How Grandma Can Use the Internet to Keep in Touch With Family

In January 2018, the British Prime Minister appointed a Minister of Loneliness to combat the epidemic of isolation. Keep in mind, this was before the coronavirus reared its ugly head. Countries were just beginning to tackle the devastating effects of loneliness

Why Loneliness is Dangerous

Studies show that loneliness can cause early death. Even a perceived loneliness can cause health problems, so even if they’re surrounded by people but still feel lonely, people are more apt to develop serious physical and psychiatric problems. 

Even if placed in busy households, seniors often feel lonely as family members still have jobs and other obligations that take up their time. But many seniors often aren’t in busy households, and the dangers of loneliness suffered in isolation increases.

According to the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, loneliness can lead to “various psychiatric disorders like depression sleep problems, personality disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Not only that, but there are also the dangers of physical disorders such as “diabetes, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, hypertension (HTN), obesity, physiological aging, cancer, poor hearing and poor health.” 

The journal concludes that “left untended, loneliness can have serious consequences for the mental and physical health of people. Therefore it is important to intervene at the right time to prevent loneliness, so that physical and mental health of patients is maintained.”

Now with the coronavirus, it’s particularly difficult to watch over the elderly who are particularly susceptible to suffering from the negative effects of isolation. Too many visitors and they are in serious danger from Covid-19,  but left alone they can suffer from the negative effects of loneliness. 

If at all possible, shelter in place with your elderly family member. If not, or even if so, we need to make an effort to relieve our elderly from loneliness.

Structure

Especially while sheltering in place, the elderly need something to look forward to daily. Make sure your grandparents have the basic training they need to click on a link so they can use Zoom or Google Meet. 

The different members of your family can coordinate to contact your beloved family member daily. Share a Google calendar with your family, so everyone can sign up to visit Grandma or Grandpa online every day.

It’s crucial that no one forgets their time slot. It doesn’t help to have something to look forward to if the event falls through.

Have the whole family gather in front of the screen and take turns talking. If you have children, have them show off what they’re doing and pictures they’ve drawn for them. Then mail them the pictures.

Social Media and Online Hobby Groups

If they haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon, now’s the time to start. Social media has been a valuable resource for the elderly to keep in contact with friends and family.

It’s also a place to socialize with people that share similar interests. The good news is that with the give and take on social media, the grandparents are able to join a conversation. It’s also an opportunity to bridge the generational gap as relatives can learn about each other and find what they have in common.

Have someone who is healthy and Covid-free train them on the basics of social media. Have them also help your family member find online hobby groups that match their interests.

Online Therapy

According to the AARP, a recent study of seniors ages 65 and older showed that those who received Internet-Enabled Cognitive Behavioral Therapy over a period of 2.5 years, “65 percent of older patients with depression and anxiety showed clinical improvement, and 49 percent showed reliable recovery from the disorders.” Basically, seniors show as much improvement as younger patients when they receive online therapy. 

With the increase of isolation, we all need online therapy, but perhaps none so much as the elderly who were already struggling with loneliness and depression issues before the pandemic.

Good luck to you all during this challenging time. May you and your elderly loved ones find a way to not only endure this pandemic, but to live life well despite the difficulties.

How To: 5 Ways to Monitor Your Children’s Computer Time

Monitoring your children’s computer time may feel like an invasion of privacy.  It might feel the modern equivalent of rooting around in their dresser and reading their diary. But the difference is a journal or diary contains their private thoughts that they are writing down just for themselves. An outlet.

Being on the internet, on the other hand, means they’re being exposed to other people’s thoughts, some of which are highly inappropriate, Worse, they are coming in contact with people who might be cyberbullying them or perhaps even predators. But you can’t keep them from technology. The world is too tech-centric now and they can’t make it through school without access to a computer and the internet.

Parents just need to take a proactive approach in dealing with their children and technology. Here are a few steps that can help.

1. Talk to Your Children

The first step can be the hardest for some parents, but it has to be done. Make sure your children are aware of the dangers out there. Talk about cyberbullying and let them know they can always talk to you. Tell them that sometimes someone will pretend to be a boy or girl their own age and may actually be trying to trick them. 

