Do You Need a Virtual Private Network?

[8/8/22] As beneficial as the internet can be to empowering individuals and enriching lives, there are negative aspects to being online.

Privacy concerns, disclosed personal information and data, hacking and security breaches, and computer viruses still plague this internet.

Here at DayStarr we do far more than provide fast, reliable Fiber internet.

We work tirelessly to deliver your high-speed internet service as safely and securely as possible. However, you still need to take steps to ensure your privacy and online security, too.

One of the most frequently cited recommendations to protect your privacy online is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

But what exactly is a VPN, and how does it work? And do you really need a VPN?

Below we explain what a VPN is and discuss how it works, so you can make a more informed decision about whether to employ a VPN yourself.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a private network that, once established and enabled, creates a secure “tunnel.” Through the tunnel, data sent and received by your devices online is transmitted to a private server, where the data is encrypted before moving throughout the internet.

In essence, then, through this process, your data is more protected and secure while you’re online.

How do VPNs work?

VPNs utilize applications to transmit and relay online data (emails, browser searches, messages, photos, videos, etc.), to secure servers via the encrypted data tunnels.

Once encrypted data arrives at these secure servers, it gets routed to its final destination, such as a website, email server, or social media app.

The VPN’s encryption process shields your I.P. address (your location online) and other sensitive personal data.

For example, instead of revealing your I.P. address, the VPN’s server’s I.P. address “becomes” your I.P. address, concealing who you are and providing extra protection.

Similarly, by using a VPN, the internet traffic you receive has gone through the same more protected process before reaching your devices.

This sounds helpful—but do I need a VPN?

A VPN is a solid online privacy and security measure.

While some cybersecurity experts still recommend them, technically, you do not need one.

Until recently, VPNs were more necessary than they are today. But technology and online security have improved markedly over the years, with many websites and apps employing strong data encryption, helping enhance online privacy.

People who regularly use public Wi-Fi, such as in coffee shops or airports, are more vulnerable to hacking and cyber-attacks.

VPNs can help protect your devices (and online privacy) in those situations. But you can employ other security and privacy protections that can safeguard your data and internet traffic without using a VPN.

Whether you use a VPN or not, please don’t forget other essential protections, like password managers, anti-virus software, and ad blockers. They can protect your identity and prevent your online activity from being tracked.

Of course, should you have more questions about online security and privacy, we can always help!

How Fiber Internet Creates a Better Gaming Experience

[8/2/2022] No matter the type of game you play, be it an epic role-playing title, a city builder, a tactical battle simulator, or a global strategy game, a faster, more reliable internet connection can make all the difference. When you don’t have to worry about your connection dropping, you can focus on coming out on top against your competition. And the advantages of faster internet for gaming extend well beyond the technical aspects.

Better internet means connecting and communicating with fellow players (whether you’re playing on a team or against them). And if you’re a streamer, you can be confident you’ll stay connected on platforms like Discord, Twitch, or YouTube.

Using the high-speed Fiber Internet delivered to you DayStarr, gamers can be confident their internet will keep up with their game—and create a fantastic experience!

But how exactly does fiber internet improve gaming? And why does fiber’s technological power give gamers the edge they need to best their opponents and fellow players? Can fiber actually make a difference in the results and maybe even “up your game?”

We’ll answer these questions and explain why fiber surpasses other kinds of internet to make for a superior gaming experience.

What Fiber Internet Is—and Why It’s So Much Faster Than Cable

First, let’s briefly discuss fiber internet and compare it to traditional “cable internet.”

Fiber Internet is delivered by fiber-optic cables consisting of skinny strings of glass that use light to transmit internet data. Indeed, fiber’s speed comes close to the speed of light, easily surpassing cable internet speeds.

Cable internet, a once-great technology (roughly two decades ago now), uses standard coaxial cables composed of copper wiring. Unfortunately, copper wires cannot handle the same amount of data or transmit it as quickly as fiber’s cutting-edge materials.

