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Does Wifi Mesh Make Sense for You?

Does Wifi Mesh Make Sense for You?

Wi-Fi is a top contender for a technology most of us rely upon. After all, Wi-Fi often provides our wireless high-speed internet and network connections. We couldn’t work from wherever we wanted in our homes or offices without it.

Well, just when you were becoming familiar with Wi-Fi, the technology is adapting. If you live in a big house or a flat with thick interior walls, or your working space is spread out over multiple stories, you may have experienced dead spots.

Enter Mesh Wi-Fi. Traditional Wi-Fi relies on a single router and if you were having connectivity issues, you might have invested in a Wi-Fi booster or Wi-Fi extender, but now you can reach far areas with the Wi-Fi Mesh system.

Mesh networks aren’t new. They’re already in use in some businesses and on military bases with their own isolated networks. But now you can also optimize home or office connectivity with Mesh Wi-Fi.

How Mesh Wi-Fi works

With Mesh Wi-Fi, you’ll place several smaller, connected devices around the house or office. Instead of having one central routing hub linking Wi-Fi signals via radio waves to the modem, you’ll have many access points (also known as satellites) capturing and rebroadcasting the routing signals you need for connectivity.

Benefits of Mesh Wi-Fi

Having ready access to a strong, reliable Wi-Fi signal wherever you are in your home or office is a good thing, but that’s not the only advantage of Mesh Wi-Fi. Other benefits include:
• Greater speed. With all access points broadcasting the same signal, you can cut the lag from having multiple, simultaneous connectivity requests.
• Better coverage. Typical Mesh Wi-Fi router devices claim to cover from 4,500 to 6,000 square feet.
• Ease of use. The typical Mesh router system is automated and provides a mobile app for easy management, even remotely.
• Integration with other Smart Home devices such as Alexa is often a feature.
• Parental controls are available with certain brands of these router systems.

Securing your Mesh Wi-Fi

Just as with traditional Wi-Fi, the security of your Mesh Wi-Fi will depend on your keeping your router devices safe. This means:
• changing the device’s administrative credentials and password from their default settings;
• setting up devices to automatically check for and install security patch updates;
• changing the network name to something unique, not something that immediately identifies the network as yours (e.g. if you live at 804 Water Road, don’t call your network 804 Water);
• setting up a guest Wi-Fi network allowing visitors to log on instead of providing every guest to your home with your access credentials.

You’ve read the Pro’s – what are the Negatives?

The main consideration is cost – as you can appreciate, multiple devices mean more expense.

Consider: How often do you have connectivity issues? How many Wi-Fi dead zones are you dealing with? What’s your budget? And do you really want several more devices strewn around your house? You might need only to set up your traditional router and modem more efficiently or use Powerline technology if you have enough power sockets.

The important thing is to find out which is the best technology for your circumstances.

Want to learn more about dealing with slow connectivity or dead spots in your home? Give us a call on 01455 209505. We can help you decide on the best Wi-Fi connectivity option for your needs.

Don’t Fall Victim to Webcam Blackmail

Don't fall Victim to Webcam Blackmail

Many customers have reported recent scam messages from individuals claiming to have intercepted their username and password. These messages often state they have been watching your screen activity and webcam while you have been unaware.

Typically, attackers threaten to broadcast footage and your web browsing details to your contacts, colleagues, or social media channels. Demanding payment in Bitcoin payments, malicious hackers blackmail their victims to keep confidential information private.

Where Have the Attacks Come From?

In many cases where hackers have claimed to have a victims’ password, this has turned out to be true, but usually its not because you have been hacked – but rather that a company you have had dealings with has.

In the last few years alone, many large websites have suffered enormous hacks which have released confidential details on many of their users. LinkedIn, Yahoo, Myspace and TalkTalk all suffered massive and devastating hacks. Some users of these services are still feeling the consequences today.

The details leaked from these sites, and others facing the same issues, are sold online for years after the initial breach. Hackers buy username and password combinations in the hopes of reusing them to access services, steal money, or blackmail their owners.

How to Respond if You get One of these Emails

If you have been contacted by one of these hackers, it is a scary reality that they could have access to your credentials, data, and online services. That said, accounts that share the same password should be changed immediately. Security on additional services you use should be updated too.

The only thing you can do in response to this type of email is to ignore it. This “we recorded you” email is a scam made much more believable because they probably do have one of your real passwords gained from a site hack, but that does not mean that they have access to your computer or Webcam.

Self Defence On the Web

When using online services, a unique password for every site is your number one defence. A good password manager program makes this practical and straightforward too.