Make sure they understand if anyone wants them to keep secrets from you, that could be a very bad sign of danger. Also, let them know you’ll be keeping an eye on what they’re doing online. Being honest with them now will keep them from later feeling like you were secretly spying on them. You don’t need to tell them all the details on how you’ll be watching out for them, but just that your goal is to keep them safe,

Tell them there are a lot of scams out there, too, and until they have enough experience to avoid them, you’ll be involved.

2. Check Your Child’s Browser History

This is the most basic way to see which sites they’re frequenting. If they don’t know how to erase their history now, they will soon, so don’t depend on this as the only tool you use for monitoring their online behavior. But if the history is looking suspiciously empty, that might also be a red flag.

3. Enable Parental Controls

 

It’s very unlikely that your devices won’t already have parental controls on them. Read up on how to activate them. You can usually Google that information if you no longer have the paperwork for the device. But here are some basics for PCs and Mac computers:

According to Time.com, for Windows PC you can designate an account as a child’s. “You get the option to enable Family Safety settings. Family Safety allows you to monitor and /or time the usage from your child’s account, block certain applications or sites, and get weekly reports reviewing the activity on the account.”

Also, for Macs, “If you and your child use separate Macs, you can share screens in addition to turning on Parental Controls. Log on as Administrator on your child’s Mac, go to the Sharing preferences and choose Screen Sharing. Continue to “Allow Access For” and choose Administrators. When you are on your Mac, go to the Finder and choose Go: Network to see your child’s Mac. Click on Share Screen to see the activity.”

4. Install Protective Software

There are a lot of software options that will allow you to monitor your child’s computer activity or will monitor it for you. Bark is one such option that monitors your child and sendsalerts via email and text when Bark’s algorithms detect potential risks, so you don’t have to comb through every post and text.”

In other words, your child has some basic privacy, but the company will contact you if there is any concerning behavior. Bark has prevented 16 school shootings and detected 81,000 self-harm situations.

5. Limit Computer Time

This is less about monitoring what your children do online and more about making sure they have a healthy relationship with technology. If they’re overly addicted to living in their online presence, they’re more apt to get into trouble. 

If they don’t adhere to the rules for non-school computer time, then change the password and don’t let them have it for a few days. They’ll straighten up fast. Of course, this doesn’t work if you don’t put limits on your online time, too!

We hope you found these suggestions helpful. Good luck, parents! Don’t forget to give us a call if you’re in need of optimized internet services.

How To: 5 Ways to Keep Your Kid on Task During Online School

Let’s face it. Online learning has all the hard parts about going to school without any of the fun stuff.

No friends, recess, extracurricular activities and after school clubs. Because of this, a lot of the motivation to attend school and do well has disappeared. What’s the point? Finish one assignment and there’s just another one right after that. And after that. And after that.

It’s hard to pay attention and study hard when there are no friends and breaks to look forward to, so as parents you’ll have to come up with something that makes studying immediately rewarding–not just long term.

If you can get creative, you can help your child focus and stay on task. Here are some suggestions.

1. First, schedule online time with friends and favorite family members, especially ones close to their own age. Contact other parents and figure out time slots where your children can get together online, talk and play some online games. 

2. Make a checklist. Have the videos and assignments listed and let your children check them off as they go. Make sure the goals are manageable so they don’t get discouraged. Make the experience as fun as possible. Use stickers to mark off completed tasks and give little rewards such as small toys, bubbles, candy, dinosaur figurines–whatever your child loves.

Then when a certain block is done, they get to do the online interaction listed in the above suggestion. Since there are no longer recesses, sit down with your child and plan what their recess looks like. Try to plan some physical activity, too. If there is something you and your child like to do together, schedule that in, too. 

3. Go on a field trip. Online field trips, like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, let you hang with the jellyfish, sea otters, sharks, and more. All live and online. Or how about a virtual tour through the Louvre? What interests your child and where would they like to go?

Don’t take a field trip every day so your jaunts through amazing places still feel like a special day. But a few times a month, pack a sack lunch for fun and go visit somewhere you wish you could go.

4. Location, location, location. Choose a distraction-free area for your child’s study area. Mix it up, though, by sometimes using large books or other items to turn their area from a sit-down desk to a standing desk arrangement. Let them move in between tasks so they don’t get uncomfortable. 

