5 Kid-friendly Streaming Platforms You’ll Want for Holiday Break

Will the long, cold, and sometimes boring days over holiday break have your kids reaching for their screens? A bit of screen time here and there doesn’t have to be a bad thing. And with family-friendly streaming platforms, you can rest assured that your kids are watching videos safe for little eyes—even without your constant oversight.

Plan ahead for those much-needed moments of peace, quiet, and screen time now by downloading these family-friendly streaming platforms today.

  1. PBS KIDS Video

With the award-winning, educational PBS KIDS Video app, you don’t have to feel guilty about letting your kids indulge in some screen-time this holiday break.

Little ones love how easy it is to watch live TV in the app or play their favorite shows on-demand, including Curious George, Daniel Tiger, and Sesame Street. And parents love how the “Weekly Pick” feature suggests a fresh set of videos geared toward keeping young brains mentally engaged even while out of school. Best of all, this app is totally free!

  1. DisneyNOW

With all the talk lately about the new Disney Plus streaming platform, don’t overlook the kid-friendly DisneyNOW! This app provides access to the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Radio Disney, and Disney Junior in a few taps.

Simple thumbnails of favorite characters make it easy for kids to quickly find the shows and games that feature that character… which makes it easy for you to savor a few more moments with a steaming cup of coffee. You’ll need a TV-provider login for total access, but some content is available for free.

  1. YouTube Kids

You probably haven’t thought of YouTube as a very safe option for unmonitored screen time. And you were mostly right… until now.

YouTube Kids has been designed with kids in mind (think big images and eye-catching bright colors). More importantly, robust parental control settings make it much more kid-friendly than the original site. It even comes complete with a timer option, so parents can limit screen time in just a few taps.

  1. Amazon FreeTime

Can’t decide if you want your kids to have access to Disney, PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, music, games, Audible books or something else more on the educational side? With Amazon FreeTime, you don’t have to decide. This platform offers all of the above and more.

Parental controls make it easy to set a certain age range, allow only parent-approved purchases, and lock games and videos until educational goals are reached. Your kids will love the easy access to popular Amazon originals, such as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Tumble Leaf. And you’ll love that you can add this to your Prime membership for just $2.99 a month!

  1. Nickelodeon

With Nickelodeon, you can choose between not one, not two, but three different apps. Nick, Nick Jr., and Noggin each have their own platform.

Kids’ favorites like Peppa Pig, Blues Clues, and Dora the Explorer can be accessed for free (with a TV log-in) on the Nick and Nick Jr. apps. For just $7.99 a month, Noggin offers a plethora of interactive games, popular shows, and videos that promote learning with a wide variety of topics such as shapes, numbers, letters, art, music, manners, and more.

It’s no secret that screen time can help you keep the peace on long winter days—but that peace will be gone faster than you can say “Bah-humbug” if a game or video stops to buffer! (Why is it always during the most inconvenient moment possible?!)

Save yourself that headache and call Race today to ensure that you have internet service that will work when you need it most!

How Smart Technology Can Cut Your Medical Bills

If your family’s health care expenses keep growing every year, we have good news. Emerging smart health technologies like telemedicine and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices can lower your out-of-pocket medical costs.

Essentially a virtual doctor’s visit, telemedicine uses video conference technology, such as FaceTime or Skype, to communicate with a healthcare provider. There are many quality on-demand medical services available, most of which cost under $50 to remotely connect with a doctor to receive a diagnosis and a prescription if necessary. Nowadays, health care plans will often include a remote doctor’s service. The embedded technology within IoMT devices capture and share specific health data with your doctor over the internet or during a telemedicine visit.

Here’s our guide to IoMT devices your family can use to cut medical costs.

Spare yourself a Doctor’s visit with a Smart Speaker

Millions of Americans visit the ER every year as a result of accidents at home.  Amazon Echo with Alexa offers the Mayo Clinic First Aid skill, which provides instructions that may prevent an unnecessary ER visit. (Call 911 for life-threatening injuries.) Using Alexa, the voice-controlled personal assistant, you can ask questions about dozens of common issues, including fever, cuts, burns, and spider bites. For emergencies, Alexa can advise you on how to care for the injured or sick person until help arrives.

