Is Winter Weather Affecting Your Internet Connection?

Winter weather is on the move across Canada, blanketing our roads and homes with snow and ice. Your internet connection can deal with average winter conditions, but severe weather can slow down or even shut down your internet connection. Here are some ways in which bad winter weather might impact your DSL or cable internet speeds, and some suggestions for what you can do about it.

High winds, heavy snow, ice build-up, and ground heaves due to freezing and thawing can take out power lines, damage connection points between your internet provider and your home, and stress cables, causing your connection to be slow or even be dropped if lines are damaged or broken.

(Remember: never touch exposed wires or cables as they could be live. Always call your local utility company to report downed power lines.)

What can you do about a slow or nonexistent internet connection?

At Worldline, we know it’s frustrating when your internet connection is not all that you want it to be. If you don’t see a blizzard raging outside, start with the easy things: check all the connections inside your house to make sure no cables or connection points have accidentally been pulled out or damaged. 

It’s become a cliché to say “turn it off and turn it on again” in relation to any tech issue, but it is still a viable option. Turn off your router (make sure to warn everyone in the home first!), wait a few seconds, and turn it back on again; you’d be amazed how many times that works. 

Next, check and see just how many people in your home are using the internet. If you have a combination of gamers and movie and music streamers, your internet connection speed will likely suffer no matter what the weather is doing. Consider upgrading your internet package to accommodate more users or encourage everyone in the house to watch a movie or play a game together. 

Your next step is to take a walk outdoors and check your termination box. This is the point where the cables enter your home from the outside. Wear and tear, snow and ice buildup, or moisture on any exposed wires can cause lines to short out. Make it a priority once or twice a year to check your termination box for any damage and be sure to contact your internet provider if you think there’s a problem with it.

Still having issues with your internet connection?

One thing to bear in mind during cold weather is that if YOU want to be inside where it’s warm, your neighbours probably do too. Heavy internet usage in the neighbourhood can mean poor connection and download speeds for everyone. Have a bit of patience, and consider hosting friends from the neighbourhood to enjoy a movie or game night together while cutting down on competing internet usage.

It’s also worth remembering that good weather in your neighbourhood doesn’t mean there isn’t a storm somewhere else that’s impacting connection points to your home. Check local weather reports as well as utility and internet provider sites to see if there’s a problem somewhere. Again, patience is really the only answer here as you wait for the storm to blow over.

And for Worldline customers, if your problems aren’t blowing over with the weather, you can always give us a call and we’ll do what we can to help. 

Stay warm and stay safe this winter, friends!

 

The Future of Streaming

With the launch of Apple TV and Disney+ on the horizon, what’s the future of streaming look like?

Disney’s D23 Expo took place last month, and alongside the main event was a panel announcing a bunch of new film/television productions, and the entertainment giant’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+.

There is already an astounding amount of streaming services available – more than 300! And that doesn’t even include the launches from media giants like Disney, Apple, Warner Media, and NBC Universal in the months ahead.

It’s undoubtedly a competitive field, and we are living in an age where we have the blessing and curse of too much content – specifically in television. With so much content and so many devices offering streaming subscriptions, it can be hard to pinpoint which device is best for your needs.

So, we’re here to break it down the top streaming devices.

 

Amazon Fire TV Stick

1Amazon Fire TV StickAmazon Fire TV devices focus heavily on Amazon Prime media, with Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Prime Music built into the menu system. Fire TV has plenty of other services available, like Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. But, the significant advantage of Fire TV is having all your Prime content right at your fingertips.

For a one-time payment of $50, you can plug the Fire TV Stick into your HDTV and start streaming in minutes.

 

Roku Premiere

Roku PremiereRoku currently offers thousands of choices in the Roku Channel Store. All the big streaming media names are available, including Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify, and Twitch, along with many smaller, niche apps and services for movies, sports, weather, and news.

For a less expensive alternative, the Roku Premiere is a 4K-capable streaming device available for $49.99.

 

Chromecast

ChromecastGoogle Chromecast is one of the most user-friendly devices available; plug it into a power source, plug it into your TV or sound system, and control everything through your mobile device. There are no remotes, no on-screen interfaces, and no app stores to separately navigate. You connect your Chromecast to your home network and stream whatever you’re watching on your smartphone or tablet.

With Google Chromecast you can watch movies, sports and television shows for the low-cost of $45.

 

Android TV

Android TVAndroid TV is Google’s dedicated Android-based media streaming system. The Android TV-powered device includes Google Assistant, putting it on the same level as the Fire TV with Alexa and the Apple TV with Siri. Android TV devices are Google Cast compatible, so you can use your smartphone or tablet to stream content to it just as if you had a Chromecast.

For $180, Android TV offers all the movies, shows, games, and music you could ask for!

Ultimately, the right Internet connection paired with any one of these devices is an excellent choice for bringing online content to your TV.

Worldline Moving Guide

There’s no doubt that summer is the ideal time of year to sell your home. The demand for housing is at its highest and Canadians can avoid snow and rain that tends to come with moving in the winter or spring.

Moving in the summer demands plenty of planning to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible, from the time you start packing up your belongings to the moment you settle into your new home.

Amongst all the planning, it’s essential to prepare your Internet services for the big move. With that in mind, we have put together a list of ways to prepare your services.

