Why is my Alexa blinking yellow? What each colored light means on your device

Amazon Alexa
When the ring at the top of your Alexa device flashes different colors, it means different things.

  • If your Alexa is blinking yellow, it means you have an unread message.
  • If your Alexa is flashing green, it means you have an incoming call.
  • Other colors (like blue, purple, orange, and red) indicate other things, from Wi-Fi connection issues to processing a request.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Alexa-enabled devices, like the Echo and Echo Dot, will light up in different colors as you interact with them, indicating things like new messages and incoming calls.

If you’re curious about what the different colored lights mean, or want to turn off notifications for calls and messages, here’s what you need to know.

Why is my Alexa blinking yellow?

A blinking yellow light indicates that you have unread messages in your inbox. This may be a message in your Amazon inbox, perhaps from a seller with an update on your order or a notification from Amazon letting you know that your package has been delivered.

How to resolve Alexa’s blinking yellow light

To get your Echo or other Alexa-enabled device to stop flashing yellow, ask Alexa to read your message.

If it’s a delivery notification, Alexa will simply tell you that an order has been delivered. If it’s a message received in your inbox, Alexa will read you the message.

Screenshot of Amazon inbox unread messages
Your messages on Amazon.

Since you can use your Alexa app to send and receive text messages, you can also access those using your Echo or other Alexa-enabled app.

How to disable Alexa’s blinking yellow feature

1. Open the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android.

2. Tap the three-line icon in the top-left corner.

3. Tap Settings.

4. Tap Device Settings.

Screenshot of Alexa app Settings page
Select “Device Settings.”

5. Tap your device and then tap Communications.

Screenshot of Device Settings page on Alexa app
Tap “Communications.”

6. Tap the toggle next to Communications so it turns gray.

Screenshot of Communications page on Alexa app
Tap the toggle.

Why is my Alexa flashing green?

A flashing green light indicates that you have an incoming call. If you pick up the call, the green light will spin.

How to resolve Alexa’s flashing green light

To stop the flashing green light, pick up the call (by saying “answer call”), decline the call (by saying “decline call”), or simply ignore the call until it stops ringing.

How to disable Alexa’s flashing green feature

1. Open the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android.

2. Tap the three-line icon in the top-left corner.

Screenshot of three-line icon on Alexa app
Tap the three lines to open a menu.

3. Tap Settings.

Screenshot of three-line icon menu on Alexa app
Select “Settings.”

4. Tap Device Settings.

5. Tap your device and then tap Communications.

6. Tap the toggle next to Communications so it turns gray.

What other Alexa colored lights mean

There are other colored lights that indicate different things on Alexa:

  • Blue: When you wake Alexa (solid blue), when Alexa is processing your request (solid blue with spinning cyan), or when Alexa is responding to a command or question (alternating blue and cyan)
  • Purple: Problem connecting to Wi-Fi (blinking purple), activating Do Not Disturb (spinning blue light with purple flash), or interacting with Alexa when Do Not Disturb is on (purple flash)
  • Orange: Your device is connecting to your Wi-Fi network (spinning orange)
  • Red: Microphone is off (solid red)

How to set up and use the Alexa app on your iPhoneHow to connect your Amazon Echo to Wi-Fi to get the most out of your Alexa-enabled smart speakerHow to set up any Amazon Echo device and customize its settingsA comprehensive list of Alexa voice commands you can use with your smart devices

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How to pair Galaxy Buds to a Samsung phone, or any other device

Samsung Galaxy Buds+
It’s easy to pair Galaxy Buds to any device via Bluetooth.

  • You can pair your Galaxy Buds to a Samsung device manually or automatically.
  • It’s also easy to pair your Galaxy Buds to a non-Samsung Android, to an iPhone, or to a PC or Mac.
  • Before you pair your Galaxy Buds to a new device, make sure they’re in range and not already connected to another device.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

There was definitely a time in technology history when connecting devices – even ones advertised as “plug and play” – was convoluted, time-consuming, and frustrating. Thankfully, those days are pretty much over, at least for the newest generation of Bluetooth-enabled mobile gadgets.

Connecting Galaxy Buds to another device via Bluetooth is a simple process. Galaxy Buds can automatically pair to a Samsung phone, but you can also pair them with another Android device, an iPhone, and a PC or Mac – here’s how.

