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Rural life does have some technological trade-offs. If you find your Facebook status is, “Checking when satellite Internet in my area will be ready— again,” take heart. Service is expanding. In the meantime, check out these options to bring technology into your rural surroundings.
Equipment to boost cell phone reception is available. Signal boosters for Wi-Fi and phone service work exceptionally well in areas unobstructed by mountains, forests and large buildings. Internal and external antennae are available and easy to install.
Signal boosters can be placed anywhere in your home or even in your car. Make sure you install your signal booster properly. According to the FCC, if used improperly, signal boosters can interfere with wireless networks. They can also cause disruptions in communications systems, including emergency calls and 911.
There are also antennae you can pair with your booster to ensure uninterrupted cell service and Internet connection. These devices can be a lifesaver for rural homes and businesses. Check antennae regulations in your area and register with the FCC.
Bluetooth technology allows you to transfer data and talk at the same time. Bluetooth.com recommends using your smartphone to tether your laptop or PC to create your own personal hotspot when one isn’t available. There are great apps for your iPhone that make living in the country more enjoyable and safer, too.
Rural living doesn’t mean the area is crime-free. Security is important to protect your home and allow proper response time for authorities. Installing remote cameras on gates and fences allows you to see who is coming onto your property before they reach your house. Integrating text alerts and monitoring services keep you informed when your kids leave or return home from school.
If you have a large piece of property, walk the perimeter every day or so and keep an eye out for anything out of place. It could be an animal or an intruder. Set up an alarm or camera in your barn, shed or other small structures. If you use motion-sensing lights, spread them out and make sure they are visible from your house. A radio transmitter can be set up at the front of your driveway or property to send a signal if someone is there.