Simply put, cable can’t keep pace with fiber’s data transmission through light or fiber’s consistently higher speeds.

Faster Download and Upload Speeds

The most basic and arguably essential part of any internet technology is its download and upload speed capabilities.

Download speeds clock the time it takes to transmit data, files, and other information from an online server to your device. Conversely, upload speeds refer to how long your device takes to share data, files, and additional information to an online server. These speeds are simply fundamental to any use of the internet, and they’re especially vital to gamers, whose every reaction and decision is made in just milliseconds—and often determine whether you win or lose!

Higher download and upload speeds make for a far smoother, less jittery, more stable, and more responsive gaming experience—in other words, the kind of internet quality that may give you an edge against fellow competitors. As a result, the faster your download and upload speeds are, the better you can game.

Faster speeds get you into games much quicker, especially after an update is released. With faster download speeds, you can be among the first into the updated game—and, if your play is savvy enough, among the first victors to achieve awards and recognition—and all the bragging rights you’ve justly earned!

Higher Bandwidth

While faster downloading and uploading speeds are important, they are almost useless if not combined with greater bandwidth capacity. In simplest terms, bandwidth is the maximum capacity any particular internet connection can have.

Copper-based wires in basic coaxial cords used for cable internet are limited. Cable’s older technology cannot handle too much internet data at any moment; thus, its bandwidth is lower than fiber’s. This leads to more frequent freezes and delays—often in the middle of a gaming session—and the crashes and drop-offs dreaded by gamers everywhere.

Fiber internet bandwidth is substantially higher than traditional cable. Even in larger households with several simultaneous internet users, fiber’s bandwidth shines.

So, the higher the bandwidth, the more data can be sent to and from your device for superior gaming performance—with enough bandwidth remaining to stream your games with friends.

Low Packet Loss

One of the most frustrating technical snafus gamers experience relates to packet loss. A “packet” is a tiny collection of data transmitted over a network between an online server and your device. Packets are critical to any internet activity, from something as simple as sending an email to posting and viewing videos and gaming. But with some forms of internet, these small data units don’t arrive at their destination, causing maddening slow-downs, freeze-ups, and even crashes.

Packet loss can also impact other aspects of gaming, including hearing your friends’ voices—or even your own—sound like a robot while you’re playing on Discord! Packet loss (and low bandwidth) weakens Discord’s connection causing this distracting and embarrassing (if sometimes hilarious) side effect. Because fiber transmits data at nearly the speed of light, it can handle large swaths of packets (and data) much more efficiently. As a result, packet loss is reduced and keeps you on your game while maintaining voice quality.

Low Jitter

Just as crucial as receiving all of your data and files through packets is ensuring that the data hits your devices in the correct order. Too often, with older forms of internet technology like cable, the data that your devices need to operate—and you need to game—arrives jumbled, a problem known in the industry as “jitter.”

Fiber’s superior capacity to transmit data at a near-light speed reduces jitter, especially compared to cable. Low jitter means that your data arrives correctly and in the proper order, creating a clearer, cleaner, smoother, and more reliable internet connection—and a much better gaming experience that won’t hold you back.

Low Latency

Finally—and to many gamers, the most crucial distinction—fiber internet ensures low latency. Latency is the time between a “request” sent from your gaming device to the game’s online server and then returned from that server to your device. Usually measured by the millisecond, the lower the lag, the shorter—and the better—the response time. So, latency is your internet connection’s response time for processing requests and delivering data back and forth.

Low latency means that your device and the game’s server better capture your agility, quick decision-making, and choices that can make all the difference to gaming outcomes. In addition, fiber’s inherently low latency means you can enjoy gaming online without nearly as much lag and stutter that too often plague online games.

Fiber’s advanced technology can significantly improve your gaming experience—and maybe even give you the competitive edge you’ve been looking for against your friends! It’s just one of the many ways that DayStarr keeps you connected and helps you stay ahead of the game.

