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Get smoother and faster Wi-Fi with the Deco x20

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Get smoother and faster Wi-Fi with the Deco x20

With many families home-bound, chances are that almost everyone is tethered to the Internet in one form or another. Have you noticed when everyone’s online, things tend to slow to a crawl or not connect at all? Binging on Netflix or YouTube videos, friending on Facebook, taking in a webinar on Zoom, gaming online, watching the news or just plain doing a search on the Internet… We haven’t even mentioned other wireless devices such as smart speakers, security cameras, smart thermostats and more.

There is, however, good news.

The next generation of Wi-Fi technology is already here, which should help when it comes to unreliable or slow Wi-Fi. The TP-Link Deco X20 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System (AX1800) is designed to improve your connection speed and extend your Wi-Fi up to 5,800 sq. ft. to include the far reaches of your home. It’s designed to do away with any dead spots and potentially quadruple the throughput to any device connected to it – up to 150 of them – so devices can stay connected and everyone can enjoy smooth sailing regardless of what they are doing.

The Deco X20 units are small but powerful. Each unit has a builtin 1 GHz Quad-Core processor, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a reset button and four internal antennas. All this comes in a sleek cylindrical unit measuring a mere 4.33 in. wide by 4.49 in. high. It operates on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths and extends your Wi-Fi’s reach by strategically placing individual Deco units around your home.

It uses Mesh technology to ensure you’re always connected, essentially blanketing the entire coverage area and seamlessly operating as a single unified network. In fact, once any device is connected through your Deco X20, it concentrates its signal to that device, keeping the signal fast and efficient, maintaining a solid connection even when moving from room to room.

For added safety and to keep your home network secure, Deco X20 adds an extra layer of protection. It incorporates advanced encryption, keeping your family’s data private and unreadable to others so you can do your banking and other necessary private transactions worry-free.

In addition, Deco X20 creates almost a built-in fence, marking data emanating from your neighbour’s Wi-Fi next door and the surrounding areas to minimize interference and prevent any possible overlap, which could interfere with your system.

There’s more. Deco X20 also includes a lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare which provides features you can personalize, including Antivirus protection, Parental Controls and QoS (Quality of Service), so you can set the priority of devices.

While the system is certainly advanced, set-up is a breeze. With a simple walk-through using its companion app, anyone can have it up and running within 10 minutes. It also pairs with Alexa, so you can control it with simple voice commands.

Deco X20 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System comes with three Deco units, retails for $399.99 and can be found on Amazon as well as most of your favourite electronics retailers.

Greg Gazin is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster, and contributes to canoe.com, Troy Media and Active Life magazine. gadgetguy.ca

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SIMPLY TECH: Phones ON

SIMPLY TECH: Phones ON

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SIMPLY TECH: Phones ON

by Greg Gazin

Save money when travelling

Worried about outrageous phone and data charges, many people turn off their phones when travelling, so that they don’t come home to massive cell phone bills. Rules and regulations are starting to change, and there are now more affordable choices.

Your carrier or service provider may offer special travel add-ons to your current plan. While this would be the most convenient route, it’s not the most economical. Canadian mobile phone and data rates are very expensive compared to other parts of the world. In fact, as a result of a 2016 study by Nordicity Group, CBC reported that Canadians pay much higher rates compared to other G7 countries and Australia. In one example, an entry-level wireless package in Canada was quoted at $41.08 (on average) compared to $17.15 for a comparable package in Germany.

Photo, bigstock.com
Photo, bigstock.com

If you pick up a cheap phone when you’re abroad, you won’t have your apps and contacts with you. A great solution is to purchase a local SIM card and insert it into your own phone. Previously this wasn’t an option for Canadians, as phones sold in Canada were locked with the carrier that you were under contract with. Even if you bought an unlocked phone, it would often be locked with the carrier that it was first used with. This all changed on December 1, 2017 when the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) ruled to update the Canadian Wireless Code of Conduct, giving you the right to have your phone unlocked by your service provider upon your request – at no charge. New phones that were purchased after December 1st are to be unlocked.

The carrier that your phone is locked with, must unlock your phone. If that’s Bell or Rogers, call them and they will do so. Telus can’t help you. If your device was previously lost or stolen, you may be blacklisted. Or, you may have an issue if you have an outstanding balance.

When travelling, you’ll still want to use Wi-Fi whenever you can, but in addition to cheaper calling with an unlocked phone, you’ll be able to leverage lower data rates, which is handy when using maps and apps that require connectivity. You can find local SIM cards just about everywhere, like the airport, electronic shops, gas stations and convenience stores. Often they’ll also work in nearby countries.

If you spend your winters south of the border, companies like Vancouver-based Roam Mobility offers complete Talk+Text+Data monthly plans, which may turn out to be lower than your current bill. You can pick up a SIM card in Canada before you go, including 7-Eleven stores.

Do your homework. Newer smartphones should work globally, but there are always exceptions. A local SIM card, as well as a pay-as-you-go phone, will have a different phone number, so you’ll have to alert family and friends. The advantage is that your number will be local to the country that you’re staying in.

Whether you’re travelling or not, an unlocked phone makes it easier to switch providers, and if you choose to sell it, you’ll have a larger pool of potential buyers if your phone isn’t tethered to a specific carrier.

Greg Gazin (a.k.a The Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg) is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster (host and producer), and contributes to Canoe.com, Troy Media and Active Life.

GadgetGuy.ca


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