People are spending more time than ever at home this summer. It’s the perfect opportunity to use smart technology to transform your deck, patio or other outdoor space into a “connected” oasis. All you need is a strong internet connection from Medina County and a few essentials listed below to become the envy of the neighborhood.
Get the party going with perfect outdoor speaker
Whether you’re enjoying some downtime in your backyard or hosting a few friends for a “socially distanced” celebration, music should be part of the mix. But what smart speaker will do justice to your summer playlist?
Luckily, an array of highly durable options are now on the market:
- The UE Megaboom 3 is a highly portable Bluetooth speaker that can easily be toted from patio to poolside. Its sound quality is respectable. Its battery lasts for 20 hours. And at $150 to $200, it’s one of the more reasonably priced speakers that can hold up to summer heat and pool splashes.
- If you’ve got the outdoor space and are looking for something more substantial, consider the Polk Atrium 4. For roughly the price of the Megaboom, you’ll get a pair of speakers that produce high-quality sounds that can be heard over party chatter and kids playing in the pool.
- Wanting to go all out? Sonos Move produces unrivaled, stereo-quality sound for up to 10 hours. Its wide soundscape, paired with the speakers’ easy switch from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi make it easy to see what it’s the leader of the class. But keep in mind, this speaker is an investment at about $400.
Keep that landscaping looking lush
No backyard paradise would be complete without beautiful, lush landscaping. But who wants to keep up with the watering? That’s where smart watering apps come in.
One of our favorites? For $100, the Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller will activate your sprinkler system any time from anywhere. And its app will give you insight into water consumption from your iPhone or iPad. Want to change up your irrigation schedule? Siri will take your voice command and get it done.
Keeping your paradise cool.
Outdoor spaces quickly become unusable during the heat of the day. Too many homeowners must crawl behind patio furniture or through bushes to turn on their fans, misters and other small appliances.
There’s a much better way thanks to a growing line of new smart plugs, including the iHome control iSP100 outdoor smart plug. Pair this $40 water-resistant plug with Alexa, Siri, Nest or other platform to turn on your device with a voice command. You can also set it for specific times on certain days and never worry again about keeping the party going.
Plugs aren’t the only thing getting in the smart game. Smart bulbs like the Eufy Lumos offer on-demand dimming and can even create color schemes.
Light up the night.
When the sun goes down, it’s time for outdoor areas to shine.
A growing line of smart lighting can highlight your foot paths, flowerbeds and water features. Some can even turn your outdoor area into a wonderland of color.
One of the most popular choices: Philips Hue lighting can be set to change brightness and yes, even color. Choose from Tropical Twilight, Arctic Auroro and others to set your backyard mood. Use Hue’s smartphone app or Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant to control the system.
Big screens for movie night
Whether it’s snuggling up to stream a romantic movie or laughing at silly YouTube videos with the kids, outdoor TVs are quickly becoming outdoor must-haves. Weather-resistant models, such as those made by Sunbrite, allow you to enjoy your show without worrying about rain, humidity or the sprinkler system destroying your TV.
Looking for something large and in charge? Check out the popular Sony XBR85X900F.
These outdoor devices, paired with fast and reliable Internet from Medina Fiber will ensure a fun summer in your backyard paradise!
So you’re planning a move and have about a million things on your mind. From packing to gathering boxes to hiring movers, there is a lot on your plate! But have you taken a moment to think about setting up your internet connection in your new home?
Fortunately, with a bit of planning, it’s easy to set up service or make the switch. And if you’re already a customer with Medina Fiber high-speed fiber internet service may be available at your new address—and super simple to transfer!
Below are tips on how to easily set up, transfer, or find new fiber internet service so you and your family don’t have to miss a minute of streaming entertainment, email access, or online shopping for your new home.
1) Sticking With Medina Fiber Just Give Us a Call!
Are you an existing high-speed fiber internet customer of Medina Fiber Just give us a call at Medina Fiber to find out if we service your new home. If so, we’ll make it easy to transfer services, and you can focus your attention on packing and other moving tasks.
2) Ask Your Real Estate Agent
If you’re moving out of our service area, ask your realtor to create a free account on FiberHomes.com. He or she can use the account to search your new address and discover which internet provider services your new home.
Then, you can reach out to the provider before you make the move to minimize any downtime in your new home.
3) Installation and Wi-Fi Optimization
If you’re remaining a customer of Medina Fiber we make it easy to get connected in your new home.
Our skilled installation technicians will help determine how best to optimize your wi-fi, including ascertaining the best location for your wi-fi router in your new home. They’re trained to know the many facets of router placement, including minimizing interference from walls and other electronic equipment, to help you get the most out of the high-speed fiber internet you’ve wisely selected.
Moving is never easy — but transferring your internet services can be! Just contact us today. We’re proud to keep you connected.
If card catalogs and the Dewey Decimal System are what you remember about your local library, you’re probably long overdue for a visit. And with fast and reliable internet from Medina Fiber, you can do it from the comfort of your home.
Whether you’re a book lover, a browser, or a research junkie, virtual library resources are available at your fingertips.
The Digital Era
These days most libraries are equipped with digital lending services. Thankfully, this framework was already in place before the word ‘coronavirus’ ever entered the public lexicon. Now, one year on, demand for e-resources is higher than it’s ever been, and libraries have graciously risen to the occasion.
Most libraries use a platform called Hoopla to support their digital lending services. Hoopla bills itself as “a web and mobile library media streaming platform for audiobooks, comics, e-books, movies, music, and TV.” Other libraries use a service called OverDrive, “the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide,” which in turn hosts the apps Libby and Sora. Whatever platform your library uses, you’re guaranteed to get a premium experience with thousands of digital resources with just the click of a button.
