Once you have bought a new home, there are many decisions you have to make about the home itself, but you have 10 things to consider that will influence your digital lifestyle.
How you approach your entertainment, communications and computing needs has a direct effect on what devices you will be able to use and the convenience of your digital interactions with family, friends and on business.
Making these decisions now and carrying out some of the installation work helps avoid major disruptions later on. The Home Digital Solutions website has a guide that explores different possibilities.
To-Do List After You’ve Bought a New Home
Now that you have bought a new home, it’s time to think about your digital needs and make sure you can accommodate them conveniently.
You may already have a mobile service, but if you’ve changed area codes, you’ll want a new number and you may be able to get a better deal at your new location. One option is to get mobile broadband, a mobile service that provides a mobile WiFi hot spot. It lets you get Broadband Internet wherever there is a cellphone signal. It’s expensive for large amounts of data but if you only do some email and Web browsing, it’s worth looking into.
2. High Speed Internet
Most people need a home-based High Speed Internet connection, and the key questions are speed and bandwidth. Most broadband services give you enough speed for home use, but if you work from home, you may want to pay extra for the higher speeds that increase your efficiency.
Watch out for bandwidth caps and extra fees for exceeding them — if you know how many Gigabytes of data you used at your previous location, that’s a good guide for making sure you have enough bandwidth in your new home.
The new technology is Internet-capable Smart TVs, so you can watch most TV programs over the Internet. Before you decide against getting Cable TV, though, add up how much TV you watch and whether it is high definition. HD movies use up huge amounts of bandwidth and you need unlimited broadband to take advantage of these possibilities. If you have a cap, it has to be 100 GB or higher, and even then you can exceed it if you watch a lot of HD TV.
4. Landline Home Phone
You may want to get a basic Home Phone service landline in your new home. It’s not very expensive and it often works when there is no power or when digital services are down for other reasons. Many people get one as a backup, and it is especially useful if all your digital services come from a provider with spotty reliability.
Once you know what services you need, you have to decide on bundling. Service providers promote bundling because it saves them money and they pass some of the savings on to you through lower rates for the bundle of services, like Cable TV, Internet and Home Phone, than for separate services.
It’s convenient because you only pay one bill and deal with one provider, but it generates problems if the provider turns out to be a poor one and has locked you into a two-year contract. Before signing up for bundling, look at exactly what services you need and check the reputation of providers with neighbors.
Some Internet services come with a WiFi router but often you have to get your own. Unless you have unusual requirements for security or range, a basic router will satisfy your WiFi needs adequately. Remember to set up a secure network with a password and to change the default settings, so potential hackers won’t know what they are.
7. Home Security
Sometimes a Home Security system can be included in a bundle, but you may have to get one separately if you feel you need one. There is the security system itself and the monitoring service. New security system technology is mostly wireless and, in addition to sensors on the doors and windows and for intruders and fire, you can get cameras with remote viewing capabilities and automation features that switch lights and heating.
Some monitoring systems need a telephone landline, but others work on the cell phone network.
All computing devices are becoming more compact and, while there is a move toward tablets and smartphones for everyday tasks, like email and social media, you will need a larger computer for editing photographs and writing long documents.
The key choice is whether you still need a desktop computer or whether a laptop is enough. For your new home, this means you have to either create a space for desktop work or have several locations which are comfortable for working on a laptop.
Wireless generally does not mean without any wires. Many wireless devices still need a power cord and it’s a good idea to do some wiring before you put everything into place, now that you’ve bought a new home. Installing some wire channels, power bars and extra wiring wherever it might be needed helps avoid later problems with a lack of plugs.
10. You’ve Bought a New Home
Reflect that you’re now in a new situation, which means that you don’t have to do things the same way as before, and that you can try out new technologies. Home automation is a growing field as is remote surveillance of your home. Once you have covered your basic digital communication needs, you can investigate what else makes sense for your new residence.
Congratulations on your new address! Since you bought a new home, we know you are busier than every, so hopefully, we saved you some time laying out some things you’ll want to take care of quickly.