Getting Your Home Ready for New Holiday Gadgets

With the holidays coming, you’re sure to see a few more guests passing through your home. With the winter break, you’ll probably also be spending a lot more time around the house yourself. Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or cozying up to binge watch a TV show by the fireplace, you’ll want to make sure that your home technology is up to snuff. Here are a few ways to make sure that your home – and your home network – is ready for the holiday season.

Give Your Guests Great WiFi Access

Practicing good hospitality now includes making sure that your home’s WiFi signal is strong enough for whatever streaming or downloading your friends and family might throw at it.

The traditional way to setup a home WiFi network is to place a router in a room of your home – usually the living or family room, since that’s where the cable box is. But if that room isn’t centrally located, or if your home has two stories or more, there may be “dead spots” where WiFi coverage is weak or intermittent.

To truly blanket your home with a consistently fast internet signal, you can create a mesh network by utilizing several wireless access points throughout your home. Atlantic Broadband’s Enhanced Home WiFi includes advanced features like mesh networking and more. By simply placing one access point in your bedroom and another in your kitchen, for instance, you and your guests will always have a strong, consistent speeds throughout the home. No more buffering in the family room or slow speeds in the bedroom. Atlantic Broadband’s Enhanced Home WiFi also includes other advanced features, such as video streaming priority and a management app that lets you set up a dedicated network for your guests.

Make Your Speakers More Connected

Whether you pick an Amazon Echo or Google Home, a smart speaker can transform your home this holiday season. With a simple spoken command, you can kick things into a festive mood by playing your favorite holiday song or – when combined with smart light bulbs – brightening up the Christmas tree.

When adding one of these devices to your home, you’ll want to find a good place for them. Manufacturers recommend that you choose a central location that’s at least 8 inches away from walls or windows. A side table or credenza might work best. Just don’t forget that you’ll need to run a power cord to the device.

While these devices are smart on their own, their real brains live online. A too-slow or unreliable connection might mean that your device will respond to your queries with an error message or be unable to stream music when requested. Make sure that your service provider provides a speed that’s at least 100 Mbps. With Atlantic Broadband, you can reach speeds of 100 Mbps or 250 Mbps.

Add Some Smarts to Your TV

While you wouldn’t think of tying your smartphone to a wired Ethernet connection, wires make sense for stationary devices like televisions. Wired connections are just more reliable and faster than wireless.

This is especially true as more and more manufacturers include “Smart TV” functionality in their offerings. Whether you’re planning on watching YouTube or football, there’s a definite advantage to having the fastest connection available. While wireless standards like 802.11ac and 802.11n support maximum theoretical speeds of 866.7 Mb/s and 150 Mb/s (respectively), a wired Ethernet connection could theoretically reach speeds of 10 Gb/s. That’s roughly 11 to 66 times faster! So while running an additional cable from your cable modem or router might seem like a hassle, it can make a huge difference.

Of course, the speed of your internet connection will limit how much you’re able to take advantage of this increase in speed. The faster your service plan, the smoother your Smart TV experience will be. Check out the Atlantic Broadband Express Plus or Unleashed Plus plans to received 100 or 250 Mbps download speeds.

Catch Up on the Latest Gaming

Whether you’re unwrapping a Nintendo Switch, Xbox One or PlayStation 4, this season’s hottest video game consoles all work best with an internet connection for online competition and digital game downloads.

You can use your home’s WiFi signal, but like a Smart TV, a wired Ethernet connection will give the fastest possible speeds.

Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have built-in Ethernet ports. Nintendo Switch owners will need to purchase a separate USB-to-Ethernet adapter that plugs into the device’s dock set. (For handheld play, it’s WiFi-only.) Once you run an Ethernet cable from the console to your home’s router, you’ll be able to chat and compete at blazing fast speeds. Don’t have easy access to your router from your gaming system? No problem, Atlantic Broadband’s Enhanced WiFi Access Points have two Ethernet ports. Simply plug one in near your gaming system, attach an Ethernet connection and enjoy.

Also, a tip for parents: When turning on a new game console for the first time, many will download and install large software updates before any games can be played. This lengthy waiting period can put a serious damper on your kid’s excitement. Before Christmas Day, find time to carefully open the box, plug in the system and take it through this initial setup. That way, your kids won’t have to wait to start playing when they tear the wrapping paper off their new toy.

No matter what you unwrap this holiday season, make sure you have reliable, ultra-fast Internet service, only widely available from Atlantic Broadband. Check out the different speeds they have available and the money-saving bundle options that provide great value for all kinds of households. To learn more about their bundles, visit them online or give them a call at 844-574-8435.