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3 Ways You Can Create Healthy Internet Habits

Hands holding phone over open laptop

Did you know the average American spends more than 7 hours looking at a screen every day? When was the last time you looked at your phone’s weekly screen time report? Was it higher or lower than you expected? You can spend a lot of time glued to a screen with internet-connected activities such as social media, TV streaming, gaming, and even working. Being online has become the norm for most people, which is why you should be taking the time to create healthy internet habits.

Limit Notifications

You can limit notifications in a few different ways to give yourself a break from the constant stream of distractions. Your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” settings allow you to choose when notifications can or cannot reach you. This is great for when you are trying to get work done or trying to spend time unplugged. On iPhones, you can schedule notification summaries. These are specific times in the day when you get a summary of all the notifications you received since the last summary. You choose what apps you want to include in the summary and what app notifications you want to receive immediately. You can even turn off push notifications for apps that aren't important or delete unnecessary apps, so you won't be bothered by them. Go through all the apps downloaded on your phone to decide what app notifications are important to you and what apps you don’t need anymore.

Designate Device-Free Zones

Setting device-free zones in your home can ensure your family spends time each day unplugged. This is important for both adults and children. When it seems impossible to escape technology, these zones of relaxation and recuperation encourage healthy internet and lifestyle habits. Device-free dinners allow everyone to talk to each other and share about their day without scrolling through social media. Family game nights also let you have fun and create memories without technology to distract you. Keeping smartphones, tablets and even TVs out of bedrooms helps promote healthy sleep habits, while also giving everyone a much-needed timeout from constant stimulation. The best thing to do is set device-free zones and times that make the best sense for your family.

Monitor Internet Use

One of the best ways you can create healthy internet habits is by monitoring internet use. As mentioned above, there are more than enough internet-connected activities to keep you in front of a screen for an excessive amount of time. Set age-appropriate internet limits for your family or set specific times for your Wi-Fi to be turned off. With the Plume Wi-Fi system, you can set internet freezes for specific times of day, for indefinite amounts of time or for custom timeouts on any profile or device. Just like with designated device-free zones, monitored internet use and timeouts allow your family to take breaks to participate in non-connected activities.

Good habits come with time! By practicing the healthy internet habits listed above (and so many more), you can take a timeout from the internet and connected devices. Always remember: The internet is a tool. Don’t let it take control of your life and always strive to have healthy internet habits.

To learn more, visit allwest.com.  

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These Issues Might Be Affecting Your Internet Connection

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Does your internet feel slower than normal? Has it become frustrating to deal with an unstable connection? Fast, uninterrupted speeds are more important than ever with working from home, virtual school, streaming and so much more. As your demand for lightning-fast internet grows, check out some of the most common issues that can affect your connection. 

Not Enough Speed

If your internet speeds are constantly slowed down, you might not have the right plan for your household. Think of your internet as a water pipe. You might have had enough water moving through the pipeline previously. However, if you are using the internet more, it’s like turning on more faucets, and you may see less water pressure than usual. If that is the case, then it’s time to upgrade your internet plan. Unlike other internet service providers, All West’s internet plans include unlimited data without any data caps, so you won’t have to worry about data use causing outages or slow internet speeds.

(What Internet Speed is Right for You?)

Your Router and Its Location

Have you ever heard your router referred to as “the heart of your internet connection”? Your router plays a big part when it comes to your connection’s strength, speed and reliability. It is what sends wi-fi signals throughout your home. That’s why it’s important to choose a router that fits your needs. But it’s not just your router choice that matters – the location matters too. Walls, TVs, furniture and other objects can block the wireless signal from your router. To improve your connection, move your router to a more central location in your home. Doing this will help spread your wi-fi signal throughout your whole home, which can improve your connection.

