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Ask Brennen: Technology at Home

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Technology at Home

 

We’ve been spending quite a bit more time at home over the past few weeks.

 

For some, home has become a combination of office, day care and school. For me, I’m a single guy who’s used to doing a lot of my work in airports, hotels, foreign cities and home. Life and work are more of the same, which makes this lockdown a bit more bearable.

 

For many people working at home, other family members bumping into each other can be stressful. But for me, even alone, all the technology that’s bumping into other technology can be equally stressful.

 

We can’t reduce stress by dictating how others under the same roof behave. We can’t control the global pandemic. But, we can control internet traffic once it has reached our homes.

 

Our internet modems bring floods of data into our homes. This is similar to the flood of water through our pipes. During these stressful times, we need to control the flow.

Hardly anyone looks at their water meter to see how much water they’re consuming. The same can be said for internet usage. We generally don’t pay that much attention to just how much we use, save for our mobile phone bill.

 

Modern routers give us the ability to monitor our internet consumption much easier than the water meter. For example, you can limit internet access to a specific time of day. Parents can turn off the consumption of games. Parents can continue binge-watching their favourite show.

 

With so many services coming into the house, it’s hard to decide what might be slowing down access. Freezing and buffering could be caused by any number of things.

 

Some routers allow you to set which service or device takes priority. You can make passing lanes just like highways all over the world. Some routers can make sure certain devices at home get preferential treatment — so the home office trumps the kids’ games.

 

Remember security. We’ve heard about scams and breaches since the beginning of the lockdown. Take the necessary precautions so you aren’t yet another victim of a cyber breach. Don’t be a victim of technology traps, either. Pick something that is easy-to-use, has instructions, and can guide you through the setup process. Remember, you are now IT support for home.

 

While we can’t control the pandemic or the hurly-burly around the house, we can control devices at home.

 

Is there a question you’ve been wondering about when it comes to technology in the home? If so, send me a note. I’ll share the answer to your questions in my next column.

 

Stay safe, and well!

 

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Brennen Schmidt is a writer, speaker, and consultant with a passion for unlocking the conversation on technology. Brennen has a keen interest in topics ranging from digital communications and cybersecurity, through to the risks and benefits of technology. He explores each of these topics in his co-authored book, Cyber City Safe: Emergency Planning Beyond the Maginot Line. Brennen’s work has been syndicated by Troy Media to 1,800 newspapers, and a website with more than 5 million hits. He has spoken to a variety of audiences across Canada, and has provided commentary for local and national media.

 

Connect online at brennenschmidt.ca.

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