Staying Connected While Enjoying The Great British Outdoors

outdoor wireless, internet extender, digital extender, wireless extenderLast week we looked at setting up a temporary home cinema in your garden. But what if you want to extend your Wi-Fi internet into the garden as well. You might want to do this for any number of reasons, and not just so you can work on your tan and stream live feeds from Love Island, the Olympics and the Big Brother house at the same time!

No matter how good your router is, or where you put it, there’s very little chance that you will be able to get good enough reception from it to your phone, tablet or laptop once you go more than a few metres outside. If you’re going to use the internet outdoors you need to think about proper solutions instead of making the best of a technology which wasn’t designed for the purpose to which you’re putting it. However, once you do get Wi-Fi internet in the garden it opens up a great deal of new opportunities which you may not have thought about before.

Taking your Wi-Fi internet outdoors doesn’t only mean that you can watch TV on a mobile device without eating up all of your contract’s data allowance. It means you can convert an outbuilding into a home office or connected workshop, handy if you’re working off plans you need to download or 3D models you need to look at as you’re working. It also means that you’re able to secure these buildings far more easily and effectively than might have been possible before. Security cameras, sensors and alarms which operate wirelessly over Wi-Fi can be located anywhere if you’ve got enough bandwidth in the garden, so you can keep an eye on outbuildings, barns, gates, fences and reverse angles of your home itself instead of being limited to where you can put those devices by the distance you can install a cable.

If you’re interested in taking Wi-Fi outside there are a number of options depending on how you intend to use the internet once it’s out there. Read more

How Likely Is It Your Smart Home Will Be Attacked By Hackers?

smart home, iot, hacking, connected devices, automation, automated homeDon’t imagine that it’s only the unlucky few who get caught out by hackers penetrating their Smart Home Automation security protocols. Rather than being a rare occurrence, hacking is a huge and ongoing problem, especially for anyone who relies on default settings to keep them safe.

Consumer magazine Which? installed a number of Smart Home devices, enough to adequately reflect those of a well equipped home, and found that in a week they had more than 10,000 scans or hacking attempts made. While scans aren’t necessarily malicious, they just look to see what products are being used where, there were more than 2,435 specific hacking attempts, which adds up to 14 attempts by a hacker to force their way in to (what they believed to be) someone’s Home Automation Environment every hour for an entire week.

Revealing Discoveries

During the trial it was found that an Epson printer and an ieGeek security camera were most often targeted by hackers. The attempts at the printer prove that it’s not always the most obvious devices which get the most attention, but those which are the least likely to be properly passworded because they’re innocuous and need to be available to the whole family. While the printer’s default password did stand up to the hacking, the camera did less well and someone was able to take control of it, giving them access to the images and allowing them to change settings. (the ieGeek camera tested has now been withdrawn from sale by Amazon following Which?’s investigation. Amazon had championed it as their Amazon Choice after more than 68% of its reviews were five star on their platform.) Amazon representatives said “We require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations and have developed industry-leading tools to prevent unsafe or non-compliant products from being listed in our stores.” Read more

What is Fibre Broadband, and How Exactly Does It Go So Fast?

fibre, fibre optic, fibre optic broadband, briant broadband, superfast internet, ultra fast internet Everyone by now knows what fibre optic cable is, but do they know how it works and why it’s so much faster than cable or wireless digital broadband?

In the 1980s telephone companies started putting fibre optic cables under the ground instead of copper cable. The benefit was that the media, glass, was much cheaper than metal, could carry vastly more information, and carry it over much greater distances without the need for signal boosters, switches or repeaters. Copper wire had been in use since the days of the telegraph, and it was quite sufficient when it wasn’t common for every home to have a phone, and the only signal that it had to carry was the voices of the two people having a conversation.

With the advent of the micro-computer, the internet and world wide web, the needs of the infrastructure changed, so the phone company started using fibre optics instead of copper. But if you were using a home computer in the 90s once it became more common for a home to have a computer and internet access you might not have seen much in the way of ‘fast internet’ as we understand it today. Your computer will have still been connected to your modem via a copper cable, and that dial-up modem will have been connected to local exchange via metal cable. Hubs and servers all over the world would be connected by fibre optic lines, but there was still so much metal in the system that the full speed potential could never be reached.

That’s changing very rapidly now. The internet is no longer regarded simply as a useful tool, it’s become so much a part of our lives that it is being considered by many to be a utility, just like gas, electricity and water. Consequently, in order to provide the kind of speed people need to make the internet serviceable, notwithstanding however many people are all using it at the same time, it’s necessary to ensure that as many people have access to fibre all the way up to their property, or an equally acceptable alternative. Read more

The Smarter The Home, The Bigger & Better The Broadband

ultrafast broadband, broadband, internet, dataWe love all things Smart Home, and have jumped fully aboard the Smart Home Automation revolution. But there is one drawback: You need a broadband subscription if your automated kit is going to work. With most suppliers that comes with the hidden fee of a phone line rental, and then, if you want to operate your Smart Tech remotely you need data for your phone as well, which means another data hungry contract.

While we can’t help with the phone contract, Briant Broadband can help with the data in your home!

Briant Broadband is a new data supply company operating two minutes walk from Worthing town centre which offers a local service based on delivering ultrafast broadband data at an competitive price point but with the benefit of experience and customer service that you only get a family run Worthing business with engineers and installers who live in the area. Read more

networking, fibre, fibreoptic, data, broadband data, broadband internet

Better Broadband Means Better Prices & Better Customer Service

networking, fibre, fibreoptic, data, broadband data, broadband internetHow have you been treated by your broadband provider recently? Are you happy with the bills and customer service you receive? A lot of people aren’t, and with good reason.

Not long ago Sky revealed that it would be increasing the cost of some of their packages, including broadband, pay TV and phone contracts from April to May this year. EE, BT and Virgin are all raising prices in March, using the Consumer Price Index as a justification.

How Does The Consumer Price Index Work?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) take an imaginary “basket of goods” which statisticians and economists believe everybody wants and uses more or less every day, and compares the cost of each item against one another and the income of the British Public. The outcome of this number-crunching gives us a handy way to judge inflation, how much a pound is worth in spending power today compared with how much it had last year, five years, or even ten years ago, and how much spending power it has against other currencies, such as the dollar or euro.

Things are added to the CPI Basket of Goods as they become essential to our lives, and get left out as our tastes change. As well as things you would find in a literal shopping basket it also contains a raft of other items and costs, including bedroom furniture, rent, and one of the most recent additions: broadband internet. Read more