections will get interrupted and drop from time to time – just reconnect and carry on.

If you are struggling with your home-working options, please get in touch and let us see whether we can improve things for you but the current reality is that, like so many things at the moment, remote working requires a little more patience than usual.