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It’s all around you.  Chances are, your life is becoming filled with Wi-Fi devices, all of which are competing for your router’s attention.  If there’s not enough signal strength to go around, it can be a dreadfully frustrating situation and cause strain on your day to day activity.  There are so many factors that can play a part, so understanding what causes low signal strength and things you can do to improve it, might help you overcome many issues before ultimately picking up the phone for customer service.  So what can you do to test the signal strength in various locations in your home, and what is there to be done with the low signal areas, you ask?

Let’s start with verifying your issues are coming from your Wi-Fi.  Sluggish internet browsing, interrupted streaming, Wi-Fi signals cutting in and out, or just complete dead zone areas can wreak havoc on your life when you rely on these devices and services to complete your tasks.

Since Wi-Fi is like an umbrella encompassing your home, it goes without saying that the more obstacles that get in the way of that umbrella spanning out, the weaker the signal is going to be past those obstacles.  With this, you’ll have to expect that the rooms in your house that are farthest away from the router or have more walls or floors between them, are going to provide the weakest signal.  This also goes for rooms that have other Wi-Fi devices in them or standing between it and the router.  Some devices, especially some phones, don’t play well with others and suck up all the fun for the others.

So what can you do?  First and foremost, put your router in a central location that most directly covers the main areas you will be accessing the signal the most from in your home.  Remember the umbrella and stick the handle right in the center to cover the majority of your house.  You can also make it a habit to update your router’s firmware.  Some devices have an update button, while others require you to go online to the manufacturers website.  These updates can increase performance, give better features, and apply security updates.  If you have a dual-band router, you’ll see a 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz option under your wireless setup options.  If you change the frequency settings to the 5 GHz it could help improve your signal because it is not as commonly used as the 2.4 GHz.  Ultimately, you might want to just update your hardware.  You can’t expect amazing things from outdated devices, so maybe it’s time for a replacement router to ensure you’re getting optimal signal strength.  Instead of replacing the entire router, you could just replace the antenna first or get a wireless range extender.  Both will help boost and spread your signal more efficiently.  The wireless extender is great if you have thick walls or many rooms that the signal has to pass through.

Side note, if you’re curious about mapping out the Wi-Fi signal strength throughout your entire house, you may be interested to know that Roomba will soon be coming out with a new version of these little vacuums that will do just that!  While it is intended to let you know which rooms it might struggle to connect in by showing the signal strength in each room, it will, nonetheless, act as a gauge to let you know how well your Wi-Fi is doing across the board!

 

Does your wallet have you fighting the blues after this holiday season?  While we can’t put that money back into your pocket after those shopping sprees, we can help you find ways to save in 2018!  There are a number of things you can try to lower your next cable or internet bill, depending on the services you have and the situation you’re in.

For instance, do you get a paper invoice in the mail each month?  Just by signing up for e-billing and going paperless, you can save $1.00 each month!  Go green and save!  Additionally, you can get a $2.00 payment discount if you attach a bank account instead of a credit card.  It may not sound like much, but it adds up and takes minimal effort to implement.  Just contact us at (800) 365-6988 to inquire.

Another alternative to save money on your bills would be to purchase your own modem to eliminate a monthly rental fee.  Of course, you’d have the initial cost of the device, which could land right around $100, but in 10 months you’d recoup the cost and save roughly $10/mo in the months to follow!  Before making this move, however, contact your provider and make sure it is an option as some do not allow you to have your own.  Additionally, do your research beforehand and make sure it’s compatible with your provider as well!  A quick phone call to your provider will verify this. (Check out the Hitron or Arris modems!)  The downside, is if anything goes wrong, your provider will most likely not be able to troubleshoot equipment that is not theirs.

This next one may seem like a definite “no way” but take an honest moment to consider your actual usage.  When was the last time you watched all of your channels or were internet intensive?  Look at your account and consider a change if you never hit your current usage allotment.  Switching video packages or switching your internet speed tier could be an option you’re not considering!  While various channels are bundled together from the network providers and you can’t just cut individual channels, you still may find that a different package combination could satisfy your viewing needs just fine.  To see the options in your area, head to the video page on our website, scroll halfway down, and enter your zip code in the “view my channel lineup” section.  You’ll see what channels fall under which packages.