Best Laptops for Your College Kid

[7/26/2022] As one of life’s great transitional moments, heading off to college for the first time marks a period of growth, expansion, and exploration—and lots and lots of expenses! Outside of tuition and room and board, one of the biggest and most necessary expenses is acquiring a new laptop for your budding scholar.

But with so many seemingly endless numbers of brands and features, how do you choose which laptop to buy? Which specifications should you prioritize? And are there any budget options that are worth considering?

We’ve helped simplify your search by presenting several highly-recommended laptops—including some quality laptops that will help your budget.

And before your college student leaves the roost for good, you can test out and set up their new laptop at home by connecting to our fast, reliable Fiber Internet.

Our laptop suggestions are based on features we believe are most essential for college students. These features include a long battery life, a durable keyboard, lighter weight and ease of portability, and extra RAM to run multiple programs and applications at the same time.

The budget option on our list is sufficient for most tasks your college kid will regularly use, while some of the more expensive laptops will add more powerful features and higher quality components to perform faster.

Below we highlight some of the best laptops most suited to college life, including a budget option, so you can make a more informed decision—and they can head off to college ready to hit the books—and keyboard!

Three All-Around Best Laptop Choices for College Students

We begin with our three choices for ‘Best All-Around’ laptops from Dell, Lenovo, and Apple, three reliable and respected brands in the industry.

Dell XPS 13

Dell’s XPS 13 combines portability with easy functionality—and one of the best displays for its price point—to make an outstanding laptop to take to college. Its processor is powerful and you can customize RAM for up to 16GB and choose a hard drive with up to 2TB of storage, making this laptop a true workhorse.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon and its 14” display really stands out among its competitors. Its brilliant 2880×1800 OLED display showcases stunning contrasts and noticeably brighter colors. Its processor and RAM allows for seamless multitasking.

Even with its larger display, the IdeaPad Slim 7 clocks in at barely over two pounds making it easy to carry across campus.

Apple MacBook Air M1

Apple prices its MacBook Air M1 with college students (and teachers) in mind.  That said, this model still features many quality components valued by Apple fans, including its Force Touch trackpad and Magic Keyboard.

Its processor, the M1 manufactured by Apple, consists of multiple cores to amp up the MacBook Air’s processing power, helping to make this an excellent Apple choice to consider.

2-in-1 Laptops for College Students

We recommend two 2-in-1 laptops below to give your freshman the option to use a tablet—an even more portable device—in addition to the laptop, but without the additional, separate expense. 

Microsoft Surface Pro 7  

Switching easily from a powerful laptop to a sleek tablet, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 is still among the best 2-in-1’s on the market today. Its Intel Core processor (10th generation) will exceed the needs of most college students and its battery life is excellent, while remaining trim and quite portable for the punch it packs.

Lenovo Yoga 7i 

The second Lenovo on our list is the Yoga 7i. Boasting a 14-inch display, the Yoga 7i is unique among 2-in-1’s in its price range, and you’ll notice the extra screen space you can utilize on many apps and programs.

Like the Surface Pro 7, there is generous battery life to get them through most of their classes and study time throughout the day before needing to charge the device.

Budget Laptop Option for College Students

Finally, we suggest a budget-conscious laptop that will meet most of your college kid’s needs, while keeping more money in your bank account.

Gateway GWTN141

For about $500, Gateway, the venerable computer company you may remember from the days before Google was a household name, has built a solid laptop with many of the features your college kid needs most. With its stellar Intel Core i5 processor, the Gateway GWTN141 can keep up with many other models on this list.

Its display is large and its battery can last about 10 hours between charges, making the Gateway GWTN141 a solid value.

Any of these laptops will serve your college student well for their first year of college—and quite possibly even for all four years.

Check them out for yourself—and once you’ve purchased and received their new laptop, don’t forget to give it a test-run on high-speed Fiber Internet to get it all set-up before you drop your kid off at the dorm!

