4 Ways Weather Can Affect Internet Connection

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Due to being Canadian, we are often faced with not-so-good weather (mostly an abundance of snow). Not only does this affect our commute and mood, it also can affect our Internet connection.

Keep in mind Internet connection cannot be affected completely by weather – generally this is a snowball (no pun-intended) effect on already existing problems outside the home. So check out Worldline’s 4 ways weather can affect Internet connection.

Wind, wind, go away!

High winds can cause incoming lines to be stressed and break. What does that mean for you? Your connection will definitely not be optimal. It may even be dropped due to any lines being damaged. A broken incoming line does not always look broken – these lines can also break inside the protective layer, not noticeable to the everyday person. There isn’t much you can do about this but yell at mother nature and contact your local law enforcement agency.

Drive with caution. 

Of course, during big storms it is not recommended that you hit the road with a vehicle. Nearly 30% of Canadian car accidents occur on icy or snowy roads, according to Traffic Accident Information System (TAIS) research. That means during stormy weathers, not only are the drivers at risk, but so are their surroundings. Meaning various connection points between the central office and customers’ houses are at risk. If someone takes out one of these connection points, there is a good chance you will be having problems with your connection.

Your termination box should be in tip-top shape.

Consider your termination box the home for your precious Internet. Unfortunately, these sacred boxes can undergo some tampering from previous bad weather, wear-and-tear, or your neighbours kids who like to play baseball in their backyard. Exposed wires can have snow or ice build-up during storms, causing the lines to short out. This is one of those items that you don’t see everyday; so you may not know it’s been damaged. Make a point to check up on your termination box every one in awhile to ensure your box is not damaged and exposed to the elements.

Cable users unite.

What do you want to do during a storm? Definitely not take a walk outside. Perhaps cozy up on your couch and stream some Netflix. The problem with this? Everyone is streaming  Netflix, browsing the Internet or chatting with their friends through social media during a storm. For cable users, you may find that your Internet connection is much slower than usual, caused by an over-abundance of active Internet users in your neighbourhood.

So when your region is dealing with an inconsiderate storm and your Internet connection seems slow – you may be affected by these 4 factors.

Worldline Canada’s Tips For Internet Parental Control

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With Family Day just passing, families across Canada have been fortunate to spend time with their loved ones; including their kids, nieces, nephews and grandkids. This day most likely included fun activities like surfing the web, streaming movies and videos and social networking. Did your family members join in on the Internet fun? What about the kids? What safety measures should parents and adults take to monitor the kids Internet usage in the family, and how should they implement them? Here are Worldline’s tips for Internet parental control, and why the Internet is important for learning children.

The Internet is a wonderful place for expanding knowledge and creativity. It should not be completely banned from your household. In fact, providing your kids with Internet is healthy. Research has shown that parents who give their children access the Internet help them develop healthy online skills. More exposure to technology assists children not only in educational areas, but social areas as well. Although the Internet has a positive side, it is difficult to ignore the darker side of the Internet; from sex and violence to even dangerous downloads and virus’ – kids don’t benefit from that exposure and don’t understand the consequences of an illegal download. But there are ways to get around this negative exposure with a few add-ons and setting changes.

Whether you normally use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari – each of these platforms have some form of safety settings or downloadable add-ons that assist you in Internet parental control.

Mozilla Firefox

For Mozilla Firefox users, they offer an add-on called FoxFilter that helps filters and block inappropriate content. They also offer an extension called KidZui which transforms Firefox into a kid-safe, fun browser. It includes an avatar feature which inspires kids to create, and gives kids the ability to share and tag content with other parent-approved friends. This add-on provides kids with a positive representation of the Internet – with included kid-friendly games. Kids are also unable to open new tabs, close browsers or download files. Firefox also has a “Safe Mode” that automatically filters out negative or violent materials when your kid is surfing.

Google Chrome

On Google Chrome, there are multiple parental filter extensions available to download, like MetaCert and WebFilter Pro. Another Google Chrome feature, although a little more manual, is to create a specific Google Chrome account and disable or enable desired settings to fit perfect for a child user.

Safari 

Safari thankfully has a built-in Internet content filter for parents, all it takes is a few clicks and you’ve enabled inappropriate content filtering with the added option to create a list of websites you prefer to restrict from your child.

Kid Safe Browsers

Say you don’t mind changing up your preferred browser – there are loads on Kid Safe browsers like Zoodles, Kido’z and KOLjr. All it takes is a simple sign up, and your kids can browse the Internet safely and securely.

And of course, outside of browsers, extensions and setting changes, it’s always important to discuss your expectations as a parent and proper Internet safety precautions with your young ones.

