Not so long ago, we used home wifi primarily 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 with Internet of Things (IoT) technology that lets them interact with each other and with smart systems over the internet. Our homes are indeed becoming smarter every day. And many of these items top holiday gift lists.
If you plan to stuff stockings with the latest connected tech for the family, consider the impact of all those new devices on your home wifi network and internet connection. You might also think about the potential surge in the number of people using your network while they’re home for the holidays. You want the season to be great, and taking steps to optimize your home internet experience is a wise way to keep everyone in your home jolly.
A good rule of thumb is to choose an internet speed that lets everyone at home do what they want at the same time. This might mean upgrading your service to a higher speed. When considering faster service tiers, bear in mind that your overall internet connection speed is typically faster than the speeds most wifi-based smart devices can handle. For most homes, the popular 250 Mbps tier easily supports most families’ streaming, gaming, downloading, remote 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 it serves.
It’s also important to know your internet equipment. Newer internet modems and gateways that are Wifi 6 enabled have stronger in-home signal strength – so they’re faster, have further reach, and can support more devices. Regardless of if/when you upgrade, it’s a good idea to have a provider that will let you make the change easily. For example, if you have Cox internet service and Cox Panoramic Wifi you get equipment that keeps up with pace of technology.
Now for those gifts. Having your internet service and your in-home network experience ready you are ready for a host of new, cool gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season. Here are some practical connected products that may just fill your home with more joy:
- Interior and exterior smart lighting systems and bulbs – you can program on and off times, enable motion sensing to shut off lights when no one’s around, and even tune the color of your lighting to match a mood or decor.
- Smart home resource management, including thermostats that learn and self-program based on your comfort preferences; and sprinkler systems that can sense watering levels and weather patterns to avoid unnecessary watering.
- Home automation systems, like Homelife, with inside and outside video cameras, plus smart locks and video doorbells that can be monitored remotely from your mobile device.
- Smart healthcare devices, such as blood pressure, glucose and heart monitors that are managed with your mobile device and share results and alerts in real-time with your healthcare providers; and smart exercise equipment that helps you track progress and connects you to group workouts.
- Smart appliances, like ovens that manage the entire cooking process, and are managed by your mobile device, refrigerators that tell you when you’re out of milk, and even robot vacuum cleaners and mops.
- Smart bathroom fixtures, like toilets with hands-free opening and closing, night lights and heated seats, automated sanitizing with UV disinfectant; mirrors with customizable settings, information displays and built-in speakers; bathroom scales that send information 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 let you adjust firmness and temperature on each side independently; pillows that track your sleep patterns and vibrate when you snore and help wake you gently; and cribs that can detect early wake-up signs and soothe your baby back to sleep.
And for those with furry friends, a guaranteed favorite is automatic feeders and self-cleaning litter boxes.
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 bright!