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Consider Internet Speed, Usage When Purchasing Wireless Gifts

By Edward Cardenas

SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) - As families consider which smart phones, tablets and gaming systems to give as gifts this holiday season, experts recommend checking their Internet connection before placing presents under the tree.

Randy Jones, Comcast director of public relations, said families should determine what kind of Internet speed they need, how many devices will be in the home and how they will be used.

"When you power up that device, you want it to work at the speed you expected," said Jones, who compared a home's Internet connection to their water service. "It's just like when you turn on the water on in your home, you expect a certain flow and pressure, and the number of devices in your home and what they are being used for will help determine how much Internet you will need."

Jones said most households fall into four categories of Internet usage:

  • Basic users who rely on their Internet service for simple browsing and social media. These users have one house in the computer, no mobile devices and could utilize low-cost plan.
  • The "family fun" household with two children who utilize five devices or less and use the Internet for social media sites and minimal video browsing. This family would use a 25 mega bites per second service.
  • "Content junkies" with two or more adults and older children who rely on host of smart phones and tablet computers for a variety of uses including video chatting and smart televisions may require a 50 mega bites per second service.
  • "Extreme users" who download and store movies, watch television, play web-based games and work from home may need upwards of 105 mega bits per second.

After determining the speed needed for each household, families should consider the placement of the router in the home.

A good location for a router would be off the floor, and up to seven feet off the ground. Additionally, Jones recommends Internet users shouldn't put the router in the center of the house, and it should be on the first floor in a remote corner with good visibility.

He added that routers shouldn't be placed by the window, or behind a television, where there could be interference.

Jones added that users should regularly reboot their router to "optimize performance."

And once the new devices have been opened and utilized, Jones recommends users to regularly reboot their router to optimize performance and have the latest updates.

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