You can head over to our Bandwidth Calculator to see what your internet usage is as well.  You will need your Modem’s MAC ID, which you can find on the back of your modem and then enter the date range you’d like to retrieve stats on.  Each internet package has a data limit.  If you fall under your limit, you may have a larger tier than what you actually require.  Of course, this applies to non-internet intensive customers, but it’s worth looking into if your main priority is to keep the green in your pockets!  If you’re currently paying separate providers for internet, video, and phone then make sure you check out the savings in a triple play bundle.  Three services, one provider, one bill, one low price.  Cha-ching!

Got friends?  Sign them up!  With our Refer a Friend program you can save $10, $15, or even $25 off your bill for 4 months!  Your friend must be in good standing for 30 days before the credit is applied.  The credit amount depends on the type of service your friend signs up for.  To take advantage, just go to the website, fill out the form, and we’ll do the rest!  Easy peasy!

Furry Friend Pet Tech

It’s down to the grind, when we’re all caught up in the hustle bustle of the holidays, checking off those gift lists, making sure no one was missed… but what about those furry friends in your life?  Do you include your beloved pet in your Christmas gift giving?  There are actually many tech products out there these days that could improve you and your pets life!  Let’s face it… it’s basically a gift to yourself and who doesn’t enjoy that?


The Furbo Dog Camera is a Webcam and treat tossing device that kills two birds with one stone and gives you a piece of mind when you’re away.  With 1080p HD video and infrared LED night vision, you can not only spy on your pets activity, but capture photo & video footage to share with family and friends.  The 2-way audio option can help prevent separation anxiety so you can talk with them and ease their worries or coax them off the bed if they’re being too lazy.  Other features include treat tossing and a bark alert.

Does your pet suffer from separation anxiety, fear during thunderstorms, excessive barking, or crate training issues?  The Pet Acoustics Bluetooth Speakers Calming Canine mobile Bluetooth speaker is loaded with music by Pet Acoustics that are clinically proven to ease your dogs anxiety.

Have a pet that requires a special diet?  Try the Petkit Fresh Smart Digital White Feeding Pet Bowl!  The digital scale shows you the weight of the food in the bowl so you have better control of their portion sizes.  It’s great for pets who have special diets for health purposes.  The Smart bowl is also Anti-Bacterial for added freshness.

If your pet is fairly reliable in the lawn but you’re worried about them wandering off on a random whim, the Whistle 3 Dog & Cat GPS Tracker & Activity Monitor could work for you.  This app based GPS tracking system sends out a whistle when they wander close to their boundaries.  In addition, it logs their daily activity and lets you know of any drastic changes. The best candidates for this, would be elderly pets so you can have a piece of mind that they are safe and sound. I don’t think I’d recommend this for highly active dogs prone to running off, though.  A full-blown containment system might be a better alternative for those personalities.

Does your cat need some new entertainment?  The PetSafe Cheese Cat Toy  is like Wack-A-Mole for cats!  The mice pop in and out of each side of the Swiss cheese block so your cat can play peek-a-boo all day long.  Endless fun for your little feline!  While you’re away, the cats can play!


Don’t make your small pet miss out on all the fun… take them with you in a Cat and Small Dog Sling!  They’ll feel safe, involved, and you don’t have to worry about their whereabouts.

The fetching pooch will never be bored with an automatic ball thrower!  The All for Paws Interactive Fetch’N Treat Dog Toy will be dog’s best friend, when they get a treat for bringing the ball back.  For active dogs, this is a great source of endless exercise and fun until they tire themselves out!


What cat or dog doesn’t go ballistic over a laser… PetSafe Bolt Cat Toy could be the light of their lives and keep them entertained both with and without you in the house.  Either hold the wand in your hand or set it on a table and let the rolling ball project random light patterns all over the room.


We all have bad habits.  If you’re having problems keeping your fur-friends out of inappropriate places (such as the toilet bowl!) providing them with their own dedicated Refilling Toilet Water Bowl could satisfy their nasty needs.  The refill tank on back provides an added benefit since you won’t have to refill their bowl as often! 

Ok, this one may only be appreciated by the most obsessive cat owners out there, but it’s worth mentioning.  If you have an Echo, you can get an app called Meow Skill that acts as a virtual cat so your kitty can have a back and forth conversation with Alexa… in meow talk.  Yes, the app will meow back to your cat each time it meows.

Happy meowing!