WiFi Security For Small Businesses

internet, broadband, data, computer, wifiIf you’re running a small hospitality business, a cafe, bar, bistro, hotel or guesthouse, even a salon or spa, many of your customers will be expecting you to supply free WiFi.

If you have contactless card machines then you probably need to use WiFi to make them work, and it’s no additional cost to open up the network and let your customers use it since it’s accepted, and expected by many that this service will be available to them. The problem is that in making your WiFi available to everyone, everyone, including you, is vulnerable to hacking.

It’s nice to think that ‘hacking’ is something that happens far away to other people, that it’s only worth hacker’s time to attack huge corporations and steal billions of pounds at a time. The reality is that with the availability of code on the Dark Web and the massive proliferation of laptops, internet enabled phones, and smart devices, it’s easy and cheap for anyone with a will to to find a way to hack into your business’s WiFi and use it to harm you or your customers.

Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to protect yourself, your reputation, and your customers from attacks which don’t take a great deal of tech savvy or programming skill. Read more

Persistent Myths About Broadband Busted

broadband deal, better broadband, no contract, no line rentalSwitching broadband ISPs used to be difficult, but now, with many more suppliers on the market, it’s time to put those myths to sleep

The problem with myths is that they become received wisdom which, once established, can be hard to debunk, refute or explode. Not only are many of them wrong, in the ISP industry they can cost you, our customers money, and leave you on a broadband package which doesn’t serve your needs.

Switching from one supplier to another isn’t the painful process it used to be, especially if you’re out of the minimum term of your contract, and doing so can save you money, especially if you’ve been on the same plan for a long time.

Fibre Broadband is All The Same

Fibre broadband isn’t all the same. Fibre to the Cabinet or Curb, also known as FTTC, is indeed faster than the old copper phone lines which broadband internet was being supplied until quite recently, but it still relies on a copper wire element to get from the cabinet or ‘curb’ into your home. This final transfer of technology means that you can receive the internet on your old router, but it also means that there is a considerable slowdown in the speeds you can achieve in your home.

On the other hand Fibre to the Property or Premises (FTTP) means that there’s full fibre connection from the local exchange right through to your router and out through the wifi or ethernet cable which was designed to handle superfast data, unlike phone lines. That means much more speed, up to 900 Mbps reliably hard-wired into your house. You can’t use your old modem/router though, as they are not compatible, and can’t approach the speed and signal quality a new fibre router needs to be able to deliver. Read more

Have Great Broadband, But Still Have Slow Wi-Fi?

Installing A Mesh Network Could Be Your Solution To Wi-Fi Shadows And Dark Spotsmesh disk, mesh network, broadband network, home network, home broadband

While your broadband provider gives you incredible internet access speeds, you may find that too many users at the same time and the distance you are from your router can have a significant effect on the speed that you’re able to surf the web. What can you do about it?

Several things can affect the speed you get when you’re actually browsing, the distance from your router, the number of people trying to use the internet at the same time, walls, or even heavy furniture can all have a detrimental effect. While the position of your router is important, there are some things which just can’t be overcome that way, so you may need to invest in a mesh network to solve dark spots.

The Further You Go The Slower The Flow

Wireless routers can only deliver a strong signal for a limited range. As you get toward the extent of that range you will see speeds slowing as the weaker signal affects the amount of data your devices can receive. The router is designed to have a limited range as making them more powerful would mean that householders would find that all their neighbours’ Wi-Fi signal was coming through as strongly as their own, which causes a variety of problems including ‘noise’, interference and tethering problems for devices which automatically connect to the strongest signal.

So people living in a larger than average home, or who want to extend their Wi-Fi’s reach into the garden have to find a way of broadening the reach of their reception. One of the best solutions available at the moment is a mesh network, a series of devices (usually in the form of ‘disks’ or ‘satellites’) which can be dotted around the home to improve signal wherever you are. Read more

The Causes Of A Slow Wi-Fi Router And How To Fix It

router, wireless, digital, broadband, internet,It’s no good having up to 900 Mbps Full Fibre if your Wi-Fi connection to your devices is slow. You could plug an ethernet cable from your computer to the router, but that defeats the point of Wi-Fi, and what about all the devices which can’t be plugged in? There are several reasons for poor Wi-Fi, some of which could need investment in extenders, Point to Point transmitters, and mesh discs, but some of them are simple solutions you can take care of in a few minutes.

Router Placement

Where your router is positioned within the home can have an incredible effect on the speed your internet connected devices work. Placing it near the front door, where the cable comes into your home, seems like an obvious idea, but if most of your internet use takes place at the back of the house, upstairs, or in a home office located in the garden then the distance the signal has to travel, and the obstacles it has to pass through can have a great effect on the amount of bandwidth available to each machine.

To overcome this, simply place your router nearer where the action is. If your family doesn’t all sit in the same room to access the internet (and what family would!?) try to place the router at the centre of the home. This means that each laptop, phone, smart speaker and TV will have an equal opportunity to get signal. And place it somewhere high up. It might be tempting to put it on the floor behind a desk, somewhere out of the way, but putting it on the desk, or better yet on a high shelf. This extends the broadcast range and means less objects the signal has to pass through before reaching your device. Read more

Why Briant Broadband Is Different From The Big Boys Of Internet Data

broadband, ISP, internet service provider, full fibre, wireless, wireless internet, A while ago someone unfriendly left a comment on Briant Broadband’s Facebook page about how he couldn’t trust a small ISP because we didn’t have the same clout as the “big boys”. It left us wondering if he thought we were cooking up data in a still in the back garden, or how he thought that any internet provider came about.

