Connections for November 2021

NOVEMBER 2 0 21 Cornerstone Group © 2021 YOUR QUARTERLY DOSE OF TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATION Connections Win a $10 Bill Credit What is the upload speed of our 1 Gig residential FiberFast Internet package? Answer: _____________________________ Name: ______________________________ Phone:_ _____________________________ Email: _ _____________________________ Clip and return by November 30, 2021 to to Guthrie Center Communications, 403 State Street, Guthrie Center, IA 50115. Congratulations to Immanuel Lutheran Church, the most recent Guthrie Center Communications winner. One winner chosen at random per quarter. Contest open to Guthrie Center Communications customers age 18 and over. Applicants can win once per 12-month period. Other restrictions may apply. Office Closures November 25-26 for Thanksgiving holiday December 23-24 for Christmas holiday December 31 for New Year’s holiday We Wish You a Joyous Holiday Season Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, and Guthrie Center Communications hopes you relish these holidays to their fullest. May you be surrounded by your favorite people while enjoying your favorite activities. Do you have areas in your home with a weak or unreliable Wi-Fi connection? You need Managed Wi-Fi. This monthly service provides an advanced router for seamless signal continuity, an app for remote management, and local service and support. You’ll have the internet connection you need for all your devices in all your rooms. To sign up for Managed Wi-Fi, (641) 332-2000 A device in every hand requires strong Wi-Fi in every room 403 State Street Guthrie Center, IA 50115 (641) 332-2000 Online: Office Hours: M–F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. but closed 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. for lunch

Have You Checked Out Our New Internet Speeds? Guthrie Center Communications recently increased the speeds of our FiberFast Internet packages. We did this to keep pace with the higher bandwidth demands of streaming along with the rising numbers of devices in use in our customers’ homes. You can now choose from these residential download/upload speed options: • 100/100 Mbps – $89.95 monthly • 300/300 Mbps – $119.95 monthly • 1 Gig/300 Mbps – $199.95 monthly, which includes Managed Wi-Fi The best FiberFast Internet package for you will be the one that provides everyone in your household with a good online experience while staying within your budget. To help determine your needs, ask yourself these questions: How many devices in your home are typically connected to the internet and in use simultaneously? How often are family members watching movies and series on streaming services? Is buffering a problem? Are there gamers in your household having issues with reaction time and lags? Does anyone in your household work from home? For additional details, call Guthrie Center Communications at (641) 332-2000. 10M bits per second 75M 100M 150M 200M 250M 350M 1000M 450M 25M Smart home devices can reduce the stress of the holiday season by taking some of the tasks off your to-do list. Are you taking full advantage of this handy technology? Holiday Light Control If you love to brighten your home inside and out with what seems like miles of light strands, you know what a hassle it can be to plug and unplug them each day. Save yourself the trouble by using smart plugs in your electric outlets. You can control smart plugs via your mobile device or smart speaker, or program them to turn on and off automatically according to your schedule. While you’re at it, consider swapping out your regular light bulbs in lamps and ceiling fixtures with smart bulbs. They offer color-changing capabilities to light up walls and décor for a more festive mood. Doorbell Cameras You’ll probably have more visitors and more packages at your front door this time of year. By installing a doorbell camera, you can stay updated on what’s happening with both. These cameras allow you to view and chat with porch visitors through a smartphone app —whether you’re on the other side of the door or the other side of the country. They can also alert you when a package is dropped off, so you can grab it yourself or call a neighbor to do it for you. Plus, just the sight of a doorbell camera on a front porch may deter package thefts. Voice-Enabled Smart Speakers A smart speaker is like a “digital elf ” that can handle all kinds of tasks. For example, the Amazon Echo can create multiple shopping lists (for gifts, party supplies, and more), schedule reminders, track an airline flight, play a Christmas carol for you, or even order a last-minute gift. Housework Helpers Get help managing your home. Robot vacuum cleaners and mops can automatically clean up messes, and smart refrigerators can alert you when the door is left open and tell you what’s inside so you know what food to pick up at the store. Guthrie Center Communications offers the high-speed internet you need to support smart home devices. To learn more, call (641) 332-2000. Tech the Halls to Simplify Your Holiday GUTHRIE CENTER COMMUNICATIONS • ( 641 ) 332-2000 • www.guthr i ecentercom. com

