Feb 22, 2023 | Fast Fiber Internet
Today’s internet technology is indispensable for small businesses. Apart from all the information and data made available at your fingertips by internet access, small businesses can market their goods and services worldwide, communicate with customers, and easily handle any issues.
And fiber internet, like the connection brought to our community by Medina Fiber gives small businesses access to the fastest, most reliable connection. In this way, we’re proud to help build our community’s economy and keep our businesses competitive.
Understanding the internet options and equipment available today can be daunting. At Medina Fiber, we know small businesses already have enough on their plate and don’t have the time or resources to take a crash course in IT services!
So to simplify things, we’ve assembled a brief guide to answer a few of the most common questions about the distinctions between fiber internet and Wi-Fi and how they work together.
We hope the information below will help small businesses make informed choices to keep them better connected and more competitive in today’s global marketplace.
What is Fiber Internet Service?
Fiber internet is an advanced technology that delivers internet at nearly the speed of light—and no, we are not exaggerating! Fiber internet sends its internet signal on thin, tightly compacted glass strands within fiber optic cable, pulsing internet and all of its data into your business at light speed.
Because of its complex and elegant material components, fiber internet receives internet into your office—or “download” and returns data to other servers—or “upload”— at far greater speeds than any other internet technology available today.
And fiber internet can do these tasks simultaneously without the lag or logjam other internet technologies all too frequently experience.
Fiber’s bandwidth capacity is well renowned, too. Because it’s capable of handling and moving so much data, fiber’s massive broadband capacity can support intense projects. So your business will be more productive and efficient than you ever were on DSL, cable internet, or 5G.
What is Wi-Fi?
Once Medina Fiber’s fiber internet reaches your small business, it needs to be distributed to your office’s devices. And that signal distribution is performed by Wi-Fi technology. It’s helpful to see fiber internet service and Wi-Fi as two distinct but essential technologies working in tandem to provide your business with internet access.
The Wi-Fi router disperses internet data and information to your business’s devices through radio waves. The two frequencies used by Wi-Fi are 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz. You’ll usually find Wi-Fi routers with one or both of these frequencies.
Without getting too technical, a hertz is simply a measurement of the frequency of an event per second—in the world of computers and the internet, IT experts call the event a “cycle.”
And if you’re wondering, one gigahertz is one billion cycles per second—which means that a lot of internet data is transmitted by your Wi-Fi router every second! In the Wi-Fi context, the higher the hertz (frequency), the greater the amount of internet data transmitted per second.
How Can Wi-Fi Maximize Fiber Internet’s Outstanding Speeds and Reliability?
Compared to the residential internet you may use at home, many small businesses often need to power far more internet-using devices at any time throughout the day.
These include all computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets used by employees. And any other internet-based technology like security cameras.
Of course, that means that every device shares the same internet signal. And some devices will use far more internet than others, especially those downloading or uploading large quantities of data.
For example, if your business engages in video conferencing, expect large amounts of internet and bandwidth to be used. Other devices and activities use considerably less internet, like many smart devices around the office that only intermittently use the internet to function.
This is why many small businesses employ advanced Wi-Fi technology beyond the basic Wi-Fi router. And one of the best additions you can make to improve your Wi-Fi signal is to set up a mesh network.
A mesh network is an interconnected group of devices set up around your business that work together to provide better internet service. Each corresponding device (often called a node) is linked together, supporting each other and creating a seamless network for internet access at faster speeds than available using a singular router.
Mesh systems usually extend Wi-Fi’s range and speed far better than routers alone or even the range extenders. As a result, they are particularly useful for the dreaded “dead zones” often found in corner offices or behind obstructions like walls or large glass windows.
If your business uses one gig of internet speed or more, consider establishing a mesh network to get the most out of your plan.
We hope this information has helped explain how fiber internet and Wi-Fi—especially enhanced Wi-Fi technology and equipment—can make a significant difference for your business.
If you have additional questions or want advice on maximizing your business’s internet service, call the knowledgeable representatives at Medina Fiber. They are there to help you.
And don’t forget to follow Medina Fiber’s social pages to learn more about our advanced high-speed fiber network!
Feb 16, 2023 | Fast Fiber Internet
There are few better things you can do for yourself than sink into a good book or a resourceful magazine article. A well-told story helps you inhabit another’s mind and can even provide insights into your own life.
This is the joy of reading—and it’s truly one of life’s great pleasures. And reading more good books is an excellent New Years’ resolution! Fortunately, getting access to outstanding reading material is easier than ever.
By connecting through Medina Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet, you don’t have to run to the bookstore or wait for a hard copy of a book to be delivered to your home. Instead, the excitement of a new read can appear in seconds on your tablet, smartphone, e-reader, or any other device of your choosing just by downloading it!
To facilitate more reading in 2023, we’ve compiled a list of six apps, websites, and other platforms to help you discover and explore more books this year.
And many of these apps and websites will connect you with readers who share your reading tastes and passions. So here’s to many page-turners in 2023!
