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As broadband services get quicker and quicker, it’s important that your home connection stays with the times and avoids lagging behind. This is particularly true if you have important work to complete from home, have a few different devices using one connection or are just fed up with slow internet speeds.
Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to make a few changes that should help you get the most from your internet connection. Here we take a look at four steps to take to maximise speeds.
Test your internet speed
The first thing to get done is a connection speed test. These are fairly easy to find on the internet and will give you a good idea of exactly how quickly your connection is running. Once this is complete you can compare your actual speeds against those advertised by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and make sure you’re actually receiving the product you purchased.
In some cases it may actually be your hardware that is holding back your connection speeds. If you have a particularly old router or haven’t updated in a while, it may be a good idea to check whether new routers are available from your ISP and whether they would be able to increase your speeds.
Older models are unable to transfer data quite as quickly as the newest 802.11n routers, resulting in quite a reduction in internet speeds. Similarly, new fibre optic hardware will also increase speeds – it’s a good idea to take a look at Virgin Media fibre optic broadband for more information on such services.
You may also be experiencing slower speeds because of poor security arrangements. This can be dealt with in two ways. Firstly, make sure you have a password encoded connection and that it
can’t be accessed by other, unwanted users as freeloaders will severely limit your internet speeds.
Secondly, make sure you have anti-spyware and anti-virus protection software. This should ensure no malicious software is affecting your speeds and systems.
Finally, the position of your router in the house can have a large affect on how well the connection functions and what speeds you are able to receive. Make sure the router is located centrally in the home and that it isn’t tucked away in a basement but can be found on the main or upper floors. If it’s still struggling, you may need to purchase a repeater to increase signal strengths.
The fast pace at which technology develops can make buying anything a difficult task. Particularly for those of us who aren’t clued up on the latest terminology, the research period is more of a learning curve than anything else. Here, we take a quick look at the essentials when it comes to buying the best netbook or laptop for your needs.
Assess Your Budget
As with most things, the market for computers is split into several price brackets. We have the entry level market, mid-range and then high-performance machines designed specifically for gaming. And that’s before we even begin to mention the differences between notebooks, ultrabooks, slimbooks and convertibles!
This means that the first question you need to ask yourself is how much you’re willing to spend. This will allow you to be realistic about what sort of machines you will be looking at.
Prioritise Based On Your Needs
Due to the portability of notebooks and laptops, even those who are looking at the very top end are likely to face a little compromise. What’s important here is to get your needs prioritised. The key is to understand the way in which you intend to use your computer, so you can be sure about which features are most important to you.
Media fans who use their laptop for music and film will probably want to focus on three main areas – a big hard drive, a good screen and an impressive sound card. Those keen to edit such media will need plenty of memory, also known as RAM. Gaming addicts will probably be after a strong processor and a capable graphics card.
Think About the Future
Your needs may change over time and it’s important to factor that into your decision. If you’re looking to buy laptop upgrades in the future, it’s better for you to spend a little on improving your current machine, rather than replacing the whole thing. For this reason, look for computers which allow the spec to be upgraded – such as those with slots for more RAM
The final, and perhaps most
essential, thing to consider is research. Different sources will inevitably have different things to say about each model you look at so be sure to look at a wide range of trustworthy and reputable sources before taking the plunge.
Video conferencing is the perfect tool for small to medium-sized businesses to reduce costs and increase connectivity across the world for next to nothing. Working from home is an increasingly common trend across professionals, and now there’s no reason for them to fall out of the loop. Video conferencing will also help businesses expand their clientele as you are able to create a personal relationship while never needing to leave the office. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways video conferencing could work for your business.
As any small or medium business owner knows, money makes the world go round; and through utilising video conferencing, the costs that can be saved are phenomenal. Petrol alone is an increasingly costly commodity, while train and air travel prices continue to soar. These problems force smaller businesses to stay local as it becomes too costly to go further afield.
When using video conferencing, as long as everyone has an internet connection there is no need for meetings to cost the earth. While initial costs are usually to be expected, the return on this is usually quite swift. This means you can leave actual traveling for high profile meetings once or twice a year.
Life doesn’t stop because of work, and every boss knows that sometimes employees may need to relocate or work from home for a few days a week. Rather than losing an important and productive employee, video conferencing can ensure they’re kept in the loop and don’t miss out on important work whilst away from the office.
If your business expands over several offices in different locations, weekly video conferences will transform the way
you interact with employees based across the country. Rather than waiting for quarterly or monthly meetings, face-to-face meetings
are now possible on a regular basis, meaning decisions can be made in real time and help make your business grow and success much more quickly.
Long hours on the
road can make yourself and employees burn out quickly, which can be dangerous as well as dispiriting. It takes a lot of time for people to travel across the country, or even across the world, liaising with clients and other businesses.
Rather than risk losing an important member of staff through the long travelling hours, both long term and short term, using video conferencing can ensure more work is done, and more time is saved. A work-life balance is important for every employee, and video conferencing can make sure this happens.