How Rural Broadband Helps Agriculture and Rural Economies

[7/12/2022] The values and traditions of hard work, community, and land stewardship are a core part of rural American life. Traits like these have made American a

agriculture an economic powerhouse.

Now, rural America is a sought-after living and travel destination. People love the views of the countryside and enjoy spending time outdoors. As more people visit rural America, small businesses, artisans, and other craft workers have more opportunities to sell their goods and services.

To help boost agriculture and rural America’s economy, high-speed Fiber Internet provided by our DayStarr team can make a tremendous difference through internet speeds just as fast and reliable as any major metropolitan area. Across the country, more and more rural towns are receiving broadband internet for the first time, making local businesses more competitive than ever and improving overall quality of life.

We’re highlighting four critical ways that high-speed fiber internet improves agriculture and helps our communities and families stay competitive in the global marketplace.

  1. Information in Real-Time for Farmers and Ranchers

High-speed fiber internet’s improved communication speeds and reliability fosters economic growth in rural communities and helps farmers and ranchers manage one of their most precious resources—time—far better than slower, less-dependable internet typically available. And real-time information is just as crucial to the agricultural economy as it is to Wall Street’s financiers.

From detailed weather updates and drought conditions to current commodities markets’ price and trading indicators, fiber internet delivers up-to-the-minute information as it happens, keeping our rural communities in the know and economically competitive.

  1. Live-Stream Video Conferencing with Veterinarians and Other Experts

Any rancher or farmer raising livestock knows that every minute counts in an animal health emergency. And faster and more reliable communications with veterinarians are crucial, especially for acute care needs.

Fiber broadband’s speed and reliability enable advanced, high-quality live-stream video conferencing in veterinary emergencies and is often helpful for less-acute animal health and wellness needs. And combining video imagery in real-time with the expert advice of a veterinary consultation through a fiber internet connection can make all the difference in diagnosing illnesses and even providing animal treatment.

Fiber broadband can be a literal lifesaver on the farm or ranch.

  1. Improved Connections with the USDA and Other Governmental Agencies

Better connectivity to the thousands of USDA scientists, agents, inspectors, and administrators is necessary to keep farms functioning and ensure crops and other goods make it to market safely and unspoiled. High-speed fiber internet helps facilitate that connectivity far better than telephone or mail correspondence.

For example, paperwork and approvals can be arranged, submitted, and received faster with a reliable fiber internet connection. In addition, fiber broadband improves—and speeds up—overall communications with the USDA and other key government agencies and makes working with these agencies much easier so farmers and ranchers can carry on with their work more efficiently.

  1. Faster Communication with Insurance Companies—and Faster Claim Resolution

Insurance companies often need information and answers to questions fast, especially when farmers and ranchers depend on them for a claim. Access to fiber internet means that vital data and materials insurance adjusters need, such as photos, documents, and even signed paperwork, will be sent and received far faster than through the mail or courier.

In short, fiber broadband helps rural communities get the resources they need to get back on track after emergencies and other crises farms face.

The above examples are just a few ways fiber broadband serves agriculture and rural America and helps make it a better place to live and do business. Here at DayStarr we are proud to do our part to make our farming and ranching economies stronger and more competitive.

Employee Feature: Austin Beamish

[7/05/22] We have so many wonderful, new team members on the DayStarr team. We are pleased to introduce one of our Fiber Installers, Austin B. Austin is responsible for ensuring a clean and proper installation in customer homes. As part of the installation process, he makes sure all installed equipment is working properly and the fast, Fiber Internet is as speedy quick as intended. When asked his favorite thing about working for DayStarr he quickly responded, “Being able to bring affordable and reliable hometown service to our customers.” He also enjoys meeting customers’ pets.

Austin grew up in Owosso and when he isn’t on the clock, he has no shortage of hobbies. He loves riding his motorcycle, making music, film photography, tending to his aquariums with plants and fish, and spending time with his girlfriend, family, friends, and cat. If you have an install scheduled, you’re likely to see Austin. If so, don’t forget to introduce your family pets.

