Home Tech Resolutions

In 2018, why not try a new kind of New Year’s resolution? Instead of just trying to lose weight or go to the gym more, consider paying attention to some of the technology in your home. Mike Wilson from Comcast Indiana shares three home technology resolutions:

Tip #1:

Turn your house into a Smart Home

  • Security systems have evolved and can do so much more than keep burglars out of your home.
  • Products like Xfinity Home not only allow you to remotely arm and disarm your system with the XFINITY Home app, you can also look after and control your home from anywhere. With additional equipment, get live video monitoring so you can see that your kids got home safely, control your thermostat and turn on lights so you never come home to a dark house again. You can also add a water sensor near the sump pump that can alert you if the pump fails and flooding begins.

Tip #2:

Make sure your Wi-Fi is performing its best 

  • Where your Wi-Fi router is located is key. You want your wireless router out in the open, off the ground and in a central location. 
  • Avoid potential interferences. Many common household devices and appliances can affect Wi-Fi performance. Keep your wireless router away from items such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, gaming system remotes, baby monitors and Bluetooth headsets. 
  • The number of devices connected at the same time and how they’re being used play a role in performance. In particular, many families will be connecting new holiday gifts—like smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, portable Bluetooth speakers and video game consoles—to their home’s Wi-Fi network. If your Internet doesn’t seem to be working at its maximum potential, particularly after the holiday season, call your provider to assess your plan and see if you need more bandwidth to support all of your connected gadgets.
  • Did you ever notice service is slower when the kids are home? Older wireless devices, such as first and second generation tablets or cell phones that we often give to our kids to play with, can affect network performance for all connected devices in the house. Most newer wireless routers have two frequencies – 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz. By placing your children’s wireless devices on a separate channel from your own devices, like your work laptop, your speeds won’t degrade after 3 p.m. when school is out.
  • Upgrade antiquated equipment. Can your modem and router support the speeds your Internet service provider is delivering? If your wireless equipment is more than a couple years’ old, it might be time for an upgrade. If you rent equipment from your provider, give the company a call to determine whether your modem and wireless router need to be swapped out.
  • Check for updates regularly. Chances are, regardless of who your Internet service provider is, the company is constantly making updates to your service. To take advantage of these upgrades, restart your router and modem every four to six weeks.

Tip #3:

Better monitor your family’s device usage and hit pause during mealtimes

  • A new Comcast survey shows that parents across the country are almost unanimous in their belief that disconnecting from devices during mealtime improves family bonding, with nearly half (42 percent) not able to remember the last time their family had a device-free meal and some going so far as to disconnect their modems to block their children’s Wi-Fi usage.
  • Comcast recently launched a new Xfinity xFi platform, a simple digital dashboard FREE to customers who can use it to set up their home Wi-Fi network, find their password, see what devices are connected, troubleshoot issues, and set parental controls.  Additional family-friendly xFi features include:

Timed Pause: with xFi, parents can pause devices for a set amount of time – 30 minutes, one hour, or two hours

Safer Searching: xFi includes simple parental controls that include search settings for Google, Bing, and YouTube

Notification Center: xFi customers get real-time notifications about activity on their Wi-Fi network so when their children have friends over and a new tablet or phone logs, the parent receives a text message and can decide whether to allow connectivity and even set parental controls remotely

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