Jun 30, 2022 | Family, Fast Fiber Internet, Medina
The summer television viewing season isn’t what it used to be.
Once known for endless reruns and launches of shows that studios deemed less likely to be successful, the world of streaming entertainment and the production houses it created are churning out phenomenal content you’ve just got to see.
The trouble is, lots of other people want to watch it too! And quite often, they’re streaming at the same time as you. And with kids out of school for the summer and many people heading indoors to escape the heat, internet usage increases during the dog days of summer. Unfortunately, along with the increased demand, streaming picture quality and overall reliability often decline, frequently turning what should be a relaxing evening into a frustrating experience.
And with new premieres coming this summer, like HBO Max’s House of the Dragon (the prequel to Game of Thrones), you can be sure that your neighbors (and maybe you too!) will be streaming away the second these shows hit screens.
So what can you do to prepare for all of this increased demand? Or are you doomed to suffer repeated buffering, pixelation, and loading errors during the summer slowdown?
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to improve your internet connection and performance, even during the summer’s high demand. And your friends at Medina Fiber are standing by to help you learn more about high-speed fiber internet and suggest adjustments inside your home to improve your Wi-Fi’s range and overall streaming experience.
Below we suggest five tips to help you beat the summer slowdown so you and your family can enjoy a better streaming experience.
Tip #1: Upgrade to Fiber Internet
The single best thing you can do to improve your internet speed and connection is to upgrade to fiber internet. A technological wonder, fiber internet utilizes fiber-optic cables composed of ultra-thin, tiny strands of glass and other materials that transmit internet data near the speed of light.
As a result, fiber internet’s speeds exceed cable internet, which uses older technology and copper-based materials that cannot compete with fiber’s highest speeds.
Getting a dedicated fiber internet line through Medina Fiber directly to your home means you no longer have to share bandwidth with your neighbors.
Tip #2: Select the Bandwidth to Meet Your Family’s Needs
Once you’ve upgraded to fiber, talk to the customer support specialists at Medina Fiber about which level of broadband you need.
This will vary from household to household, and Medina Fiber ‘s experts can help you determine what will provide the proper amount of bandwidth. If you have multiple people in your home, be sure to choose a plan that offers enough bandwidth for the whole family to use it simultaneously. This tip will help keep the high-speed internet flowing into your home and devices and help keep the peace in your family!
Tip #3: Consider Whole-Home Coverage
Now that you have a perfect fiber internet plan for your needs, you should consider whole-home Wi-Fi coverage. You can use Wi-Fi extenders and other technology to “extend” the Wi-Fi throughout your house—even in harder-to-reach rooms upstairs or even on your back porch.
With the right setup, you may even get a strong enough Wi-Fi signal in your backyard for outdoor movie nights! Of course, the experts at Medina Fiber can help you set up whole-home coverage, too, so be sure to reach out to our customer service specialists.
Tip #4: Optimize the Position of Your Wi-Fi Router
After you’ve set up your fiber internet service, bandwidth plan, and whole-home coverage, make the most of Medina Fiber ‘s high-speed fiber internet by optimizing the location of your Wi-Fi router in your home.
Remember that obstructions like too many walls and windows can interfere with and weaken the Wi-Fi signal and reduce streaming quality as it disperses through your home.
The simplest way to assess your Wi-Fi router’s placement is to run speed tests throughout your home (where your devices are most frequently used to stream). Speed tests let you experiment with your Wi-Fi router’s position—and making even minor adjustments, like elevating the router or separating it away from other electronic devices, can make a significant difference in streaming performance. And, of course, Medina Fiber ‘s friendly technicians are always around to help you, so feel free to contact us!
Tip #5: Utilize Parental Controls
Finally, don’t forget about parental controls! This is much more than limiting or even policing content your kids may use. Parental controls let you prevent your children from using online devices during certain times of day or night, which both reduce their screen time (something all parents aim to do) and increases the amount of bandwidth for you to enjoy!
Parental controls may be included in your service plan or as an add-on option for you as a managed Wi-Fi perk, so check out your package’s features or reach out to the customer service specialists at Medina Fiber to see what may be available.
By implementing these tips, you can significantly improve the picture quality and reliability of your streaming experience, even with the increased internet demand and higher usage of the summer. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a summer of streaming!
And for more helpful tips on improving your internet experience, follow Medina Fiber ‘s social pages!