The world of technology is always looking for the “next big thing”, and that’s never truer than when entertainment is concerned.
There are plenty of failed technologies that could have easily taken the world by storm when it comes to entertainment; Betamax and HD DVD are just some of the examples.
Nowadays when you’re looking for smart TVs at appliancesdirect.co.uk, there are a few options to choose from – some have been around for a while, like HD TV, which show no signs of going out of fashion and falling out of favour any time soon. Although some of the technologies are a little more “out there” and it remains to be seen whether these types of TV will take off in a way that Minidisc didn’t manage.
Smart TVs were absolutely everywhere at conferences like CES last year, and all the biggest manufacturers are getting in on the act. Some of the biggest selling Sony
TVs around at the moment are Smart TVs, and there’s a pretty strong case for them, so it’s easy to see why.
The promise of all kinds of entertainment at the touch of a button (…or, a wave of a finger in some cases…) makes the concept of Smart TV extremely appealing to gadget junkies – but what is it, and more importantly, is it
All the main manufacturers define Smart TV differently which doesn’t help.
The general consensus is that they’re designed for content consumption, and run apps; essentially this kind of model makes it easier for more people to get hold of more music, films and TV than ever before. This is usually done through a connection to the internet.
In answer to the whether Smart TVs are worth it though, right now it’s unclear if they are worth the money, as they are considerably more expensive than their standard and HD equivalents…but as we all know, the world of technology moves so quick that it won’t be long before more intelligent technology is made readily available, and for less money.
Some great innovative technology is now available on the Interflora website.
The Flower Experts have previewed their My Interflora Creation online floristry design tool which offers a really unique and original way to buy gifts for your loved ones.
The user interface really is quite impressive and is equally easy to use. The page invites you to make either a hamper or a bouquet for the occasion in mind and from the page where the choice is made; the user is navigated to a sleek page where they can either visit the gallery for inspiration
or get started on their bouquet or hamper.
The fact that the two options are there really shows the brand have thought a lot about their audience and have covered all of the bases in terms of the gift giving market. This means that whether you are in the market for a beautiful bouquet of flowers, synonymous with love, romance or maybe a get well gift or if your present is of a different nature, say a birthday or Christmas present, the hamper is a great way to express sentiment.
Once you are into the tool, the website offers you hints and tips, another chance to view the gallery of past creations for further inspiration, the chance to sign in to your account if you are coming back to a creation or an offer of help if you are stuck with the processes involved.
The interface is so user friendly, it would be really hard to find yourself at a loss. Simply click on the drop down menus on the left hand side of the screen to choose from items you would like to add to your creation.
Once you have the drop down menu open, it couldn’t be simpler, all you have to do is drag the item into your creation pane. You can sort the flowers by colour, name, meaning or you can just choose to view all of them and fond the right ones for your bouquet.
The price tag keeps you informed on how much your creation is going to cost and once you are happy with your creation you can go ahead and buy it as well as sharing it on your favourite social media platforms.
One of the best features about the tool is that it gives you freedom to create your own gifts from Interflora, the opportunity to create something far more personal and bespoke and gives you the experience you would have in a real florists or gift shop without having to leave your home.
50 years ago the audiocassette was invented. Jump forward half a century and a lot has changed. Digital music is available instantly online, ready to be downloaded onto any number of devices for immediate listening. This relatively new kind of technology has undoubtedly been embraced by the younger generation, but are the over 50s tech savvy enough to take advantage of these kinds of new opportunities?
The research would certainly suggest that a lot of over 50s do have the chance to take advantage of new technology. While some people that were born long before mobile phones were invented may still favour a basic model that does little more than make calls, over a third of over 50s now have either a smartphone or tablet (or both) that is capable of digital media playback.
These devices have made it easier for over 50s to benefit from the kind of technology that was already on offer from more expensive devices such as laptops or desktop computers.
Keeping in touch
While Facebook might have started as a social network site for university students now many over 50s use it to keep in touch with friends and family. One of the biggest appeals of this type of new technology is the opportunity to share photos. With many over 50s living a considerable distance from their children, sharing photos on Facebook allows them to feel more involved with their friends’ and family’s lives.
Video calls through a service like Skype is something that many over 50s enjoy even more than simply seeing pictures. Those that might not have considered themselves tech savvy soon want to learn how to make a video call when they realise it will mean being able to talk to grandchildren that now lives in Australia or
a childhood friend that moved to America.
Other over 50s want to use the internet for entirely different reasons – online shopping. Getting older can make physical shopping more of a challenge – mobile sites and online shopping are the perfect alternatives for over 50s that don’t want to or can’t make it to the shops. Others that are perfectly able just don’t want to miss out on the bargains that can be found online.
For other over 50s new technology has helped make old pastimes easier. Already around 14% of over 50s will leave space-consuming weighty books at home when they go on holiday in favour of slimmer e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle. After all, the classics are always just as good, even when read electronically. And so the question, recently posted by Castle Cover is, whatever your age, be it 10, 20, 30, 40, 50. . .how technologically savvy are you? Just visit the following survey
link to answer.