How to automatically pair Galaxy Buds to a Samsung phone

1. Make sure the Galaxy Buds are in their charging case and that they’re at least partially charged.

2. Place the case near your Galaxy phone and open the case.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

3. Your Galaxy Buds will automatically go into Pairing Mode, and your phone will display the Galaxy Buds screen, asking if you want to connect to this device.

4. Tap Connect.

Screenshot of Galaxy Buds pairing screen on Samsung phone
The Buds will pair with a single tap.

How to manually pair Galaxy Buds to a Samsung phone

If you have trouble getting your Galaxy Buds to pair using the automatic process, you can still pair them by following the steps for other wireless earbuds.

1. Make sure the Buds aren’t currently paired with another nearby phone. If they are, unpair the earbuds from that phone or turn off that phone’s Bluetooth.

2. Try the automatic method again.

3. If it still doesn’t work, manually enter pairing mode by tapping and holding the touchpads on both Galaxy Buds.

4. Open the Settings app on your phone.

5. Tap Connections, then Bluetooth.

6. When it appears, tap the entry for your Galaxy Buds.

How to pair Galaxy Buds to a non-Samsung Android

The exact steps below may differ depending on what kind of Android device you have, but generally, you’ll need to go to your Bluetooth settings page to find and select a new device to pair.

1. Make sure the Buds aren’t currently paired with another nearby phone. If they are, unpair them from that phone or turn off that phone’s Bluetooth.

2. Open the Galaxy Buds case and your earbuds should automatically enter pairing mode.

3. On your Android, open the Notification center, then press and hold on the Bluetooth button.

Screenshot of Notification Center Bluetooth button on Android
Hold down on the “Bluetooth” button.

4. On the Bluetooth settings page, select Pair new device.

Screenshot of "Pair new device" Bluetooth screen on Android
Tap to pair a new Bluetooth device.

5. If your Galaxy Buds are in range, they will appear in a list of nearby devices. Select them and they should pair to your Android.

How to pair Galaxy Buds to an iPhone

To pair your Galaxy Buds with an iPhone, you’ll need to go to the Bluetooth page of your iPhone’s Settings app, and find your Galaxy Buds in the list of nearby devices.

For a step-by-step rundown, read our article on pairing Galaxy Buds with an iPhone.

How to connect Galaxy Buds to a PC

1. Make sure the Buds aren’t currently paired with another nearby phone. If they are, unpair them from that phone or turn off that phone’s Bluetooth.

2. Open the Galaxy Buds case and your earbuds should automatically enter pairing mode.

3. In the search bar at the bottom of your Windows computer, type Bluetooth and select Bluetooth and other device settings from the search results.

Screenshot of "Bluetooth and other device settings" result in Windows search bar
Click “Bluetooth and other device settings.”

4. On the Bluetooth & other devices page, click Add Bluetooth or other device at the top.

Screenshot of Bluetooth settings page on Windows
Select “Add Bluetooth or other device.”

5. In the Add a device pop-up, choose Bluetooth.

Screenshot of "Add a device" pop-up on Windows
Select “Bluetooth” in the pop-up.

6. In the list of nearby devices, select your Galaxy Buds to pair.

How to pair Galaxy Buds to a Mac

1. Make sure the Buds aren’t currently paired with another nearby phone. If they are, unpair them from that phone or turn off that phone’s Bluetooth.

2. Open the Galaxy Buds case and your earbuds should automatically enter pairing mode.

3. Open System Preferences on your Mac, which you can do by clicking the Apple icon in the toolbar at the top of your screen and selecting System Preferences in the drop-down.

4. In System Preferences, click Bluetooth.

Screenshot of "Bluetooth" button in Mac System Preferences
Go to “Bluetooth.”

5. If Bluetooth is turned off on your Mac, click Turn Bluetooth On on the left side of the Bluetooth page.

Screenshot of "Turn Bluetooth On" button in Mac System Preferences
Turn Bluetooth on if it’s not already.

6. Under Devices on the right side of the Bluetooth page, find your Galaxy Buds and click Connect.

Screenshot of Bluetooth page in Mac System Preferences
Click “Connect” next to the name of your Galaxy Buds.