Jun 30, 2022 | Family, Medina, WI FI (Fast Internet)
While most kids can’t wait for the summer holiday off from school and studying, we know most parents are…less excited about it. And parents can downright dread the infamous “summer slide”—the inevitable drop-off of learning progress that comes from their child’s lengthy time away from the daily school learning structure.
Thankfully, technology can help alleviate this concern. The internet offers a variety of online tools. And technology enables learning and studying outside the structure of a classroom. Today, many kid-friendly tablets are available that are easy to operate and help your child access and utilize those materials during their summer break.
When the right tablet combines with reliable high-speed fiber internet provided by Medina Fiber, you’ll keep your child’s learning and educational enrichment up all summer long.
With an eye toward parental control, durability with protective cases against drops, and general ease of use, we’ve compiled a list of the best tablet options for your children.
We include our best overall recommended option and suggest tablets based on operating systems you may prefer or educational resources and libraries your child’s school may utilize. We hope one of these tablets will keep your kids engaged in learning while having fun this summer.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition
Sporting an impressive 10-inch display size and numerous parent-favored features, Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids Edition may be the best overall option on this list.
Its built-in protective case can be easily handled and held by your child. The tablet is made from durable and sturdy rubberized material, so you have extra peace of mind when the inevitable drops and slips happen.
The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition also has parental controls to help you monitor and control tablet usage. We also love Amazon’s generous replacement policy, which lasts two years from the purchase date. Amazon also makes this tablet in a smaller size, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, so check that out if you’d prefer a lighter option.
If you’re looking for a Chromebook tablet for your child, the Lenovo 10E is a solid choice.
Its battery life clocks in at over 16 hours, ensuring plenty of time for homework and play, on just a single charge. The Lenovo 10E also features a powerful Dragontail Pro glass screen, which helps make the tablet more durable. If your child’s school uses the Chrome Ecosystem for some of its educational resources, the Lenovo 10E could be the best option on this list.
Apple iPad (9th gen, 2021)
Now, we know what you’re thinking— “do I really want to put an iPad into my kid’s hands for their first tablet?”
Well, hear us out because, as you likely know, an iPad offers more features and can be used for many different purposes. Investing in an iPad for your child may be a better longer-term purchase as they age and grow. And by choosing an earlier model like the 2021 9th generation iPad, you can save money, while enjoying Apple’s outstanding quality, speed, and apps.
You’ll just probably also want to invest in a protective iPad case to take care of the investment!
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
For parents who prefer an Android-based device for their child, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A7 boasts loads of features at a more competitive price than Apple’s iPad.
Utilizing Android’s latest software (currently Android 11) and all the app options available in the Google Play Store, your child will have a powerful tablet to use for learning while enjoying its versatility.
The Galaxy Tab A7 also lets parents enable controls and settings to add extra protection and safety for their kids’ browsing. You can monitor and limit their device usage and screen time, as well.
While technology is always changing and improving, we believe you can be confident that any of the above tablets will help make this summer more enriching for your child while sustaining their educational progress. And once you’ve selected their tablet, be sure to connect your child’s new device to Medina Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet so they can start exploring!
For more tips on choosing devices and technology to make the most of Medina Fiber’s fast, reliable internet, follow our social pages!
Jun 30, 2022 | Fast Fiber Internet
Summer brings long days of sunlight for outdoor fun, vacations at the beach or lake, and time for afternoon lounging.
But summer also brings blazing hot temperatures and humidity, which mean increased energy costs. Since inflation is creeping into almost every corner of our lives and prices are staying high with little relief, families need all the savings they can find.
Fortunately, technology can help you save money at home in unexpected ways! For example, “Smart Home” technology uses the power of the internet to help monitor, regulate, and control many features of your home or office. From improved entertainment options to automated, time-based dimmable lighting fixtures, Smart Homes can make your life more efficient and save you money.
However, one of the best ways to save money this summer stands out: lower energy bills.
Smart Home technology can create these savings, specifically through “Smart Thermostats.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program, “a smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that automatically adjusts your home’s heating and cooling temperature settings for optimal performance.”
The Energy Star program found that homeowners can save upwards of 30% on their energy bills by utilizing a smart thermostat (significant savings this summer when you need it most!)
Many smart thermostats can be connected to and controlled by voice-activated technology you may already have in your home, such as Apple’s Home Kit (along with Siri, of course), Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant.