Our first recommendation, Libby, provides free access to thousands of ebooks. Sign up for a Libby account if you have a library card, and your local library uses Libby’s system. Once logged in, Libby offers thousands of titles for free! In addition to ebooks, you can also borrow audiobooks and digital magazines.
Libby works as an online e-library, letting you “check out” up to ten titles at a time (or more, depending on your library!), which gives you a wide selection to read from before needing to return them.
You can keep each book for 14 or 21 days (loan times depend on your library’s policy). Libby also offers “tags” to save books you’ll want to check out later. You can also choose a “deliver later” feature if you’re still in the middle of a book and not ready for a read you’ve placed on hold.
However, remember that some newer, bestselling titles frequently have long waiting periods before you can take them out.
But given that it’s free, Libby is still one of the best options for finding and reading ebooks. We find Libby particularly appealing during vacations and for other travel, where you know you need to find that perfect beach read during your summer getaway.
Goodreads is an Amazon-owned website and app that serves as a one-stop reading station, great for researching potential books, keeping track of what you want to read, your reading goals, and checking out what other readers think about specific titles. It’s an excellent place to find your next read and write reviews of books for others, too.
To help organize your reading, Goodreads lets you create “shelves” of books. You can create different categories, from simple shelves of “Read or Unread” books to a system with various genres.
And if reading more in 2023 is on your New Years’ resolutions list, you should also check out Goodreads’ annual reading challenge, which lets you—and your Goodreads friends—track your reading goals and progress throughout the year.
If you enjoy reading various magazines but don’t want to blow your budget, you should check out Readly.
Unlike the other suggestions on this list, Readly was developed specifically for reading digital magazines (instead of ebooks). You get access to thousands of magazines on almost every topic imaginable for a relatively small monthly subscription fee.
Readly works particularly well on tablets, smartphones, and other handheld devices. And with a catalog of over 5,000 magazines, you’ll be hard-pressed to run out of reading material.
You can even read specific articles from different publications instead of scrolling through each magazine for content. For magazine readers, it’s tough to beat Readly’s value and diversity of content.
Amazon, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited
While you may be surprised to see the online shopping giant on this list, don’t forget that Amazon originally started as an online bookseller!
And that original mission lives on strongly more than two decades after its launch. Indeed, Amazon is a veritable research haven for books of all kinds.
Its search tools lead you to similar book topics and authors and show you what other like-minded readers are buying. Most books have a sample chapter to read, including the table of contents, giving you a good feel for the book before you purchase it.
And because Amazon has millions of users and thousands of book reviews, it’s a fantastic starting place for finding your next great read.
Amazon’s related e-reader devices and services make reading an even better experience.
The Kindle e-reader is beloved by millions, and includes many different features to mimic the appearance of actual pages. Font sizes and page lighting are adjustable, too, making it easy on the eyes.
In addition, several models include Amazon’s electronic ink display, which makes reading easy in any light, including full sun. You can even highlight certain passages to return to repeatedly.
Amazon’s various memberships and subscriptions (like Prime) include many free ebooks available each month. Be sure to check out Kindle Unlimited, which for a reasonable monthly fee offers access to tens of thousands of books.
Generally, you can read up to 20 books at a time, so Kindle Unlimited gives you some leeway to dive into different topics and genres.
Another convenient way to “read” more is through audiobooks, a technology that has grown tremendously popular in recent years. Audiobooks let you “read” on the go, whether driving, walking, exercising, or multitasking. And Audible is one of the best audiobook providers available.
Audible, owned by Amazon, is available as an app on your smartphone or tablet, making it easy to listen to on the go. It’s also loaded with other features readers can enjoy, such as adjusting the narration speed to help you get through books faster. You can also slow them down and rewind them to capture key points better.
Audible also creates exclusive content, from books and short stories read by celebrities to full-cast dramatizations. While audiobooks have a reputation for being expensive, Audible’s tiered memberships have significantly reduced their costs.
So depending on how quickly you read—er, listen—to your audiobooks, Audible provides options to fit your budget and your listening style.
Our final recommendation, Scribd, is a paid service that opens the door to more than 60 million titles of all kinds. Its library is incredibly vast!
Scribd began as a platform for sharing academic, scholarly, and other more technical articles, and it remains an excellent resource for students, researchers, and the intellectually curious.
Scribd’s monthly subscription provides unlimited access to its ebooks, e-magazines, and audiobooks library. It also serves as a hub for readers who offer some of the most detailed and honest book reviews and suggestions online.
We hope these six recommended apps, platforms, and websites will help jumpstart your reading for 2023. With their help, we’re confident you’ll be a voracious reader in no time!
And for additional ways to get more out of Medina Fiber’s advanced fiber network, check out our social pages!
Feb 6, 2023 | Devices
Now that the holidays have passed and you’ve opened your gifts and set up your latest tech and coolest new devices, you may wonder if you’re getting the most out of all your new gadgets.
You might be curious about whether that subtle internet service slowdown is caused by your new tech instead of a gremlin or bad weather.
