Most of us are spending a lot more time at home than we’re used to – a lot more time. And we’re also having to up our tech game. After all, if we can’t go out into the world, we want the world to come to us. Here are five tech hacks to help make your “new” home life easier – and cheaper.

Ditch the landline
Landline telephones are so last decade, and they’re expensive once you factor in line rental and call charges. With the emergence of new digital phone service providers on the market, you can now ditch your landline for a landline alternative that’s free – you only pay for the airtime you use. Some current deals include one that gives you a home phone, with your same old telephone number, and lets you receive your calls on your mobile or internet browser (via an app) or on a VoIP handset (which you’ll need to buy one). All you do is pay for airtime. Some service providers even give you a little on airtime on sign-up to test it out and see if you like it. If you don’t, you ditch it. If you do – get more airtime and away you go.

Get an assistant
You don’t need an iPhone to get an assistant. Download the Google App and you can ask Google to do all sorts of things for you – like setting a timer while you’re cooking, or keeping a shopping list for you, or telling jokes. Go on, try it … “Ok, Google – tell me a joke …”

Find a deal
Now that home internet connectivity demand has soared, both internet service providers and mobile operators are offering a bunch of good deals, without long-term contracts either. They’ve realised month to month actually works better for many consumers. If you’re on fibre, ask your ISP about free line speed upgrades, which will help keep everyone at home connected and running smoothly.

Power up
These days, you’re living on your phone, and/or your tablet, and possibly your laptop, all at the same time. Basically your life has become a juggling act of battery life and power points. A power bank can help with that (and loadshedding, when it makes a re-appearance). Ranging in price from R100, these portable marvels are available for phones, tablets and laptops at electronics retailers, online and in-store.

Switch it up
Wifi-controlled smart plugs are becoming a thing. Basically – plug it into the wall and then plug, for example, a lamp into it. Connect the plug to your wifi and set it to turn the light on and off at certain times on certain days. Useful as a security feature or to ensure you’re not sitting in the dark when you forget to get up and turn on the lights at dusk. Some of them work with smart assistants like Alexa, Siri and the Google Assistant too.

Life under lockdown doesn’t have to be limited. With a bit of imagination – and some fun tech – you can stay connected, save some money, and smarten up your living space.

Supplied by Samantha Perry PR

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