So why choose virtual library services? Not only does digital lending keep you safe, secure, and healthy, it’s also significantly less expensive than buying new books directly from a retailer—approximately 100% cheaper, in fact. Buying books, whether digital or paperback, can be costly. Even renting e-books can really add up, especially for the voracious reader. So if you could get the same content for free, why wouldn’t you?
How To Access
To get the most out of your virtual library experience, you’ll still need your handy library card. You’ll probably also need a username and password to log in and access the digital resources, but thankfully, creating a profile is easy and free.
Whether you have a smartphone, tablet, e-reader, laptop, desktop computer, or even a smart TV, you’re able to log in and browse through a multitude of resources. That includes everything from audiobooks and e-books (with OverDrive), movies, television, music files, digitized newspapers and other print resources, and much more (with Hoopla).
These platforms work much the same way as an actual brick-and-mortar library: there are only a certain number of digital copies available for rental at any given time. Fortunately, you can put your name on the list, and you’ll get notified when the item is ready for you! You’ll also have a certain amount of time with your item(s) before they have to go back to the virtual library.
While your library card allows you to access your designated local library, you may have options to access other libraries in your surrounding region. Check with your local branch to learn more about your options and how you can get the most out of your virtual library experience.
As always, with a good connection from Medina Fiber, entertainment is never far away!
Online learning is the “new normal” these days thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
And parents are quickly learning that it’s difficult to keep their students engaged with virtual school lessons. (Fortnite on the sly, anyone? Snapchat under the kitchen table?)
Luckily, an array of inexpensive apps can manage those distracting sites, helping kids stay focused and get that schoolwork done.
Check out the best of the bunch:
- Kid-friendly unGlue links with a parent’s app to record and limit screen time spent on including videos, games and social media. Parents allot a daily amount of time for “entertainment.” Then, kids view how much time they get and earn more by completing preset chores. And if those homework assignments don’t get done? Parents can turn off internet access completely via the app.
- Other oh-so-clever blocking apps include Screentime, which allows parents to preset blocked times for school work time and Qustudio that tracks calls and texts (for Androids only). Another of our favorites: Norton Family. Its personal information protection (for Windows devices) blocks kids from disclosing sensitive information.
- Older students come with their own unique online challenges. We’ve got a fun way to get them motivated. Forest features a picture of a tree, which grows the longer a student stays on task. Hard work pays off with the growth of a lush forest. But if they jump onto TikTok/YouTube/whatever? The tree is in virtual trouble, shriveling and losing leaves.
- While tons of apps can help limit screen time, others teach kids how to be productive and manage their time. One of our favorites for preschoolers and early elementary students is the award-winning Choiceworks app, which helps children master daily routines and understand/control their feelings.
- With kids online now more than ever, safety is a top priority. Zift offers a ton of parental controls, including real-time reports about online searches and newly installed apps as well as alerts when inappropriate content is viewed. And instead of just blocking questionable content, Zift’s award-winning filter determines if content is kid-friendly in real time.
With these helpful tools, combined with fast and reliable Internet from Medina Fiber, you’ll be able to keep your kids focused on learning while at home in Medina County, Ohio.
Have you spent the past year working through every title on Netflix? If you’re bored with your current streaming service, it might be time to switch things up. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of free alternative streaming services for all your entertainment needs.
The best part of these services is that you don’t need to pay to access them. That’s right, they’re 100% free, and most don’t even require you to sign in with an account. Some platforms stream ad-supported content to make this work, but we think watching an ad now and then more than makes up for the service they provide!
You know IMDb as the famous movie database and the go-to for pop culture facts and trivia. But did you know that IMDb also has a free streaming service? IMDb TV is owned by Amazon and is essentially a free alternative to Amazon’s paid platform, Prime Video. And you’re not just limited to streaming movies, either. There are also tons of TV titles covering a range of lengths, subjects, and genres.
You can access IMDb TV from your laptop or desktop computer or via the IMDb TV app on Fire TV and Roku devices. It’s not necessary to create an account and login to watch, but doing so does provide extra controls, like automatically saving your spot in video playback.
Best picks: Movies – Kung Fu Panda and Captain Phillips; TV - Schitt’s Creek, Lost, and Mad Men
What’s the hoopla all about? We’ll tell you! With Hoopla, it’s incredibly easy to access a wide array of digital titles courtesy of your local library. Simply sign in with your library card to tap into a fantastic collection of media, including countless movies and TV shows.
Once you rent a title, you have a limited time to watch it, but the nice thing is that there are absolutely no ads! Because Hoopla is run cooperatively through your library, the multimedia service is totally free, and there are no strings attached—besides the digital due date. Best of all, Hoopla is highly versatile and compatible with most hosts, both for computers and TVs.
Best picks: Ex Machina, Thelma & Louise, and What We Do in the Shadows
Tubi or not Tubi — that is the question. Well, we think the answer is clear because Tubi offers free ad-supported streaming, sans subscription. It’s super compatible, and you can even find it in countless app stores like Amazon, Roku, Apple, and Google.
It’s so simple to stream titles from over 30 genres on demand. Tubi also doesn’t require a login, although you can create an account if you want! Like IMDb TV, this gives you a touch more control and flexibility over your watch options.
Best picks: The Shawshank Redemption, Mask, and Miss Congeniality
Why spend money on streaming services when there’s so much free content at your fingertips? All you need is a solid high-speed internet connection from Medina Fiber and a good pick, and you’re ready to settle in for some grade-A entertainment.