Employee Feature: Faith Butcher

[7/05/22] We are excited to feature one of our front office team members, one of our amazing CXRs, Faith B. If you’ve visited our office in the last few months, you have more than likely had the privilege to see her smiling face. Some of Faith’s responsibilities at DayStarr include customer communications, helping with billing, assisting with business contracts, and general troubleshooting if needed. “My favorite thing about working at DayStarr is the people I work with. They are a top-tier group of people!” said Faith.

Faith was involved in FFA in high school and graduated from Corunna in 2021. She is a 4thgeneration farmer from Corunna, and when she’s not in the office, she’s on the farm raising and breeding swine and beef cattle. Next time you’re in the office take a second to say hi to Faith.

DayStarr Cornhole & Ladderball Summer League

[7/05/22] The summer fun is on at DayStarr! This summer our Fun Distribution Committee has put together a Cornhole and Ladderball League. The leagues were organized by our very own Austin K. Seeing as these leagues are played in the employees’ free time, it is up to the employees playing to schedule their games. Many games are played over lunch hours or before employees leave for the day.

We are only one week into these leagues, so there isn’t a winning team quite yet. We will hold a tournament at the end of the summer at the DayStarr office to determine the winning team(s). “We love to have fun at DayStarr and try to get inside and outside employees together as much as possible. These leagues were a fun way to do that,” stated Austin K.

The Summer Slowdown: Preparing Your Home Internet for Increased Demand

[6/28/2022] The summer television viewing season isn’t what it used to be.

Once known for endless reruns and launches of shows that studios deemed less likely to be successful, the world of streaming entertainment and the production houses it created are churning out phenomenal content you’ve just got to see.

The trouble is, lots of other people want to watch it too! And quite often, they’re streaming at the same time as you. And with kids out of school for the summer and many people heading indoors to escape the heat, internet usage increases during the dog days of summer. Unfortunately, along with the increased demand, streaming picture quality and overall reliability often decline, frequently turning what should be a relaxing evening into a frustrating experience.

And with new premieres coming this summer, like HBO Max’s House of the Dragon (the prequel to Game of Thrones), you can be sure that your neighbors (and maybe you too!) will be streaming away the second these shows hit screens.

So what can you do to prepare for all of this increased demand? Or are you doomed to suffer repeated buffering, pixelation, and loading errors during the summer slowdown?

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to improve your internet connection and performance, even during the summer’s high demand. And your friends at DayStarr are standing by to help you learn more about high-speed fiber internet and suggest adjustments inside your home to improve your Wi-Fi’s range and overall streaming experience.

Below we suggest five tips to help you beat the summer slowdown so you and your family can enjoy a better streaming experience.

Tip #1: Upgrade to Fiber Internet

The single best thing you can do to improve your internet speed and connection is to upgrade to fiber internet. A technological wonder, fiber internet utilizes fiber-optic cables composed of ultra-thin, tiny strands of glass and other materials that transmit internet data near the speed of light.

As a result, fiber internet’s speeds exceed cable internet, which uses older technology and copper-based materials that cannot compete with fiber’s highest speeds.

Getting a dedicated fiber internet line through DayStarr directly to your home means you no longer have to share bandwidth with your neighbors.

Tip #2: Select the Bandwidth to Meet Your Family’s Needs

 

Once you’ve upgraded to fiber, talk to our team about which level of broadband you need.

This will vary from household to household, and our experts can help you determine what will provide the proper amount of bandwidth. If you have multiple people in your home, be sure to choose a plan that offers enough bandwidth for the whole family to use it simultaneously. This tip will help keep the high-speed internet flowing into your home and devices and help keep the peace in your family!

