The Household Spring Cleaning & Maintenance You Should Do Today

house, home, home maintenance, spring clean, repairs

Now the clocks have gone forward it must be spring! And there’s something primal about the urge to spring clean and carry out home maintenance. You’ve had all winter to think about those jobs you want to do, but you know you need a few days of good weather to really get to grips with them. You might be itching to throw open the windows and get right into giving the carpet a good shampoo, or you might have been obsessing over the state of the paint around your windows, and you’re dreaming of the day you can peel it back, repair the putty, fill any holes and give it a thorough lick of weatherproof paint. (Hands up, I’m guilty of both of those! But a damp carpet AND paint fumes at the same time? I think I’ll be spreading those jobs out…)

This year spring cleaning, probably more than any in living memory for most of us, will be an almost visceral event. After a year of being mostly stuck indoors and worrying we’ll finally be able to get fresh air into the house, scrub the woodwork, dust all the nooks and crannies and clear our heads too. We call it ‘Spring Cleaning’ but there’s a lot of DIY maintenance and household DIY which you’ll want to get up to your elbows in as well. Read more

From Fish Tanks To Vacuums, Smart Devices Need Smarter Security

Image courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/@kabita-darlami-2613403Because Briant Communications staff are proud to call ourselves “professional installers” it is infuriating when we see people on the news who’ve been made victims of crime because of a substandard installation. If you follow our blog you’ll have read about how we recommend applying rigorously high security protocols for all of your Internet of Things connected devices because default settings and lax passwords create a chink in your armour, so it’s frustrating when we hear stories such as the following.

Something Fishy Going On With This Casino’s Security

Not long ago a casino was hacked and the personal information contained in a database of clients’ details was stolen by criminals who gained access to the business’ computer network via a Smart fish tank thermometer. Darktrace’s Nicole Eagan reported that:
The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network. they then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud.” Read more

Our Latest “Before And After” Cable Installation

before & after, cable installation, rewiring, satellite, aerial, TV, television, expert, professional, skilled engineerWe make mention a lot about our ‘professional cable installation‘ and you may wonder why. After all, it’s just putting cables under floors and behind walls, no big deal, right?

If you look at these before and after photos from a recent job our engineers undertook you’ll start to see why it’s so important to do the job properly. Various different installers of varying degrees of expertise all seem to have had a go at this in the past.
It’s easy be break or damage a cable, especially if you don’t know where it is, and that’s why professional cable installation is so important, whether it’s in your HMO, apartment block, office or industrial unit. Read more

Building, Renovating Or Refurbing? We Need To Talk About Data Cable!

fibre installation, fibre optic, ultrafast fibre dataWhether you’re renovating an old building, adding an extension, or building a new project from the ground up, it’s always a good idea to think about futureproofing. You wouldn’t leave electric wiring or plumbing out and add it as an afterthought, so why leave data cable to last?

Can installing digital infrastructure really be considered ‘futureproofing’ at all? We can all see how digital broadband data is here to stay, the only question is, how much of it we’re going to need as we become ever more data hungry? Ten years ago you would have been happy for one computer in your house to get fast access to Facebook to see who had most recently thrown a sheep at you or poked you (no, nobody knew then, nobody knows now. It was just one of those things), but today we need ‘instant on’ when we’re streaming movies, watching online TV, downloading and sharing music, and of course, checking our news feed on Facebook… And that’s not even considering the data that’s needed for Smart Home Automation devices and the demands that Covid has put on us in regards to working from home, always being in & needing to find ways of entertaining the kids and breaking up the Groundhog Day-like monotony of lockdown after lockdown. Putting all those aspects of modern home life and, together with Moore’s Law that technology becomes cheaper, faster and smaller with every passing year, it’s hard to imagine what the home without a broadband spine leading from the router to the street, or a strong, stable ultrafast wireless broadband connection would look like to Future Us. Read more

Our Finishing Touches Turn D-I-Y Into D-I-WOW!

home entertainment, barn conversion, home office, work from home, wifi extenders, mesh networkWhile Covid has kept millions of people at home with nothing to do DIY projects all over the country have finally been completed. Stuck at home, entertainment has been at a premium. With no reason to put all those niggling little jobs off, and all the time that could never be found before shelves have been going up, doors touched up and re-hung, bedrooms painted and bathrooms re-grouted. And then there are the people who like to get their teeth stuck into the big jobs!

A marvellous example of ‘finally getting around-to-it’ is this exceptional outhouse we recently tricked out with home entertainment, internet & TV in Wonersh, a beautiful little village not far from Guildford in Surrey.

Creating Workspaces You Want To Enjoy Spending Spare Time In

The homeowners wanted a space where they could ‘break out’ when they got sick of being trapped indoors, but with all the access to modern technology that we’ve all become used to. It’s a space to relax, and to work, but it also needs to be secure. A perfect scenario for for Briant Communications! Read more

Image courtesy of https://www.freeimages.com/photo/working-woman-1440176

Online Fraud: My Experience of Beating Internet Scammers

Image courtesy of https://www.freeimages.com/photo/working-woman-1440176I like to think of myself as an intelligent guy who can spot phishing and fraudulent attempts to scam me into handing over my personal information, and for the most part I’m successful. I get so many calls from scammers using private numbers or from places with area codes I’m not familiar with that I know what’s going to happen as soon as I pick up: either the line goes dead or I’m told by a robot that my Amazon Prime account is going to be renewed, that I was involved in a car accident which wasn’t my fault, or that BT Internet has discovered my neighbours are stealing my data and I need take action immediately to stop them.