5. Use online learning programs and games. As a parent, you’ll probably notice a lot has changed since you were a kid. You may be limited in some areas on how much you can actually help, but there are a lot of resources we didn’t have before. The Khan Academy, for example, covers the math your child will need at any level. Maybe you can brush up, too, and update your skills. And it isn’t just for math, anymore. They also have science, history, grammar and well, basically everything. If your child has some gaps in their learning, boost their education with some free extra help from the Khan Academy.

Good luck, parents! You’ve got this. Don’t forget to contact us for all of your internet needs.

7 Ways to Optimize Your Internet Service at Home

We get it. Sometimes you feel like you’re paying for premium internet speeds and getting dial-up results. When you’re trying to stream the big game, bake along with a cooking show or watch the season premiere of your favorite show, sluggish speeds are deadly.

Sometimes your difficulties have nothing to do with your internet service provider. It’s why we have a troubleshooting service available for all our Utah Broadband customers. So if you’re part of our internet family please give our customer service team a call. We’ll help you get set up for optimum service. If you’re not signed up with us yet, here are some easy tips to boost your speeds.

1. Check Your Equipment

You could have the best internet service available, but if your router is ancient it won’t be able to handle your plan. Sometimes a router’s software can be updated. Check with the company that makes your equipment and see if that’s a possibility. If not, now may be the best time to invest in newer equipment. Consider a router that automatically updates its software without any interference from you.

2. Reset That Router

It may seem a no-brainer, but we often forget that routers are computers. Restarting it from time to time is an excellent way to give your router a boost from a reset. Clearing out whatever glitchy thing is causing problems in its software can really up your internet speed. This may only be helpful when you’re actually experiencing sluggish speeds or other problems. The jury is still out on whether it helps or not to reboot it randomly. However, if you’re having to reset your router often, you may need to upgrade your equipment.

3. Reposition

Speaking of routers, you may need to move it to a better position. If you have it hidden away in a cupboard somewhere, the signal will have trouble reaching all your devices. It may not be pretty, but your router needs to be out and in a central location. 

If there are still corners of your house that just don’t get decent service, consider purchasing a Wi-Fi coverage extender. This is especially helpful if you have a basement, or other hard to reach areas or a larger home.

4. Block Ads

Maybe you’ve become used to ads popping up everywhere as you surf around online, but they can seriously slow down your internet connection. Install a pop-up blocker to stop those overly-cheerful videos from dragging down your speeds. 

5. Turn Off Devices

When you’re not using a device, turn it off. You may think having a couple of your electronics in sleep mode won’t make much difference, and you’re right. But they all add up. Multiple devices together can make a difference. You may not even be aware of what’s plugged in and what’s not. Write down a list of your devices and anything you’re not using.

6. Change the Channel

Routers tend to operate between the 2400 to 2500 Megahertz radio bands. Most routers will automatically pick an available channel, but may not pick up the most efficient one. There’s a good chance you’ll have a lot of routers sharing the same channel. Because your router uses Wi-Fi channels to communicate with your devices, and if people in your neighborhood have routers using the same Wi-Fi channel, then this can seriously slow you down. Try switching to a different channel. 

7. Change Your Password

This may seem hard to believe, but if you have an overly simple password, you might have a neighbor or two piggy-backing on your internet. Click here to check. If so, make sure your router has encrypted security and change your password. Once again, Utah Broadband neighbors–give us a call, and we’ll help you optimize your service. We’re here to help.

 

Easy Guide to Choosing Your Internet Speed and Provider

One of the biggest problems with choosing an internet service provider is that what you see isn’t always what you get. You may choose a provider based on an advertised price that fits into your budget, only to suffer sticker shock when the bill comes in the mail.

Hidden fees and unexpected expenses can come as a huge surprise, and internet and cable providers are the number one offenders. Customer complaints with larger companies are particularly high, especially with those that bundle services. With internet, cable, and perhaps phone, companies motivate you to keep services so you can access the bundle prices of what you use. However, you end up paying more in fees but also pay extra to keep services you might not normally use.

Installation

Utah Broadband has free installation available. If you’re not in one of the areas we service, make sure to ask about the installation fees with your internet provider before you schedule an appointment. You can end up paying up to $300 for installation. Try to get a list of all their fees and taxes upfront. Also, check with your neighbors. They can tell you if they’re happy with their company, prices, and customer service.

