Consumer Reports

How to Work From Home in a Coronavirus World

Consumer Reports has suggestions on how to fix common home office problems

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Many people are now working from home or participating in school from home because of the coronavirus. Perhaps you’re one of them. You know it has its challenges, especially if you don’t have the right tools. That’s where Consumer Reports can help with recommendations on the best tech to get the job done.

Problem 1: A lack of privacy.

If you’re working from home and you’re not alone, you might want to try a pair of noise-canceling headphones. The $50 Monoprice headphones have a microphone for calls and videoconferences. They deliver excellent active noise reduction and very good sound quality. 

Problem 2: The old printer isn’t up to this new challenge.

If you’re already thinking about getting a new printer, now may be the time. If you print mostly text, consider the Brother MFC-L2710DW all-in-one black-and-white laser printer, which is about $170. CR says the toner should run about $44 a year.

If you need to print in color, consider the Canon Pixma G4210 inkjet all-in-one for about $250. It’s a bit expensive up-front, but CR says you’ll spend only about $6 a year on ink for its refillable tanks. 

Problem 3: Too many people sharing too little bandwidth.

If your house is suddenly full and everybody needs fast, reliable WiFi, it may be time for a router upgrade. Consider the TP-Link Archer C3150 V2 for about $200. CR says it’s easy to set up. It’s a CR Best Buy.

And if you have a big house, consider a mesh network. The Eero Home WiFi (2nd Gen) is a CR Best Buy at $250 for three. 

Consumer Reports recommends that you make a strong password for your router and always keep the firmware up to date to secure your digital privacy.

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