Not long ago, we used home wifi to connect to the internet with our mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Today, many more of our household appliances and devices are connected and enabled by Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which allows them to interact with each other and with intelligent systems over the Internet. Our homes really are getting smarter every day. And many of these items are on holiday gift lists.
If you’re planning to stock your family with the latest connected technology, consider the impact all these new devices will have on your home WiFi network and internet connection. You can also think about the potential increase in the number of people using your network while you’re home for the holidays. You want to have a great season, and taking steps to optimize your internet experience at home is a wise way to keep everyone in your home happy.
A good rule of thumb is to choose an internet speed that allows everyone at home to do what they want at the same time. This may mean upgrading your service to a higher speed. When considering faster service levels, keep in mind that your overall internet connection speed is typically faster than what most Wi-Fi-based smart devices can handle. The popular 250 Mbps tier for most homes easily supports most families’ streaming, gaming, downloading, distance learning, web surfing and social media scrolling needs. But for those who want more, providers like Cox offer gigabit speeds to all customers in the markets they serve.
Knowing your internet equipment is also important. Newer Wi-Fi 6-enabled internet modems and gateways have stronger indoor signal strength—so they’re faster, more capable, and can support more devices. Regardless of when/if you upgrade, it’s a good idea to have a provider that will allow you to make the switch easily. For example, if you have Cox internet service and Cox Panoramic Wifi, you’ll get equipment that keeps pace with the technology.
Now for those gifts. With your internet service and home networking experience up and running, you’re ready for lots of new, great gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season. Here are some practical related products that can fill your home with more joy:
- Indoor and outdoor smart lighting systems and lamps – you can program on and off times, activate a motion sensor to turn off lights when no one is around, and even adjust the color of your lighting to match your mood or decor.
- Smart home resource management, including thermostats that learn and program themselves based on your comfort preferences; and sprinkler systems that can sense irrigation levels and weather conditions to avoid unnecessary watering.
- Home automation systemsIndoor and outdoor video cameras like Homelife, plus smart locks and video doorbells that can be monitored remotely from your mobile device.
- Smart healthcare devices, share results and alerts with your healthcare providers in real time, such as blood pressure, glucose and heart monitors controlled by your mobile device; and smart exercise equipment that helps you track progress and connect you to group workouts.
- Smart home appliances, such as ovens that manage the entire cooking process and are controlled by your mobile device, refrigerators that let you know when you’re out of milk, and even robotic vacuum cleaners and mops.
- Smart bathroom fixtures, such as toilets with manual opening and closing, night lights and heated seats, automated sanitation with UV disinfectant; mirrors with customizable settings, information displays and built-in speakers; bathroom scales that send data directly to your weight management apps; and even a toothbrush that tracks your brushing and helps you improve technique.
- Smart bedroom furniture, with beds that allow you to adjust the firmness and temperature independently on each side; pillows that monitor your sleep pattern and vibrate when you snore to help gently wake you up; and cribs that can detect signs of early awakening and put your baby back to sleep.
Automatic feeders and self-cleaning litter boxes are guaranteed favorites for those with furry friends.
There’s no place like home for the holidays, and a healthy home network and strong and reliable internet experience will help make the season shine!