So don’t limit your kid’s imagination. Welcome your kid to the Worldline Canada family, the home of Unlimited Internet plans, by implementing some of these safety tips. Let’s encourage safe, but fun Internet use for the entire family.

Worldline’s Top-Secret Guide Bandwidth Caps And Why You Need Unlimited Internet

 

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There’s nothing like a bandwidth cap to ruin a good mood. Movie night turns into “how many movies can I watch until my ISP sends me a warning” nights, watching an abundance of cute sloth videos just isn’t as fun anymore (especially when you’re forced to do it in standard definition), and it’s mandatory to track your every move – even if you’re simply browsing the Internet or sending an e-mail.

Here is Worldline’s Top-Secret Guide on bandwidth caps, usage, and how an Unlimited Internet Plan could ultimately make your life more enjoyable.

Get comfortable with low-quality, standard definition.

High-quality videos use more bandwidth – ranging from 3 GB per hour for HD and 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD, according to Netflix. Streaming in the lowest setting will cost you approximately 0.3 GB per hour. Comparing the lowest quality setting to the highest quality setting has quite the difference in bandwidth consumption, but keep in mind, the difference in video quality is hard to ignore. Who doesn’t want to see the pores of their favourite movie star?

Browsers, bandwidth and bills, oh my!

No – having tons of inactive tabs open on your computer does not drain your bandwidth, contrary to popular belief. That being said, you need to be aware data transfer: any amount of data moved one place to another. For example, Facebook determines whether or not there are updates on your timeline; and it will automatically refresh. This wouldn’t be good for your bandwidth if you accidentally left Facebook open. Also, radio streaming is another no-no, as radio transmissions use heaps of bandwidth, depending on the quality of the broadcast. In layman’s terms, if you aren’t using your Internet, close your browser.

If you don’t have an Unlimited Internet Plan, here are some more extensive actions you can take to keep an eye on your browser bandwidth consumption. You can enable data compression on certain browsers, (the setting is sometimes called “metered data” indicating that you are on a tracked data plan,) and enable available extensions that track your data usage month by month. That way, you can always be aware of the amount of bandwidth you’ve used.

If you’re really concerned about your usage, you can always disable images from automatically appearing in your browser. Since images have become much more detailed and high quality, they are known to take up more bandwidth while loading.

Disable anything “automatic.”

Another sneaky bandwidth sucker are automatic updates. Windows 10 users are plagued with this; the default update setting is set to automatic downloading, and the peer-to-peer setting enables sharing to other computer users over the Internet, essentially giving away your bandwidth to strangers. Even if you don’t have Windows 10, any automatic updates still use bandwidth. You’ll want to receive update notifications, not have your system updates automatically download.

Take a stroll deep into your settings. You’d be surprised at how many irrelevant settings are enabled that affect your bandwidth consumption.

E-mail smart.

This doesn’t just mean double-checking for spelling errors before you send out an e-mail. It’s worth ensuring that you’ve included every piece of information in your e-mail to avoid sending duplicate or irrelevant e-mails. 1 e-mail with no attachment uses around 20 kilobytes, and 1 e-mail with a standard attachment uses around 300 kilobytes. Of course, this all varies depending on the device and e-mail client used – but you get the gist. Check out data calculators online to help you determine how much data you’re e-mailing away per month.

Make sure you do your research on available e-mail clients. There are a few clients that offer HTML or simplified versions of their browser, which use less data (and are usually faster when it comes to loading time). Some provide the option to enable a low-bandwidth setting to ensure you’re using as minimal amount of bandwidth as possible. Others just simply use less data than another.

You’ll also want to find the best e-mail client for filtering out spam e-mail – because that can also use up data. In 2013, according to an annual Internet security threat report by Symantec, 63 percent of e-mails sent to Canadians were spam. That’s a whole whack of spam; and nobody wants spam.

Go Unlimited.

From streaming to browsers and e-mails, daily Internet activities will always consume bandwidth. Without an Unlimited Internet plan, your options of reducing bandwidth usage exist, but are limited. Using the Internet whether it is for work or play, should not have unnecessary restrictions like a bandwidth cap. Globe and Mail states that the average Canadian spends 43.5 hours a month on the Web. If you’re the average Internet-loving Canadian, It’s worth going Unlimited.

Smart TV: The Good, Bad, and Ugly, and Why You Need Unlimited Internet to Avoid the Worst

Smart TV

Technology is one of the most popular gifts during the holidays. $543.2 million dollars worth of televisions and audio and video equipment were purchased in the month of December in 2014, making it the second largest amount spent on gifts during the holiday season. And if you didn’t know, traditional television has endured a full technological makeover, and now includes apps, on-demand video rental services, streaming services and web browsers. It’s new name: Smart TV or the connected television.