Customer Service

We are a Utah company, meaning we provide service to our neighbors and use a local customer service team. This means if you call us, we have very low wait times. We rate high for our internet and are also known for our exceptional customer service. Once again, if you’re not local to Utah Broadband, research your internet’s customer service reputation online and check with your neighbors.

Your Equipment

Even if you choose the fastest speeds you can find, you may not be getting what you pay for. Fast internet isn’t always good enough. Sometimes your equipment can’t keep up and you need more options. We can help you with that. One of the key things to be aware of is your router. If you have an older router, it may not be delivering the service you deserve. For instance, if you choose the 60 mg plan, an old or sluggish router will only deliver 40 mg. 

Also, we need to check that your internet reaches all parts of your house. Whether you’re in a bedroom or your office, you need to have access to the plan you’re paying for. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you get the best setup for your home.

Speed

Your internet requirements can be difficult to judge. First, look at the number of internet users in your home. If you’re on your own, you can get away with a lot less bandwidth. But if you have multiple users in your home where someone is working from home, users are regularly streaming movies, or you have at least one student, you’re going to want to choose a larger plan. Your internet speed requirements also depend on how many devices you are using at the same time. If you like to stream music while you’re working in your home office, that’s something to consider.

Here’s a look at our plans.


A single user can usually choose our RES 10 plan, which provides 10 Mbps. Even if you have one computer that you take turns using, then you’ll still most likely be fine with our lower RES 10 plan. If you have a few devices, our residential  RES 15 or RES 20 plans provide 15-20 Mbps and should be plenty depending on your needs.

We hope this was helpful in your decision-making process. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Utah: Who Should Be Your Internet Provider?

Hello, neighbor! 

If you live in Utah, we are your premier internet provider. We’re so confident we have the best service that we’re happy to have you do some shopping around, but let us take a moment to introduce ourselves Check out our guide to picking an internet provider

What You Need to Know About Us

We Don’t Play Games.

Check out complaints about national internet providers, especially those that bundle multiple services. A good source for you to access is at advocacy.consumerreports.org

According to their studies, a “CR (consumer report) survey found telecommunications providers, which includes cable companies, are the worst offender when it comes to charging unexpected or hidden fees. What a cable company advertises to a consumer as a monthly price for services, and what the consumer actually ends up paying, can be dramatically different.” All our plan prices include all taxes and fees. They’re a basic flat rate that won’t be raised. Ever. 

You’ll find prices advertised for $35.00 a month for other internet providers, but after taxes, fees, and other incidentals, you’ll usually find out you end up paying almost double. 

Here’s a list of our residential plans.

Provide your own router or, if you don’t have the proper equipment, we’ll be happy to get you a good deal on one. We’ll help you figure out if your router is up to delivering the speeds you’re paying for, and how to position equipment to get the best coverage in your home.  Like most companies, we do have a data cap on our service, but we think you’ll find it more than covers your needs. Give us a call if you have any questions.

We Have Great Connections

 

To keep you working from home, streaming movies, and educating your children, we’ll put a dish on the roof of your house. To give you the best connection available, we’ll point that dish to the closest tower instead of into space and recommend you optimize your equipment for the best service. Why? Because this gives you a fixed wireless connection, meaning you’ll be working with reliable service. 

Utah Broadband’s network has been engineered using state-of-the-art, carrier-class equipment that provides 99.999% reliability. This is the same level of reliability offered by wired networks. We’re a commercial-grade internet provider and are committed to providing excellence in our broadband service.

We’re Top in Customer Service

We really are your neighbor. In fact, we’re proud to be local. 

What does this mean to you? When you contact us, you’ll find your wait time is the lowest in the business. No being on hold forever on the phone and listening to the same muzak peppered with announcements over and over again. We know our community and we’re here to serve you.

Our Business Connections

People are sometimes surprised by how many businesses rely on us as their internet providers. Utah Broadband has many large and well-known businesses that rely on wireless connections for their mission-critical needs, and have been doing so for years without any issues.

From multi-dwelling to commercial needs, we’re ready to get you set to handle all your client’s needs. All of our customers are important to us, whether we’re providing internet service to the inhabitants of a giant apartment complex or ensuring reliable service to you and your home; you matter.

