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Going Back to School? Get Your Tech Ready!

Going Back to School for some is the most “wonderful time of the year”!   New clothes, new apartment, new schedule, new friends and the best of all new technology!  Well it can all seem daunting and expensive to get everything new all at once – but it really doesn’t have to be, at least for technology.  Here are a few tips to get you tech ready easily and affordably this back to school season! 

  1.  Need a new computer?  Think again.  Have you considered taking in your laptop for spring cleaning?  Maybe upgrading your memory, updating your wireless card with Wireless-N, getting a new hard drive, or just upgrading your operating system.  It can be less expensive to upgrade your computer’s components as you have the budget, than going out and getting an entirely new computer.   
  2. You bought a new computer and now, what do you do with your old one?  Well this is great for parents with kids – you get the latest and greatest computer and give your kids the “hand me down” computer.  Okay, but make sure you upgrade the “hand me down” for your kids– you don’t want them to have ancient technology and you want them equipped with the best tech to excel in the classroom,  right?
  3. You moved out of your Parents’ house and now you are on your own – what tech do you really need? Okay besides your Xbox and a computer – you should have a good Wireless-N router.  Your wireless-N router will amp up your devices with the high speed access they need for both school work and entertainment –from research to video streaming.  A good router is a must for gaming online, and if you’re going to video chat with mom and dad, you don’t want annoying jerky pictures that start and stop. Read More »

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Families are Downloading Video and using Smart Phones on their Wireless Home Network Regularly

As streaming videos and music become increasingly more popular, American families are riding the wireless wave to get in on the action. 

A new consumer survey of US families conducted this summer by Opinion Research for Cisco’s Home Networking business unit revealed that families are fully embracing the wireless home.

 Results show that the most common use for home wireless among the families surveyed was simple email and web surfing at 92%, while 67% use their wireless network to regularly download videos and music, and following in popularity with 66%, access the Web from a smart phone or tablet.

Wireless devices are making their mark in American homes and are yet another way for families to take advantage of their network. Excluding PCs,  game consoles are the most popular device that families connect to their network to access the Web at 66%. Smart phones and wireless printers follow in popularity with 41% and 36% respectively.

People of all ages are regularly using their home wireless networks, reveals the survey. Of those adults surveyed, 62% use their wireless devices that are connected to the internet 7 days a week, while 71% reported use between 5 and 7 days a week. When asked about their children, parents estimated that 46% of children in the family’s surveyed use wireless devices at home every week, and 54% reportedly used them frequently, between 5 to 7 days a week.

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Extend your Wireless Range for Whole Home Coverage

Linksys Wireless-N Range Extender

Linksys Wireless-N Range Extender

So you have a wireless network in your home but you have found that you can’t sip on lemonade from the backyard while surfing the internet,  you can’t send the kids down to the basement for their daily video gaming tournment to get some peace and quiet and tranforming all that space in the attic into your dream home office seems impossible because your wireless signal won’t reach.  Well that is all about to change with the new Linksys Wireless-N Range Extender (RE1000).   

The new Linksys Wireless-N Range Extender helps take your wireless network signal and basically “boost” it so that you can get a signal in more places throughout your home.  This will help eliminate deadspots as well so if you have specific places in your home that don’t get a good signal, the range extender will help deliver the signal to that spot.  

What is also cool about the Range Extender is that it also acts as a bridge – which means if you connect a game console, Internet enabled TV, a media server or networked Blu-Ray player and get them access to your wireless network and the Internet. If you wanted all the entertainment devices connected just plug in a switch into the Ethernet port on the range extender and you have them all wirelessly connected! Its like a signal booster and a bridge all in one. 

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Get your Home Entertainment Devices Connected – Simply!

Okay, so you have an Internet-enabled TV, an Xbox, Wii or PS3, a Slingbox or even a media server solution like a Roku box and you want to connect them to the internet to take advantage of online movies, music and TV services such as Netflix, Hulu or Pandora or want to play online games but you have no idea how.  Well it’s pretty simple – and all you need is a Wireless Bridge.  A few networking companies make them – but if you are one of the 70 Million plus Linksys routers users – you might want to consider using a Linksys Bridge.  We just launched our new one today called the Linksys Wireless-N Dual Band Bridge (WES610N).

