WiFi and Mobile Hotspot Tips
Zoom has a minimum bandwidth requirement of 600kbps to run, but the recommended speed is 1.5 Mbps for a decent voice and video experience. Please see the tips below to ensure your internet connection is prepared to handle Zoom and the remote working experience.
To see outage and planned maintenance information for the major providers serving the city of Los Angeles and surrounding areas, please visit the ITS Service Outage page.
Improving Your Internet Speeds
Tips for Improved Internet Speeds
- Restart your computer at the start of your day
- Plug your computer directly into your home router using a wired Ethernet Jack to prevent wifi dropouts and speed issues (newer computers may require an Ethernet dongle)
- Move closer to your WiFi router for better connection speeds
- Reboot your router to refresh the internet connection
- Upgrade to a 5 Ghz Wifi router. The 5 GHz band provides less coverage but transmits data at faster speeds.
Improvements through local Internet Provider
- Contact your local internet provider and request increase to higher level plan with faster speeds.
- Ask for unlimited data plans
- Some internet providers are providing free internet services for low-income families and students. Please check with your local providers.
- Check your Internet bandwidth using an online speed test, such as, www.bandwidthplace.com, nperf, Speedtest, or Comparitech. While the results are not 100% accurate, they still can help you predict your online Zoom experience.
- While your available bandwidth plays a major role in your overall Zoom or VPN experience, the health of your local computer is important too. Please make sure you are not running CPU or memory intensive applications at the same time as your online session.
- Make sure you have the latest Anti-virus and Anti-malware on your systems; malicious software can slow down your device significantly.
- If you are using home or public WiFi, your available bandwidth is shared among all the users who are using the same connection. If you or someone else is uploading or downloading large amounts of data, that can impact your WiFi experience.
- Try connecting directly via Wired (if your internet router has wired ports).
- Move your computer or mobile device closer to the WiFi router or access point.
- Upgrade your WiFi router firmware; check your WiFi router vendor support site for firmware upgrade availability.
- Use a WiFi extender such as Amped Wireless to increase the distance and strength of your WiFi signal.
- Use a higher powered/long-range WiFi such as Amped Wireless router or adapter to increase the WiFi signal on your PC or Mac.
- Use a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem (if you have cable modem) to improve internet performance.
- If your Wi-Fi signal is unreliable, meaning it’s strong in one room but weak in another, consider investing in a so-called mesh WiFi system. A mesh WiFi system enables you to connect multiple wireless access points together to blanket your home with a strong internet connection.
- As a backup when speed problems arise, consider using your smartphone’s hot spot feature, which turns the device’s cellular connection into a miniature Wi-Fi network.
- If you are in a public place trying to use their WiFi connection, usually it is helpful to look up and find the closest Wireless Access Point (usually a white square shaped box on the ceiling). The closer you sit to the device, usually the better online experience you have.
- At home, if you’re using WiFi for video and voice sessions, please stay away from strong sources of interference, such as Microwaves.
- If you are using a home Internet connection, keep in mind sometimes Internet service providers schedule their maintenance windows for the late hours. For instance, while it might be tempting to wait until a minute before a deadline to submit your academic work your carrier might take their service down at 12am or even 2am. They are now known for communicating such changes to residential users ahead of time. You can call always call them or check their Web sites and get more details on their upcoming and/or current network outages.
Mobile Hotspot Tips
- If you have an existing cell phone plan, then you may be able to add a hotspot for a small additional monthly fee.
- For a faster connection, move to a spot where you have the “most bars” which indicates a strong cellular connection.
- In some metro areas the upload bandwidth of the cellular networks is far greater than that of home internet connections. For streaming high quality video out of your place to remote locations, you might want to consider that solution over your regular connection.
- If you are using a cellular network such as LTE or 5Ge you can still use public websites such as www.bandwidthplace.com to measure your bandwidth.
- Some plans, such as a few AT&T unlimited packages, can throttle your bandwidth and negatively impact your experience if you exceed certain thresholds or as soon as their network starts experiencing high volume of connections.
- If you are using a cellular network such as LTE or 5Ge your experience can vary one from place to another and even from one time to another at the same place.
- If you use your cellphone as a hotspot, ensure that it is fully charged. Low battery will result to performance issues.
Software- ensure you have access to the following (as needed):
Cloud Based Applications
Most applications like Zoom, Slack,Office 365, Blackboard, Grading and Roster System, myUSC, Workday, ServiceNow, and Google apps at USC can be accessed from any web browser. Install and test Zoom, Slack and other collaboration tools used in your department before transitioning to remote work.
Voicemail Set Up
To be sure you don’t miss any calls while you are away, you should update your voicemail to alert others and provide details on how to reach you. [Due to limited capacity, call forwarding is limited to those that are in direct support of emergency and business critical operations such as hospitals and critical centers, or if it is essential to an individual’s role.]
Voicemail is available to all benefits-eligible employees under the Technology Connection Charge (TCC).
To sign up for voicemail services, submit a request via a Communication Service Request (CSR) (USC Login Required).
Locating Your Voicemail Access Number
You will need to locate your 5-digit voicemail access number to access your voicemail. Your voicemail access number is located in the Fast Start Instructions document that was sent to you via email after you signed up for voicemail services.
Setting Up Your Mailbox
You will need to complete a brief setup process the first time you access your mailbox.
- From your campus telephone, dial your 5-digit voicemail access number.
- When prompted for your security code, enter “TROJAN” (876526).
- The system will prompt you to change your security code. You cannot use simple codes such as 123456 or 111111.
- You will be prompted to record your name for the mailbox.
- After recording your name, you will be prompted to record a greeting for callers.
Avaya Aura Messaging and Avaya Voicemail to Outlook
Access the USC IT Services Voicemail webpage for details.