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Switching Broadband Providers Is Going To Get Much Easier

image courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@magellol - broadband, changing providers, switch, digital switch, isp, wisp, As with many services, such as your bank, energy or water supplier, the rigmarole, hassle and mistakes which can occur when switching are often the most common reasons people give for not wanting to switch. That is true for broadband data too, or at least it will be until April 2023 when Ofcom introduce the “One Touch Switch” (OTS) service for broadband consumers. OTS, which is currently modelled on the template available to landline phone users takes all of the bother out of the process of switching from one ISP to another, so it will certainly be welcomed by digital data users looking for a better deal.

Currently it’s necessary to deal with both your new and old internet service provider, you’ll be setting up one account and making sure there is as little overlap as you leave your old provider, while also making sure there is no service gap between leaving one and starting with the next either.

Instead the OTS system means that all you will have to do is contact the company you want to have a new contract with and they will arrange the rest.

Depending on which service you want to take up, switching can currently be very easy, provided you are moving from a like to like service with the same infrastructure. Problems arise though when you want to switch to a company which is on a different physical network from the one you’re currently on. As a broadband data provider we, and Ofcom, feel that switching should be as easy and transparent for you the consumer as possible. You don’t care about infrastructure interface, Code Powers, or Physical Infrastructure Access, you just want to get better broadband as quickly as possible. It’s our job to care about that, and then to get you the fastest broadband data as quickly and efficiently as possible. Read more

Get More From Your Broadband Data, Even With Data Hungry Visitors

local broadband, fast broadband, Worthing broadbandA simple way to protect many of your Smart Home devices is to attach them to a guest network rather than the Wi-Fi network you use your broadband to connect with the internet. It’s more secure to connect your smart devices in this way as they are less vulnerable to hacking or scanning, where an outsider looks at the online devices, and scans them for usernames and passwords which haven’t been properly secured. They’re not absolutely invulnerable, but keeping them off of the network which you use to connect your computer to the internet reduces the risks of them being easily accessed.

There are plenty of other very good reasons to set up a guest network on your router as well. For guests, for example.

Make Your Broadband Easy To Use, For The Right People

When you have visitors who all want to connect their phones or laptops to the internet the easiest thing is to make your network password free. Clearly a terrible idea! Instead, the wisest and best thing would be to create a guest network that they can connect to instead of the one you use to connect to the internet. They can connect using a basic password which is easy to remember, and in no way similar to the long, complex passwords you use for your own devices. Making the password easy to remember means that you won’t have to keep re-sending it or resetting it because someone is always forgetting it. Another feature of a guest network is that it prevents those on it from accessing shared folders, printers, and any wireless storage devices which you keep on your regular Wi-Fi network. What that means is that you can keep on doing all your usual stuff on your ‘Home’ network without having to worry about people who’ve access to the ‘Guest’ network seeing anything they shouldn’t. A guest network means you’re able to do that without having to go about changing and adding additional security to all your personal stuff. Read more

Common Cyber Security Threats, And How To Protect Yourself

Image courtesy https://www.freeimages.com woman at computer, bills, phone banking, security, online security, secure payment, Naturally devices which are constantly connected to the internet and sending information to one-another and to you wherever you are in the world are going to be vulnerable to cyber attack. That’s not a surprise to anyone. What is a surprise though is how easy it is to use basic security measures to prevent, and more surprisingly yet, how people still get it wrong!

It’s perfectly natural to want to feel secure and relaxed in your own home, that’s what it’s there for after all. And it’s nice to have the convenience of labour saving devices around you which you can control without getting out of your chair, but what if those gadgets which do so much work for you could be put to work against you without your even knowing? What if they spied on you, collected your financial and personal information, let burglars know when you’d be at home and when you’d be out, and even let them unlock the doors to let themselves in?

Well, that’s all perfectly possible, but only if you DON’T follow the basic steps it takes to secure your Smart Home devices against hackers, scanners, and all other kinds of cyber intruders. Read more

Security Problems with Cheap Smart Doorbells Set Alarms Ringing

pic courtesy of Marjan Blan Instagram: @marjanblan, doorbell, broken doorbell, access control, Thinking of buying yourself a Smart Doorbell as a gift this Christmas? It’s a good idea, they’re rally handy devices to have, but beware of low quality products.

If you really want to treat yourself don’t scrimp and invest in the best quality goods you can afford. And that’s not just the advice coming from the marketing department! Surveys of good bought online from such retailers as eBay and Amazon discovered that many goods which are in the “affordable” end of the pool come with multiple security risks which could put your home and data in more danger than you ever would have had if you’d just stick to a good old fashioned Yale or mortis lock.

The devices which were reviewed weren’t just inferior products, they included goods which sent photos, usernames, passwords, GPS data and emails back to the manufacturer, all for no discernible reason. This is all data it’s necessary to input into the device for it to work properly, but you certainly don’t want it being shared unfiltered and unbeknownst to you with anyone.