Tip #3: Consider Whole-Home Coverage

Now that you have a perfect fiber internet plan for your needs, you should consider whole-home Wi-Fi coverage. You can use Wi-Fi extenders and other technology to “extend” the Wi-Fi throughout your house—even in harder-to-reach rooms upstairs or even on your back porch.

With the right setup, you may even get a strong enough Wi-Fi signal in your backyard for outdoor movie nights! Of course, our experts can help you set up whole-home coverage, too, so be sure to reach out to our customer service specialists.

Tip #4: Optimize the Position of Your Wi-Fi Router

After you’ve set up your fiber internet service, bandwidth plan, and whole-home coverage, make the most of DayStarr high-speed fiber internet by optimizing the location of your Wi-Fi router in your home.

Remember that obstructions like too many walls and windows can interfere with and weaken the Wi-Fi signal and reduce streaming quality as it disperses through your home.

The simplest way to assess your Wi-Fi router’s placement is to run speed tests throughout your home (where your devices are most frequently used to stream). Speed tests let you experiment with your Wi-Fi router’s position—and making even minor adjustments, like elevating the router or separating it away from other electronic devices, can make a significant difference in streaming performance. And, of course, our friendly technicians are always around to help you, so feel free to contact us!

Tip #5: Utilize Parental Controls

Finally, don’t forget about parental controls! This is much more than limiting or even policing content your kids may use. Parental controls let you prevent your children from using online devices during certain times of day or night, which both reduce their screen time (something all parents aim to do) and increases the amount of bandwidth for you to enjoy!

Parental controls may be included in your service plan or as an add-on option for you as a managed Wi-Fi perk, so check out your package’s features or reach out to our team to see what may be available.

By implementing these tips, you can significantly improve the picture quality and reliability of your streaming experience, even with the increased internet demand and higher usage of the summer. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a summer of streaming!

Smart Thermostats for Summer Savings

[7/01/2022] Summer brings long days of sunlight for outdoor fun, vacations at the beach or lake, and time for afternoon lounging.

But summer also brings blazing hot temperatures and humidity, which mean increased energy costs. Since inflation is creeping into almost every corner of our lives and prices are staying high with little relief, families need all the savings they can find.

Fortunately, technology can help you save money at home in unexpected ways! For example, “Smart Home” technology uses the power of the internet to help monitor, regulate, and control many features of your home or office. From improved entertainment options to automated, time-based dimmable lighting fixtures, Smart Homes can make your life more efficient and save you money.

However, one of the best ways to save money this summer stands out: lower energy bills.

Smart Home technology can create these savings, specifically through “Smart Thermostats.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program, “a smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that automatically adjusts your home’s heating and cooling temperature settings for optimal performance.”

The Energy Star program found that homeowners can save upwards of 30% on their energy bills by utilizing a smart thermostat (significant savings this summer when you need it most!)

Many smart thermostats can be connected to and controlled by voice-activated technology you may already have in your home, such as Apple’s Home Kit (along with Siri, of course), Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant.

And with the high-speed fiber internet provided by DayStarr, you can be assured that your smart thermostat and other “Smart Home” devices will stay connected to your Wi-Fi so you can be more in control of your home and your budget.

Below, we highlight three of the best smart thermostats to cool your home this summer and keep money in your bank account!

  1. Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat

Our first option is one of the original smart thermostats—the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. Note the word ‘Learning’ in its name—that’s because, over time, this smart thermostat learns your temperature preferences in different rooms and at various times of the day. Its large, round LCD screen is elegant (in a retro way) and easy to read. Overall, it may just be the best option on this list.

  1. Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control

Known for its versatility, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat is another excellent choice. The Ecobee brims with features to make your home more comfortable and help you better regulate its energy efficiency. For example, its remote room sensors can work with multiple rooms at different temperature and humidity settings to adjust conditions depending on needs and usage. The Ecobee’s touchscreen and smart speaker make it easy to operate and program, and its voice commands sync well with most other smart home devices and brands (e.g., Google, Apple, and Amazon). Note that it can be a bit pricier than Nest, but you may prefer its features.

