Seniors' internet: Why get broadband?

Elderly people may not have had much experience with new technologies like broadband internet, but it doesn’t mean it’s ever too late to integrate a new activity into your lifestyle. Learning about new things can ultimately become a very rewarding experience, and when it comes to the internet, your life may truly change for the better.

Learning anything at an older age, trying new things, or changing the way you’ve done something for decades is always going to be a challenging or even daunting experience. However, through your years of gained wisdom you probably have learnt that the things worth knowing in life usually require a certain level of effort. Fortunately, using the internet doesn’t really take much effort at all.

Internet as a communication device

If you are a grandparent you may be in the position of many in our modern society where grandkids live far away, either in another suburb, town, state, or country. With the advent of the internet there are now many more ways of staying in touch with your loved ones.

Internet audio and video calls: When you get a fast enough broadband connection there are numerous different mediums for communicating via audio or even video over the internet, and many are free once you have your broadband connection hooked up. There are also instant messenger programs where you can have virtual conversations via text, which can be very useful.

Check out VoIP, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Gmail chat, Windows Messenger and Oovoo to learn more about these communication technologies. Don’t worry, they’re made for novices to be able to use, it’s just the names that sound confusing. You can also send emails using Gmail, YahooMail and Hotmail.

Internet as a learning and information-gathering tool

Once you are online your new life of accessing endless information at your fingertips begins. Using Google (you must have heard of it!) or another search engine, you will have virtual libraries of interesting topics to discover. Check out Wikipedia; you can even add your own entries into this collective pool of knowledge, feeding off of your own extensive life experience and topics of interest.

Internet shopping

Shopping online to find the best bargains can be a truly fun experience, as there is so much competition on the web. Bid for items on eBay, buy books from Amazon, shoes from Zappos, and have gifts delivered to and from around the globe without even leaving your seat at home. If you are finding the weekly grocery shop has become an expensive chore involving taxis and public transport, you may find it easier and cheaper to order all your groceries online and have them delivered straight to your kitchen bench, at a time of your choosing. Coles, Woolworths and Safeway all offer this service on their websites.

Watch internet TV

Many pundits believe the internet is the future of television. You can watch shows at any time of the day you like, and many don’t have ads interrupting the program. Check out ABC iView, IPTV, FetchTV, SBS TV online and many other ways of watching your favourite shows via the web. Some internet providers offer these TV channels at no extra cost, with the data used not being counted towards your monthly quota. Ask each broadband provider what extras they offer before signing up to a plan.

Listen to internet music or radio

Like TV, you can listen to radio shows and download your favourite music right onto your computer. Podcasts are recorded radio shows, while you can also listen to live streaming shows. Legally downloading music means you can buy songs you like for much cheaper than if you went into a shop to acquire the CD. You have the ability to buy single songs too, so there is no need to get an entire album just to hear the one song you like.

Please read our associated article, Broadband internet guide for seniors and pensioners to find the best plans for your location and unique needs. Call Compare Broadband on 1300 106 571 for more information of good plans for seniors.