MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From working from home to distance learning, our internet service is being tested like never before.

Woodbury mom Kacie Korthals is working from home with their kids, who are learning from home.

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“What I’ve ended up having to do is if I am on my phone I’m having to click on and off my wifi quite a bit just to see, is the cell service going to be faster or is the wifi going to be faster” she said.

Derek Meister of the Best Buy Geek Squad, however, says there are some ways to maximize your bandwith.

The first thing to do is check the firmware on the router.

“That’s basically the software that runs it,” said Meister. “Manufacturers will have a couple different ways to do that, either to a website that connects to the router or an app in your phone,” said Meister.

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Checking the firmware will do a couple of things. It’ll check on security updates and bugs – and in some cases – conduct performance enhancements to keep existing hardware working a little better.

The next thing to do to improve wifi is to centralize your router; make sure it’s not in a basement or closet.

It’s best to put your router on to the main floor of the house and keep it up high on shelves or bookcases. And if your router is 2-3 years old, consider replacing it.

Meister says you can even run a speed test. That’s going to give you what your real-world connection to the internet speed is.  If its significantly lower than what your advertised plan is, Meister recommends giving your service provider a call.

He also suggests checking on your laptops and phones to see if they need software updates.

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If Meister’s tips don’t work, you can also try upgrading your service. Some plans allow you to do it over the phone, without getting new hardware.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield