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How Fast Should Your Internet Be?

The internet has become one of the most basic components of people’s lives in the twenty-first century. People rely on it to complete nearly any and all tasks, from the most mundane work and errand applications like online banking to a wide variety of entertainment consumption options, including video streaming and music streaming, social networking and international communication. The internet is what brings the world together, and with the nearly forgotten days of dial up connections far behind, people have a hard time thinking of anything worse than a slow internet connection. When deciding what kind of internet speed a home needs there are some important factors to consider, including how many devices will be connecting and what their users will be using them to do.

Internet Speed Basics & MBPS

One of the most basic elements in defining internet speeds is MBPS (or Mbit/s), or how many megabits of data are transferred per second, and according to this chart from a University of Florida professor, it is how the data transfer speed measurements of connections are classified. A bit is the smallest unit of digital data; it takes 8 bits to make a byte, 1,000 bytes to make a kilobyte, and so forth. The old dial-up connections with which many people grew up could typically provide no more than 56 kilobits of data per second.  These days broadband speeds are measured in megabits, now often sold by internet companies in packages of 15, 50, and even 75 Mbit/s for download speeds.

Bandwidth vs. Speed

The speed of the connection and the amount of information that can be transferred at once through that connection is determined by the bandwidth. In simple terms, bandwidth is essentially the size of the conduit through which the data is traveling, while the speed is the rate at which the data is traveling. A larger bandwidth allows a user to complete more tasks at the same speed at the same time, sort of like an information highway with multiple lanes. With only one lane, or a smaller bandwidth, the transfers will slow each other down.

Download vs. Upload Speeds

Another facet of internet speeds is the download and upload speeds, though there is no real difference between the two aside from the direction of data transfer. Downloading is retrieving data, like opening a page or streaming a video, whereas uploading involves transmitting data, such as uploading a photo. Download speeds tend to be faster and are, consequently, more frequently advertised by internet providers. With a faster connection both download and upload speeds will increase; the number of tasks that can be completely simultaneously is heavily reliant on the bandwidth.

Speed Requirements for Various Computing Tasks

Cable and internet companies offer a variety of speed packages, though consumers are often charged a premium price for faster packages. To avoid paying more than necessary, it is therefore important to know what tasks a user intends to complete. For basic internet browsing, like checking email, social networks like Facebook or Twitter, and search engine usage, the speed requirements are relatively low and according to the FCC can be as slow as 0.5-1 Mbit/s. Streaming video, participating in HD video calls or 2-way online gaming, on the other hand, require much higher internet speeds with greater bandwidths because of the amount of data being used. To stream an HD video without lag or the video appearing grainy requires a minimum of 15 Mbit/s, though 25 Mbit/s would be preferable.

Network Load

Finally, the number of processes being completed and users who are using a network, known as the network load, can have a great deal of impact on the internet speed. The more computers and other devices connected to the network, the slower the speed unless it is compensated for by adding additional bandwidth. If a network is supporting multiple users all streaming HD video, uploading photos, or downloading tasks simultaneously, each one will suffer from a slower connection.

There is no simple way to calculate how fast a household’s internet connection should be. Depending on how many people will be accessing the internet, how many devices they’ll be using and what the residents will be doing on the internet, the right speeds could vary from relatively sluggish to lightning fast.


5 Devices That Depend on an Awesome Home Wireless Network

There was a time when home Internet connections didn’t need to be very fast. There were people who needed to be on a fast network, but for the most part people could do everything they wanted on their computers with a simple dial-up connection. Of course, that time is long gone. Today, people are connected to the Internet at all times via wireless networks that work far better and faster than dial-up connections ever did.

Some could argue that a good Wi-Fi connection is all about convenience, but the truth is that most modern households need a fast Internet connection; there are simply too many gadgets that rely on one. People aren’t just downloading programs and streaming video from their computers anymore. They’re connecting on tablets, smartphones, video game systems and even their televisions. Many households even have several devices connected to a network at once. Running just a few of these devices at once will require a decent high-speed Internet connection, says Astound, and some households will require a faster connection than others. Here are just five devices that people might have in their homes that will require a fast home wireless network.


Although computers don’t get as much attention as other devices anymore, they are still arguably the best way to access websites and online services. According to the U.S. Census, 83.8 percent of United States households have at least one computer, with many having more than one now that computers are relatively inexpensive. Some of these computers are used for simple web browsing and email, but others are used for online gaming, streaming video and even for full-time employment. A home with more than one computer will need much higher data transfer rates to prevent the users from experiencing significant lag.


Smartphones can run on their providers’ networks, but many users choose to connect them to a home wireless network so they don’t use all the data transferring available in their data plans. These phones are often as sophisticated as most computers, and many people almost exclusively access the Internet from them.


Tablets are becoming as common as smartphones and computers in the home and elsewhere, so naturally they need a reliable wireless network. Tablets are great for streaming video, but an unreliable network can slow such services to a crawl.

Video Game Systems

Video game consoles have evolved into full-fledged entertainment systems that are capable of streaming video and communicating over long distances. This kind of activity is fun and useful as long as there is a strong enough connection to support it, but a slow connection can destroy an online gaming session faster than anything.Even those who still just use game systems for video games are almost always connected to a network for online play; many big-name gaming companies design their products to require a connection to the internet to thwart would-be pirates. A fast internet connection will keep any gamer in hog heaven while still allowing other residents in the household to watch HD videos or comfortably surf the web.

Smart TV

Smart TVs are relatively new, but they will very likely become the norm in the next year or two. Most high-quality televisions that were sold in 2014 were smart, according to Cedric Demers writing for, and it is very likely that any TVs that are sold in the next year will allow for even greater connectivity. Naturally, these new TVs will require a strong wireless connection to be worth the purchase. Smart TVs will go a long way in blurring the lines between computers and television, especially for those who don’t regularly access the Internet from any other devices.


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last update: May 4, 2015


Purchasing a Heat Pump: What You Should Know About New Heating Technology

The rise of fuel prices over the last decade and the movement toward more sustainable energy sources has consumers on the lookout for the most cost effective appliances and devices. Temperature regulation in houses and apartments is no different—homeowners everywhere are hoping to lower their energy costs and keep their homes at a comfortable temperature. Two of the products on the market, the heat pump and the traditional air conditioning unit, are products that consumers might be interested in comparing. Choosing one depends on the specific needs of each individual and the climate they call home.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps, despite what their name might suggest, are devices that can be used not just for heating, but also for cooling a house. There are a variety of different types of heat pumps systems available, including geothermal, ductless, absorption, and, perhaps the most common, air-source heat pumps. Just like a refrigerator, the heat pump runs on electricity, moving heat from cooler areas to warmer ones and thereby further cooling the cool space and warming the warmer space. In a heating season, for example, heat pumps will move heat from cooler outdoor units into the warm house, thus generating heat. The opposite process occurs during a cooling season, when heat from the house is pumped to the outdoors, leaving the house cooler.

Since heat pumps move heat rather than generating the heat itself, they are far more effective operationally than conventional heating or cooling appliances. In fact, frequently heat pumps are able to regulate the temperature of a space for as little as a quarter of the cost of other types of heating and cooling units.

Heat pumps, especially geothermal ones, can be rather expensive to install, but in moderate climates where the heating and cooling needs are relatively low, they eventually pay for themselves through the reduced heating and cooling costs. According to Tim Smigelski, one happy homeowner who installed a geothermal system, he gets four dollars back for every dollar he put into the system. One of the biggest advantages of such a system is that it can be used anywhere in the world, since the geothermal power source—the Earth—will never vary, unlike solar energy and energy generated by the wind.

Air Conditioning Units

Air conditioning units have been a standard of American homes for several years. In 2011, nearly 87% of homes were equipped with AC units, though efficiency and type of individual units depended greatly on household income. AC units function similarly to heat pumps, pulling hot air from the house, squeezing it through the refrigerant until it’s cold, and finally pushing the chilled air back into the house for the cooling effect. Well-maintained AC units can last for fifteen to twenty years, but since newer models are significantly more energy efficient, most owners would save money replacing units that are approaching the decade mark.

Heat Pump vs. Air Conditioner Breakdown

This infographic from Washington Energy offers a quick and easy breakdown of the differences between the overall cost and efficiency of heat pumps versus the air conditioner. Overall, air conditioning units tend to outlive heat pumps by an average of five years because the they only run part of the year, whereas a heat pump regulates the temperature year round. Installation for heat pumps is more expensive than air conditioning units, but for those living in climates where both heating and cooling are necessary, a heat pump can save the consumer a significant amount of money by replacing alternative heating systems, including gas, propane or oil furnaces, while also meeting the cooling needs an AC unit covers.



A World of Banners and Branding

As a retailer, merchant or vendor, providing a message to groups of consumer-based buyers will require some craftsmanship and imagination. It only takes seconds to secure a potential client’s interest with an image or logo that says who a business is and what they offer. Customers do make buy decisions before entering a storefront or booth just by the impression made from advertising.

As a result, it is extremely important to design the right visual branding campaigns where clients make buying decisions before engaging with a sales representative. Technology for this skill is also advancing, so businesses will need to keep up on modern trends.

Presentation for Branding Concepts

Presentation, in whole, is everything when branding an idea to potential purchasing agents, and the competitive world will require any particular branding to be noticed against others. This means that taking the right steps to have a sign or banner will not be enough. On a competitive basis, what goes on the banner or sign will make or break an advertising campaign, according to professionals at Best Displays Online.

The designs made for conveying a business message are themselves best done by professionals specializing in graphic design and new technologies that expand materials and how those materials will be used. In every step, a tremendous amount of detail is what will make one message stand higher and brighter than the rest.

What true professionals in the marketing sector of signs and banners know is that ideas take time and knowhow before they are converted onto a canvass for public display. If it only takes a few, small seconds for consumers to make up their minds when looking at your display, then every minute counts and what appears must be of the highest quality. Businesses usually have one opportunity to bring in the buyers they often seek.

Banner and Booth Technology

Banners are now being constructed with more durable materials than they were 10 years ago. They also use stands that have components to ensure a solid foundation unlikely to topple in wind or by the mishap of a person’s body weight. They can be used to erect banners and other signs in ways that allow potential clients to see a blown-up message from within the large crowd of a convention or an enormous audience in an auditorium.

Creative and Useful Branding

Science has also allowed presentations at conventions and similar events to be constructed with islands that are erected by today’s technology for the purpose of adding to the ambiance of a booth. Banner developers understand the competitive advantage of incorporating creative ways to brand a product, service or company, and small businesses will need to know this too.

Creativity in branding can now further integrate video monitors to display company items and concepts while lifelike images are easily blown up to sizes the same height as individuals viewing it. In this regard, there is little limitation to what can be done when designing the right booth that is matched with the right theme for a business venture and its accompanying campaign, according to Trade-Show-Advisor. It is also reasonably necessary for competing.

When imagination is matched with amenities like backlit canvasses, shelving space and a comfortable podium to give presentations at, branding is done today like it never has been before.



How to Choose Online Marketing Services for a Drug Rehab Center

Drug rehab centers are built with the sole purpose of serving humanity. Many of these institutions have successfully enabled innumerous drug-addicts in overcoming the menace of drug addiction and getting back to their normal lives. As a drug rehab facility, you need to stay focused to your core objectives of assisting drug rehabs with their problems.

Unfortunately, many drug rehab institutions are unable to stay committed to their cause and need to focus on their marketing efforts to ensure the financial sustainability of the organization. This not only causes you to deviate from your key strengths, but also requires you to exercise a lot of effort in an area where you may lack proficiency. For this reason, experts recommend drug rehab businesses to spearhead their operations while entrusting a reliable and reputed marketing agency with the company’s marketing objectives.

Why Online Marketing?

Rehab centers have become highly competitive in the modern times, requiring facility owners to key costs low. If you are also restricted by a low budget, you should consider online marketing as opposed to traditional marketing practices for promoting your drug rehab agency. In addition to lower costs, online marketing offers several other benefits, too.

Drug rehab centers generally operate in a well-defined geographical territory, whether you’re a Phoenix drug rehab center or a Chicago rehab facility. This allows you to define your target audience that comprises individuals living in those territories and interested in your drug rehabilitation services. Online marketing allows you to tailor your marketing efforts specifically to your niche. This directly translates into higher ROI for the marketing dollars spent.

