As we transition to teleworking during the COVID-19 situation, and more schools and businesses shift to teleworking and remote learning, it’s important to know how your home internet is being used. Netflix, Spotify, Skype, and similar services all require an internet connection, and with a lot of us being home with our families, these are likely using a lot of bandwidth.

If your connection seems slow, run this simple test to see how much bandwidth you’re using. "High-speed" is a download speed of at least 25 Mbps.

 There are ways to reduce bandwidth during work hours to help maintain a good internet connection:

  • Video Conferencing: Limit video options when attending video conferences. Only use this function if necessary. Turning off your camera and only using the audio portion when attending video/audio meetings will decrease bandwidth.

  • File Sharing: Avoid sharing large files over email or Teams. Use shared folders that can be accessed by others as needed. If you need to share or collaborate with large files, consider using Box to share the files. For more information on using Box, contact DES IT Support 4U. 

When You Can Disconnect from VPN:
Disconnecting from VPN whenever you can is the recommendation. It will help others who might not be able to get connected or are having issues with slow connections.

  • Email & Teams do not need to be connected to VPN. You can use Teams and Outlook without ever connecting to VPN.

  • If you are working on Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, etc. and you do not need resources from your work shared folders or emails, save your file to a folder located on your laptop instead. 
    • You can create folders on the desktop of your PC and save working files to that folder.
      **Remember to copy them back to the network folders once you are connected back to VPN.
  • Online Training: If you are accessing sites such as PluralSight, the Learning Center or LinkedIn Learning, it is not necessary to be connected through VPN as these sites are “cloud” sites, outside the State Government Network. You can disconnect from VPN and just use your home internet connection.

When VPN is necessary?

In general, whenever you need to access resources that are “on the network,” you will need to connect through VPN. Examples include:

  • Access to business applications such as HRMS, AFRS, Timecard, etc.
  • Accessing files from DES-Doc or your home drive (I Drive).

Additional Tips if you are experiencing issues with VPN, Zoom, WebEX etc.

What is happening? You may be experiencing connectivity issues with VPN or other network resources.

Try a few of the steps below to see if that fixes the temporary issue.

  1. Close your browser and re-open it. Delete your temporary Internet files (clear your cache). For instructions on clearing your cache, see below:
  2. Disconnect from VPN by opening the Big-IP Edge Client window. Click Disconnect and then wait about 10 seconds and click Auto-Connect again. Wait for the status to change to Connected before you proceed to connect to a meeting.

  3. Restart your PC. This is a great way to refresh all of your connections if you are not sure which applications, you may have open or running.

  4. If you are in a Teams meeting and you notice issues with video or voice, have attendees disconnect from video and only have the presenters or meeting leaders use video. This will decrease the bandwidth needed for the meeting.

  5. Restart your personal modem/router. Sometimes the network issues are caused by your internet provider and restarting your modem/router will get the connection stable again.