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Creating The Connected Home

Tech experts say that the next wave of computing is to move beyond the smartphone to the development of the “Internet of things.”  This term is a noun that means: “The interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.” In other words, they are objects that have a bluetooth, cell service or wifi capabilities.

Some examples of these connected devices are devices that connect your TV to the internet or another computing device, connected appliances, such as refrigerators that let you know when you need to reorder food or home security devices.

Connected TV’s can hook to external services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu or Netflix. Newer TVs sometimes come with these features included. You can also get such capabilities embedded in a Blue Ray DVD player or a DVR. One inexpensive gadget is the Google Chromecast, which you can buy for a mere $35.  These are available online from Google or at stores such as Walmart or Bestbuy.

To make the best of such home wonders, you should be sure that you have a good quality Wifi connection.  Shop around for the highest speed available in your area. This may be DSL, Cable or Fiber Optic. To make sure you are getting all the speed you are paying for, try doing online speed tests. If your speed is much less than advertised, call customer service at your internet service provider and have them run some diagnostics for you.

Unwired speed is going to necessarily be slower than a hardwired connection, such as Ethernet. When you purchase a wireless router, make sure that is first compatible with your current devices and that it has the most recent version of wireless transmitting. Make sure to enable security and choose a strong password when you setup your router. This not only will help protect you from hackers, but it will keep your neighbors from taking up your bandwidth, which would slow you down.

It is also important to have good cell service indoors. If you have a poor connection, miss calls or can’t stream video on smartphone or tablet, try a cell strength booster from AT&T Wireless or other wireless provider. If your house is equipped with wifi, set your devices to use the wifi, when in range, as opposed to the cellular data. This will give you faster internet speeds on those devices and keep your cellular data usage down.

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