Samsung Galaxy Buds are not waterproof or effectively water-resistant – here are a few water-resistant alternativesHow to properly clean your Samsung Galaxy Buds without damaging themNo, Bluetooth doesn’t use cellular data – here’s how the popular wireless technology connects your devicesWhy won’t my Bluetooth device connect?: How to fix common Bluetooth connection issues

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How to properly clean your Apple Watch band, as well as your Digital Crown and Watch face

close-up of wrist with Apple Watch on it
It’s important to properly clean your Apple Watch so you don’t damage it.

  • You can clean your Apple Watch band, face, and Digital Crown to ensure the longevity of your device.
  • Cleaning your Apple Watch band can also enhance comfort and reduce the chance of skin irritation.
  • Use a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth to clean and dry your Apple Watch.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Regularly cleaning your Apple Watch, particularly after it’s been exposed to sweat, soap, and sunscreen – along with pretty much any liquid that isn’t water – is important for both your comfort (a clean band reduces chances of skin irritation) and the long-term life of your device.

Here’s how to clean and dry your Apple Watch band, your Apple Watch, and your Apple Watch Digital Crown.

How to clean your Apple Watch band

1. Remove the band from your Apple Watch. If you’re using a third-party band (non-Apple branded), follow the care instructions provided with that particular band.

2. For leather and fabric bands, wipe the leather portions with a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth. You can lightly dampen the cloth with fresh water if needed to remove oily or sticky substances. Do not soak in water.

3. Allow the leather or fabric band to fully air dry before reattaching it to your Apple Watch. While drying, do not store these bands in direct sunlight or in areas with high temperature or humidity.

4. For bands that are not leather or fabric – such as Apple Watch bands, Solo Loop band, Sport Band, Nike Sport Band, or any metal band – Apple recommends using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, 75% ethyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Don’t use any product that contains bleach or hydrogen peroxide, and don’t submerge your band in any cleaning agent. Instead, use one of the wipes listed above or a damp non-abrasive, lint-free cloth to wipe down the band.

5. Dry the band before reattaching to your watch.

How to clean your Apple Watch face

Unlike with your Apple Watch band, Apple does not recommend using any soaps, cleaning products, abrasive materials, or external air and heat sources to clean your Apple Watch itself, as these items can damage your device.

1. Turn off your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button, and remove it from its charger if connected.

2. If you’re using a band that isn’t water-resistant (such as a stainless steel or leather band), remove it from your device.

3. Wipe your Apple Watch with a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth to clean it. You can lightly dampen the cloth with fresh water if needed to remove oily or sticky substances.

4. You can also hold the watch under a lightly running tap of warm water for 10 to 15 seconds, but do not use any soap or other cleaning products.

5. Dry your Apple Watch with your soft, lint-free cloth, making sure you also dry off the back crystal of the device.

How to clean the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown

If the Digital Crown on the side of your Apple Watch gets stuck or won’t move, check around the Crown for debris and wipe down your device.

If you find things like dust or lotion, here’s how you can clean the Digital Crown:

1. Turn off your Apple Watch and disconnect it from its charger if connected.

2. If you’re using a band that isn’t water-resistant (such as a stainless steel or leather band), remove it from your device.

3. Hold the Digital Crown under a lightly running tap of warm fresh water for 10 to 15 seconds. Do not use any soap or other cleaning products.

4. Turn and press the Digital Crown as the water runs past the gap between the crown and the rest of the watch.

5. Dry your watch thoroughly using a soft, lint-free cloth.

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What is QHD? The high-definition screen resolution, explained

couple on couch watching TV at home with remote in hand
If you’re in the market for a new TV, you may come across some devices with QHD resolution.

  • QHD is a screen resolution that measures 2560 x 1440 pixels and has a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • You’ll often find it on high-end devices like laptops, TVs, and smartphones.
  • QHD is sharper than regular HD, but isn’t as clear as 4K – there are battery and cost trade-offs for each to consider before purchasing.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Buying a new device can feel overwhelming. But if you’re someone who values a crisp screen, resolution is going to be an important consideration.

Here’s what you should know about QHD resolution and how it compares to other resolution options on the market.

What is QHD?

