It’s an easy thing to overlook because you rarely see it. It’s usually hiding out in an office corner, blinking away. No, we’re not talking about the mouse that has become the company mascot (nicknamed Julius Cheeser). We’re talking about your hard-working and often ignored modem and router.
For most small business owners, these devices are just part of the internet service you pay for...and as long as they keep the office connected, you probably don’t give them much thought. But a little knowledge can help your office run more efficiently (and save you a couple of bucks). Here are three quick modem and router tips to get the best value and performance out of these network devices.
1. Reboot your Devices Monthly
Your computer is sluggish? Restart it. Need to clear your head at work? Hit the break room or leave a wedge of Gouda out for Julius Cheeser. It’s the same thing with your modem and router. Like a computer, they use memory, a processor and an operating system, and should be rebooted occasionally to improve slow-moving connections and intermittent losses of signal.
We’re not the only one suggesting the monthly reboot. The FBI wants you to restart your router regularly to disable a potentially harmful piece of malware called VPNFilter, which is designed to infect routers and certain network-attached storage devices. For this reason alone, it’s worth taking the time to unplug and replug your devices. It only takes a couple of minutes and can spare you hours of headaches. (And while it’s rebooting, take a look at our white paper on ransomware!)
2. Weigh the Options of Buying and Renting
Have you taken a good look at your Internet Service Provider (ISP) bill? Chances are you’re paying a monthly fee for your modem or router. You should weigh the benefits of buying your own equipment. You can buy a modem or router separately or you can buy them as a single unit called a “wireless gateway.” The total costs vary, depending on whether you use a mesh network like Eero or need to add extenders, which can add up, but over time, the investment could pay off.
You should also keep in mind that there are benefits to renting as well. If your modem breaks down or becomes obsolete, you can trade it in for an upgrade. Your ISP is also on hand for any troubleshooting issues that come up. It’s even possible that your modem is included in your contract and there are no monthly charges to begin with. Again, take a look at your latest cable bill and figure out what works best for you.
3. Don’t Lose it, Reuse it
Just bought a new router or received an updated one from your ISP? Don’t toss the old one out, repurpose it. If the old router can support the newer, higher speeds, there are several new uses you can find for it. You could use it as a range extender to supplement your new network. You can set it up as a guest Wi-Fi connection, which would prevent outside users from accessing any devices on your network; or use it as a cheap network switch. When it comes to your old router, it pays to recycle!
The more you take care of your modem and router, the more they’ll take care of you. If you’re looking for additional ways to update your company’s communications systems, contact us today. We offer a suite of solutions that can help your small business operate more efficiently and productively.