Cornerstone Group © 2021 This One Process Can Fix Many Wi-Fi Issues We’ve all been there. The Wi-Fi connection in your home stops working, and you can’t access the internet. It’s a frustrating situation, but one that often has a quick and easy solution. The next time this happens to you, restart your router using the process below: 1. Unplug or power off your router. 2. Wait 2-5 minutes before plugging it back in. 3. Wait 5 more minutes and retry the connection. (If your home uses a router and a modem, follow the same steps for both pieces of equipment.) In many cases, this should fix your Wi-Fi issue and allow you to get back online. Why is this so? Because unplugging the equipment gives it a chance to clean memory banks and restart tasks, similar to why restarting your computer is the number one troubleshooting strategy when it isn’t working correctly. It’s also important to understand how your router communicates with you. Most routers have a series of icons that illuminate to convey different status messages at a glance. Though these icons can vary from brand to brand, they typically include ones to indicate the status of whether the modem is connected to the internet, whether Wi-Fi signals are being broadcast, and whether Ethernet cables are connected and functioning. When everything is working properly, you can expect the icons to be solid or blinking green or blue light. This signals that a device is plugged in and functioning normally. When there’s a connection issue, the icons may turn red or orange/amber. An orange/ amber light may indicate a problem or limited connectivity, whereas a red or unlit icon may signal there’s no current connection. In order to be clear on what your router is communicating to you, refer to the user manual for a more detailed explanation. You can usually find a digital copy of your router’s manual by doing a Google search using the device’s name and model number followed by “user manual.” Should you continue to experience Wi-Fi issues with Guthrie Center Communications internet service after doing basic troubleshooting, call (641) 332-2000 for assistance. How Technology Can Help Seniors Live Independently Technology is available to provide a safer, more intuitive home environment for older adults living alone, making it possible for them to address their challenges and livemore independently. Examples include: Smart Detection Devices – Stove alarms alert older adults to potentially dangerous situations and help prevent potential fire hazards. Devices are also available to detect water leaks and air quality issues. Smart Medication Pillboxes – These offer audible or visual cues to prompt older adults to take their medications at the proper time. They can also send remote alerts to caregivers. Motion-Activated Lights – Tripping is a common concern. To prevent fumbling around in the dark, motionactivated lights can be installed. Smart Doorbells and Security Systems – Doorbells provide a video picture of visitors to help older adults decide whether to answer the door. Security systems can be programmed to automatically lock doors and alert homeowners and caregivers if issues arise. Other Assistive Technologies – There are phones with large, highvisibility displays that are easy to see and use, keyless entry locks for those with arthritic hands, and curtains or blinds that can be operated with a remote control.

All But the Tiniest Houses Need Big Internet Speeds Houses made of gingerbread, frosting, and candies can get by on their sweet looks alone. But the houses we actually live in are filled with all kinds of internet-connected devices requiring big internet speeds. To help determine if your house could use an internet speed upgrade, consider these factors: • Number of internet users - Include not only your family members but frequent visitors and house guests, if applicable. • Typical online activities - For each user, note their online activities such as streaming movies and TV shows, video calls, social media, online gaming, working or learning from home, and so on. How many of these activities occur simultaneously on an average day? • Number of devices - Add up the total number of computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, streaming devices, smart appliances, and smart home or security devices. If you’re like most households, this number has in- creased significantly in recent years. . After you’ve thought about your current internet usage, call us (641) 332-2000 for help selecting the right internet speed for your house. GUTHRIE CENTER COMMUNICATIONS • ( 641 ) 332-2000 • www.guthr i ecentercom. com 5 Ways to Repurpose Your Old Phone When it’s time to get a bright and shiny new phone, what will you do with your old one? You may decide to trade it in with your cellular carrier, give it to a family member, sell it online, or take it to an electronics recycling organization. But those aren’t your only options. Check out these great uses for old phones: #1: Security Camera Download a security camera app like AlfredCamera or Presence on your old and new phones, then mount the old phone where you want to keep an eye on your home. You can use something as simple as a suction cup mount for a car. Then use your current phone to log in and view the feed from your old phone. #2: Digital Photo Frame An old phone can easily be turned into a photo display. Simply get a phone stand and run your favorite photos through on a slideshow. #3: Child’s Device If you’re not yet ready to buy your child his/her own phone with a cellular plan, you can instead repurpose your old phone for more limited use. You don’t need cellular connectivity for the camera to work. Once the phone is secure, connect it to Wi-Fi and your child can send pics, search the internet, download apps, make VoIP calls, and play games. #4: Gaming System There are many different mobile games for iPhone and Android, and you only need a Wi-Fi connection to download. If you have an extra phone lying around, repurpose it as a dedicated gaming system. That way, you’ll never have to worry about storage space while you’re in the heat of a battle or the middle of an adventure. #5: Donation to a Good Cause If you don’t have a use for your old phone, think about donating it. For example, Cell Phones for Soldiers sells refurbished or recycled phones to buy troops prepaid international calling cards and provide emergency funding to veterans. (They’ll wipe your old phone clean of all your personal information first.) HopeLine from Verizon accepts devices in any condition from any service provider to benefit victims and survivors of domestic violence.