Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Tag: Electronics

Tips to Keeping your Electronics Cool this Summer

We are in the middle of summer and the temperatures are staying hot and steady. Are you keeping your electronics cool through the heat? Extreme heat can be potentially detrimental to your expensive gadgets. Great Plains Communications has some tips on keeping not only your portable devices cool, but your home computer as well.

  1. Be mindful of where you leave your devices. It may sound like common sense, but maybe you needed to run into the store or class for an hour or two and you left your laptop on the back seat of your car. This kind of heat can cause major damage to the battery and other sensitive electronics. And if temperatures got high enough, it could even affect the connections between different components of your device.
  2. Consider your case. Just as black clothing attracts more sun, a black case on your phone or tablet could do the same. Instead of buying a whole new case, consider getting a foamed neoprene sleeve or cover for summer months. The foam (which is used for wetsuits) will not only add extra protection from clumsiness, but the material will also keep it cooler than most plastics.
  3. Watch your screen. It’s true that many e-readers are glare-free and can be used in the sun. However, when it isn’t in use, don’t let it sit out. Too much contact with sunlight can cause the LCDs in your screen to deteriorate and shorten the lifespan of your device.
  4. Don’t forget your home electronics. Just because your desktop computer is inside your home, doesn’t mean it isn’t at risk from heat damage. Make sure to keep electronics out of direct sunlight. Also, always leave room for airflow around your equipment and never cover any vents or fans. Most computers, routers, and other devices have vents in the back or on the side. If they are placed in tight areas, the air pumped through the vents will gradually become hotter and hotter, which could ultimately overheat your machine.

6 Tips for Keeping Electronics Safe in the Summer Heat

As portable devices such as laptops, iPads and smart phones continue to increase in use so does the potential for these devices to get fried in the summer heat.

Here are a few simple ways to protect your electronics this summer season:

  1. It may sound like common sense, but don’t leave your electronics inside your car during the summer months.  If you must stow your devices, place them in the trunk or underneath a seat where the sun can’t reach them and they will stay at least a little cooler.
  2. Keep devices in the shade when not using them.  If you are lounging by the pool or at a BBQ, make sure that you have a shady place to put devices when not in use.
  3. Take care when using them, too.  If you are going to be using the device for a long time, it’s advisable to find a shady area to protect your device from the summer sun.  You can also try a cooling pad.
  4. Store your device in a foamed neoprene cover.  The same material that is used to create wetsuits conducts heat far less efficiently than cotton or other natural fibers. That lack of conduction means that your device stays much cooler than if left out in the open.  Certain kinds of plastic can also help.
  5. Don’t leave the screen out in the sun.  It’s true that e-readers like the Kindle are glare-free and can be used in the sun, but when it isn’t in use, don’t let the screen sit out.  Spending too long in the sun can bleach the screen.
  6. Be vigilant at home, too.  Keep electronics out of direct sunlight.  Also, if you are prone to turning off the air conditioning in your home while you’re away, think about setting the thermometer to 80 degrees instead to ensure that your home doesn’t get too hot for your devices to handle.


Do You Know Your Speed Needs?


For many households, having Internet now means having a wireless connection.  With the rise of wireless Internet came the rise of  “wi-fi” devices.  TV’s, gaming platforms and even refrigerators can now connect to the Internet wirelessly.  However, with every new Internet ready device, comes a little less available bandwidth for the connected devices already in your home.

When you are trying to decide what level of speed you want for your Internet connection, it’s important to think about all of the devices that are going to be using your bandwidth.  Don’t know what in your home counts?  Here’s a quick list of devices that may be taking up space:

  • Your cell phone – When your cell phone connects to the Internet, it prefers to use a wi-fi connection.
  • Any gaming devices – Game systems like the Wii don’t just play games anymore.  The PS3, Xbox, and the Wii all have wi-fi built in and will connect automatically to the Internet after the first set-up.   For those with kids, it’s also important to know that most handheld gaming devices also have wi-fi connections.
  • Your TV and BluRay player – If you have bought a new TV or BluRay player in the last year, it may be wi-fi enabled.  These devices will normally say so right on the product.

While it’s not likely that someone will have every device on this list, it serves as a starting place to get you thinking about your Internet needs.  If you notice that your connection gets slow when using your average number of devices (which will be unique to every household), it may be time to upgrade.

To find out what speeds are available in your area, call our Customer Response Center at 1-888-343-8014.