It is also simpler to track your online marketing objectives and goals through data metrics available to business owners today. It is easier to figure out how many visitors viewed or clicked your ad or read your blog post. You can also identify the number of referrals that you received and the revenue generated from those referrals in a few clicks.

Online marketing offers a plethora of new opportunities that are just waiting to be tapped. For instance, eMarketer conducted a survey that reported mobile search all set to overtake desktop by 2015. By creating a drug rehab website that is optimized for mobile browsing, you can benefit from one such opportunity.

How to Choose Online Marketing Services for a Drug Rehab Center?

You must strive to choose a service provider who is very familiar with the marketing requirements of the drug rehab industry. Unless the right marketing channels for drug rehab centers are targeted, the marketing dollars may be put to waste. It is equally important to do the right keyword research for the drug rehab institution and target keywords that are profitable enough to be targeted by the drug rehab center.

Find out some of the institutions that the online marketing agency has worked with. Look at some of their recent marketing campaigns undertaken for specific niche establishments, such as drug rehabilitation facilities as well as the impact of those efforts.

Look for a company that has garnered positive reviews from its client-base. You can also get in touch with one or two clients of the marketing agency, and find out if the projects were handled in a professional manner and up to the expectations of the client.

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4 Signs Your Lifestyle is Hurting You

Today’s average American lifestyle isn’t always the healthiest, but because it’s so normal it can be tough to spot red flags. Luckily, a little information and intention can go a long way. Once you’re aware of lifestyle risks and commonly missed symptoms, you can consciously re-adjust your views. However, this can’t be done passively, and it all starts with paying attention to yourself and your surroundings.

For example, it’s easier than ever to be made aware of product recalls, some of which can be life threatening. The recall of caramel apples at the end of the year, for example, spread like wildfire on social media and news outlets. Is your lifestyle doing more harm than good? Here are a few signs to watch out for:

1. You have chronic or recurring pain

Sometimes this is unavoidable (blame genetics), but many times it’s due to a subpar lifestyle. Constantly being hunched over a computer or poor posture in general can cause chronic back pain. Chronic knee pain can be from excess weight or improper form at the gym. Check out ValpoLife’s chiropractic tips on good posture, but also seek out your own medical help if there’s a pang constantly bothering you.

2. You have recurring headaches or dry eyes

Headaches are the number one complaint for a plethora of things, but today’s culture of too much screen time might be to blame. This is the biggest suspect if you also have dry or red eyes. Your eyes need a break from that screen, so schedule a pop up or alarm every 20 minutes as a reminder to close your eyes and let them rest. Resist “extra” time, like television or perusing Facebook on your phone, since you’re likely required to stare down a screen for work anyway.

3. You’re overweight or undertoned

Just because the average American woman is now a size 14 (and considering vanity sizing), that doesn’t make it healthy. “Average” does not equate to ideally healthy. However, it’s going to seem more and more normal, especially with the New York Daily News reporting NYC is welcoming size 14 mannequins to non-plus-sized stores. Know your body fat percentage (it’s a better gauge than BMI), and prioritize your health.

4. You can’t get by without coffee

Caffeine addiction is real, yet accepted by society. It can make your sleep hygiene out of what, cause you to be dependent, and can ultimately be a really expensive habit. No vices are “safe” ones.


4 Essential Browser Add-Ons For SEO Keywords

Any Internet marketer who is serious about success will eventually learn the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). Without proper SEO, a marketer cannot hope to achieve a high ranking in search results. According to blogger and Toprated Tips founder Samson Ogola, “The higher you rank in the SERP the better,” (SERP is an acronym for search engine results page). Consequently, search engine optimization techniques are integral to the online marketing process.

Basic SEO and Keyword Analysis

Basic SEO involves using the right keywords and key phrases strategically, so developing an understanding of how to implement keyword analysis is crucial for an Internet marketer. Analyzing keywords involves a process of discovery: A marketer must determine which words lead the most people to a site.

A good way to determine which words are most effective is to analyze competitor sites. As Point It author Tyler Tanigawa discusses in an article on the topic, a viable method for discovering online competitors is to explore the top sites in search results (by entering keywords commonly used for a particular industry). In other words, a person who owns a carpet cleaning business in Orlando, Florida, might enter the key phrase of “carpet cleaning Orlando” into a search engine search box, in order to discover the top sites that appear in the search results.