Just for fun, since it costs me nothing and I’m interested to see how the scam works I go along with it. The scams are so incredibly obvious it’s astonishing they can work, yet some poor, overly trusting marks must fall for it, else they wouldn’t keep using the same old methods.

The Amazon fraud works by telling you that you’re going to be charged for something you don’t want. So naturally you talk to the ‘customer service representative’ and press 1 to fix it. They tell you to go to a website which is hosted on Wix, a perfectly respectable web hosting business which is in no way connected to the scam. The problem with the fraud is that the scammers are too cheap to even pay for hosting so the website they use has a .wix suffix and has adverts for their other premium services popping up during your visit. Not something you’d expect from a multi-billion dollar company such as Amazon. The rep tells you to click on a link, except the link is a download for software which is sure to damage your computer and give up your details. I don’t know what is supposed to happen next as I gave up my pretence of credulity and told them off for having such a pathetically obvious scam, and that I would be ashamed if I was to try anything so amateurish. Read more

Christmas is Over, Now Get To Grips With Those Tech Prezzies!

digital technology, digital tech, smart speaker, alexa, sonos, Did you have a good Christmas? What was your best present? Did you get lots of Smart Tech and digital gadgets? Good for you!

The market for Smart devices and high definition television keeps on growing. Smart speakers are now on to their fourth generation, and with 5g technology becoming available throughout the country their usefulness is becoming amplified.

What’s 5g got to do with your Smart Speaker or Home Automation system?

Smart devices connect to one another wirelessly, that’s true, but they don’t juts perform one operation or have one conversation with another smart device at a time. Smart devices are always on, looking out for updates, listening out for each other as well as your voice in order to perform their role properly. If they didn’t there would be no point having them. There’s no point yelling “Alexa! Turn the kettle on!” in the lounge if nothing in the kitchen is connected. Read more

Could Broadband Internet Be The Thing Which Saves Christmas?

local broadband, fast broadband, Worthing broadbandChristmas 2020 won’t be much like any others we’ve ever known before. In some ways that’s a sad thing, and in others, a clear benefit. You may doubt it right now, but I’ll explain: You may not be able to jet off to sunnier climes since social distancing, two lockdowns and a general concern with being in a tin can breathing recycled air would put anyone off air travel. You may not be able to go skiing for much the same reason, and the thought of putting extra stress on local hospitals if you break a limb when they’re busy dealing with people who are sick because of Covid seems unfair. But a year of social distancing and lockdowns has taught us to be resilient, to rely on our common sense, and to embrace technology as our friend instead of an inconvenience which must be overcome. Broadband internet is here to save Christmas!

Perhaps I’m preaching to the wrong people, and it’s technophobes and traditionalists who really need to get the message, but there seem to be fewer and fewer of them around since connecting with digital communications, and therefore each other is becoming increasingly easy.

Read more

Protecting Your Ring Camera From Hackers

smart home security, cctv camera, home cctv, home security,Amazon’s Ring Smart Doorbells and access control have been under scrutiny over the past couple of months because of lapses in security. Most customers have nothing to worry about thanks to several factors, including the scarcity of people with the expertise to be able to bypass the security settings which are in place if customers follow the installation instructions carefully.

However, if you buy a Ring doorbell and don’t update and personalise the security features it’s not very difficult for anyone with a mobile phone to be able to breech your home security systems. As Smart devices, including home security and monitoring become ever more popular it’s natural that the number of devices which are installed poorly or not personalised at all is going to increase. Such an increase makes it possible for the wannabee hacker to travel around looking for systems worth infiltrating and exploiting.

Controlling Who Can Go Where

You can give access to your Ring account to a number of different people who will them be able to talk to visitors, let people in, and watch in real time as people move about from their phones or tablets. It makes more sense to add users from an admin than give log in details to others, so for example if you have friends or family come to stay, or you want to give people staying at your house via AirBnB access, you can add them or remove them without having to pass on any log-in details. Read more

Is 5G Bad For Your Health? Is It Safe? What Should We Be Aware Of?

girl phone beach internet accessLooking at social media and the news you’ll no doubt be aware that there are any number of rumours that 5G is dangerous. It causes cancer, leukaemia, it causes infertility and autism. It also causes headaches and premature ageing. And naturally these scare stories are put about by exactly the same people who said exactly the same thing about 4G, 3G, 2G, Wi-Fi, high tension power lines, TV transmitters, rock ‘n roll, and even the train if it went more than twenty miles an hour. And people love to read these stories as it gives them an outside source for their problems. The inexplicable can be explained. People prefer if they can identify causation rather than put cancer or autism down to random chance and the luck of the draw.

That’s not to say there aren’t dangers coming from 5G, but those are far more esoteric.

5G is being introduced as 4G can’t be developed any further without going on to that next stage, and the reason for that is the Smart Home Revolution. We need more and more data to flow through our homes as ever more devices become automated. If each device is going to work correctly in conjunction with all your other devices it will need uninterrupted signal at full capacity whenever and wherever it is called upon. Read more