  1. Amazon Smart Thermostat

Though it is the least expensive option on this list, the Amazon Smart Thermostat still packs a power-saving punch and makes for an excellent budget selection. You can set your temperature with your voice and receive notifications on your energy usage.

As you’d probably expect, it syncs brilliantly with Alexa, though it does not work with Apple’s HomeKit or Google Assistant. While it lacks the broad array of features of both the Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats, you may find that the Amazon Smart Thermostat fits your family’s needs for the price.

You can be confident that any of the smart thermostats outlined above will help break the summer heat in your home and ease the pain in your wallet! It’s just one of the numerous ways our reliable fiber network can make your home more efficient and comfortable through “smart home” technology.

Kid-Friendly Tablets for Summer Learning (and fun!)

[7/01/2022] While most kids can’t wait for the summer holiday off from school and studying, we know most parents are…less excited about it. And parents can downright dread the infamous “summer slide”—the inevitable drop-off of learning progress that comes from their child’s lengthy time away from the daily school learning structure.

Thankfully, technology can help alleviate this concern. The internet offers a variety of online tools. And technology enables learning and studying outside the structure of a classroom. Today, many kid-friendly tablets are available that are easy to operate and help your child access and utilize those materials during their summer break.

When the right tablet combines with reliable high-speed fiber internet provided by DayStarr, you’ll keep your child’s learning and educational enrichment up all summer long.

With an eye toward parental control, durability with protective cases against drops, and general ease of use, we’ve compiled a list of the best tablet options for your children.

We include our best overall recommended option and suggest tablets based on operating systems you may prefer or educational resources and libraries your child’s school may utilize. We hope one of these tablets will keep your kids engaged in learning while having fun this summer.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

Sporting an impressive 10-inch display size and numerous parent-favored features, Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids Edition may be the best overall option on this list.

Its built-in protective case can be easily handled and held by your child. The tablet is made from durable and sturdy rubberized material, so you have extra peace of mind when the inevitable drops and slips happen.

The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition also has parental controls to help you monitor and control tablet usage. We also love Amazon’s generous replacement policy, which lasts two years from the purchase date. Amazon also makes this tablet in a smaller size, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, so check that out if you’d prefer a lighter option.

Lenovo 10E

If you’re looking for a Chromebook tablet for your child, the Lenovo 10E is a solid choice.

Its battery life clocks in at over 16 hours, ensuring plenty of time for homework and play, on just a single charge. The Lenovo 10E also features a powerful Dragontail Pro glass screen, which helps make the tablet more durable. If your child’s school uses the Chrome Ecosystem for some of its educational resources, the Lenovo 10E could be the best option on this list.

Apple iPad (9th gen, 2021)

Now, we know what you’re thinking— “do I really want to put an iPad into my kid’s hands for their first tablet?”

Well, hear us out because, as you likely know, an iPad offers more features and can be used for many different purposes. Investing in an iPad for your child may be a better longer-term purchase as they age and grow. And by choosing an earlier model like the 2021 9th generation iPad, you can save money, while enjoying Apple’s outstanding quality, speed, and apps.

You’ll just probably also want to invest in a protective iPad case to take care of the investment!

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7

For parents who prefer an Android-based device for their child, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A7 boasts loads of features at a more competitive price than Apple’s iPad.

Utilizing Android’s latest software (currently Android 11) and all the app options available in the Google Play Store, your child will have a powerful tablet to use for learning while enjoying its versatility.

The Galaxy Tab A7 also lets parents enable controls and settings to add extra protection and safety for their kids’ browsing. You can monitor and limit their device usage and screen time, as well.

While technology is always changing and improving, we believe you can be confident that any of the above tablets will help make this summer more enriching for your child while sustaining their educational progress. And once you’ve selected their tablet, be sure to connect your child’s new device to our high-speed fiber internet so they can start exploring!