And with the high-speed fiber internet provided by Medina Fiber, you can be assured that your smart thermostat and other “Smart Home” devices will stay connected to your Wi-Fi so you can be more in control of your home and your budget.
Below, we highlight three of the best smart thermostats to cool your home this summer and keep money in your bank account!
1. Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat
Our first option is one of the original smart thermostats—the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. Note the word ‘Learning’ in its name—that’s because, over time, this smart thermostat learns your temperature preferences in different rooms and at various times of the day. Its large, round LCD screen is elegant (in a retro way) and easy to read. Overall, it may just be the best option on this list.
2. Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control
Known for its versatility, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat is another excellent choice. The Ecobee brims with features to make your home more comfortable and help you better regulate its energy efficiency. For example, its remote room sensors can work with multiple rooms at different temperature and humidity settings to adjust conditions depending on needs and usage. The Ecobee’s touchscreen and smart speaker make it easy to operate and program, and its voice commands sync well with most other smart home devices and brands (e.g., Google, Apple, and Amazon). Note that it can be a bit pricier than Nest, but you may prefer its features.
3. Amazon Smart Thermostat
Though it is the least expensive option on this list, the Amazon Smart Thermostat still packs a power-saving punch and makes for an excellent budget selection. You can set your temperature with your voice and receive notifications on your energy usage.
As you’d probably expect, it syncs brilliantly with Alexa, though it does not work with Apple’s HomeKit or Google Assistant. While it lacks the broad array of features of both the Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats, you may find that the Amazon Smart Thermostat fits your family’s needs for the price.
You can be confident that any of the smart thermostats outlined above will help break the summer heat in your home and ease the pain in your wallet! It’s just one of the numerous ways Medina Fiber ‘s reliable fiber network can make your home more efficient and comfortable through “smart home” technology.
And to learn more information about “smart homes” and how high-speed fiber internet can improve your quality of life and save you money, follow Medina Fiber ‘s social pages!
Jun 29, 2022 | Fast Fiber Internet, Medina, WI FI (Fast Internet)
The values and traditions of hard work, community, and land stewardship are a core part of rural American life. Traits like these have made American a
griculture an economic powerhouse.
Now, rural America is a sought-after living and travel destination. People love the views of the countryside and enjoy spending time outdoors. As more people visit rural America, small businesses, artisans, and other craft workers have more opportunities to sell their goods and services.
And to help boost agriculture and rural America’s economy, high-speed fiber internet provided by Medina Fiber can make a tremendous difference through internet speeds just as fast and reliable as any major metropolitan area. Across the country, more and more rural towns are receiving broadband internet for the first time, making local businesses more competitive than ever and improving overall quality of life.
We’re highlighting four critical ways that high-speed fiber internet improves agriculture and helps our communities and families stay competitive in the global marketplace.
1. Information in Real-Time for Farmers and Ranchers
High-speed fiber internet’s improved communication speeds and reliability fosters economic growth in rural communities and helps farmers and ranchers manage one of their most precious resources—time—far better than slower, less-dependable internet typically available. And real-time information is just as crucial to the agricultural economy as it is to Wall Street’s financiers.
From detailed weather updates and drought conditions to current commodities markets’ price and trading indicators, fiber internet delivers up-to-the-minute information as it happens, keeping our rural communities in the know and economically competitive.
2. Live-Stream Video Conferencing with Veterinarians and Other Experts
Any rancher or farmer raising livestock knows that every minute counts in an animal health emergency. And faster and more reliable communications with veterinarians are crucial, especially for acute care needs.
Fiber broadband’s speed and reliability enable advanced, high-quality live-stream video conferencing in veterinary emergencies and is often helpful for less-acute animal health and wellness needs. And combining video imagery in real-time with the expert advice of a veterinary consultation through a fiber internet connection can make all the difference in diagnosing illnesses and even providing animal treatment.
Fiber broadband can be a literal lifesaver on the farm or ranch.
3. Improved Connections with the USDA and Other Governmental Agencies
Better connectivity to the thousands of USDA scientists, agents, inspectors, and administrators is necessary to keep farms functioning and ensure crops and other goods make it to market safely and unspoiled. High-speed fiber internet helps facilitate that connectivity far better than telephone or mail correspondence.
For example, paperwork and approvals can be arranged, submitted, and received faster with a reliable fiber internet connection. In addition, fiber broadband improves—and speeds up—overall communications with the USDA and other key government agencies and makes working with these agencies much easier so farmers and ranchers can carry on with their work more efficiently.
