Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Category: High-Speed Internet (page 1 of 19)

Spring Cleaning Your Electronics 2018

It’s hard to believe with the amount of recent snowfall that spring is just around the corner. Soon we will be planting flowers rather than shoveling the driveway; but aside from beautiful flowers it is also a time for cleaning things out. Great Plains Communications wants to remind you that while you are clearing out your closets and cabinets, your electronics could probably use some cleaning as well.

Has your documents folder become the junk drawer of your computer? Or worse yet, is it your desktop that is cluttered with untouched files circa 2015? You don’t notice until your once fleeting load time has become more of a bathroom break between tasks. We have some specific steps and programs to consider when starting the process of spring cleaning your computer or tablet.


Erase Unwanted Files

Get rid of those research papers from college, articles you were meaning to read a year ago, and any pictures you could keep on a USB flash drive. By deleting files, you clear up storage space, making it easier and faster for your computer to find information.


Update Software

By not keeping your software up-to-date, you aren’t allowing it to be the best version of itself. Skipping multiple updates will cause your loading times to increase rapidly and also make you more vulnerable to malware. Make sure to keep not only your software updated, but also your virus protection. For computers with built-in virus protection, sit back and relax while your software update does all the work for you.


Defrag Hard Drive

Defragmentation is simply speeding up read times on the hard drive, by moving sequential data physically close together so that it doesn’t have to search the entire drive to find specific data. One way to do this is with Great Plains Communications’ Tech Home. With Tech Home, you are provided with world-class security for all devices, home and on the go, while also having access to 24/7 tech support. If you would like to find more information on the Tech Home services, go to or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

There are multiple ways to increase performance speeds on your computer, but take the time this season to find which ways work best for you.

Helpful Online Pet Resources

According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of U.S. households, or around 85 million families, own a pet. This staggering statistic is abundantly clear when spending time online. Pet videos are scattered throughout newsfeeds as the pet parents show off the lovable antics. We’re pampering our pets and looking for more ways to better their lives and that information doesn’t strictly come from your veterinarian anymore. Great Plains Communications has found a few online pet resources to assist in traveling with pets, pet care, and even an app to help stay on top of pet appointments.

Traveling with Pets

The thought of traveling with your pet can be nerve-racking, from figuring out the flight plan to finding a pet friendly hotel and any additional transportation needed. Below are two websites that will shorten your searches and help throughout the entire planning process.

Pet Travel –

“We have over 35,000 pet friendly hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals as well as businesses that service the pet industry in our database. We are constantly adding pet friendly hotels, dog parks, pet sitters, and fun things to do with your pet. Pet owners who travel worldwide with their pet can find pet import rules for traveling to over 240 countries on Pet Travel.”

Trips With Pets –

“Our goal is to ensure that pets are welcome, happy, and safe in their travels! From booking pet friendly lodging & finding pet friendly things to do, to reviewing pet policies for airlines and care rentals – when it comes to traveling with your pet, we’ve got you covered!”


Pet Care Pet Supplies –

Choose from dogs, cats, fish & aquatic pets, birds, horses, and more. From there, you can find products ranging from food to bedding, gates and grooming supplies. You can even create a profile for your pet to receive additional coupons.

BarkBox –

You may already have a monthly make-up subscription or food delivery, but BarkBox takes the fun of a monthly surprise and delivers it to your dog. Starting at $20/month, each month you will receive a box full of themed goodies – multiple all-natural treats and creatively designed toys your pup is sure to enjoy.


PetDesk App

This is a free app accessible to both iOS and Android users helping you stay organized with your pet’s needs. From your vet, groomer, and boarder, you can connect through the app to request appointments, receive reminders and have all your pet’s information in one location. Find more information at

How Much Bandwidth Does Your 4K TV Need?

Shopping for a TV has become much more than just picking a size that best fits your entertainment center. You now see terms such as 1080p, Ultra HD, and 4K when considering the resolution of your potential TV. But what do they mean?

First things first, the resolution we are talking about refers to the number of pixels that make up the picture on your television. A pixel is one of the very small dots on your screen that light up to create that picture you see. There are roughly eight million pixels in an Ultra HD or 4K (named for those almost 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution). In the last few years, we have gone from the standard 1080 HD TV to anything over 50 inches overwhelmingly featuring “Ultra High Definition” resolution. But what they might not tell you when you purchase your new 4K TV is that it requires additional bandwidth support. If you are streaming things like Netflix and Hulu, the bandwidth requirement will continue to rise. According to Netflix’s website, the recommended speed to stream their content on an Ultra HD (4K) TV is 25 Megabits per second (Mbps). And Hulu isn’t far behind, recommending 13 Mbps for 4K.


So why does it take more bandwidth?

Each of those pixels is receiving data, telling them when and how to light up the screen. The more pixels, the more detail and the better resolution or picture you see, but at the same time – the more pixels, the more data needed from the Internet.

