Connecting and Optimizing Home Internet Connections

Last modified 9/20/2023

Tips for Accessing and Optimizing Internet

If you're able to access internet at home

For the fastest, most reliable connection to ISU services it is recommended you have a broadband connection meaning your download speed is at least 25 Mbps. Download speed test sites may be used to check your speed at any time from any device connected to your home network. If your download speed is less, many tools like Zoom, will adapt to work with your connection speed.

If you experience a slower connection than you have in the past, try these tips:

  • Limit streaming and large downloads while you work. Your connection will slow down the more you try to do at the same time.
  • Disconnect or limit the use of non-essential devices. Most devices including, tablets, phones, smart speakers, TVs, and gaming consoles all use data even if they are not actively being used.
  • Disable video for online conferencing/collaboration tools. Streaming video across your network will cause your connection to slow down. Moving to audio only meetings will require less resources and create less work for your internet connection.
  • Move closer to your router. If you are using a wireless connection to work, try to be in the same room as your router or at least within 20 feet for the best connection.
  • Restart your router or modem. This can be done by pressing the reset button or power button, or unplugging both devices for 30 seconds and plugging them back in.
  • Use an Ethernet cable. For optimal connection performance and reliability, plug an Ethernet cable into your computer from your modem/router.
  • Contact your service provider or check their status website to determine if there are any known issues. This will help to identify if this issue is more widespread.
  • Use a mobile hotspot. If you have completed everything above and still experience slow connection speeds. You may share your phone's data with other devices so they can access the internet. You will need to consult your mobile phone carrier to determine availability and any extra cost that may be involved.

If you don't have internet access at home

Free or discounted internet/data may be available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several internet and telecom service providers have pledged to offer free access to the internet or increased data allowances to ensure people can get online during this unprecedented time.

More to be added as details become available.

  • The Affordable Connectivity Program is open to some households and provides a discount on monthly service. Households with students who received a federal Pell Grant in the current year are automatically eligible. Please visit the link to see if you qualify.
  • Visit an ISU drive-up WiFi hot spot. Locations are available on campus to access the internet from your car. This service is available for ISU faculty, staff, and students as well members of the Bloomington-Normal and surrounding communities. More information is available at Drive-Up Wifi Hot Spots.
  • Connect to Eduroam. Eduroam is a global Wi-Fi service that enables a fast and secure wireless internet connection to visiting university researchers, students, staff, and faculty anywhere an Eduroam connection is available. You can connect to Eduroam using your ISU email address and password. More information is available at Eduroam at Illinois State University.
    • Consult local guidance on COVID-19 containment measures before heading to an Eduroam location.
  • Visit a Public Illinois Drive-Up Wifi spot. Information on these public drive-up WiFi spots can be found here.
  • Visit your local McDonalds. The wireless signal may be strong enough to connect to from the parking lot.
  • Contact your local county courthouse. They may be able to provide recommendations for accessing internet in your area.
  • Suggest to professors that they provide the materials in advance. Students will be able to download course materials ahead of time and call into the Zoom meeting without internet.