The Freedom of a Wireless Home
I recently took on the monumental task of installing hardwood floors. I won’t lie, I love my new floors. Borderline obsessed. Sometimes I catch myself standing in the middle of the living room just staring at them. With the end of the project, however, came the job of getting everything back to where it belonged. This is when I discovered a problem I never knew I had, “Connectivity Clutter.”
There were wires everywhere. AC adapters, audio cables, and USB cords, oh my! Needless to say, in the shuffling of furniture back and forth, a few cables went missing. Like errant socks in the laundry, they were nowhere to be found. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was certain they would show up the moment I went out and bought replacements. So, with my new floors finished, I embarked on a new project: The Wireless Home.
Wifi has been around long enough now that internet LAN cables are the exception rather than the rule. But new technologies are making it more affordable to eliminate just about all the cords in your home. The most obvious place to begin was with the TV and everything connected to it. We’d already reduced some of our wire management needs by purchasing a Smart TV a year ago, giving us the capability to stream Netflix, Hulu and other services directly, without a dongle or HDMI adapter. Still, the TV area remained a rat’s nest. My tireless efforts to keep things untangled included using zip-ties, twist-ties from the grocery store and even twine. After pulling everything apart, I discovered the guiltiest party was our speaker system. Flatscreens have a lot to offer in the way of space-saving design and picture resolution. But let’s be honest, their shape makes it tricky to squeeze in the best sound systems. Sometimes it’s hard to catch those hushed whispers in British dramas. Or maybe, like me, you just prefer cinematic explosions with little more oomph and rumble.
Our auxiliary audio consisted of little more than old computer speakers plugged into the TV. It certainly added texture to the audio, but it also had cords running between each speaker and back to the subwoofer and then to a power cord. It was time to simplify, so onto Craigslist it went. After looking through all the ways I could boost my home audio , I decided on a wireless soundbar and subwoofer combo. Soundbars offer the same superior, crystal-clear sound of traditional speaker systems without taking up all the space. What’s more, this model connected wirelessly to the subwoofer, allowing me to move the bass around the room until I found the perfect corner for the best sound.
It gets better. The soundbar essentially doubles as a stereo, connecting to my phone or laptop using Bluetooth. Who needs a remote when you can control what’s playing from any room in the house? And while I was upgrading the audio, I picked up two pairs of wireless headphones so the wife and I can still watch movies while the kids are asleep. What am I saying? I can watch movies from the kitchen, now that I’m free of my electronic tethers!
The next stop in my connectivity quest was the home office. Since clearing out those pesky network cables years ago, our family has been mostly on laptops now. Even though we can all be online at the same time, we still have to walk into the office to plug in whenever we need to print something. It was time to upgrade to a printer that could handle our new work environment. We opted for an all-in-one printer, which allows us to scan and make copies wirelessly, too. Some models also include capabilities to print from a tablet if you have one. Other features like Google Cloudprint will give you the power to print from literally anywhere; you don’t even need to be in the house.
Our living space is now “connectivity clutter” free. No more cords to keep organized, for the dog to chew through, or the kids to trip on. If you’re in a similar bind with your household technology, consider making your abode a home sweet wireless home. It’s an affordable upgrade that pays you back in ease and convenience. Now, where did I put that subwoofer?