4. Faster Communication with Insurance Companies—and Faster Claim Resolution
Insurance companies often need information and answers to questions fast, especially when farmers and ranchers depend on them for a claim. Access to fiber internet means that vital data and materials insurance adjusters need, such as photos, documents, and even signed paperwork, will be sent and received far faster than through the mail or courier.
In short, fiber broadband helps rural communities get the resources they need to get back on track after emergencies and other crises farms face.
The above examples are just a few ways fiber broadband serves agriculture and rural America and helps make it a better place to live and do business. And at Medina Fiber, we are proud to do our part to make our farming and ranching economies stronger and more competitive.
For more information about how Medina Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet enhances our community, follow our social pages!
Jun 1, 2022 | Fast Fiber Internet, Why Fiber Optics?
Whether you’re browsing online, shopping at the grocery store, or the fueling up at the gas station, you’ve probably noticed higher prices.
From supply chain hang-ups, higher shipping and transport costs, ballooning energy demand, labor shortages, and mounds of unspent savings during the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation is an international phenomenon hitting just about everyone. And in March 2022, it reached 8.5%- the highest point in about 40 years.
To help you keep up with the global economy, Medina Fiber’s reliable high-speed fiber internet puts the online marketplace of goods, services, entertainment right at your fingertips! But with inflation seemingly sticking around for the foreseeable future, you may be feeling the squeeze.
So what—if anything—can you do to combat inflation? Are there strategies you can employ to push your hard-earned dollar further? And can better use of the internet help fight inflation, too?
The answer to these questions is YES, and below, we present some of the best ways you can utilize Medina Fiber’s fast internet to shop smartly and do more efficiently online in an era of higher prices.
- Enjoy Online Entertainment at Home
The ever-increasing online entertainment options available with your fiber internet connection at home can significantly improve your overall budget.
For example, instead of taking your family out to the movies, consider hosting a family movie night at home. Today, many films can be streamed at home when they’re released in theatres. And of course, there are already thousands of great movies and TV shows and specials you can enjoy.
Instead of paying for movie tickets and expensive concessions, warm up a bag of popcorn, grab a drink of your choice and settle in at home for a great film to stream. You’ll save money on gas, the higher cost of individual tickets for each person, and the often egregiously marked-up price of cinema popcorn, soda, and other snacks.
- Save on Groceries by Shopping Online
Today’s shipping and logistics make shopping online for groceries convenient and efficient to deliver them to your home. And, if you’re clever about it, grocery shopping online can provide considerable savings, too.
Purchasing groceries online for delivery saves you money on gas (i.e., fewer trips to the store throughout the week). Sam’s Club and Costco offer their members free delivery for many of their products—and buying in bulk adds to your savings! Amazon’s Prime Pantry also provides a one-or-two-day delivery service for many groceries and staples.
If you need your groceries even faster, take advantage of your grocery store’s app or website and purchase all your groceries online at home and then head to the store for pick-up. You can save even more money by doing curbside pick-up because you can avoid delivery fees and tips.
Using online grocery apps prevents “impulse buying” of products you had no intention of purchasing in the first place (and that you’ll likely not even use). Be sure to also search the web for coupons, discounts, free trials, and other great deals on a host of groceries and other products.
- Telehealth Appointments Are Convenient and Cost-Effective
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families learned the value of telehealth appointments, where doctors and other health professionals provided vital health care services to individuals via online video conferences. According to some surveys, telehealth appointments can be considerably less expensive than in-person visits to the doctor—close to half as much.
Many insurance companies cover telehealth visits, as well. Of course, when in doubt, use your best judgment, as specific health issues could be acute and require in-person visits as soon as possible. But search around for telehealth options and enjoy the savings and conveniences of health care delivered online at your home.
- Shop Online and Save on Open-Box and Refurbished Items
If you’ve shopped on Amazon, BestBuy.com, or most other large online stores, you’ll undoubtedly have noticed recommended deals on open-box or refurbished items. Sometimes these are damaged products repaired by the manufacturer and then re-sold at a discount (often with a generous warranty). But often enough, retailers discount these items simply because their outer packaging is somewhat damaged.