Quad high definition (QHD) is the standard resolution for certain high-end devices like laptops, televisions, and phones. It has a display resolution 2560 x 1440 pixels – or four times that of 720p, hence the name – in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

You may also see WQHD when searching for devices (that stands for “wide quad high definition.”) QHD and WQHD are actually the same thing. The “W” is usually meant to signal that it has a 16:9 aspect ratio, since that can be a selling point for manufacturers, despite that the aspect ratio is already a feature of QHD. QHD is also sometimes labeled as 2K or 1440p for marketing reasons. An ultrawide QHD screen expands the horizontal pixels to 3440 and has a 21:9 aspect ratio.

QHD vs HD vs 4k

If you’re in the market for a new device, it pays to know what kind of resolution quality you want: HD, QHD, or 4K.

Compared to regular HD, QHD is sharper and offers more pixels per square inch (2560 x 1440p versus HD’s 1920 x 1080p). Because of that, it’s also generally better suited to larger monitors, allowing you to do things like have more windows open on your screen at once. However, it will also eat away more of your battery life if you’re using something like a mobile device, so you will have to make a judgement call there.

Comparison between 4K UHD, QHD, FHD, and HD
QHD’s aspect ratio is greater than that of HD and Full HD, but not as great as 4K UHD.

Related Article Module: ‘What is 4K?’: Here’s what it means to watch content in Ultra High Definition resolution

4K, on the other hand, is going to provide a more detailed screen than QHD. The official cinema resolution for 4K screens is 4096 x 2160p, but on a monitor, you will usually see the specs list 3840 x 2160p resolution. So for the average user, it has double the pixels you get with HD.

Again, the higher-resolution option will drain your battery life faster, so you should check out battery life estimates to make sure it works for you. 4K displays are also generally going to cost more than lower-resolution options, so that’s another thing to consider before buying.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

How to type the degree symbol on your computer, phone, or tablet keyboard

woman using ipad typing notes app
It’s easy to type a degree symbol on any common keyboard.

  • You can type a degree symbol with your keyboard using key combinations on a computer or numerical keyboard menus on a phone or tablet.
  • For instance, on a PC you can use the numpad code Alt + 0176; on a Mac, use Shift + Option + 8.
  • You can also use third-party apps to remap your keyboard, which can make the degree symbol easier to type.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

For as many keys as your keyboard holds, there are always hundreds more symbols that get left out. One of these is the degree symbol.

Luckily, the degree symbol is on your keyboard – just hidden behind a special code or action. Here’s how to type the degree symbol on your keyboard, whether you’re using a computer or phone.

How to type the degree symbol on a Windows PC

On a PC, you have a few options.

Alt Codes

If you’re using a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad (or “numpad”) on the right side, you can type the degree symbol with an Alt Code. These codes require you to hold down the Alt key and type a series of numbers on the numpad.

The degree symbol code is Alt + 0176. As soon as you let go of the Alt key, the symbol should appear.

A Notepad file in Windows 10 showing the equation: Alt + 0176 = °
Using the Alt Code is the fastest way to insert a degree sign.

The emoji menu

Windows 10 has a hidden emoji menu that lets you easily insert any emoji or special character into your text.

1. While you’re able to type, press the Windows key + . (period) to open the emoji menu.

2. At the top of the menu, click the omega symbol (Ω) to see the list of every special character.

3. Scroll down in the list until you find the degree symbol and click it to add it to your text.

A Windows 10 emoji menu, with the degree symbol selected.
The emoji menu lets you enter emoji or special characters.

Third-party keyboard remappers

Remapping is the process of changing what a specific button or key does. You can download apps and configure your keyboard so when you press a specific key, or enter a keyboard shortcut, it types out a degree symbol.

There are a few apps that let you create custom keyboard shortcuts, but the best for making special character shortcuts (like for the degree symbol) is probably CatchChar. It takes a little tinkering, but will let you insert any special character with a quick keyboard shortcut.

How to type the degree symbol on a Mac

To type the degree symbol on a Mac, press Shift + Option + 8.

A Mac TextEdit document, showing an equation: Shift + Option + 8 = °
You’ll press three keys at once to make a degree symbol.

Alternatively, press Control + Command + Space to open the Emoji & Symbols menu and then click Punctuation in the left sidebar. You’ll find the degree symbol in this list – double-click it to add it to your text.