New devices can be incredible, but with new tech comes new potential impacts and complications. You’re probably dealing with head-scratching setups, bandwidth hogs, programming the proper settings, and protecting your privacy. So, we understand that new tech can sometimes be a headache or hassle.
The good news is that you can ensure that your new devices don’t overwhelm your internet. And because you utilize Medina Fiber’s advanced fiber network, you’ve got a head start on maximizing your new tech’s speeds and innovations.
We’ll discuss some common issues to look out for when setting up new devices and technology in your home. Then, with a few simple steps and adjustments, you’ll be on your way to having the most tech-savvy digs on the block!
One of the most common sources of frustration for many internet users is bandwidth hogging.
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data an internet connection can transmit per second. Bandwidth is different from internet speed, which refers to the rate data is transmitted per second. You want high speeds and increased bandwidth capacity for reliable, fast, and productive internet.
Bandwidth hogging occurs when a device or internet activity uses lots of bandwidth, making everyone else’s internet experience sluggish.
Devices that use a lot of bandwidth include that awesome new smart TV you’ve just set up—especially once you’ve started streaming movies in high definition.
Or maybe one of your family members has started recording and uploading more videos to TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram from their brand-spanking-new smartphone. That budding at-home cinematographer uploading and downloading videos is another infamous bandwidth hog!
If you’ve noticed an increase in slowdowns or general sluggishness with your internet after setting up new devices or tech at home, bandwidth hogging is a likely culprit.
There are online tools available to analyze bandwidth usage among all your devices and activities that will help identify the source of bandwidth hogging.
Once you’ve confirmed that bandwidth hogging is your problem, consider upgrading your internet’s bandwidth capacity by improving your internet plan. Upgrading your internet speed to 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps) will significantly increase your home’s bandwidth and should meet just about all of your needs.
So contact the knowledgeable and helpful agents at Medina Fiber for more information about improving your bandwidth. We offer speeds of up to 1 Gbps, dramatically enhancing your home’s internet performance.
Check for Software Updates—and Install Them
Even though you can’t wait to start streaming on your shiny new devices or show them off to your friends, you should do a few things beforehand.
And the very first thing you should do after setting up a new device and connecting it to Medina Fiber’s fiber network is to run a software update check.
Just about every tech device runs on software and firmware that the manufacturer and programmers regularly improve. Updating software is essential for security, as programmers always work to identify security weaknesses in their code or vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
Remember that your new device may have been sitting in a warehouse or store for months before you purchased it—and during that time, the manufacturer may have issued multiple software and firmware updates already! So you must ensure your software is up-to-date.
Most devices have settings that let their systems automatically check for software and security updates. You can also let the system install those updates automatically. Still, many people prefer to be prompted to install them first (especially if you don’t want to be stuck waiting for several minutes or longer for installation to be complete).
We consider staying on top of software, firmware, and security updates a must—it’s simply a step you cannot afford to neglect for any of your devices, old or new.
After updating your software and updating your security, take a few minutes to check your new device’s privacy settings. So much of your online activity leaves a digital trail that you might prefer to reduce.
You can start by turning off your “location.”
Many devices track your physical location—right down to your zip code or street address! Though some apps depend on your actual physical location to operate properly (i.e., navigation, weather, and other map-related apps), plenty of apps do not need your location to work well.
You can adjust your location settings to require permission from certain apps before they start tracking or even hide your location altogether. Every device is different, so check the options in each device’s settings or preferences before proceeding.
Other Privacy Settings
Next, check out other privacy settings and make some common sense adjustments. For example, many devices are digitally “spying” on you, tracking your browsing activities or seeing the kinds of TV series and movies you like to watch.
Smart TVs utilize a technology known as “Automatic Content Recognition” or ACR, which scans the titles of the streaming content you view and transmits that information for digital analysis—which then gets used to better “target” you with ads and other marketing materials.
Yes, we know it sounds creepy (though the practice does reduce the costs of smart TVs).
The good news is that you can altogether disable ACR tracking on your smart TV. Of course, each smart TV is different, so check your device’s settings and follow the prompts to turn it off.
Additionally, some devices are even “listening to you.”
Smart speakers sit around just waiting for their unique “wake word” to be uttered, hearing every sound in its range, including your voice.
Again, each manufacturer’s device is unique, so log in to your account and check out its settings or preferences. For example, you can limit how long to keep your voice recordings (i.e., the questions you ask Alexa or Siri, or Google) or simply turn them off entirely.
Wipe Your Old Tech Before Passing It On!
Finally, don’t forget to take some common sense precautions with your old devices.
It’s tempting to pass an older tablet, smartphone, or smart TV on to your kids or even to sell it. But remember that sensitive information and data could be there, too. And we’re not just talking about your browsing history!
Credit card information, Social Security numbers, and even personal photos can linger digitally for years on old devices.
Be sure to “wipe” the memory off your devices before you sell them, give them away, trade them in, or even trash them (or, preferably, recycle them at an appropriate facility). Look into the settings and features of each device or even invest in an app or other program to safely eliminate all of your data before you get rid of your old device.
And for more helpful tips on using Medina Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet securely and efficiently, check out our social pages!