Moving

Plan Ahead

Planning is important! To avoid any interruptions in your service, you’ll need to contact us at least five days before your move. Provide your new address details, including the postal code and unit/apt number (if applicable).

When you call in, we will verify service availability at your new address. A Worldline customer representative requires up to 3-5 business days to schedule a technician. They will help you schedule an install date and time that works for you.

Moving Check List

When it comes time to install at your new address, ensure someone over the age of 18 is home during the entire time slot you chose.

Make sure there’s clear access to cable outlets and have all your equipment (modem, power cords, etc.) on-site so that the technician can ensure everything is working correctly once reconnected.

If you need to change your installation date and time, or you have questions about moving your services, don’t hesitate to call.

Settling In

This list may not eliminate your moving pressures entirely, but hopefully, it will make your life easier and less stressful as you settle into your new home.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Every year on April 22, people around the world celebrate Earth Day and raise awareness of environmental issues and the effect our actions have on the planet.

Nearly everything we do contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, including our carbon footprints. These are some of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your impact on the environment, especially when it comes to technology.

Earth Day Impact

Switch to LED Light Bulbs

Switching your incandescent light bulbs to LEDs can reduce over a thousand pounds of carbon dioxide over the bulbs 10-year lifespan. This means less replacement and fewer bulbs in landfills.

Pro tip: try getting a dimmer switch which will allow you to control the brightness of each bulb.

Use a Laptop Instead of a Desktop

Did you know that a laptop is a low-energy electronic? Compared to a big, bulky desktop computer, laptops take up way less energy.

Laptops maximize battery power, and like many electronics, they work best when the user ultimately allows the battery to run out before charging it.

Unplug Your Electronic Devices

It’s a simple solution that might seem blasphemous, but turning off or powering down your electronics can help reduce energy and save your devices. Unplugging your gadgets has a small impact on your carbon footprint and saves you an average of $100 a year on your energy bill!

You can also switch to more energy efficient technology and products with the Energy Star qualification.

Switch to Paperless Billing

From your Internet provider to your bank, almost everyone offers paperless billing. Switching to paperless will not only reduce paper usage and transportation, but an endless pile of documents.

Save Your Cellphone

Our smartphones have become an essential part of our day-to-day lives. It’s common practice to buy a new smartphone every two years, but our buying habits are taking a toll on the planet and undermining our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The average mobile device creates 120 pounds of carbon emission. Using a smartphone is not carbon-intensive; instead, it’s the manufacturing process. All of us can help reduce the impact our cellphones have on the planet by simply using them longer.

Our Impact on the Environment

Worldline is committed to changing attitudes and behaviours surrounding technology and its impact on the environment. There are many actionable steps we can take to combat climate change, and reducing our carbon footprint is a great way to help celebrate Earth Day.

What is a Powerline Adapter?

Last week, we looked at mesh systems and the difference between traditional Wi-Fi and mesh networks.

Similar to mesh systems, powerline adapters are designed to spread reliable connections to remote parts of your home. While mesh networks deliver wireless connections through a network of nodes, powerline adapters provide a connection using the electrical wiring.

Powerline adapters cannot replace your Wi-Fi network, but it can complement it.

What is a Powerline Adapter?

Wi-Fi is extremely convenient, but it certainly has its shortcomings. Even though powerline networks are slightly more inconvenient, they offer simplicity and reliability that wireless technology still can’t match.

The electrical wiring in your home can do more than keep the lights on. Powerline adapters take advantage of the existing electrical wiring in your house. A powerline adapter can send data over your household’s existing electrical wiring just like it would over Ethernet cables – all you need is a power outlet.

Setting up a powerline connection is easy. All you’ll need is a router, Ethernet cables, and at least two powerline adapters. One of the adapters should be plugged into the power outlet nearest to your router and connect to it using an Ethernet cable. Use the other adapters for each device you want to connect.

Benefits

Powerline adapters use the electrical wiring running between the rooms in your home to send each other network signals, creating an Internet connection where the router otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. Here are three benefits of using powerline adapters.

Speed

The first feature that you should consider when purchasing a powerline adapter is its speeds. Powerline connections have less data loss and better speeds than regular Wi-Fi, regardless of how far away your computer is from the router or how many obstructions there are between the two.

Security

Powerline adapters utilize your home’s electrical wiring to transfer data. Some people are uncomfortable with the concept of wireless network security and may prefer to keep their data protected inside powerline cables. Powerline kits can be password protected, adding an extra layer of protection.

Convenience

Setting up a powerline system can be done quickly from anywhere in the home. Although whole-house wiring is an option for some, the additional cost and effort can be high. Powerline connections are user-friendly and can reach areas where wireless signals cannot.

Choosing a Powerline Adapter

Powerline AdapterThe best powerline adapters are incredibly easy to install and useful tools for connecting every device in your home. Powerline adapters are less visible – rather than trailing Ethernet cables throughout your home, you can use powerline adapters to spread the network throughout.

There is a wide range of powerline adapters available to buy. We suggest checking out this article for more information on pricing, ratings and more.

Whether you are looking for a way to optimize your speeds or looking to update your connection, Worldline has the services you need to stay connected! For more information, visit our website or call 1-855-299-0025.