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Lisa in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida listens to and subscribes & follows the Into Tomorrow podcasts and asked: “We have an Xfinity setup here in our home. We’ve been having some instability issues, wonky issues during the day. Initially I thought it was because we now have three adults working out of our home. However I was on a Zoom call with family and I was the only one on it and the same thing happened. We do have a booster in the middle of our home but it doesn’t seem to help with these instability issues. Our laptops and phones show that we have good signal strength but we’re still either getting kicked off these conference calling apps or being kicked out of our VPNs by the companies we work for. Any guidance, thoughts, prayers you have for us will be helpful.”
Lisa, the fact that you get kicked out of booth Zoom and your VPN is telling.
Zoom requires very low bandwidth to be able to work, if you had as little as half a megabit per second you could probably use it without any issues, at least for voice calls. Zoom also tries to adjust the bandwidth and give you warnings in case theres trouble.
The VPN is an even more extreme case, it shouldnt care about speed at all as long as your connection is still active.
Both of those added to the fact that you see a good signal strength on all of your devices points to something that the booster wont be able to fix: a problem between the modem and the outside world.
Zoom and your VPN would both disconnect if their link to the outside world dropped, but the WiFi signal would still stay the same because its being generated from within your home and its not affected by whether or not theres an active internet connection.
Unfortunately, that leaves you with two possible issues, neither of which — unfortunately — is easy to fix.
The problem may be with your own homes wiring (for example, a bad connection somewhere between your modem and whatever Xfinity is using to reach the outside world), or worse yet outside the walls of your home and somewhere in the run between Xfinitys switch and your driveway.
Either way, youre probably going to need a tech to have a look at it to try to pinpoint where things are failing, and depending on how much work they want to put in it may or may not be simple to get it fixed.
Before you try to talk them into believing theres an issue with the physical network you can try to get your modem replaced. It could just be failing and it could be the source of the problems. That would be an easy enough fix, unplug the old one and plug the new one in, but it will only solve your issue if the problem is with the modem.
If your connection suddenly disappears and comes back on its own, were leaning towards cabling issues over the modem, but the modem is the simplest fix, so it may still be worth trying to have it replaced in case you get lucky and dont have to deal with a bigger problem.
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