Some readers will remember the days of dial up internet, when you had to wait for your mum to get off the phone before you could use the internet – or in my case, the other way around! Things have moved on a lot since then, with smart phones, tablets, and super-fast broadband – but there are some new home technologies you might not be familiar with.
Most homes have wireless networking these days, usually through the router supplied by your internet provider. If you have problems getting a signal to parts of your house, why not try power line networking – a set of two plugs which send internet signal through your mains wiring. One plugs in to the mains near your router, with a network cable to your router, and the other plugs into the mains in the room you would like your internet signal. You can then connect it to your PC or wireless network extender and surf to your heart’s content.
You can also turn your TV into a smart TV, without buying a new one. Smart TVs connect to the internet, so you can watch streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix etc, and can run apps and games you may be familiar with from your mobile phone. One way to make an older style TV into a smart TV is to use a streaming device such as Chromecast or Apple TV – these connect to your home network so that you can stream TV, films or videos from your computer, or even a phone or tablet. Another way to do this is to connect a gaming console – again, these can run apps, but also access streaming services or internet video content.
It’s not just entertainment that benefits from the advances in technology – they can also help us to be greener and safer. Smart heating systems such as Nest and Hive can learn your schedule and intelligently turn your heating on and off, based on your habits and whether they have detected anyone in the house. They can even tell the difference between people and pets, so you won’t heat the house up just for your cats! You can also change the settings via a smartphone app, so if you’ve been out for a walk in the snow, you can remotely turn the heating on in advance so your house can be nice and warm when you get back. These systems can help you save money and energy by ensuring the heating is used only when needed, but also connect to smoke alarms and CO2 detectors to alert you in the case of a problem.
These are just a few examples of smart technologies – my current favourite is my smart watch – it counts my steps, tracks my exercise, and lets me talk hands-free via my mobile when in the car, plus more. I’m still waiting for them to invent a self-cleaning house however!!
If you need any help setting up smart technology at home, or help with any PC or technical problems either at home or work, please contact [email protected].co.uk or give me a call on 01531 888256.