The technology in homes is ever advancing. Things that we used to see only in sci-fi movies are becoming a reality. Remember the Jetsons? We watched that show and thought that all of their fancy gadgets were so amazing. And while we might not yet have Rosie the Robot Maid to clear our homes and fix our meals, we may be getting close. With WiFi technology, almost all appliances and electronic devices can be controlled wirelessly and remotely, and streaming of TV shows to smart phones and laptop computers is becoming commonplace. Here in my own home I can control my locks, garage door, lights, and more remotely thanks to wireless technology. With the increased options in bundled home services, it is all the more necessary to weigh needs and budgets carefully. What do you need, what do you want, and how much are you prepared to spend?
What Do You Need?
Some people insist on having all of the latest gadgets. Yes, I admit that I am one fo those people. But this won’t work if you if you’re on a limited budget. I recently upgraded my own internet service to the faster that I can get in my area, 105mb down. Trust me… I put it to good use. I work from home so I am on the internet all day. 🙂 Sometimes I work on multiple computers, and I usually watch something online while working in my office. Plus, when my kids are home they are using their mobile devices, playing online games, or doing research for homework. There can easily be 6 people online in some form in my house sometimes.
But how much internet do you need? If you live alone and have only one computer you may not need the fastest package. Before you decide, make a list of all available cable or satellite TV, internet, phone, or home security bundles, available in your area, and rank them in order of importance. If your finances are tight, then buy your top-ranked services first. In considering home security and home automation service bundles, for example, you may decide that remote control of lights or appliances, though convenient, is not necessary for your family’s safety and comfort. In this case, leave it on your waiting list. You can always add it later. And if you are like me you may be able to live without premium movie and sports channels. I never watch sports, and I usually watch movies online.
Should You Install It Yourself?
With WiFi technology for connecting appliances and electronic devices wirelessly, self-installation of some internet and home automation systems is a much more practical option than ever before. Installing a system yourself means avoiding the headaches that come with scheduling a professional installation and waiting for the technician to arrive, and you avoid the security concern of having a stranger in your home. You also avoid paying installation fees. If your system is especially complex, though, you may find that a professional installation will save you both time and money. And while most cable and internet services will have professionally installed you may be able to hook up a wireless security system, or add components yourself.
By bundling cable or satellite TV, internet, home phone, cell phone, and home security services through a single provider, you can save hundreds of dollars per year. Bundle discounts can be as high as 40% of the price you’d pay by obtaining these services separately. With an independent online service such as Bundle Deals, you can compare competing providers, and order services, with just one phone call.
Upgrading Your Equipment
Most service providers offer the option of purchasing or leasing equipment. If you lease your equipment, find out if the provider offers free upgrades. If you can get free upgrades without increased monthly fees, then you may want to trade in your old equipment every year. If you have to pay the same lease fee anyway, you might as well have the most advanced equipment available. I lease my cable modem from my provider. This way if something goes wrong the company is responsible for replacing it. And, if they change their lines, or upgrade their services, I am covered when my equipment needs to be upgraded to accommodate the new speeds.
Of course each household has its own particular interests, needs, and budget. By carefully evaluating what’s available, you can be confident that you’re getting the most out of technology, and the most from your money.
Are you happy with your services? Are you using only what you need or do you have the top of the line package?
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Bundle Deals. All opinions are my own.