4 techie tips for a non-stress summer
Experienced holidaymakers know that doing a few simple things before you leave home could well make all the difference to your summer holiday. As Christmas fast approaches here’s our top tips to ensure your summer break is more feet up than running ragged.
- Download an entertainment library
Getting away from it all may mean leaving behind ultra-fast streaming, but you can still have access to all the digital entertainment you need. Downloading movies to a laptop or external hard drive will not only you keep the kids occupied on the drive to the bach, it’s also a godsend on a rainy day. iTunes and the Google Play store both have great collections, and this month Netflix launched an option to download films and TV series for later. Perfect for the plane or car. You can also download your summer reading to the Kindle or iBooks app on your phone or tablet and hours of reading is at arm’s reach. Just don’t forget your charger.
- Beef up your broadband
With everyone home for the holidays there’s ample opportunity for a family feud over what to watch. Faster connections like fibre and VDSL mean the whole family can be online at the same time, avoiding the need for refereeing what’s on the box. Use our broadband checker to see if you could upgrade your connection.
- Keep your home secure
Smart home security products like Nest Home let you see what’s going on at your place no matter where in the world you are, using your smartphone. Just set cameras wherever you need them, link them to your modem, download the app and you’re ready. Like traditional home security systems they can be monitored or unmonitored, but unlike traditional systems you have peace of mind knowing that if something’s up, you’ll be the first to know.
As an extra deterrent, smart lighting (kits start from about $80) allow you to turn your lights on and off from your smartphone too to make it appear that someone is home.
- Dissolve the distance
Skype is the perfect way to let the distance drop away on Christmas Day without the huge phone bill. Just set the app up on your phone, tablet or computer and bring everyone together no matter where in the world they are. It’s also a good time to think about friends and relatives who may be spending the Christmas break on their own due to geography or other factors – they may appreciate a Skype over the break too.
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