Manage your asthma with an app

Asthma affects more than 26 million Americans, including 6 million children. Propeller attaches to most asthma inhalers and Bluetooth spirometers. The built-in sensors track medicine dosing frequency. Upload the data to a free, downloadable app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer to better manage asthma symptoms and triggers. You can share treatment reports over the internet with your doctor or during a telemedicine visit.

Share reports with your Pediatrician

Ear infections are a very common childhood illness. Cellscope Oto has built-in technology to assess if your little one’s ears are healthy or infected. The portable otoscope records video of the eardrum using your iPhone and a downloadable companion app called Seymour. It can then send the video to an on-call doctor through the app and receive a reply in less than two hours. You can also email the video to your pediatrician or share during your child’s virtual doctor visit.

Track your cold & flu symptoms

When cold and flu season comes around, the Kinsa Smart Digital Thermometer is a must for your family. Just plug the thermometer into a smartphone with the free app installed, and it will provide a temperature reading in eight seconds or less. The app tracks symptoms, diagnoses, and medications to share with your doctor. You can also set up a telemedicine visit directly through the app.

Talk to your doctor today about these smart health technology options and how you can use them to lower your family’s health care costs. Make sure you have blazing fast Race internet to ensure that your smart medical devices work correctly and that you have a good remote connection with your doctor.

 

What Exactly are Internet of Things (IoT) Devices?

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical devices, such as laptops, vehicles, and security systems, that communicate with humans or other connected devices.

These devices can do everything from monitoring your health and diet to securing your property, or even reminding you to buy more paper towels. But they all have one thing in common…they require a fast, reliable internet connection from a company like Race.

Wearable Devices

A smartwatch or step tracker can track your calories, heart rate, or the number of steps you take in a single day. These IoT devices can share this information with your doctor. This gives you and your health team the opportunity to discuss ways to improve your health. As you make changes, the device can monitor your progress and encourage you to continue living a healthier lifestyle.

Home Security

Internet-connected cameras, peepholes, doorbells, locks, and other security features enable you to monitor your home 24/7. These devices are fully accessible from a smartphone or tablet, providing you with real-time information. Should a breach occur, the IoT device can alert law enforcement for you.

Smart Appliances & Gadgets

Even if you don’t want your showerhead communicating with your toaster, many smart household appliances now anticipate your needs by assessing the data they collect. Today’s coffee maker can have your coffee perked and ready to your specifications. Are you almost out of milk or eggs? A text from your refrigerator tells you what you need at the grocery store. Don’t walk into a cold, dark house when you get home from work; control your home lighting to come on at specific times or by voice activation when you enter a room. Plus, you can program your thermostat to monitor the house and adjust interior comfort as needed to save money on your utility bill.

Shopping

Always listening and ever-attentive, voice assistants such as Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod make it simple to purchase items. Just tell Alexa to buy it via your enabled Amazon account and wait for the delivery. Not ready to shop this minute? Just ask Alexa to add eggs and cream to your shopping list.

As IoT’s relevance grows, let Race make sure you’re ready for the next innovation – order Race’s fastest and most reliable internet service today!

Secure Your Home The Wireless Way

Home security is an area in which secure, high-speed internet from Race really shines, by providing the reliable, robust connectivity needed between you, your home, and first responders—whether you’re actually home or not.

Thinking of upgrading to wireless security? Consider some basic choices, including whether to go with do-it-yourself kits or professionally installed systems. Expect the price to rise depending on the monitoring and equipment.

Choices include video doorbells, indoor and outdoor security cameras, motion sensors, door break alarms, and smart locks (including some that unlock when a smoke detector goes off).

You can choose how much coverage you want by adding window, door, and motion sensors in various configurations. Sirens are another option. And don’t forget outdoor security lighting.

The Power of Wireless Integration

Smart home security systems allow you to customize and control from afar via apps on your smartphone or tablet, powered by your home WiFi network. Depending on the system, alerts can be delivered by text, email, phone call, or all of the above. Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers also can be used.

All these systems can be integrated, too, using a wall control panel that also communicates with your smartphone and can include more functions such as turning on and off lights and controlling the thermostat.

