Staying In - With the Internet

Staying In – With the Internet

We’re going to be spending more time at home for the foreseeable; what with public events shuttered and generally just avoiding public spaces.

-- The boss says, “work from home.”
-- The school says, “keep the kids home; classes online.”
-- The pharmacy says, “order online; we’ll send it.”
-- The assisted living place says, “don’t visit Mom; FaceTime instead.”
And on and on.

All this is going to mean more demand on your internet connection. You’ll want your home to be ready to handle the load.

Internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast and ATT have proactively increased end-user (that’s you and me) speed and capacity to deal with coronavirus demands. So; that’s a box checked.

Things to do: Reboot your WiFi router. While there’s an extra load, you can do this a couple times a month. It will help your router keep running smoothly.

Check your equipment. Make sure that your router is up to date and capable of handling the added demand of school work, remote connections to work computers, and more people spending more internet time watching videos, playing games, listening to music, and Skype-ing or FaceTime-ing. Your smartphone will also be using your internet connection to make and receive calls. It all adds up to quite a load.

If you lease a router from your ISP, then it’s likely that it is up to date and capable of handling the load. If you own it yourself, and your family internet load is large and/or growing, then consider upgrading to a new router.

Think “mesh.” If you have weak WiFi coverage in spots in your house, you’ll want to extend the signal to better provide service in those areas. The old way was to use repeaters and extenders. Those have been surpassed and supplanted by WiFi mesh. These are smart repeaters that, as the name suggests, create an interconnected WiFi mesh over your house.

Reboot your devices from time to time also. Not just computers, but your voice assistants (like Alexa), remote switches and doorbells, handheld devices like phones and tablets. All of these connected devices can use a reboot from time to time, just to get their little digital brains freshened up.

Stuck at home, but want to “get away”?  Explore the world with your refreshed and robust internet connection. All the world’s major (and most not-so-major) museums have their collections on the web. Some even have guided “tours” online. And you can visit far off places via online maps, like “Google Earth”. NASA has live HD video from the ISS. Or, take this time to get into that hobby you’ve been putting off. There are so many free lessons in crafts, music, cooking, and, really, just you name it! And Wikipedia – oh my! It is so easy to go down a rabbit hole of learning-new-things just by following links in Wikipedia.  And don’t forget the Pawling Library’s online services: ebooks, magazines, newspapers, music, films, more at PawlingFreeLibrary.org

Hoping, as always, that this is all quite clear and useful; nevertheless if I can fill in some details or help with anything on your computers, please don’t hesitate to call: Mike Pepper ~ Computer Guy. www.PawlingComputerGuy.com 845-855-5824