As an ISP it’s our job to ensure that you get the best speeds available. We need to ensure that your connection is stable and reliable, and we need to ensure that you get it at the best price. If that wasn’t enough juggling, because Briant Broadband is an installer as well as a data provider we need to provide routers, wireless receivers, and even pull fibre cable under the ground or suspend it from telegraph poles in order to connect you to our service. We are partnered with CityFibre, a national company who are deeply embedded in the scheme to roll out fibre connectivity to 99% of British homes by 2030, but there are some areas they aren’t going to be able to reach for years. And some areas, such as private housing developments and gated communities, as well as particularly remote homesteads where they may never reach at all.

Briant Broadband have solutions. In one remote private estate we established a wireless solution so homes in the area can all benefit from Superfast internet at speeds up to 200 Mbps whereas before they had to rely on copper phone lines for their internet connection which delivered around 10 or 20 Mbps. Another solution which is open to us is to install our own fibre network, connecting all the houses in a community to our own spine and then connecting that to CityFibre’s infrastructure. Read more

ISP Throttling, What Is It And What You Can Do About It

slow internet throttling by ISPSometimes there are technical issues which mean that your internet service provider isn’t able to deliver the speeds you thought you were going to get. Sometimes they deliberately keep your speeds lower through throttling because they never had any intention of delivering the maximum in the first place.

It sounds like it should be a case for trading standards doesn’t it? Advertising maximum speeds without ever having the intention to achieve those top speeds, but the catch is they advertise “speeds up to…” without expressly stating that you will actually get the maximum speeds they offer.

What are we talking about when we mention throttling

ISPs are in the business of selling broadband, and to do so they have to make their packages look as attractive as possible, so they advertise speeds ‘up to’ the maximum available on that plan. The problem is that while you may get those speeds when the internet is least busy, you can’t really expect them all the time.

That’s understandable, the higher the demand the slower the speeds due to congestion and processing. The problem is when your ISP deliberately throttles your internet because they want you to have lower speeds. You may experience it all the time, at particular times of day, or when visiting particular websites. Read more

Should You Choose Wi-Fi or Ethernet Internet Connection?

ethernet cables plugged into the back of networking hardware.Currently you have two options when connecting your PC or Mac to the internet, you can do it wirelessly or use an ethernet cable. While it’s far more convenient to connect via Wi-Fi, there are drawbacks. Sure you can take your laptop wherever you go in the house if it’s not connected directly to the router, but do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Speed and stability are most people’s main concerns. Consumers want to get what they want quickly, and to know that the internet is going to be there as soon as they log on and stay consistent until they log off again. Measuring your internet speed is easy and only takes a few moments. When you do a speed test you’ll find that you have an upload speed which probably differs quite a bit from your download speed. Upload speed is the amount of time it takes to send information into the internet. When you send an email or share photos to Facebook and Instagram, that’s upload.

Download speeds are the thing most people are going to be concerned about, and that’s why more bandwidth is dedicated to getting information from the internet into your computer. Download speed determines how fast your movies stream, meaning that they shouldn’t buffer or freeze while you’re watching, it determines how quickly an album will download and how soon after connecting to a website you will see the pictures. Read more

Now you’ve switched broadband provider, what about your old router?

router, wireless, digital, broadband, internet, We’re all trying to do our bit for the environment by reducing waste, recycling and reusing where we can, and that notion includes old redundant and retired tech as well, but what’s the use of an old router you don’t need any more? You might be surprised to learn that there is life in your old router yet!

When you sign up with Briant Broadband you’ll not be able to use your old router as ours run on fibre optic data rather than electronic signals down a copper wire. But that doesn’t mean it’s useless, or that you should necessarily throw it away. (Please note, if you do dispose of it, it can’t be thrown in either recycling or non-recyclable landfill and should be taken to your local refuse centre where they can recover the metals and minerals used to build it safely.)

Briant Broadband supply a brand new fibre router with our Full Fibre broadband packages. The products we provide are extremely good, they’re reliable with a signal which is more than sufficient for most homes. However, if you encountered areas in your home where reception wasn’t so good, for example where thick walls, or parts of the house which were simply too far away from the router meant that the signal was weak, then your old device could come to the rescue! Read more

How Cleaning Up Your Google Assistant or Alexa Device Will Improve Performance

google assistant, smart home assistant, smart home automationGoogle Assistants, smart speakers, Alexa devices and all kinds of IOT Smart stuff are a way of life for many of us. While once they were a gadget which it was just kind of cool to have around the house, their usefulness and practicality has made them a firm favourite with anyone who used them regularly. However, over time you might find that your home network is slowing down. And here’s why.

Of course it’s down to age, but this isn’t a blog bemoaning built in obsolescence. The fact is that if you’ve been living with a smart home network for any length of time you’re going to have added smart devices which you no longer use, they may have not been as useful as you expected, you may have bought it on a whim, connected it and forgotten all about it, or, the device may have been lost, got broken, or thrown out. Read more

What Happens If You Stream Pirated Moves Via VPN?

home cinema, tv hanging, tv mounting, tv wall hanging, tv wall mountingYou’ve got your VPN set up to protect your anonymity online, now should you use it to watch pirated streaming movies?

First of all, of course not! That would be illegal and, as we all know video pirating is killing the entertainment industry.

But… As there are so many foreign language streaming sites out there which only give you the title of the film in English you might have absolutely believed that you were on a legitimate website right? And of course the VPN (Virtual Private Network) disguises your location anyway, so IN THEORY nobody would know it was you in the first place.

The purpose of a VPN isn’t to protect you from unwanted advertising, nor stop your web browser from tracking your visits and keeping cookies, and won’t stop anyone you live or share a computer with from seeing your history. So while there are many VPNs available, free or subscription based, using browser extensions or apps, they’re not necessarily the best, and certainly not the only option for more secure video streaming. Read more