The Mac Emoji & Symbols menu with the degree sign highlighted.
You’ll need to open the full Emoji & Symbols menu to find the degree sign.

How to type the degree symbol on a Chromebook

The method on a Chromebook will sound a bit confusing at first, but once you do it once, it’ll be clear.

1. While you’re able to type, press Ctrl + Shift + U. The letter u with a line below it will appear where you typed.

2. Without clicking away, type OOBA and then press Enter.

The underlined u will turn into the degree symbol.

Showing how to make a degree symbol on a Chromebook.
You’ll need to use the degree sign’s Unicode code, OOBA.

How to type the degree symbol on an iPhone or iPad

1. Tap a place that you’re able to type so the keyboard appears.

2. Press the 123 icon in the bottom-left corner of your keyboard, and then press and hold your finger on the zero key (0).

3. After a moment, a small pop-up will appear with the degree symbol in it. Drag your finger over to it and release.

An iPhone screen showing how to find the degree symbol on a keyboard.
The degree symbol is hidden behind the zero key.

How to type the degree symbol on an Android

1. Tap a place that you’re able to type so the keyboard appears.

2. Tap the ?123 icon in the bottom-left corner, and then the =< icon above it.

3. The degree symbol will be on this page. Tap it to type it.

Android keyboard with the degree symbol highlighted.
The degree symbol isn’t hard to find on an Android.

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How to fix an Apple Pencil that’s not working

ipad pro 10.5-inch apple pencil
If your Apple Pencil isn’t working, it’s probably easy to fix.

  • If your Apple Pencil isn’t working, it might just need to charge.
  • If your Apple Pencil still isn’t working after a charge, reset its connection to your iPad and then pair it again.
  • You should also make sure that your Apple Pencil and iPad are compatible.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Apple prides itself on making accessories that “just work,” no fiddling with settings or complicated button layouts required.

That’s why it can be immensely frustrating when one of those accessories – like your Apple Pencil – stops working. Luckily, these issues usually have easy fixes.

How to fix an Apple Pencil that’s not working

Charge it

It sounds too simple to be true, but your Apple Pencil’s batteries might just be dead.

Related Article Module: How to charge either Apple Pencil model with your iPad, and what to do if it won’t charge

Connect your Apple Pencil to its charger and leave it there for at least an hour. Once you’ve done that, try using it again. If this doesn’t work, try charging it with another charging source, like a different iPad.

pencil 1
Charge your Apple Pencil using the iPad or charging adapter.

Reset its connection

An Apple Pencil won’t work with an iPad that it’s not properly paired with. An Apple Pencil that’s stopped working might be having issues with that connection.

First, unpair it from your iPad.

1. Open your iPad’s Settings app and tap Bluetooth in the left sidebar.

2. If you see Apple Pencil as an option underneath My Devices, tap the “i” icon to the right of its name. If you don’t see your Apple Pencil here, move onto the pairing process.

An iPad's Bluetooth menu, with the information icon next to an Apple Pencil highlighted.
Open your Apple Pencil’s connection information screen.

3. Tap Forget This Device.

Now, let’s pair it to the iPad again.

  • To connect a 1st Generation Apple Pencil, plug it into your iPad’s charging port and then tap Pair when it appears on the screen.
  • To connect a 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, latch it onto the side of your iPad and then tap Pair if it appears on the screen.

Now try using your Apple Pencil again.

Make sure your Pencil and iPad are compatible

Not all Apple Pencils work with all iPads. You need to make sure that you have compatible devices, or they’ll never work together.

The 1st Generation Apple Pencil works with:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (first and second generations, released in 2015 and 2017)
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch (released in 2016)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch (released in 2017)
  • iPad (sixth generation, released in 2018)
  • iPad (seventh generation, released in 2019)
  • iPad Air (third generation, released in 2019)
  • iPad mini (fifth generation, released in 2019)
  • iPad (eighth generation, released in 2020)

The 2nd Generation Apple Pencil works with:

  • iPad Pro 11-inch (first, second, and third generations; released in 2018, 2020, and 2021)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (third, fourth, and fifth generations; released in 2018, 2020, and 2021)
  • iPad Air (fourth generation, released in 2020)

If you’re not sure which iPad you have, check out our article on finding and identifying your iPad’s model number.

