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Tech Prep for the Holidays

 

There are a number of things you may need to do to be ready for you new tech gifts for the holidays.

 

New devices may put demands upon your existing infrastructure that it cannot support.  You can be ready ahead of time that will make that holiday morning more enjoyable. Rather than waiting till the next day and fighting the return crowds to get the correct technology.

 

The Router –

 

This is the heart of your home network. It needs to be able to answer the call both wired and mostly wirelessly. Here is some things you should do ahead of time.

 

1)   Consult your manual for you router and find out how to update the “Firmware” of your router. Firmware is the software program that manages the hardware of your router. This can affect it’s speed and more importantly the protocols that your router can handle.

2)   If it comes that there are not any more updates because the router is many years old ( when a router is past 3 or 4 years old, it’s old in the IT world. Perhaps it’s time to consider a new router.

3)   If your router is provided by you ISP ( Internet Service Provider ) contact them and ask if it will support your new technology ( example: New iPad using IP6 protocol that you want to purchase ). If it will not, ask what are the options and prices for upgrade. If they fit your budget, consider doing it.

4)   More devices in the home. You will find over the years you have moved from one desktop computer connected the Internet to desktop and laptops connected, to desktops, laptops, smartphones, and now tablets. And not just family members but folks who come by to visit. Every one goes for bandwidth.  That brings up to:

 

Your ISP

 

If you are still using you the same ISP for the last 4 or 5 years, it might be time to revisit you service.

 

1)   Can you get more bandwidth (speed) for the same or less money? Many times ISP’s will let you continue on at the same rate even though they offer better rates and more bandwidth for sometimes less cost. Do you due diligence.

2)   Look into bundle deals. TV, Phone, Internet. That may be your best value. Negotiate. Everything can be negotiated.

3)   Consider changing ISP’s if the one you are using won’t give you a better deal if it’s available. You may have to change email addresses but that a decision you’ll have to make.

4)   Pay the higher rate for more capacity and reduce the stress of the members of you household complaining about slow Internet. Remember that new big flat screen TV that you want to stream movies to will be chomping up bandwidth. Add multiple TV’s and …. Well.

 

The New Devices

 

You are more than likely going to be adding new devices to you network. Gaming consoles, TV’s, Tablets, new computers, thermostats, alarm systems, streaming media boxes, any thing that needs an internet connection. Check out their requirements to make sure that your network can sustain them.

 

Oh, one other future consideration. Backup. You will have devices that hold data of all sorts. Items like pictures, movies, files, and music. More and more folks like to use the “cloud” for storage and that means more demands on bandwidth. It’s time in your digital life to setup a backup solution either on your network or in the cloud to protect your data. Look into online solutions like “CrashPlan” to protect your computers automatically.

 

Take some of the cash gift cards and purchase yourself a backup solution to go with that technology you own.

 

These are my 2 cents for making the acquisition of holiday tech gifts work seamlessly into your home network.

 

Happy holidays to you and yours!

 

 

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  • Donna

    I have Comcast out here in Ann Arbor with the bare bones el cheap internet account. They have twice upped my speed automatically, even sending me a letter about it, without my asking. Price stays the same. I started out with a max of about 750 and now I regularly get at least 3000 or greater–plenty good for streaming and whatever I do. My old Airport is flakey, so I have to reset it regularly, but the ISP is fine. I know it’s not the ISP that is flakey, because I have a Vonage device between my Airport and their modem, and the Vonage service is fine.