If you aren’t sure what Internet speed your family needs, check out the Great Plains Communications What Speed Do You Need tool. If you are interested in upgrading your speed or would like to learn about what services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2018 Tech Resolution Tips

It is 2018 and people are setting goals. While according to, ‘Save Money’ and ‘Lose Weight’ are still the top two resolutions for 2018, people are also starting to consider that like a healthy eating balance there also needs to be a healthy tech balance. More people are setting goals such as, “Monitor Phone Use” or “Improve Cyber Security”. Great Plains Communications wants to help you succeed with some tips.


Monitor Phone Use

How often do you find yourself turning on the television to watch a show and end up missing over half of it because you were scrolling through your newsfeed or playing a game on your phone? If you are looking to cut back on the time you stare at that small screen, a first step could be to figure out how long you are currently on it. Apps such as Moment (iOS) or Quality Time™ (Android) help to not only track how long you are in specific apps but will also give you alerts when you have been on for a specific amount of time. You can customize the alerts to your goals and schedule.


Improve Cyber Security

There are many ways to improve your cyber security, but we have listed two main areas as a starting point: Password Management and Apps Management.

Manage your Passwords

Passwords are the lock and key to some of our most personal and sensitive information. Not only are we protecting financial information, but contacts and photos as well. If you are looking to better manage your passwords, work on changing them more frequently and always using unique passwords for different sites. We realize there are now passwords for everything and it becomes increasingly harder to remember all of them, especially if you change them often. Programs such as LastPass and KeePass work to remember your passwords, while also keeping them secure.

Manage your Apps

Do you have an app graveyard on your phone? Maybe you hit Candy Crush hard for a good two months then burnt out quick and haven’t played since. Or maybe you still have an app for that grocery store down the road from the apartment you lived in…three years ago. The kicker question is, have you still been keeping them updated or is that red bubble always above your App Store? You don’t use them, so why keep them updated? Well, all these things can actually leave you exposed to hackers gaining access to your information. But there is a simple solution; delete all those apps you aren’t using. Then taking it one step further and check your apps permissions for the ones you keep. For Apple users, go to Settings > Privacy and check what apps have access to things like your contacts, photos, and microphone.

Wifi Christmas Social Giveaway Winner

Help us in congratulating our Wifi Christmas Social Giveaway Winner, Sara Nichols of Eddyville, NE!  When asked why she shops online, she responded, “I shop online because I hate dealing with large crowds and I like finding the best deal while sitting in my chair rather than searching the stores.” A feeling we can all probably relate to. By sharing this information and liking the Great Plains Communications Facebook page, Sara has won a $250 gift card.

Sara Nichols with her husband and three children

Sara Nichols with her husband and three children

We may have only been able to choose one winner, but there is still another way to receive an gift card this season. By adding Great Plains Communications high-speed Internet service, you could receive a gift card and FREE installation. Bundle your services to earn the maximum gift card benefit! To find out more, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 before the offer ends January 5, 2018.

Again, we want to congratulate Sara Nichols, and thank everyone who entered our Wifi Christmas Social Giveaway!


Some restrictions apply, residential customers only. Services must be maintained for 6 months. Failure to do so will result in an early termination fee equal to the amount of the gift card received. Speeds and availability may vary by location.

Keep Your Devices Secure this Holiday with Tech Home

Our lives have become a constant stream of information through news feeds, search engines, emails, and reviews. All accessible through our multitude of devices. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure you understand just where those connections are going and ensure they are all protected with our Tech Home service.

The program provides world-class security for all your devices, home and on the go, with web security and antivirus systems. Gone away is the worry of lost files when your device crashes or gets damaged. With Tech Home, you will be able to sync and back-up all your files, photos, contacts and additional important information. No matter where you are, or which WiFi you connect to, Tech Home will have you covered with a cloud-based protection keeping your personal information secure and convenient.

Round-the-clock technicians will provide help to setup, test, fix and enjoy your network. Up to four computers, laptops, phones or tablets are covered through Tech Home, with the low price of just $2.99 for an additional mobile device and $4.99 for an additional laptop.

With Tech Home, you’ll have the support you are looking for and the protection you need. For more information on the new product, call 1-855-853-1483 or visit our website at

I’m Dreaming of a Wifi Christmas

The turkey leftovers are finally starting to dwindle. You swap recipes for Amazon wish lists and smile at the thought of 2-day shipping. You notice Disney’s The Santa Clause trilogy is coming to Netflix December 12 and set a reminder in your calendar. The Internet has become a helping hand through the holidays. From Cyber Monday deals you can do in your pajamas, to streaming a crackling fireplace on your television because it has become a tradition the kids look forward to each year. The more we lean on that helping hand, the more bandwidth we demand and higher speeds are needed.