Contact Apple

If all else fails, there might be an issue with your Apple Pencil’s internal hardware. In this case, you’ll need to go to a professional.

Contact Apple by phone, or bring your devices into an Apple Store. They should be able to help you there.

Retail workers on the sales floor at the Tower Theater Apple Store
Most Apple retail stores also act as service centers, where you can bring in your defective devices.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

How to change the name of your AirPods on iPhone, iPad, or Mac

Apple AirPods and charging case
Changing the name of your AirPods only takes a second on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

With so many Bluetooth-enabled devices to connect to – from your car’s audio to your noise-cancelling headphones to your living room speaker – it can be hard to keep track of what’s what.

That’s why it can be helpful to rename devices like your AirPods so you never get them mixed up again.

You can change your AirPods’ name from the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, or from System Preferences on your Mac – here’s how to do both.

How to change the name of your AirPods on iPhone and iPad

Whether you have AirPods Max, AirPods Pro, or AirPods (1st and 2nd generation), the process to change their name is the same.

1. Take your AirPods out of their case.

2. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and select Bluetooth.

Screenshot of iPhone Settings app homepage
Navigate to the “Bluetooth” section.

3. Tap the blue “i” icon next to your AirPods in the list of devices.

Screenshot of list of Bluetooth devices in iPhone Settings app
Click the small “i” icon next to your AirPods.

4. Tap in the Name field and type a new name.

Screenshot of AirPods page in iPhone Settings app
Tap on the name of your AirPods.

5. Hit Done in the bottom-right corner of the the keypad once you’ve added a new name.

Now when you go to find your AirPods in your list of devices, you’ll see them listed under the new name.

How to change the name of your AirPods on Mac

No matter what type of AirPods you have, you can also change their name on your Mac computer.

1. Open System Preferences on your Mac, which you can do by clicking the Apple symbol in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting System Preferences in the drop-down.

2. In System Preferences, click Bluetooth.

Screenshot of System Preferences homepage on Mac
In System Preferences, go to “Bluetooth.”

3. Connect your AirPods to your Mac. Then in the Devices section of the Bluetooth page, right-click the name of your AirPods and select Rename in the drop-down menu. To right-click on a Mac, hold down the Control key while you click.

Screenshot of Rename drop-down menu in Bluetooth section of System Preferences
In the drop-down list, select “Rename.”

4. Enter a new name and click Rename again to confirm your change.

Now when you go to find your AirPods in your list of devices, you’ll see them listed under the new name.

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What is an ISP? The companies that provide you with access to the internet, explained

internet router being hooked up to desktop computer
ISPs can connect all of your devices to the internet.

  • ISP is an acronym for internet service provider.
  • In addition to receiving an internet connection from an ISP, you may also be able to access an email account and web hosting services.
  • ISPs can come in many forms, like dial-up, high-speed (also called broadband), and DSL.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you’re reading this article, you can thank an internet service provider.

What is an ISP?

Internet service providers, or ISPs, are companies or organizations that provide you with access to the internet.

ISPs can also offer other options, like web hosting and email services, and they can range in form from giant telecommunication companies to small nonprofits.

When you connect to your ISP, you join its network to access the internet – whether that’s through a browser, a streaming platform, or an app on your phone. ISPs are also interconnected, and you can connect to many networks as you access different sites.

Some of the most prominent ISPs include:

  • Comcast
  • AT&T
  • Verizon
  • Spectrum

ISPs can provide Wi-Fi and Ethernet

Wi-Fi is a wireless internet connection that can be accessed through a router, while Ethernet requires a physical wire (known as an Ethernet cable) that connects your modem to your computer, TV, or video game console.

You can have an ISP that works with both. To be able to do that, you simply need a router that also has an Ethernet port. ISPs that allow for both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections accomplish this through what’s called a “mixed network.”

ethernet cable connected to laptop internet
You can hook up an Ethernet cable to your devices instead of using Wi-Fi.

Using an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi can also help speed up your internet access.

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How to turn off and opt out of Amazon Sidewalk

man standing in front yard with phone
You don’t have to share your home’s internet bandwidth if you don’t want to.