The new Linksys bridge has four Ethernet ports which you can plug in multiple entertainment devices like I mentioned above to give them technology to wirelessly connect them to your wireless router and give them the internet connectivity needed to stream movies, music and games.  Without the bridge you’ll have to string Ethernet cables from each device back to the router.  This is not always the best situation if you have your router located in a different room than your Internet-enabled TV or game console. 

Getting your Entertainment connected wirelesslyThe bridge is also really simple to set up – really!  Routers have been around for over a decade and we have done a lot of work simplifying the set up and use of routers – as well as connecting devices to your router.  The bridge features WPA2 Security and a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button.  The WPS button helps users get their bridge set up easily and more securely with a wireless router that also includes WPS, which most of the Linksys wireless routers include.

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Does your Computer/Notebook Really Need a Wireless-N Adapter?

Linksys Wireless-N Dual Band USB Adapter AE2500

Wireless-N (also known as 802.11n) is the most current generation of wireless standards. Wireless-N sends multiple streams of data along separate paths between the devices to provide improved speed and range over older Wireless-B or Wireless-G networks and helps eliminate dead spots. Computers or notebooks with Wireless-N technology can enable users to wirelessly stream high-definition video, check e-mail from backyard locations, or watch U-Tube videos at greater distances such as a lounge chair by their pool or maybe your detached garage that you made into a home office.

Wireless-N Routers and Adapters products are compatible with devices based on the earlier Wireless-G and Wireless-B standards and will communicate and/or work with them.  However do know that devices such as computers, laptops, tablets etc that have Wireless-N adapters will operate at the faster wireless-N speeds and range when the router is also Wireless-N.  If your Router is Wireless-N but your notebook is equipped with a Wireless-G adapter, your notebook will only get the Wireless-G speeds and range.  So upgrading to Wireless-N is something you should consider especially if you are streaming content such as music, videos or games wirelessly or just want to future proof your notebook incase you start doing these activities.

If your notebook is more than a few years old it’s probably equipped with a wireless-G network adapter.  You can check what wireless adapter you have by going to start menu and clicking on control panel and then to network connections.  Then look at your wireless connection.  In the example below the wireless adapter being used is an Intel Pro/wireless 3945ABG Wireless Connection.  Since it has ABG in the name – it’s using all the wireless technologies – which make it a Wireless-N adapter.   If it just says B or G or BG it’s probably either a wireless B or G card.    If it is, then you should consider what you are doing on your computer – if you are streaming video or playing music wirelessly maybe it’s time to consider upgrading your wireless adapter.


Cisco has just launched a new Wireless-N Dual Band USB Adapter the Linksys AE2500 that provides two wireless radios so if you have a Wireless-N dual band router – you can set up your computer to connect to either of the bands (2.4 Ghz or the 5 Ghz band) at speeds up to 300 Mpbs*.  Since its USB it’s simple to connect – just plug it into the USB port on your computer and follow the simple steps via the Cisco Connect software and you’ll be off streaming and surfing at high speeds all around your home.  At $39.99 MSRP – it’s affordable to take some of your older computers and update them with the latest wireless technology. 

Remeber Better Together: Wireless-N Router Paired with Wireless-N Adapter

Remember the phrase “Better Together”.  If your router is Wireless-N it’ll be better paired with notebooks and PCs that have a Wireless-N adapter.

 Also check out our new bundles on routers and adapters – where you can save some cash!

 *Maximum performance derived from IEEE Standard 802.11 specifications. Actual performance can vary, including lower wireless network capacity, data throughput rate, range and coverage. Performance depends on many factors, conditions and variables, including distance from the access point, volume of network traffic, building materials and construction, operating system used, mix of wireless products used, interference and other adverse conditions.


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