The internet has changed modern civilization in big ways. Even byproducts of the internet--from ordering products online to betting way too into social media--have made a major impact.
It can be hard to see how modern technology has changed the world at the home level. Sure, smartphones, computers, televisions, and wireless internet are easy to see, but what's going on in the background?
To understand just how far home technology has come--and where it will go next--here are a few areas where lives are impacted in big, yet unseen ways.
Your Phone Probably Isn't On Copper Anymore
Traditional phone lines operated on a system of copper wires. Just like electricity, a signal travels through a network of cables, switches, and hubs to deliver voice and data.
Many people assume that their phone systems are largely unchanged. Especially with people who are concerned about emergency services, the tried and true copper connection seems to be a great way to keep an emergency lifeline after a blizzard or hurricane.
That was a good idea a decade ago, and was true for a few fleeting years as internet-based networking grew in use. Now, the service providers and exchanges that handle your communications--for voice, internet, and television--have moved away from cable.
While your home may still have copper indoors, you're still connected to an IP-based network built with any number of systems. Thankfully, these robust systems are more reliable and more robust than old copper networks.
The odd period of time when Voice over IP was becoming an enterprise tool and
not designed for emergency services is responsible for a lot of suspicion in older households. While there are still some modems from older Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or with customers who refuse to upgrade their network devices, newer systems are even more capable of staying online for emergencies.
Even better, major ISPs will offer battery backups for their devices to keep multiple lines of communication up. The internet may not be up, but many services from phones to security systems using cellular data can operate long after copper systems would have failed.
How long will the batteries last before total failure? Can you use solar panels to keep your phones working in an emergency?
And how do solar panels work?
All of these questions are involved in other massive industry changes that come from the internet's constant revolution. Whether you're being spoiled by technology or using technology to learn more about the natural world, a deeper look at the tech that influences you can teach countless lessons.
Smart Home Security
You can monitor, record, and even communicate across today's
cloud security systems without spending thousands of dollars. Even though smart home security has a lot of new and unfamiliar features on the surface, there are even more working in the background.
At the core of the smart home economy is the security risks that come with anything internet-related. If it can connect to the internet, it can be accessed by the growing number of curious, mischievous, and sometimes sadistic hackers.
Or at least people using tools created by hackers. No one respects script kiddies, but they can still cause damage.
The race to secure smart home devices is most dire in camera systems, and especially in home security systems. Why would you leave your security system
exposed to cyber criminals?
Because of the race tighten smart home tech security, new ways of hiding and locking data have evolved in the hands of programmers racing against time. New methods of verifying that your updates aren't being abused by hackers, and that you have a secure way to change your passwords are always being developed.
Smart security cameras and the Internet of Things (IoT) in general are about to take advantage of another major leap in technology. Edge computing is a method of doing more work without talking to the cloud, and it can make all of your smart home devices safer.
As it is, everything you see about cloud computing means connecting to the internet and allowing internet-based computers do the work. It's an emerging constant ebb and flow in computer history; the world went from mainframes and dummy terminals to personal computers that do it all, then to servers (new age mainframes) and clients (smarter terminals).
Now there are more layers. It may seem complex, but it gives your technology more options. If you don't want to communicate with a server to finish a task, do it on your device. If you want the server to do all of the work, let it. If you just need to get quick information from a server before doing the work on your own device, edge computing is here to help.
The technology you use every day involves bringing together small projects, independent ideas, pet products, industry best practices, and lessons learned from dangerous activities.
To learn more, contact a home technology expert to discuss the tech you use the most.