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

Create Your Own Temporary Outdoor Home Cinema

home cinema, home theatre, outdoor, projector, projection screenDrive-In in the Back Yard, Your Next DIY Project

Summer’s here, but the time isn’t yet right for dancing in the street. Instead, while lockdowns are being eased, it’s still not wise to gather in large groups with strangers. Nevertheless, the nice weather means that it’s nice to relax and enjoy the garden. So why not set up a temporary home cinema in the garden and enjoy the big screen experience without the hassle of having to leave the house? The first thing you’re going to need will be something to watch the movie on. You could haul a TV into the garden, but if that kind of hassle isn’t for you, then a projector is going to be the answer. Depending on the size of your garden, and where you’re going to sit will affect the kind of projector you want.

Projectors today are quite different from anything you might remember if you’ve only been keeping an eye on televisions. Today they are small, adaptable, and so bright you can watch them in daylight while ‘short throw’ projectors can sit a few inches away from the screen and still provide a huge, high definition picture. If you need to hang the projector above head height you can invert the image, or reverse it if you want to project the picture from the back of the screen.

Getting your movies from your computer to your projector and speakers is a synch. A Chromecast or Fire TV Stick can be plugged direct into the HDMI port, making it simple and trip hazard free (the projector does need to have a powered USB port though, as casting devices don’t have batteries). Read more

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

Summer Sounds Perfect For Outdoor Home Audio

If we’re going to be living in our gardens this summer it’s worth looking at outdoor smart home audio.

Summer’s almost here, but it doesn’t look like the wisest decision will be to fly away to foreign climes. What with the queues at the gates for Spain, Portugal, France or Italy and the threat of unknown Covid variants further afield it might be wiser just to stay at home, even after having been unable to stray too far from one’s front door for over a year! 

But if you’re going to be spending the summer at home, how do you glam up your garden to make it somewhere you’ll want to spend time? 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