Geek Squad is here to save the day with these insider tips to keep your home running smoothly.
Clogged dryer, dead phone battery, and snail-speed internet slowing down your life? Best Buy's Geek Squad can figure out a solution. Keep reading for their expert tips on how to manage these everyday struggles, and more.
Speed Up Your Home Internet
Not all broadband connections are created equally, especially if you have a house full of gamers or streaming movie fans. Check the speed of your existing connection by visiting the Geek Squad Internet speed test page, which measures your connection in Mbps (Megabits per second). At least 3 Mbps or higher is best for streaming video and 5-10 Mbps is best for HD quality video. Compare what you’re getting to what your Internet package provides and contact your Internet Service Provider to upgrade if necessary.
If your router is more than three years old, it may not be able to handle the number of connected devices you’ve added or all the new streaming content you’re using, so it's best to invest in a newer router with more powerful processors that sort data quickly and efficiently.
Keep Credit Card Information In Your Wallet
Make sure you only shop from reputable retailers and double check the web address before sending your information. While it's tempting, never store your credit card or other personal information on websites, which could be vulnerable to hackers and scam artists. If you can't live without the time savings that storing your card information provides, use cards with a low credit limit.
Avoid a Sluggish Dishwasher
Every month, clean your dishwasher by emptying it out and starting it at the highest temperature setting. Once the basin starts to fill, drop in one cup of white vinegar to break up soap residue, clean out the pumps and dissolve food particles.
Keep Your Software Updated
Computers and other connected devices all use software to control their network hardware. Computer operating systems like Windows or Mac OS X will check for software updates automatically, but if you do run into issues with your network, make sure to check for updated network drivers from the computer’s maker. Tablets and other connected devices may have updated firmware that improves network performance and security, so it’s important to also check for the latest updates.
Protect Yourself with Strong Passwords
If the websites you visit require you to register, be sure to create a strong password and use different passwords for different sites. A strong password is at least eight characters with a variety of letters, numbers, and symbols. Friendly reminder: Never use anything that a hacker could easily guess, such as a birthday, address, or child’s name.
Don’t open an email or click on a link from someone you don’t know. Make sure to install anti-spyware and anti-virus programs, scan regularly, and keep your operating system up-to-date (and have it download and install updates automatically). This will help protect your system in case you forget to check for updates yourself.
Prevent Fridge Leaks
Clean the gaskets—the rubber lining that surrounds refrigerator and freezer doors to keep them tightly closed—with soap and water at least once a month. Food and drink spills can damage gaskets and ultimately destroy them, which could lead to spoiled food or leaks onto your floor.
Sanitize Your Washing Machine
Got a musty smell that just won’t go away? Try this: Empty the washer, drop in one liter of white vinegar, run a hot water cycle, and leave the door open when it’s not in use to dry out the machine.
Conserve Smartphone Battery Life
Close your apps by going to your “Tabs” in Apple and Samsung Galaxy devices, and swipe up to close those you are no longer using. Do this several times a week, or ideally, daily. You can also go into the “Settings” options in iPhone and Android devices to check battery usage from each opened app. Use this setting to change to a low power mode to help conserve battery life.