(Router Placement and How It Can Make Your Internet Better)

Number of Connected Devices

The number of devices you have connected to your network might surprise you. From smart home devices to laptops and gaming systems, there might be more than you think. The more devices connected to your wi-fi network, the more your bandwidth is split among them. This is what causes slow speeds if you don’t have enough bandwidth for all the internet usage going on at a time. If too many devices are connected to the same network, it becomes overcrowded, and your devices compete against each other to connect to your router’s antenna. This results in buffering, slow speeds and latency. We suggest only keeping the most important devices connected or upgrading your speed to one that can handle them all.

(Are internet speed and bandwidth the same thing?)

Having a slow internet connection is annoying, and unfortunately, it can happen to any network at any time. When you have enough speed, a good router and keep an eye on the number of connected devices, you will be able to get the most out of your internet connection.

To learn more, visit allwest.com.  

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What Internet Speed is Right for You?

mom, dad, and child sit on couch with laptop on lap open.

When it comes to online gaming, surfing the web and streaming All West.tv, you need to have the right internet speed. But how do you know what speed to choose? If you only surf the web, do you need 100 Mbps? If you want to watch your favorite shows on All West.tv, how many Mbps do you need? We’re here to answer all your questions about what internet is right for you, and more!

How Does the Available Infrastructure Affect Your Internet Speed?

Depending on where you live, there’s different infrastructure in place to get the internet into your home. The most common types are DSL, Coax and Fiber. Each of these creates a pipeline for your internet to move through. The more advanced the infrastructure, the greater your chances of reaching faster speeds.

The acronym Mbps stands for “megabits per second.” It is a measure of internet bandwidth that moves through the infrastructure. Bandwidth is the download and upload rate of your internet connection. The higher the Mbps is, the more you can do on your internet-connected device.

Your router is what talks to both All West’s modem and your internet connecting device. Having a router that is compatible with your wire infrastructure and Mbps helps your device get the fastest speeds possible. If your router is not designed for the internet you have, you won’t be able to reach your full speed potential.

(Are internet speed and bandwidth the same thing?)

General Internet Speed Recommendations

Having a fast internet connection depends on what you use the internet for at home, how many devices are using the internet at the same time, and how many Mbps you have from your service provider. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends minimum internet speeds of 12-25 Mbps for families with multiple internet users or frequent online streaming.

The FCC has defined broadband, or fast internet, as internet with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps since 2015. Download speeds of at least 25 Mbps accommodate many families’ needs, but the best download speeds and upload speeds for you depend on how you use the internet at home.

For example, let’s say you have a family of four, and nine devices split between them that include phones, laptops, iPads, and Smart TVs. When everyone is home at least six devices are being used at once for school, streaming TV, surfing the web or gaming. When you have that many devices in use, you need enough bandwidth to support them all. Distributing 25 Mbps six ways is about 4 Mbps allocated to each device. Just doing schoolwork on a laptop could use up to 25 Mbps, resulting in very slow internet, which is why All West offers a minimum of 100 Mbps. The more internet-connected devices you use, the more your speed is distributed amongst them.

(Internet vs. Wi-Fi)

What Internet Speed Do I Need?

Here’s a general rule of thumb on how to choose the correct speed for you:

100 Mbps300 Mbps1 Gig
AverageFastVery Fast
Stream on 1-4 devices Run multiple smart devices or appliances Download big files Attend video calls with minimal buffering Enjoy multiplayer gamingStream 4K on 5+ devices Run 5+ smart devices Download big files quickly Work from home Have 4-5 users connected at the same time with no slowdownStream Ultra HD on 8+ devices Run 10+ smart devices, including home security systems Download and upload large files at top speed Use the internet on multiple devices at the same time

Keep in mind that the plan you choose ultimately depends on the needs and devices of your home. You can take our SPEED ANALYZER to help you find out which speed works best for you.

Your speed matters! The internet speed you have sets the parameters of what you’re able to do online. By choosing the correct plan for your needs, you’ll be able to stream, game, work and surf the web without worrying about long loading times, buffering or an inconsistent connection.

To learn more, visit allwest.com.  

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