With the holidays just around the corner, you’re undoubtedly getting ready to ring in all the cheer—and preparing for the end-of-the-year rush!
Of course, the holidays also mean more guests, your kids staying home on break from school, and more family time in the house wrapping presents, baking, and decorating. And don’t forget cold or inclement weather hampering your best-laid plans to go out and give yourself a break!
All of this leads to more people using more devices which means more bandwidth use straining your internet. With the holidays already a stressful and jam-packed period, you may be asking yourself if there are any steps you can take to prevent your internet from being overwhelmed. And you may be interested in how to put your internet to better use for your home this festive time of year.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to improve your internet during the holiday rush. And NHTC’s high-speed fiber internet already means you’ve got access to greater bandwidth to handle the increased internet needs of all the excess streaming devices.
We’ve prepared the following guide to help you prepare for your home’s holiday internet use surge.
With a bit of planning and a fairly small budget, you’ll mitigate the worst of it all—and hopefully, have one less thing to stress over this season! We’ve also highlighted a few other ways you can utilize your internet and smart home devices to make your house safer and more pleasant this holiday. So, grab a mug of eggnog or hot chocolate and read on to learn more!
Tip One: Check your Internet Plan’s Speeds—and Optimize Them
The first thing you should consider if you’re concerned about your internet being overwhelmed during the holidays is to ensure you’ve optimized or maxed out your internet service plan’s speed.
With NHTC fiber internet, you can get up to 2.5 gigabit per second (2.5 Gig), which should be more than enough to handle even the busiest households.
While a slower internet speed might ordinarily be fine for just one or two people, with several more guests over the holidays—and all of their devices—an increase in your internet plan’s maximum speed will help reduce those dreaded slowdowns and streaming freeze-ups.
Tip Two: Upgrade Your Router and Set Up a Mesh Network
You may consider upgrading your router if you’ve experienced slow streaming and internet speeds when you have many guests in your home.
If it’s been a while since you last purchased and set up your router, technology has greatly improved, and you’re probably not taking advantage of the latest advances that keep up with fiber’s superior speed and reliability.
The newest Wi-Fi technology is Wi-Fi 6 (or 802.11ax), which substantially improves from previous versions of Wi-Fi. When shopping for routers, look for Wi-Fi 6 (or 802.11ax) compatibility on the packaging.
Better still, look for routers that enable you to establish a mesh network. This is perhaps the next best investment you can make in improving your home’s Wi-Fi capabilities during the holidays or any other time of the year.
A mesh network allows multiple routers to be connected before dispersing Wi-Fi signals farther and more consistently throughout your home than ordinary routers and range extenders alone. Mesh networks can produce exponentially more robust Wi-Fi signals across multiple floors and rooms.
NHTC offers routers free of charge to our internet customers and Whole-Home Wi-Fi (mesh) can be added for $5.99 each month per device.
Tip 3: Establish a Guest Wi-Fi Network
After amping up your internet speeds and upgrading your router and Wi-Fi equipment, setting up guest Wi-Fi will greatly enhance everyone’s internet speed and usage.
Most routers allow you to create a separate guest network, including mesh network-compatible routers. A guest network lets your visitors stream and game more efficiently while keeping your usual network less stressed—which will help reduce your stress, too!
Tip 4: Don’t Forget to Download Your Favorites
Although you’re accustomed to the convenience of streaming music, movies, and TV, you might want to take a few minutes to download some of the content you know you’ll want to enjoy during the holidays before your guests arrive.
For example, Spotify lets you download music, including your playlists. So rather than streaming Bing Crosby and other Christmas crooners, download your favorite holiday music playlists and scratch that streaming need (and internet usage) off your list!
Additionally, some streaming movie services let you download movies and TV shows. Check out your subscription packages to see if you can download your favorite holiday classics to your devices and save more of your Wi-Fi for all your other internet needs.
Tip 5: Step-Up Your Home’s Security
With the enhanced internet signal, you’ve just bolstered through our helpful tips above, it’s time to strengthen your home’s safety and security.
One of the less savory aspects of the holiday season is the increased number of packages delivered and left on the doorstep—which draws porch pirates to steal the gifts you’ve carefully researched and purchased.
Smart cameras and doorbells can deter porch pirates and help catch them. And you can connect a smart camera to your smartphone, allowing you to see everyone that comes to your door at any time of the day or night.
You can also set up notifications to alert you when the guests you’ve invited arrive in the driveway before they even ring the bell, giving you those precious extra seconds to make your house perfect for their welcome!
Contact NHTC to learn more about Security Solutions and Cloud Video Surveillance options.
Tip 6: Make Efficient—and Festive—Use of Smart Plugs and Smart Lighting
Finally, to save energy (and money) and improve the holiday cheer around your home, strategically place some smart plugs around the house to control your holiday lighting—and even your Christmas tree!
Smart plugs let you set up timers for your Christmas lights on your smartphone (instead of those clunky plastic timers you have to set manually). They can also aesthetically dim your lights throughout the evening, helping create the perfect Yuletide ambiance.
Many smart plugs and lighting devices can be controlled through Alexa or other smart home devices. It all adds up to a better managed, more efficient, and simply cozier holiday home—and you might just impress your guests with your “magical” smart plug and smart lighting set up!
From better Wi-Fi signal to a safer front porch to more convenient and pleasing decorations, we hope our tips will help you get the most out of your fiber internet and smart home this holiday season—and lower the stress just a tad, too.
And for more ways to make your smart home more efficient and pleasant any time of the year, check out NHTC’s social pages!