Once a person finds these online competitors, analyzing their meta keywords can be useful. By exploring the keywords that successful marketers are using, an online marketer can gain a sense of which words those marketers are utilizing to rank high in search results (thus driving Internet traffic to their sites). This is a primary aspect of keyword analysis.

How Browser Add-Ons Can Help

After an online marketer becomes familiar with basic SEO and keyword analysis, the importance of analyzing competitor sites should be fairly clear. However, implementing this kind of analysis without using the proper tools can be time-consuming and confusing. This is why countless marketers use tools such as browser add-ons to help them examine competitor sites and keywords.

KGen for Firefox

According to blogger Jayson Akers (also known as AZAkers), KGen is a “great little SEO add-on” that can help an individual determine the number of times that a phrase has been used on a page.  This handy tool also gives users the “weight” and position of keywords in relation to any page on which they are employed. Using KGen could significantly reduce the time that a person spends on competitor keyword analysis.

SEO SERP for Google

This add-on enables a user to enter a keyword and discover the positions of various sites in the search results rankings. SEO SERP functions quickly, so it can be a great timesaver. Using this tool could be invaluable for a marketer, in terms of finding who the top online competitors for a site actually are.

SEO Coolbar for Internet Explorer

The Coolbar toolbar add-on is one that marketers who prefer Internet Explorer may find infinitely helpful. It offers a variety of features, such as ranking results, so a person can analyze competitor sites. Coolbar also enables users to examine keywords in relation to search volume.

Seoptimer for Opera

This is another add-on that offers an array of functions to help with SEO. Users can also download their reports to portable document format (PDF) if they wish. They can use this tool to check items such as meta keywords and meta descriptions, in order to learn which areas require improvement to achieve higher search engine rankings.

Many businesses have found that marketing online is vital to their overall success. To generate much online traffic, a marketer must learn about SEO and keyword analysis. Using the proper tools for analysis can save a person much time and effort.


Traveling Has Never Been Easier

Technology has impacted every aspect of life, and the tourism industry is no exception. More than half of business travelers check into their flights and hotels with their smartphones. A vast number of people seek information online about purchasing tickets and hotel reservations as well as information about activities and entertainment in their chosen destination. Travelers can get all the information they need about visas, health concerns, political climate and more without leaving home.

Technology Enhances the Travel Experience

Tourism boards and travel brands are making an effort to include technology to enhance the travel experience of consumers. Today, you can get apps that give you a complete tour of thousands of sites around the world. Many of these apps offer special information about each place with hidden gems such as restaurants and other attractions that visitors may have missed on a regular tour.

Many hotels offer iPads specifically for guests to use for ordering food, planning their travel and get transportation, and free WiFi is available in most hotels and restaurants.

Some of the reasons consumers prefer the Internet for making travel plans are:

• They can research destinations before deciding where to go

• Look for travel promotions and incentives before booking

• Make plans based on the reviews of others

How Consumers Use Information for Travel

There are many different types of travelers including business travelers, family vacation travelers, budget backpackers, luxury travelers and personal travelers. The one thing they all have in common is how they plan their trips. Most travelers use:

• The Internet as a planning tool to search for options. The travel industry knows this, so they market directly to online searchers and effectively prompt travelers to book online

• Search engines to find the cheapest flights. Today, there are travel search engines that pull information from hundreds if not thousands of travel sites and give comparative information. They can be modified for date and time of travel

• Social media to connect with others who have gone before. Not only do people put their experiences online, but the travel industry also uses social media to inform and attract customers.

• Videos and vlogs to learn about their destinations from others during the travel planning process. Travelers also upload vlogs and apps that are travel-related

• Smartphones are the device of choice for many travelers. There are SIM cards available that make it cheap and easy to use their phones internationally, and they can take photos and keep copies of documents and travel information with them always

Travel Rewards Programs

Many credit card companies offer travel miles, hotel reservation discounts, car rental discounts and restaurant discounts when people make purchases with their cards. More and more people are taking advantage of these reward programs, not only for cheaper personal travel, but also for cheaper business travel.

Technology touches every aspect of the tourism industry and as airlines and hotels become more technologically advance, they need to remember that tourism is about people having a great time, and technology should serve that aim and hot hinder it.


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