LAN Versus WAN Explained
With a significant number of office staff now working from home, we have all had to introduce measures to work as productively as possible. Yet, it’s important to note, that while working from home we don’t enjoy the same IT infrastructure that many have while in the office. In technical terms, when we connect to the wifi at home we are connecting to a LAN (Local Area Network) similar to the way we would in the office. However, when connecting back to the office (either to the server data or using a softphone) we use the WAN (Wide Area Network – or the public internet) which is made up of multiple LANs across a range of internet providers’ networks.
Limitations of the Home Network
When working from home, we can experience performance issues relating to the limitations of the network. With a home broadband service, we tend to experience issues when there are many devices connected to the same wifi network. All these devices are battling to draw bandwidth from the wifi source, the exchange or the wireless router. This is what’s known as “contention” locally. You also may have contention in the local area, with numerous households fighting for the internet bandwidth and a subsequent speed reduction. The better or faster the broadband service you have will impact the performance. Apps like Youtube, Instagram and Netflix all demand large amounts of bandwidth to make their experience as good as possible. The more devices and usage of high-bandwidth services, the more of a negative effect on the entire network. The wifi bandwidth in a geographical area is limited after all.
Voice and Data on the Home Network
Voice and data work differently when connected to a network. For example, when you send a file in an email, the data is being sent in small packages to and from the wifi router. A voice or a Cloud-hosted phone call requires a constant flow of data packages to keep the call quality to a minimum standard. With an email, you might experience a couple of seconds lag and not think about it but with voice, a lag could render the service unusable. That’s when we tend to see support requests for call quality issues.
What to do if Experiencing Softphone Quality Issues at Home
The optimum configuration for voice data at home is to connect your desktop PC or laptop directly into the wifi router using a network cable (network cables come in many lengths to cover most domestic distances). This will help provide a continuous connection to the internet for the softphone and should improve matters somewhat. You will have to download the softphone app for your desktop PC or laptop if you haven’t done so already and make sure you have a licence to use it. If you need an additional licence, please let us know.
Mobile Data Network
Similarly, your mobile network is also a WAN network but it can experience similar issues to that of a LAN due to bandwidth limitations and high contention. Mobile networks tend to have a large number of people moving in and out of the networks all of the time. You can experience voice issues while utilising the smartphone softphone app as a result of these network limitations. If that’s the case, then download the desktop PC version of the Cloud-based phone app and connect your desktop PC straight into the router as outlined above.
If you are still experiencing softphone quality Issues such as voice quality issues at home then please let us know. Radius Telecom customers can email email@example.com
with a brief summary of the issue along with your contact details. A support ticket will be raised for you automatically and an experienced Telecoms Engineer will be able to look into your issue in more depth. Businesses seeking a work-from-home phone system
should contact the sales team on lo-call 0818 592 500
or email firstname.lastname@example.org