Your home wifi/internet and laptop/PC
To get the best out of your studies you will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection. Ideally you will have your own laptop to use, as well as a fast broadband connection, but if you don't, there are PCs on campus (currently within the Libraries) available to book too. We also have a laptop loan scheme, where you can borrow a laptop for up-to 4 weeks at a time. Find out more about booking a laptop on the Library website.
For your own laptop, the basic requirements include:
- a Windows 8 or 10 operating system
- Any of these web browsers = Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, or Microsoft Edge.
Mac or Apple device
- Operating System: OS X
- Web Browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Safari.
Your home internet / wifi
If, like some, your broadband connection is not that great or your access to data is limited then there are still things you can do, like using your mobile phone to create a wifi hotspot, but this will of course impact your data usage (useful to know when your data is renewed each month).
Check your internet connection speed
You can check to see your how good your broadband (internet connection) speed is by using a quick speed test tool like https://www.speedtest.net You can use your mobile phone to do this or your laptop.
What is a good connection speed?
From 4 megabytes upwards (for upload and download speeds) is considered enough to use most applications or platforms, but anything that has video streaming does use up bandwidth.
The following tips will help to get the best out of your home network:
- If using your home wifi, moving closer to the router will improve your wifi signal strength.
- Turn on your radio or watch broadcast TV rather than stream music or video whenever possible.
- If internet streaming of TV or music is your only option, try to download as much content before you need it. Can you download that movie or box-set to your device(s) overnight?
- Be aware of what everyone else at home is doing on the internet and work with them to not overload things when you need to study/work.
- If you can reduce the resolution of streaming video, do. Reducing from 4K to HD, or HD to SD is about a 75% bandwidth saving each time.
- If you can, ensure your broadband router is connected to the first incoming/master phone socket in your property.
- Giving your broadband router a reboot from time to time can help prevent issues, maybe once a week?
- Most broadband routers have network ports. If you can, connect your laptop/PC directly to your broadband router with a suitable network cable.
- Check with your network provider for offers, as some are providing unlimited data at the moment and good deals for students.
If you are due to take an exam online, or have an important teaching session, let your house members know so they can help you protect your connection!
You can apply for financial support
If you would find it difficult to afford any additional costs to be able to access online classes, you can apply for financial help via the University’s hardship fund. Find out more at www.wlv.ac.uk/fund Applications are made through e:Vision (once enrolled) and will depend upon your individual circumstances.