Over the past several weeks, many of our clients have shifted a significant segment of their workforce to a work from home (WFH) model, directly impacting our users in various ways.
In speaking with our clients, the most significant impact tends to involve Internet performance, which can make data and loan file uploads more difficult. We anticipated this challenge and have been closely monitoring our applications to ensure high availability and throughput. However, with the expanded WFH configurations, there are numerous items beyond our control.
So, if you have experienced system slowdowns or other issues regarding internet performance, we would like to share some items to be aware of:
- Consider how you are using your bandwidth? Bandwidth is a shared resource, so if you are working from home and have numerous items connected to your Internet (e.g., gaming systems, movies, music, etc.), you can potentially split up your bandwidth to the point it impacts performance.
- Are you using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)? If you are required to go through a VPN to connect to your work environment prior to accessing outside resources, you are creating extra steps in the communication which can also slow down responsiveness.
- Are you using a Shared Environment? If you are using Citrix, Remote Desktop/Terminal Servers, or some other shared environment, you are not only splitting bandwidth, but also local resources on the computer/server that can cause significant slowdowns.
- Consider Upgrading Your Internet Service Provider Plan. Personal Internet connectivity provided by your ISP is probably fine for your daily activities, which typically emphasize download speeds. However, it is recommended that your upload speeds be around 1/3 of your download speeds, but at a minimum should be greater than 25Mbps. The more data you are trying to upload the more important the upload speed becomes.
- Home Routers: It is also important to realize that home Internet routers are not designed for business and should be rebooted regularly to clean up connections. This is the first thing your ISP will suggest you do if you start experiencing problems, so rather than wait for problems, just reboot periodically.
- Troubleshooting Suggestions:
- Perform a Speed Test: If you are experiencing problems, the first step in checking your performance would be to disconnect from any company connections (VPN, Citrix, etc.) so you are only on your home network connection. Then go to speedtest.net and run a check to determine what sort of speeds you are getting. If the results are low, then you should contact your internet service provider to investigate why.
- Another issue when working remotely is the quality of the connection. In order to check this, you should open a command prompt on your machine (type CMD in the search bar to open the black command line box),
(type ping 188.8.131.52 -t at the prompt)
if you are getting consistent responses, then repeat the process with your domain before and after logging into the VPN. If you show packets being dropped, then your connectivity is poor.
- When uploading data, it is important to know that the larger the upload the more likely it will be to timeout. Timeouts can occur at numerous points along the connection and are not always generated by the website you are uploading to. If your upload is large, it might be better to split it into smaller batches, to minimize the likelihood of having to repeat the effort.
- If you are in a shared environment, ask your IT department to check the resources of the machine you are working on to make sure it is not overloaded.
- When uploading files from a system on your company network, do not locate the files from your local machine and try to upload them directly, this will pull files down from your network before uploading them to your service provider creating additional and unnecessary data movement.
- If you remote into a workstation in your office to perform your work, always remember to reboot that machine regularly.
The StoneHill Group recognizes that working from home can be challenging, so we are standing by to assist you in any way possible. Please contact Client Services directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be safe and THANK YOU for your business.