* Available in most areas

 

Choosing the Right Internet Speed for Your Family

It may be time to rethink your internet plan.

More and more family members are switching to remote work and online learning. Subpar home internet service is no longer an acceptable option with so much new activity hitting our households. Even after Covid-19 is no longer considered a threat, many businesses report they’re changing their attitude about office requirements and that remote work may continue after the pandemic is over. According to CNN.com,Several big businesses plan to let much of their staff work from home permanently, even after the pandemic. Working from home could become the new normal — at least for some…”

Facebook is jumping on board with the idea of remote work being the face of the future. Mark Zuckerberg stated, “When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives.” He also pledged to increase hiring, including remote opportunities. And Twitter”s CEO basically said all of their employees could work at home forever post-pandemic, if that’s what they want to do.This really might turn out to be our new normal. Even college classes might lean into heavier distance learning to keep costs low and allow more students to enroll.

Therefore, this temporary situation seems to be leading to permanent changes, and your access to superior internet service may need a permanent adjustment.This is what you’ll need to consider.

Does Your Family Use Multiple Devices?

More and more, the answer to this question is yes. A single user can usually choose our RES 10plan, which provides 10 Mbps.

Even if you have one computer that you take turns using, then you’ll still most likely be fine with our lower RES 10 plan. 

If you have a few devices, our residential  RES 15 or RES 20 plans provide 15-20 Mbps and should be plenty depending on your needs.

How Big is Your Family? And Do You Have Teenagers?

Teenagers automatically classify a house as heavy use. They’re generally online for school and academic projects, but they’re also using the internet to keep in touch with friends, learn new skills, create art, and …. well, really the list is endless. They also tend to be on more that one device at a time. You may be tempted to reign in their online usage, but unfortunately, the better they can navigate online, the better off they’ll be in life. 

At minimum, consider the RES 20 residential plan. With teenagers, though, you might want to order more than you think you need. Especially if you have more than one teenager in your household.

Do You Use 4K?

First of all, what is 4K? Simply put, it’s premium HD streaming.

According to The Science Times, “4K streaming is four times the size of standard HD, meaning it is four times heavier to carry to your device or television. The picture is clearer, but the process will slow your internet down to a lag if you are not using a 4K capable router. Bandwidth is usually the biggest issue with it, as 4K streaming bogs down the traffic throughout your network.” So, basically, if you want a crystal clear picture, eventually you’ll need our highest plan.

If you’re still struggling with where you fit on the scale, check out our guide to picking an internet speed for some help. The Federal Communications Commission recommends using this guide for a basic idea of which kinds of speed you should consider for your household. However, they also state that “these numbers are rough guidelines and are not based on surveys or experiments conducted by the FCC. You should use your best judgment when choosing your broadband service.” But this is a good place to start. Also, check out their speed guide to get an idea of what different online activities require.

Keep in mind, however, that your equipment will have a lot to do with your internet speed efficiency. You can have the fastest internet out there, but if your equipment is old, your service might still be too slow. Make sure your equipment is optimized to serve you best. Your internet service is only as fast as your computer can handle. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. Because we’re local, we’re neighbors and we’re happy to help you figure out what you need.

5G Internet – Truth vs Myth of 5G Home Internet

5G Internet - Truth vs Myth of 5G Home Internet

In recent months there has been some confusion about wireless technology. You may have heard the term 5G. But what exactly is it?

WHAT IS 5G?

5G is the fifth generation cellular network wireless technology that will be replacing the fourth generation technology, called 4G LTE   This technology provides connectivity to most current cellphones. 

DOES UTAH BROADBAND USE 5G?

UBB does not offer 5G. In fact, no Wireless ISP in Utah uses 5G. Only the cellular telephone network operators like Verizon, ATT, and T-Mobile are using 5G technology for mobile data use. These frequencies are owned by those large cell carriers.

Can I get 5G Internet speeds with UBB?

UBB is deploying technologies that can deliver 5G speeds to your home or business for your Internet needs today. 

Utah Broadband has been serving Utah for nearly 20 years. We are experts in wireless Internet technology and providing exceptional Internet service.

877-822-8824