We all hate the spinning wheel. No not the old folk song. And not the thing that Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on. The loading wheel. The one you see when streaming videos load up or render. It's never dun when we see it and it's even worse when there's a customer involved.
It can be caused by the website you are on, your WiFi being overloaded and the quality of your internet. We've done our best to explain how to improve your internet connectivity.
When it comes to ensuring great internet connectivity, there are three things that need to be considered: internet bandwidth, modem, and router.
What the Heck is Bandwidth?
No, bandwidth is not the amount of stage space your favourite rock and roll group take up on stage. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred from one point to another within a network in a specific amount of time, it's measures in bits per second.
Basically, the more bandwidth you have, the faster your internet will seem because you can send and receive more data at once. So website pages will load quicker, images will load faster, etc.
Think of it as having no traffic on a motorway. Smooth sailing for your vehicle (the data) to get from point A to point B . If you have opted for lower download speeds from your internet provider this can also lead to slower loading speeds, i.e. the road you’re driving on is unsealed and you are in a 2WD so it takes longer to navigate (poor bandwidth).
What the Dickens is a Modem?
To be as simple as possible, a modem is a digital gateway. Like a literal gate that you need to drive through to go from point A to point B.
You may have excellent bandwidth with fast download speeds, but if the access point or gateway to the network isn’t working, then the data is going nowhere. Hence the spinning wheel.
Think of the modem as a literal gate to the road your car - i.e. your smartphone or the wwPOS application - needs to drive through in order to go on its journey. If the modem isn't working or isn't there, the data (the car) can't get through to go to its destination.
A modem translates and transmits data from your phone/communication line to or from your computer/device similarly to how a cable box transmits data to your television. Obstacles in the path of your modem’s WiFi signal can also severely impact download speeds. Such as tin roofs, brick walls etc. in these instances it’s best to get a professional from your internet provider to solve this for you or you can trial getting WiFi extenders to get around blackspots.
Router - Yes, It's Different to A Modem
A router is, to borrow a phrase from the marketing geniuses Ronseal, "exactly what it says on the tin."
You may have excellent bandwidth and download speeds, and access to the network, but the network could be slammed.
A router sorts the data from the modem and sends to multiple devices simultaneously.
The more devices connected to the WiFi - computers, smartphones, televisions, smart speakers, etc. - means more work for your router which can cause the internet speeds to slow down - i.e. more cars on the road lead to more traffic and a much slower journey to your desired destination.
The same principle applies to streaming services like Spotify, Netflix, etc.. The more programs and applications on the same WiFi network will cause streams to lag. Taking non-essential devices off the WiFi will allow the necessary devices and applications- like the wwPOS - the bandwidth they need.
How Do I Improve Internet Quality?
Here are some solutions that could help improve your internet quality. Ask yourself the following:
1. How many devices are on your wireless network?
For more devices, you need more bandwidth. Telstra typically recommends ~ 5-10Mpbs per user/device. The more you add, the more the bandwidth is spread across that bandwidth.
2. How far away is your router from your POS/Kiosk device?
The further away and the more barriers (e.g. walls etc.) the more degraded your bandwidth will be at the device.
You can run a speed test of your bandwidth here: For wwPOS, you're typically looking for > 20Mpbs download and > 5 Mpbs upload.
If you've exhausted these options, there might be other alternatives that you could explore with your internet service provider or by purchasing different hardware.
Option 1: Improve your bandwidth and download speed ability by speaking to your internet provider, e.g. Telstra, to see which solution might be best for you. For instance, Telstra Fixed Wireless only recommends up to five users at the same time. Here are some solutions to extend your coverage A client of ours located in WA with no NBN and a single bar of 3G - basically no internet access - was able to have a high-gain antenna installed on their property and it solved their connectivity problems.
Option 2: Consider a DIY option with a mobile broadband solution like this one. When used with a SIM card inside and an antenna (something like this) suction capped to your window can boost the signal. Our CEO Richard has used something like this in his own stand-alone office that usually has a paltry two bars of 3G with the manual solution he managed to boost it up to two bars of 4G. We can supply this to you on our Telstra plan if you like so you don’t need to worry about data limits, etc.
Option 3: Upgrade your router. Network infrastructure has improved drastically over the past ten years and older routers do not have the same capability as newer routers. Many older routers are only optimized for up to four connected devices. Whereas an upgraded router or nest solution can handle many more devices. Consider an option like this.
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