  • You can turn off Amazon Sidewalk at any time through both the Alexa and Ring apps.
  • Amazon Sidewalk is a neighbor-created network that makes you share part of your internet bandwidth with nearby Amazon devices.
  • Most Echo and Ring devices have Amazon Sidewalk turned on by default.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Amazon Sidewalk is a shared public mesh network developed to extend the connectivity and reliability of low-bandwidth smart devices, even if they’re out of range or your Wi-Fi goes down.

To accomplish this wide-range shared network, Amazon takes a small portion of internet bandwidth from homes with Sidewalk-enabled devices, ultimately creating one, big public mesh network.

The service runs by turning devices, like Echo speakers and Ring cameras, into what the company calls Sidewalk Bridges. Think of them as network bridges that keep everything connected.

Here is a list of devices that double as Sidewalk Bridges:

Device Generation
Ring Floodlight Cam 2019
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired 2019
Ring Spotlight Cam Mount 2019
Echo Third generation and newer
Echo Dot Third generation and newer
Echo Dot for Kids Third generation and newer
Echo Dot with Clock Third generation and newer
Echo Plus All generations
Echo Show All models and generations
Echo Spot All generations
Echo Input All generations
Echo Flex All generations

In terms of data, Amazon says that the maximum bandwidth shared between neighbors is small. Amazon is capping the total monthly data used by Sidewalk to 500 megabytes, which is the same as streaming 10 minutes of HD video.

By sharing a sliver of your internet bandwidth with your neighbors, the idea is your devices can work over a much greater range. But it’s also this aspect of Sidewalk – sharing your home’s internet bandwidth with strangers – that concerns some users.

How to turn off Amazon Sidewalk

By default, compatible devices will automatically have Sidewalk enabled. But if you want to opt out of the service, you can turn it on or off quickly through the Alexa and Ring apps.

On the Alexa app

1. On your phone, open the Alexa app and tap More.

amazon alexa more
To opt out of Amazon Sidewalk, start by tapping “More.”

2. Select Settings and then tap Account Settings.

alex app settings
Go to “Account Settings.”

3. Tap Amazon Sidewalk and tap Disable.

amazon alexa sidewalk
The Amazon Sidewalk page has a simple on/off toggle.

On the Ring app

1. On your phone, open the Ring app and tap the three lines in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.

2. Select Control Center and then tap Sidewalk.

3. Tap the Sidewalk slider button.

4. Confirm your decision in the screen that appears.

A comprehensive list of Alexa voice commands you can use with your smart devicesThe best Amazon Echo smart speakers and smart displays of 2021How to connect your Amazon Echo to Wi-Fi to get the most out of your Alexa-enabled smart speakerHow to reset your Ring doorbell or remove it from your account

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How to connect an Apple Pencil to your iPad

Apple iPad Apple Pencil Art
The Apple Pencil connects to your iPad via Bluetooth.

  • You can connect your Apple Pencil to an iPad by charging the Pencil with that iPad.
  • To connect a 1st Generation Apple Pencil, plug it into the iPad’s charging port and press “Pair.”
  • To connect a 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, simply latch it onto the side of your iPad.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

The Apple Pencil is one of the best styluses you can get for your iPad. No matter which version you have, the Pencil is easy to store and use.

However, since it’s all wireless, it’s not immediately obvious what you’ll need to do to connect the Apple Pencil with your iPad.

Fortunately, pairing only takes a moment. Here’s how to connect any Apple Pencil with your iPad.

How to connect an Apple Pencil to your iPad

All you need to do to connect your Apple Pencil to an iPad is charge the Apple Pencil with that iPad.

If you have a first-generation Apple Pencil, unscrew the cap on the back of the Pencil and plug it into your iPad’s charging port. Unlock your iPad, and tap the Pair button that appears.

connect_apple_pencil
Tap the “Pair” button when it comes up.

If you have a second-generation Apple Pencil, latch the Pencil onto the magnetic connector on your iPad’s side. If it asks you if you want to pair it, tap Pair.

apple pencil second generation connect
The second-generation Apple Pencil connects magnetically.

Your Apple Pencil will stay paired until you restart the iPad, turn on Airplane Mode, or connect it to another iPad.

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