By the end of 2016, it is estimated that there will be 583.8 million Smart TV sets globally, according to Statistics Canada. It’s fair to say that you could be next to purchase or be gifted one.

What’s the catch?

What do all our everyday devices have in common now? Everything has become a mini (or in the Smart TVs case, not-so-mini) computer. They all need an Internet connection to function to their full capacity – and that means having a Smart TV is just another device that sucks the life out of your Wi-Fi and evidentially gives you the horrible gift of bandwidth overcharges. There’s nothing more exciting than getting a new device to play with, and nobody wants the burden of keeping track of data consumption.

Although convenient, these new-age televisions can be bandwidth hogs. All that streaming and downloading comes with a price. If you’re using Netflix to stream on your Smart Worldline Unlimited InternetTV, it uses about 1 GB of data per hour, just for standard definition video. For HD video, it can use up to 3 GB per hour. But really, the amount of bandwidth used depends on the service you’re using to stream and the quality of the video. Remember, streaming services tend to automatically stream at the highest quality they possibly can without buffering unless you adjust your preferences manually. In other words, you may be using more data then you imagined.

If you want to figure out how much bandwidth you use per hour, there are many different bandwidth calculators available on the Internet to assist. But, if you aren’t a math wiz or a tech pro, it’s understandable that a jumble of numbers can cause headaches. So how can you bypass math class while also avoiding overcharges? Easy – find a provider that offers Unlimited Internet with no bandwidth caps or overcharges.

If 25 million people in Canada watch online videos every month, we shouldn’t have to keep note of how much streaming we do, especially as technology flourishes and exciting, new devices appear like the Smart TV. It’s time to forget about how much data you need, and be comfortable with endless amounts of data you have.

Check out Worldline’s DSL Internet Package with no data caps or hidden fees.

2 Bandwidth Suckers To Be Aware Of This Holiday Season (And Why You Need An Unlimited Internet Plan)

Bandwith Suckers

It’s that time of year for streaming and gaming – and if you have a bandwidth cap, you’re probably worried about going ‘above and beyond’ your ISP’s data restrictions this holiday. Here’s Worldline’s guide on how the holidays can affect your Internet usage and why an Unlimited Internet plan is a must.

Streaming

With the beautiful birth of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you’re bound to binge watch your favourite sci-fi series or movies (North American Netflix doesn’t have the original Star Wars available for streaming yet, bummer!), and of course your favourite holiday movies. But with all that science fiction and holiday cheer comes a price. Did you know streaming movies use up to 3 GB of data per hour? Yikes.

If you aren’t a sci-fi junky, perhaps you are all about those cat videos this season. Remember, YouTube and other video streaming platforms requires data, too. So be aware before you get hooked on the fluff.

Tip: Don’t stream in HD. That way, you have more of a chance of using less data during streaming. You can adjust your data usage settings to reduce the bandwidth Netflix uses. For YouTubers, you can adjust the video quality to avoid significant consumption. All that, or get an Unlimited Internet plan and stream as much as your little heart desires.

Video Games

Video games are one of the most popular holiday gifts out there. According to Globe and Mail, 95% of Canadian households own a computer and 61% own a game console. Canadians now have the option to digitally download games in the comfort of their own home. And if you’re a gamer, love your couch and have a bandwidth cap – this may be an issue.

In an IGN article, the author states that with a 15% increase in game sizes year after year, games are not getting any smaller. This goes for both PC games and console games; with a more prominent issue with PC games, as file sizes are often larger.

For this holiday season, games like Fallout 4 are all the hype. Unfortunately, although gamers may purchase a physical copy of this game through retail stores, it cannot be installed solely through the provided CD; an Internet connection and 20 GB of space is required. To summarize, you can no longer rely on physical copies of games to avoid draining your Internet usage, (keep in mind all of this doesn’t include the usage it takes to actually play the games!).

Tip: Double-check physical copies of video game gifts for required Internet usage. If you are purchasing digital games for a special someone (or yourself, we don’t judge!) be prepared for large download sizes. Keep in mind digital distribution platforms like Steam™ use large amounts of bandwidth when downloading, and game updates also use bandwidth. Even idling uses bandwidth. To avoid all this “bye-bye bandwidth” talk, you could always get an Unlimited Internet plan and never worry about overcharges again.

So, for the holiday season, keep these bandwidth suckers in mind or make the switch to an Unlimited Internet plan. There is nothing worse than overcharges showing up on your bill after purchasing loads of gifts for your loved ones. Nobody wants a big bill from Saint Nick, and with good reason!