Illustration for article titled Last Call: Anyone got any genius ideas for improving the internet connection around here?
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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

“Top tips for speedy broadband” isn’t necessarily an internet search I would have seen myself needing in 2020, but everyone is living the majority of their lives online at the moment, and things can get a little hiccupy. We might have better video conferencing software than ever before, but no one asked our poor routers if they were prepared for it. (No one ever asked if we were prepared for it, either, and the answer is so clearly, no, we weren’t. Mute your mic when you’re not the one talking, folks—it does wonders for call clarity.)

Sensing the potential millions of unhappy wi-fi users, CNN has published some advice from UK telecoms regulator Ofcom on how to speed up your home internet connection. The pointers range from the expected—place your router in a centralized part of the house—to the rather more offbeat, such as “Don’t use the microwave when you’re making video calls, watching HD videos or doing something important online,” since microwave interference can degrade the strength of a wifi signal.

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The recommendation that I find most actionable is to disconnect your devices from wifi when you’re not using them, so that you’ve got one less thing clouding the unseen traffic jam of all the signals in your home airspace. Taking yourself incrementally offline in this way is probably also a great way to absorb less of the 24-hour news cycle and whatever you’d call the content on TikTok, leaving your hands free to concoct the luxurious cup of dalgona coffee you deserve.

But what about our readers? You’re longstanding citizens of the internet, too, and maybe you’ve learned a thing or two along the way. Do you have any unsung tips or tricks for wringing every last byte (?) out of one’s internet connection? Or maybe you have some intel on how to make one’s phone and laptop battery last longer so we’re not chained to the apartment’s only good wall outlet throughout the workday? Any advice is welcome. And in return, many delicious treats can be yours (with a little effort on your part).

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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