Using a different password for each site you use means that hackers can only gain access to one site at a time. A hack in one place should never compromise your other accounts by revealing the single password you use everywhere – unfortunately we still do come across customers that only use one password for everything.

Often, people think that maintaining many passwords is hard work or even impossible to do. In truth, it’s almost always easier to keep tabs with a password manager than it is to use the system you have in place today.

A high quality and secure password manager such as LastPass, or 1Password, can keep track of all your logins efficiently and securely. They often offer the chance to improve your security by generating random and strong passwords that hackers will have a tougher time cracking.

Password management services offer a host of features that help you log in, remind you to refresh your security, and make your safety a number one priority. After using a manager for just a short time, you can be forgiven for wondering how you managed without it.

If you think you might have been hacked already, or want to prevent it from ever happening, give us a call on 01455 209505 to help update your security.

CSH Computer Services is a local business providing PC and Laptop repair and I.T. support services to Homes and Businesses. We are based near Lutterworth, Hinckley and Broughton Astley in Leicestershire and provide a full range of services, from PC and Laptop repairs, PC and Laptop upgrades, sales of new computers and workstations plus business network support. We also provide Virus and Malware disinfection, Broadband installation and troubleshooting, data recovery, Wireless networking and troubleshooting, plus much more. We work in and around the whole Leicestershire area and can be seen daily in Lutterworth, Hinckley, Broughton Astley, Market Harborough, Nuneaton, Rugby, Leicester and surrounding areas too.

3 Tech New Year Resolutions to Keep

Tech New Year Resolutions to keep

If your typical New Year’s resolutions lasted about 30 seconds, you’re not alone. Pledges to eat better, start running and learn how to juggle can be rebooted again next year easy enough. This year, we challenge you to think about your tech health with some resolutions you’ll want to keep.

1. No More Junk Mail

Whether you checked a box agreeing to get newsletters, or you have no idea how you got on that list, it’s time to say goodbye. Start by emptying your mailbox to zero unread messages – no you don’t have to read spam – you have permission to delete it unread, but after marking it as spam so it can be filtered out in future. Let’s face it, if you were going to read it, you would have done so already.

Now that you’re starting with a clean slate and a huge feeling of accomplishment, resolve this: Each day, unsubscribe from 5 lists. Keep an eagle eye out for that ‘unsubscribe’ link and click it with confidence. You don’t even need to give a reason if it redirects to a survey page. Before too long, your inbox will be a refreshing place filled only with people and businesses you look forward to hearing from.

2. Go Password Pro

With all these password leaks from LinkedIn, Myspace, and goodness knows who hasn’t come forward yet, now’s the time to get smart with your passwords. Because most people use the same passwords on every site, a single breach can be the hack that keeps on giving to the bad guys. You know how important it is to use different passwords for each site, but that’s a LOT of passwords to remember!

Instead of writing them down, we recommend using a password manager like LastPass. It remembers all your various passwords for you, so all you need to know is the super-protected master password. Master passwords are kept encrypted on your system, not theirs, and 2-factor authentication checks with you via text for all big changes.

There are other PasswordManagers out there – please see previous post.

3. Backup. No Really, Backup.

“I’ve been meaning to backup” is the cry of someone who just lost all their photos. Good intentions don’t count AT ALL in data security, because once the data is gone, it’s gone.

With new cloud backup options, there’s no reason to put this off, because backup apps are now easier and more accessible than ever before. You can also backup to local drives, but this will take a little extra remembering on your part, as you’ll want to have at least one drive that stays disconnected in case of viruses.

With cloud storage such as Dropbox, it’s so easy to back up and you don’t have to do anything that you don’t already do – just save in that Dropbox folder and it’s all done for you.

There you have it. Three New Year’s resolutions you can easily keep, and that will make a real difference to your year. Opening your email will be a pleasure, you’ll be a spectator only in any future password leaks, and your precious files will be safe against all manner of disaster.

Feels better than any diet, doesn’t it?

Stuck with any of this? Call us on 01455 209505.

CSH Computer Services is now a Which? Trusted Trader

CSH Computer Services is now a Which? Trusted Trader

We are pleased to announce that CSH Computer Services has now been endorsed as a Which? Trusted Trader.

‘Which? Trusted Traders’ is an endorsement scheme run by Which? that recognises reputable traders, who have to pass a rigorous assessment process carried out by Which? trading standards professionals. Information on the detailed assessment process that is undertaken can be found here.

After successfully passing the assessment process and having been endorsed by the UK’s largest independent consumer organisation, our customers can be reassured that they will be dealing with a company that they can trust and that will have consumer interests in mind.