Thus, you should consider open-box and refurbished products for sale. Both Amazon and Best Buy offer Warehouse and Outlet deals, respectively, and the savings can be huge—even over 60% off. Be sure to read the details provided about the open-box or refurbished item carefully before buying—but just using this one tip can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
- Online Education and Classes Cuts Costs
If you’re a student or considering college, technical school, vocational training, or taking extra classes to enrich your skills and marketability, money can be especially tight. The good news is that online education has expanded rapidly over the past several years, and for many individuals, higher education is within reach via the internet.
Many colleges and technical schools offer full degrees that you can complete entirely online from your home. Others provide popular courses that are well suited to an online format. In addition to the reduced costs of these internet-based programs and courses, enrolling in online classes instead of needing to drive to campus each day can save you money on gas and put more money into the costs of your textbooks! So do your research and consider whether online education is the right fit for you.
When all or even most of these tips and strategies are employed, the savings add up. So yes, just by utilizing Medina Fiber’s high-speed internet at home and being a savvier online consumer, you really can fight back against inflation!
For more advice and helpful information about navigating the global e-commerce marketplace, follow Medina Fiber’s social pages!
Jun 1, 2022 | Family, Fast Fiber Internet, Why Fiber Optics?
Scams are a sad but common part of the online experience today. And scammers are always hunting for new targets and ways to exploit people.
The latest scheme to trick you into divulging sensitive personal and financial information about yourself is one of the most ominous yet: using your own phone number to text you.
Seemingly harmless and disturbing at the same time, the scam is designed to trick you into thinking your cell phone company is legitimately contacting you about an account or business matter. And they’re often offering to “reward” you with a gift of some kind. Unfortunately, with this scam, they are not—and you should be on your guard.
At Medina Fiber, we take online safety and security very seriously. We are more than just another internet service provider—we are your neighbors, and we believe in looking out for each other.
We explain this unusual and worrisome new text message scam below, including some steps you can take to protect yourself and help crackdown on spam text messages.
The Rise of Text Message Scams
The COVID-19 pandemic increased online scams, including email phishing and spam texting. Scammers targeted individuals during a vulnerable time, taking advantage of the increased isolation and health concerns people were experiencing.
The situation proved so alarming that even the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an official warning to Americans about the massive growth in text message scams.
One company that tracks phone-related scams reported a 58% increase in spam text messages in 2021—a mind-blowing 87.8 billion spam text messages sent to consumers’ cell phones in just one year!
How Text Message Scams Work
Here’s how text message scams typically work: scammers will send an SMS text message to your phone, just like they would via a spam email, aiming to get you to click on the accompanying link and lead you to their website or other online domain. For example, they often claim you have won a prize or another reward or gift and need to click on the link to redeem it. Sometimes, they claim that the link will lead you to a company survey to appear more professional.
They proceed to either lure you into giving more personal information about yourself or use advanced technology to “capture” sensitive information about you from your phone. It’s not much different from spam email messages that (thankfully) usually end up in your Junk or Spam Email Folder.
What is the New Texting Scam?
Popping up in mid-to-late March 2022, the new scam seems both deceptively simple and ingenious at the same time. What sets it apart from other scams is the scam text message appears to be sent right from your mobile phone number—i.e., the number that your wireless provider established and linked to your account. In short, the scam text message creates the appearance of legitimacy when it is anything but legitimate.
The scam’s most reported message reads “Free Msg: Your bill is paid for March” and is accompanied by a link promising a free gift. Others have reported a message linked to a Verizon Customer Service Survey.
Verizon Wireless confirmed the spike in this new scam in late March and later announced that it was working diligently to prevent it from reaching customers. Verizon also indicated that it was notifying federal law enforcement and working with them on the problem, adding more resources to combat this problem.
Scam Text Message Safety and Security Tips
Verizon Wireless recommends forwarding any such texts by texting “S P A M” (7726), where their security experts can further investigate them. We also remind you to follow the FCC’s advice to “never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.”
If you receive a text message from a friend or family member containing a link address that doesn’t seem right, reach out to them first to ensure their phone number or email isn’t hacked. You can also contact federal regulators and law enforcement and file a complaint through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its online fraud division, the FCC’s complaint department, or even the Internet Crime Complaint Center of the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI).
Medina Fiber and its team members are proud to deliver its high-speed fiber internet to your home. But we’re part of this community, too, and are pleased to do our part to help make the digital and online world a safer and more secure place to explore and grow along with you.
For more helpful tips on navigating the web more securely and keeping your family safe online, follow Medina Fiber’s social pages.