Which? and NCC Group bought 11 video doorbells on the most popular sales platforms. Despite all looking very similar to one-another they were from a range of manufacturers, and all had prices which were remarkably competitive when compared to well known brands such as Amazon Ring or Nest on Google Home. Read more

The Most Easily Hacked Smart Devices, And How To Fix Their Security

We know that any incorrectly installed Smart Home devices are intrinsically prone to hacking. If you haven’t set up the security properly by only using default settings there’s a very good chance your device is going to be scanned and someone, somewhere, could use the weakness in your Smart Home environment to gain access to your home, steal personal data, or use your accounts to launch further DDoS attacks.

We also know that even making a minimal effort to protect your data and property by using unguessable names and strong, complex passwords will deter almost all attempts to attack your Smart Home devices. If you happen to own something of particular interest to the person who is keen to find out your access codes then they may try to probe deeper, but for the most part scans are carried out by bots testing default passwords against an array of devices in the hope that someone will have forgotten to secure them.

More Users, More Problems

The problem is that many Smart Home devices are designed to have more than one user, but not to have sporadic temporary users. And that can be a problem. Some people need or demand access to devices they don’t understand or refuse to learn how they work. This means that they get things wrong, change things which shouldn’t have been touched, which often it means having to change everything or revert to default to fix what they messed up. Do this too many times and it becomes frustrating for all the other users to get locked out all the time, so defaults become the standard that everybody uses again.

Devices such as Smart doorbells, smoke/fire detectors, thermostats and lights all require you to let everybody in the house, and an unquantifiable number of guest users to be able to access the settings, depending who lives with you and who you have visiting your home. You, your partner and your kids might be just fine getting along with all those devices just as they are, but your sister’s idiot boyfriend who burns the toast on Christmas morning, sets off the smoke alarm and panics, mashing the display panel and changing a slew of settings in his attempt to silence it is always going to be a loose cannon on deck. Read more

Teaching your Nest Smart Doorbell to Send the Notifications You Need

NEst Smart Doorbell, Battery Powered, Smart Access control, smart home, home automationSave on unwanted alerts, save on battery life, save on stored footage by tweaking your Google Home Nest Battery Doorbell

The great thing about a Smart doorbell is that you can be anywhere and still see who’s coming to the door. So if you’re having a lie-in when relatives call by unannounced you can choose whether to answer the door, or talk to them via the built in speaker instead. Similarly, if you’re in the garden, or otherwise engaged when a delivery comes you will know there’s someone at the door and ask them to hang on for just one minute before the go on to the next house!

The Nest Smart Doorbell also offers motion detection which is great, but if you live somewhere with a busy pavement, or you have an active family who are always coming and going then the constant alerts to people passing will get a little bit irritating. So what to do?

Nest, The Smarter Smart Doorbell

The Nest smart doorbell has more adaptability than many other Smart Doorbells on the market, including other Nest wired products. However, they are features you may not even need if you just want something which is plug-and-play.

First of all you need to put your Nest doorbell somewhere near the door where it can be clearly seen by visitors, and where it will have a clear view of people approaching your front door. Sync it with your Google Home app and you can now get notifications on your phone, tablet, or computer whenever anyone is outside your home. The device also records and stores up to three hours of footage which you can look back over when you need to verify if someone did or didn’t visit.

The doorbell has a very wide field of view, meaning that it’s hard to creep by it without being seen, and also offers facial recognition so you know whether a car, person or pet has triggered the motion detection. And this is the technology which also makes the Nest so much more adaptable than other smart doorbells on the market. If you have a neighbour’s dog which is constantly digging up your lawn, you want to know when the little pest is up to no good! Alternatively you may not care about dogs passing your home, but you do need to know when people are present, or when a delivery has been dropped off and is waiting for you. Read more

Bayside Building Bringing Better Broadband

Worthing’s Latest Luxury Apartments Enjoy Unlimited Superfast Wireless and Fibre Thanks To Briant Broadband

The Bayside building in Worthing is now completed and the newest residents have moved in, and among the features their homes enjoy, unlimited super-fast broadband as a utility from the property managers is just one of the perks.As soon as a new householder moves in to the new Worthing luxury apartments they can just plug in their computer, TV and smart devices and all the data they need is right there on demand. No searching around for the best deals, no exorbitant telephone line rentals, just ultra fast fibre broadband from cable connections and unlimited superfast wireless broadband when they want to go cable free.

