Looking back at the top technology products for the last ten years, they all have one thing in common: they connect to the internet. From the Nintendo Wii and Blackberry 6210 to this Christmas' must-have product, the Apple iPad Mini, gadgets need internet connectivity to work and integrate into modern life.
There's no question, these gadgets cost a lot of money. An iPad Mini will currently set you back about £250 on the high street, while the costs of smartphones and games consoles often also run into the hundreds. In today's economic climate, people expect to get good value for money. When they make the decision to invest a significant amount in a brand new gadget, they absolutely expect the service they receive and overall experience to be of a very high level. They quite rightly want to take it home, not spend another penny on it and it work like a dream.
But sadly these internet-connected gadgets do not always work like a dream - far too often, it can actually be a nightmare experience. The reason for this is because while gadgets lovers today are spending their hard-earned cash on shiny new technology for the home, they are not investing in the background technology that makes them work to their best potential.
For example, you've just spent £250 on a iPad Mini. However, you're still settling with the cheap router you picked up online or got free with your broadband package. The issue with having low performance networking technology means you are not getting the best or most reliable internet coverage at home. You'll be falling short in terms of quality, coverage and reliability, resulting in a sub-standard WiFi network. So, you're subsequently having a poor experience when using your iPad Mini - web pages are taking a painstakingly long time to load and it's forever falling off your Wi-Fi network. Not only this, it can even mean you keep having to rely on the 3G functionality on the device, with the potential to run up huge bills by exceeding the data usage allowance.
So, what is the key to getting the most your of your new gadget investments? Rob Wells, director at NETGEAR provides the following advice:
1) Check which router you currently have and make sure it is of a good specification. The more products you have connected to your home network via wifi the more demand you have for bandwidth from your router. If you have multiple products connected then we recommend Dual Band N600 or a Dual Band AC router to give you the best performance.
2) Ensure that you have the necessary security added to your network. For example, make sure that your network is password protected so that other people can't use it or 'piggy back' on your bandwidth without your knowledge.
3) Look at products to improve your home network, there is most likely a solution available to solve any problems you are experiencing. For example, if you have areas in your home where the wifi signal can not reach then range extenders or powerline can be a great, relatively inexpensive solution for you.