Some Brand Names

Video doorbells already have proven themselves invaluable in the battle against porch pirates, those thieves who prey on package deliveries. They also act as a kind of caller ID for the front door. The best-known names here include Ring, Nest, and Vivint.

Nest and Ring also are among those suppliers of configurable, expandable do-it-yourself systems, as is SimpliSafe.

Professionally installed systems are still a specialty for venerable names like ADT and Brinks, and relative newcomer CPI.

The Price To Pay

A simple DIY video doorbell can cost from less than $15 to about $200, depending on the device.

According to HomeAdvisor, an average security system installation costs about $1,500. That webpage includes a project estimator that can give you a better idea based on what your system would include.

As for professionally installed and monitored home security systems, expect to pay from $300 to $1,600, according to ProtectAmerica, and then $30 or so a month for monitoring. Some also require long-term contracts.

So yes, there’s a price to pay. But just think of the convenience and safety. That’s why they’re called smart home security systems, after all.

And before you invest, don’t forget to check with Race to make sure you have the high-speed internet you need to power these wireless devices and more.

11 Jobs You Can Do from Home (That Aren’t MLMs)

Are you looking for flexible, part-time work that fits around your kids’ busy schedules? Are you dreaming of kissing that long commute goodbye? Do you want to work without interruption from coworkers (unless that “coworker” is your adorable, furry pet)?

If so, then remote work just might be for you. And you don’t have to join an MLM and sell products to friends on Facebook to make it happen! Read on to discover 11 jobs you can do from home with just a computer and a strong internet connection from Race.

#1: Personal/Virtual Assistant

Help business owners with various admin tasks like scheduling meetings, booking travel arrangements, posting to social media, answering emails, and more—all from the comfort of your home office.

#2: Data Entry Specialist

With an eye for detail and at least a touch of tech-savviness (no college degree required!), you can work from home by entering written data into computers for businesses that need help staying organized and up-to-date.

#3: Transcriptionist 

Especially common in the legal and medical fields, work-from-home transcriptionists listen to audio recordings of interviews, meetings, speeches, and more, then type a written account of what they hear.

#4: Customer Service Representative

Answer questions, troubleshoot problems, take orders, and more as a remote customer service representative. Some positions will require you to take phone calls, while others may simply demand you answer emails and engage in chat conversations with customers. 

#5: Copywriting and Editing 

Not to be confused with the legal world of copyrights, a copywriter writes and edits blogs, articles, press releases, marketing emails, website copy, and more for businesses in need of the written word.

#6: Photography

Many photographers start by capturing memories for friends and family, but if you want to work only from home (rather than at weddings and in local parks), consider offering product photography for businesses or working as a freelance editor for other photographers.

#7: Graphic Designer

Graphic designers can work remotely for a company or freelance for clients to design everything from logos to brochures to websites. While a college degree can be helpful, it’s also possible to learn the skills you need through affordable or free online courses.

#8: Artist/Maker

Do you love making jewelry? Home decor? Clothing? Leather goods? Whether you’re a professional artist or a talented hobbyist, sites like Etsy make it easy to set up an online shop and sell your handmade work to customers around the world. 

#9: Teacher/Tutor

Make a difference in the life of a child as a remote teacher or tutor. You can work full-time for an online school or use sites like VIPkid and Tutor.com to find part-time work that fits your schedule.

#10: Bookkeeper/Accountant

Help businesses track financial transactions as a bookkeeper or take on more responsibility (think handling taxes and big-picture planning) as a professional accountant. Both roles can be done from home, and there’s no shortage of businesses that could use your help.

#11: Rental Host

Turn your knack for hosting into a work-from-home gig when you list your home (or even just a few rooms) on sites like Airbnb or Vrbo. Plus, this can be a fun way to meet new people and help visitors to your town make memories they’ll treasure forever!

How to Find Work from Home Jobs

Are you ready to embrace the benefits of working from home? Sites like Upwork or Freelancer make it easy to find and apply for short-term or part-time roles with businesses all over the world. If you’re looking for a steady, full-time position, sites like Remote are a good place to start.

No matter which work-from-home job you’re hoping to land, remember that you’ll need reliable internet to make it happen. Call Race today to make sure you have the connection you need to make your work-from-home dreams come true!