This year was definitely one for the books. But the bottom line is that we stuck the course, stayed true to our mission of putting our customers first, and continued to provide the best service we can. So as we say goodbye to 2020, we thought we’d take a look back at the best we shared. Miss anything? Here’s your chance to catch up.
Online safety and security
We’re always looking out for our customers and community, so we often share articles that not only give you knowledge to understand what’s going on out there, but information to take action to protect your home, family and business.
Like many others around the world, we’ve been working from home for eight months or more due to the pandemic and it doesn’t look like that will end soon. Most Americans working from home have created office spaces that provide the tools and tech they need, but without the professional IT staff on call they are used to.
Since it looks like working from home will continue for quite some time, learning how to become your own tech support will go a long way toward keeping your stress level down and your productivity up. With that in mind, here are a few tips from IT pros and experienced WFH professionals that all remote workers should know.
#1: WiFi is really, really important
If you’re working online every day, you must have internet service you can rely on. There’s nothing more frustrating, or anti-productive, as the inability to connect and communicate with your coworkers, colleagues or clients. Secure and stable access to the internet is essential for most all businesses to keep running. Here are a few tips for making sure your internet is up to speed:
Kristy CooperTechnology tips for working from home long-term
We have some exciting news! We’re happy to introduce the Softcom Smart Router, now available to all Softcom customers. These cutting-edge routers have been developed with the end goal of making our customers’ experience better, faster, stronger, and with an increased ability to control key issues for both home and business users.
If you love the idea of easy device management, robust parental controls, streamlined troubleshooting and advanced customization options, this is what you’re looking for.
Smart Routers are available to Softcom customers for a low monthly rental fee of $10.00. For customers that wish to set up a mesh network, it will be $5.00 per month per device (a minimum of 2 devices).
Kristy CooperElevate Your Internet with Softcom Smart Routers
Cloud computing. You’ve heard of it, but you might be thinking “where is this cloud and how does it work?” We’ve been hearing from customers – both business and residential – who are making the switch to cloud-based systems. If you’d like to learn more about how the cloud works, and how it will change the way you work, we’ve got you covered.
What is cloud computing?
For starters, using cloud-based systems allows you to store and access data, software, and programs via the internet instead of using physical storage drives. The technology is quick, user-friendly, secure, affordable, and flexible. You can access it anywhere, anytime as long as you have internet access.
Kristy CooperHow Cloud Computing is Changing the Way Companies Do Business
Wireless networks are at the heart of practically every business these days, no matter how big or small. Every person who walks through your door – employee or customer – will need to use the internet at some point, and if your Wifi setup isn’t reliable enough, fast enough or secure enough, you risk negative repercussions. Lost revenue, damaged reputation, frustrated customers, and missed opportunities are just the tip of the iceberg if your Wifi isn’t doing its job.
Every business needs a WiFi setup that’s reliable, fast, and secure. However, getting there is often easier said than done. Every business is unique, which means every business Wifi must be set up correctly to meet those unique needs. A large vineyard operating across thousands of acres with multiple offices and locations needs an entirely different configuration than a small chain of family-owned restaurants. Other scenarios can include financial organizations with multiple branches and high security requirements versus home-based offices working from remote locations.
Kristy CooperCustom Wifi Setups for Your Unique Business Needs
Wireless data allows us to access the power of the internet from practically anywhere we want to, and a recent study shows that Americans are putting that easy access to use as wireless data use more than doubled in the U.S. in 2018 as compared to 2017 and continues to grow at an impressive rate. In fact, mobile data use was up more than 82 percent growth last year – more data than was used in the first six and a half years of this decade all together.
This growth in voice calls, texts, and data is driven in part by the increasing number of wireless devices in the U.S. In 2018, Americans connected another 21.5 million mobile devices for a total of 421.7 million devices. But it’s not just about smartphones anymore as people are using data-only wireless devices that connect on-the-go such as watches, cars, health and fitness monitors, and household items with use growing 10 percent in 2018 to reach 139.4 million devices.
Kristy CooperU.S. consumers use record amount of wireless data in 2018
Did you know that ISPs are required to disclose certain aspects of their service to their customers, including things like data throttling? Here’s what that means, and why Softcom will never participate in blocking or throttling internet access for its customers.
Throttling is when an internet service provider (ISP) purposely slows down your connection speeds. We’ve rounded up the following information about throttling to educate our readers about this practice, give you the tools you need to research and take action, and assure you that Softcom does not participate in this practice.
Kristy CooperWhat is internet throttling and how do I check for it?
Everyone loves to clear out the clutter when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Here’s a new take on that: Make sure you’ve got internet service that isn’t a mess by using our checklist to identify what it takes to make sure you’ve got the very best.
Understand your data needs
Activities like streaming, video conferencing and gaming will need a higher level of service than someone who just uses their computers for email and online shopping. If you have a home office or multiple devices that will all be online at once, this can also affect the level of service. Understanding this and discussing it with an experienced customer service representative will elevate your online experience asap. To learn more about connection speeds and choosing the right plan, read “What internet speed do I need.”
Kristy CooperHow to pick the right internet service for you
Signing up for internet service is easy. Deciding on the speed and level of service you want? That can be the hard part. Some of the most frequently asked questions we get are about understanding the difference in our 4G LTE plans, especially when it comes to connection speeds.
Here at Softcom, we don’t sell plans based on data usage because we offer true unlimited data for our customers, no matter what plan they choose and without affecting the speed of service. Other companies don’t do this, and in fact will reduce connection speeds once their customers exceed their set data caps within a billing cycle. Depending on how much streaming or data-consuming work is done from the home or office, this could result in a week or two of fast speeds, followed by frustratingly slower connections until the billing cycle resets.
It takes a perfect synergy of elements to make a great wine. The right kind of soil, perfect weather conditions, healthy grapes and a productive harvest are all part of the process. While winemaking has been around for centuries, and vintners still depend on many traditional methods to make a great wine, technology is making inroads into vineyards and proving its value in helping to make a better wine.
Kristy CooperCalifornia vineyards and high-speed internet – a perfect pairing
We believe that everyone deserves fast, reliable internet service no matter where they live or work. Softcom brings the experience, infrastructure, and technology to stand behind our vision. And we’re laser-focused on giving our customers the fast connections, exceptional customer service, and simple, affordable pricing they deserve.