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juggling-family-entertainment-needs

Juggling Competing Entertainment Needs

Matt Enger |

The Christmas period often places more demands on the average family home’s internet. So, how can mums and dads plan their internet use to take this into account? 

The trick is, every household is made up of different types of people … And they all use the internet in their own (often demanding!) way.   

So, who are these people? Let’s start with … 

The Gamer.

This well-known type plays games via PC or console (Xbox or PlayStation being the two most popular). 

That’s demanding on your internet so an ethernet wire directly linking PC/console and router is ideal. 

Direct ethernet connections lower ‘ping’ while reducing lag caused by wireless interference and delay. 

Now, going direct isn’t always possible. 

If your house isn’t configured for ethernet cable, consider powerline adapters instead. They give you much of the speed, without the need for cabling in the walls. (See Lenny’s Lesson 7 for more.)

The next type is … 

The Social Media Lover. 

This person specialises in uploading photos and videos to Facebook and Instagram. (Often of food!)

This obsession requires a strong Wi-Fi signal – so if this sounds like you, it’s time to carefully check your router placement. 

If you’ve got a big house or a complex floorplan, consider wireless extenders to boost your signal.

Otherwise, Social Media Lovers might trip other family members up. 

If you’re on anything less than 50mbps download/20mbps upload speed, you run that risk.

Now, let’s introduce…

The Video Streamer.  

What about hi-definition streaming? 

For standard definition (SD), Wi-Fi is generally fine. 

As you head to 4K (and even 8K), you’ll need to be ethernet-wired. 

If you have less than 50mbps download speeds, sharing with others may cause some … disagreements. 

If you’re buying a new TV, you’ll be best off connecting it with ethernet cable. Even the HD version of Chromecast has ethernet capability, as does Apple TV. 

On to the next member of our line-up …

The Tablet/iPad Enthusiast. 

Again, a robust Wi-Fi signal is crucial here. 

If you’re after a Wi-Fi extender, make sure you have a tonne of signal strength.

If the results weren’t what you were hoping for, examine your router placement to make sure it’s optimal. 

Failing that, get a Wi-Fi extender. (The higher the frequency, the lower the dropout rate.)

Luckily, newer tablets work fine with 5GHz Wi-Fi. 

If you have an older tablet which can’t handle 5GHz, though, it might be a good idea to upgrade … especially if you enjoy watching pin-sharp videos with no lag.  

We’ve now arrived at our final user type …

The General PC User.   

Nothing cutting-edge here, just some web browsing, a bit of YouTube, and a dollop of social media thrown in for good measure.

Now, while this type of user is a fair bit less data-demanding than the others, they still require a rock-solid connection.   

So, if you’re a General PC User on Wi-Fi, carefully consider your distance from the router. 

It’s the best way to ensure a hassle-free online session. 

Now, no matter which type of internet user you are, have an enjoyable Christmas browsing experience!

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