How? Well, it’s all down to the latest local broadband data provider in Worthing, Briant BroadbandBriant Communications installed the fibre data network to the building, and suggested to the property managers that they might like to come to an arrangement. If Briant Broadband supplied the hardware and data, they would get access to the roof where they installed a wireless broadband transmitter. The advantages were clear; the property managers were able to provide cheap broadband as a utility, every home deals with the same provider, there is an engineer who’s local to Worthing on hand far faster than when dealing with any of the main players in the market place, and maintenance is always carried out by people familiar with the building, the area, and even a few of the residents.
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Futureproof Your Digital Broadband By Choosing The Right Technology

Image courtesy of https://www.freeimages.com/ broadband, computer, work, home, Anyone developing a building project on the south coast will be concerned about future proofing the property. But knowing what technology today is viable for the future and what will be superseded by better technology is almost impossible. If only we could count on reliability, quality and availability to help us make up our minds, but it’s not that simple either. Betamax was better than VHS. It was better quality, and there was no reason that Beta video recorders wouldn’t have become smaller and lighter in the fullness of time. So why did VHS take over?

JVC was interested in making cheap, readily available video tapes for the home. While Sony were heavily invested in music and cinema production and distribution, giving them all the networks they needed to monopolise, they failed to capitalise on their advantage as they refused to license Betamax technology to other companies. This was their major mistake as JVC were happy to let other manufacturers and licensees produce their cheaper VHS tapes. This meant that you could essentially get any other movie except a Sony production on VHS.

By the 90s we’d seen too many alternatives come onto the market and disappear. In the 80s there was laserdisc, VHS, Betamax, cassette, they were followed by CDs DVDs, Minidisc and finally MP3 and MP4. After Minidisc there was a rush to invent the next media, technology companies were looking for the next music and video storage system, but the record industry was against it. Technology was over-proliferating the market so there was a risk that nobody would buy new devices because they were worried that their new hi-fi or video player would be obsolete before the warranty had expired. A moratorium on new technology lasted for a few years while Minidiscs proved popular, useful, but unfortunately other technology was sneaking up behind. Read more

Broadband Problems? How To Get Out Of A Bad Contract

local broadband, fast broadband, Worthing broadbandWe’ve all received bad service and not got the satisfaction we feel we deserve. But if you’ve signed a broadband internet contract and you’re not getting what you wanted, here’s how to kick up the right kind of fuss!

There are few things more infuriating than not getting what you want, especially if you’re paying your own hard-earned cash for it. As kids we’re taught to live with disappointment, but as bill paying adults who aren’t getting what was sold to us or what we ordered, we reserve the right to kvetch!

If you order a pair of shoes or a dress online and they pinch, or the fit is wrong for your shape, you just send it back and get a refund or replacement. Simple. If you get a random product as a substitute in your grocery delivery you roll your eyes and hope for better luck next time (while wondering what on Earth was going on in the head of the person who substitutes a salad with a chocolate bar, or condoms with a pregnancy test!).

But what about when you’re not receiving a product or service such as broadband data that was promised? There are several things which can, and do go wrong with your Internet Service Provider, some are unavoidable, some take a bit of effort on their part to fix, and some are so chronic that you have the right to leave your contract early without incurring penalty fees or other additional costs.

Consumers who live in out-of-the-way areas may find that they’re not going to get gigabit data for the foreseeable future, fibre to the property might be a long way off and Wi-Fi might not be deliverable. These are all things the call centre agent you’re on the phone to simply can’t fix. However, if these problems genuinely can’t be avoided then the Internet Service Provider should make every effort to offer you a deliverable alternative which is reasonably priced. If they can’t, you simply shop elsewhere. Read more

Congratulations on Your Smart Doorbell

smart home security, cctv camera, home cctv, home security,Now let’s look at how to get the most out of your smart doorbell, from improving battery life to recording motion detection.

Over the past 18 months we’ve all become used to being in all the time. We’ve been shopping online rather than going to the shops, and we’re always in when the delivery driver brings our goods to the door. Now we’re finally coming out of lockdown (again) there are habits we’ll probably keep, and many we’ll lose as soon as we get used to being back in the open and enjoying society again.

Even people who are otherwise resistant to digital technology have managed to get to grips with ZoomFacebook and all the other socials which made staying in touch with the family so much easier than it would have been without them. People who previously couldn’t programme their TV to record an entire series were setting up pub quizzes via Zoom and dominating WhatsApp groups like never before.

Now that lockdown is almost over and with vaccination it looks like they may be a thing of the past, shopping from home still looks like it’s going to be one of those habits which persist. It’s convenient, retailers have been working on perfecting it for years, and after the numbers of online sales, they now have lived experience of making it work in volume long term. But there is one drawback. Although we enjoy shopping online, we won’t always be in to accept deliveries any longer. So what are we going to do?

Smart doorbells and access control solutions are precisely the piece of kit you need in such situations. Smart doorbells have several applications and advantages which people have always been keen on. You don’t have to run to the door every time it rings as you can just see who’s at the door and open it wherever you are, so if you’re in the bath, in bed, or at the bottom of the garden you can see who’s calling and decide if you want to let them in, or ask them to come back later, or even inform them that you’re calling the police.
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