Make sure all your electronic devices operate smoothly this Christmas season by adding Great Plains Communications high-speed Internet service. In addition to receiving the top speeds in your area, we’ll include an Amazon gift card and FREE installation! Bundle your service to earn the maximum gift card benefit!


Not sure what speed is right for your family?

Click Here to take our interactive test.


Call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 to learn more about what’s available in your area.

Some restrictions apply, residential customers only. Services must be maintained for 6 months. Failure to do so will result in an early termination fee equal to the amount of the gift card received. Speeds and availability may vary by location.

*Restrictions apply, see

Stay Secure this Cyber Monday

People often associate chaos and risk with Black Friday and not so much Cyber Monday. Rather than mobs running through aisles, they picture themselves safe on their couch with a blanket and cup of coffee. What people don’t understand is that all Cyber Monday has done is take the craziness of Black Friday and opened it up to the World Wide Web. Great Plains Communications wants to provide tips to protect yourself when shopping online.

The three tips we will cover are:

  • How to spot fake shopping websites
  • Keep your software updated
  • A credit card is safer to use than a debit card


Fake Websites

With targeted ads and pop-ups, it can seem as if the best deals are right in front of our faces. But even a secure looking ad or link could take you to a fake shopping website. From there, your computer could either be infected the moment you arrive or by malicious links within. However, where you want to be the most careful is during the checkout process. Below we have listed some giveaways that will help spot a fake website.

  • Is it a strange URL like the one in the graphic above?
  • Are they selling an odd selection of products? For example, you went to the website for the dress you saw in the ad but see they also sell computer parts.
  • Does the copy have an abundance of grammar and spelling errors? Most companies will have a copywriter whose job is to expertly write intros and product descriptions.
  • Is the customer service contact email a little off? For example, it would not be but Don’t get tricked by familiar terms.
  • Are the prices too good to be true? Is the website trying to sell an iPhone X for $100? It is probably a scam.


Software Updates

Having out-of-date versions or unpatched software is like having a target for malware, leaving you vulnerable to exploit kits. At the least, make sure to have your browser updated when shopping online. This will ensure your cookies and cache are more secure against data leaks.

We are all guilty of rolling our eyes at the little update bubble. It’s time consuming and most of the time the changes are behind the scenes so we write them off as insignificant. But it is the information behind the scenes that is keeping your data protected.


Credit Card vs. Debit Card

The main advantage to using a credit card versus a debit card is that a credit card has better consumer protection. In the case that someone did obtain your information, you wouldn’t be liable for fraudulent transactions. With a debit card, depending on when you report the missing card or fraudulent transactions, you could be on the hook for the entire amount. No matter what kind of card you use, it is always smart to monitor your accounts after online shopping.

Internet Search Tips

Not sure of the capital of Portugal? Can’t remember who played Chunk in The Goonies? What’s the weather going to be like Friday night? Google it.

The internet is full of more information than we could imagine or even retain. While this is an exciting fact, it can also make for long tiresome searches as you wade through pages of results. Great Plains Communications has a few tips to help streamline your search.

  1. To help with a more specific search, try using the AROUND feature. It allows you to find articles with two key words not only on the same page, but inside a specific number of words apart. For example, if you wanted to search for articles on Selena Gomez and lipstick within 8 words of each other, it would look like the following:

“Selena Gomez” AROUND(8) “Lipstick”

  1. Instead of including an additional topic in your search, maybe you want to find results excluding a topic. For that you would use the minus sign. For example, if you wanted to search for washers and dryers but didn’t want the stacked option, it would look like:

“washer and dryer -stacked”

  1. You have found an article you like, but it is long. Do a quick search of the article for a key word or phrase by pressing Control + F (Windows) or Command + F (Mac).
  2. You have been working hard and finally found the information you have been looking for, but you accidentally close the tab. In most modern browsers, just press Control + Shift + T (Windows) or Command + Shift + T (Mac) and it will come right back up.

Last Chance for Back-to-School Special!

Don’t miss our Back-to-School Special, as it comes to a close next week! Not only can you save money by bundling services, but right now you can also receive up to a $100 bill credit.

Great Plains Communications is excited to celebrate the launch of NEW services and NEW options in your area, along with NEW tools on our website.


NEW Bundle Offer

Combine services and save up to 37%

$100 Bill Credit for new customers who bundle all three services*

$50 Bill Credit for new customers who bundle two services

$50 Bill Credit for existing customers who add one or more service

FREE Installation


NEW Bundle

Streaming Bundle**
Access your favorite prime time entertainment and news in real-time with our Basic Cable package, while streaming additional content on your Smart TV or tablet utilizing a high-speed Internet connection.


NEW Tools

Visit our newly updated, forward thinking website, complete with interactive tools to help you determine the best service options for your home with the “What Speed Do You Need?” and “Build a Bundle” tools.


If you have questions over what services we offer in your area, or would like to sign up, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.


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