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Staying Connected with Family

Monday, August 20, 2018

Summer is over, and, for some, that means no more family get-togethers until the holidays. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Now more than ever there are many ways to connect with your loved ones — no matter how far away they are. There are, however, a few things you will need beforehand to do so, mainly ensuring that your Internet solution is up to par.

Kinetic Internet and Getting the Speed You Need

Enter Kinetic Internet, our high-speed Internet solution. With Kinetic Internet, you can get speeds starting at 25 Mbps and going up to One Gig.

So, what speed do you need? First, enter your name and address here to see if what speeds are available in your area.  Think about all your devices that run at once: mobile devices, computers and other smart technology.

Note that some devices use more bandwidth than others, and multiple devices connected to your Windstream Internet can slow down your Internet speed. Go ahead and do some research on Internet speed requirements for all the bandwidth-consuming activities you do on the web, such as video chatting or streaming your favorite shows. (Check out our quick take on our bandwidth breakdown page.)

Equipment

Now that you know how much speed you need, it’s time to delve into what devices will best fit you and your family. What are your choices? Smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Note that if you choose to use a desktop, you will likely need a webcam as most do not come equipped with a camera feature.

Ways to Keep in Touch

1. Email

Put away that pen and paper, and do away with snail mail. One of the easiest ways to connect is email, of course! Family updates can come as often — or as little — as you like. Just remember that the frequency will depend on how quickly folks are to respond.

Emails are also great for sending along important moments that your extended family won’t want to miss but will have to, like the little one’s first recital or prom. Attach photos and videos, or send a link to a Dropbox account or other cloud-based storage services with all the accounts for the big day.

2. Messaging Apps

Messaging apps include much more than the ability to send and receive messages. Many — like Whatsapp, now a part of Facebook — have features that allow you to send photos and videos, share other types of documents and group chat — all using your Internet connection instead of your cell phone plan. Whatsapp also lets you sync your chats to your computer, so you can start on one device where you left off on another.

Other apps, like LIfe360, combine messaging with other safety features like driving details, including top speeds and dangerous driving events. With Life360 specifically, parents can create circle “members” with immediate family, friends, caregivers or others and customize messaging, locations haring and check-ins with specific circles.

3. Video Chatting Apps

For the ultimate face-to-face time, there’s video chatting. And like everything else that involves technology, there are more than a few ways to achieve this. The easiest is through your smartphone or tablet (for iOS users, Facetime). While there isn’t an equivalent for Android users, many video chat options — like Skype, Google Duo and even Whatsapp — all have phone apps for video chatting.

For each of these apps, you’ll want to read the bandwidth requirements it will take for you to run the app seamlessly so that all of your time together is quality time.

Try out these three ways to stay connected with your family using your Windstream Internet, and never miss a beat!