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How to get fast Internet in rural areas

When you live in remote, rural areas, accessing superfast broadband can be a headache but there are specialist broadband providers that will ensure you receive reliable fast internet at blistering speeds!

The reason why some internet providers struggle to offer a great service in hard to reach areas is that the infrastructure is limited or simply isn’t there which can be a huge challenge for some larger organisations.

In urban areas, there is a real demand for high-speed internet, but why shouldn’t this be the case in rural areas as it’s just as important?

Find a provider that specialises in Remote Areas

If you are based in one of these difficult to reach rural locations, you may want to use a provider that specialises in these areas as for standard broadband your entire connection depends on a telephone line, so the distance you are from the nearest line will determine the speed and efficiency of your broadband.

If you are based outside of a busy town or city centre area, your options will be limited as you will be far from the exchange and therefore you will be experiencing much slower speeds.

So, what are the main reasons for broadband being slower in rural areas?

  • With fibre broadband, the cables run from your nearest street cabinet and your home so if your home is far from the nearest cabinet, this could directly impact your overall broadband speed

  • As homes aren’t as close together as they often are in towns and cities, a single street cabinet may cover a much larger geographic area despite having the same number of telephone lines attached. This means that the line length to street cabinets tends to be much longer so you are likely to experience much slower fibre broadband speeds!

  • Some of the lines are also not upgraded as regularly as there is less demand so larger telecoms companies might make the decision that the demand does not warrant upgrading the services!

If you live in the countryside, you may be wondering what the benefits of your broadband option might be.

Here’s a breakdown to help you to decide on the best option:

Fibre broadband delivered by fibre optic cables

Fibre broadband is one of the most popular options with almost 90% of homes using this type of broadband. This is a high speed, efficient and reliable option.

Standard broadband using copper phone wires

Most households should be able to access standard broadband, however this is not the best option for rural locations as it is more common and much faster in urban areas.

Mobile broadband running on 4G

If your area has good 4G coverage you shouldn’t have a problem, however relying on mobile broadband could be unreliable, especially in a more remote location. However, there is no need to have a phone line and line rental charges so this is a bonus!

Satellite broadband using a satellite dish in your home

You don’t need a phone line for satellite broadband and the speeds are much faster so it is usually offered by more niche providers.

Fixed wireless broadband via a mast and receiver

Speeds can be fast with fixed wireless broadband, however this can vary and isn’t the most reliable option if you live in a rural area.

Bonded broadband which uses two or more phone lines to create a faster one

This is a very specialist option only offered by certain providers in the UK. Bonded broadband is able to significantly enhance internet speeds where faster services are not available but these services are primarily aimed at businesses as opposed to being used for residential use.

Making the switch and changing your broadband is easy!

If you are unhappy with the broadband service you are currently experiencing in a rural area, you are entitled to change this so you can benefit from a much faster and more reliable service!

There are many benefits to switching – from faster speeds and less monthly line rental fees to reliable and faster response times from engineers, so here’s what you should consider if you are looking to switch services soon:

  • There are tonnes of broadband providers out there, each offering something a little different for a slightly different price. When you want to switch, always use a price comparison tool to see what the options are in your rural area, and which one will give you the best deal.

  • Broadband contracts tend to last a while, so check what’s going on with the one from your current provider before taking out a new one. If you’re no longer within the contract’s minimum terms, you’re free to switch.

  • Work out which speed you need! A package with superfast speeds (24Mb and above) is great for big households, or anyone who streams a lot of video, plays games online, or downloads large files regularly but you might need less than this if you are not such a heavy wifi user!

  • Consider their customer service – Will you get a quick response from them if something does go wrong? Have a read of some customer reviews to find out what other existing users are saying!

Consider a specialist broadband provider

For example, broadband companies such as Wave Internet are experts in providing high speed and reliable broadband services across rural areas across the North West and they can offer dedicated wireless fibre broadband to difficult to reach locations with ease.

Larger, conventional companies cannot supply rural areas in the best way as they often have pressure to oversubscribe their mast sites which can mean slower speeds and less efficient broadband services for their customers.

How will the 2025 BT switch off affect countryside broadband?

BT will be implementing a fully online Voice Over IP system set to transition completely by 2025.  This will mostly affect those who rely on telephone communication and faxing. That said, any big change is bound to have some impact on systems, and rural locations always seem to be the last to benefit from modernisation.

Smaller internet companies like Wave Internet own all of our mast sites and do not rent public masts so we have no timescale issues in providing services. The technology is not the same and therefore we already offer VOIP in additional to our broadband.

What makes Wave Internet different from the rest?

At Wave Internet we own all of our mast sites and do not rent public masts so we have no pressure to oversubscribe our services and operate a policy of limited numbers per mast in order to ensure the best possible broadband experience for all.

Evolved to address the dissatisfaction experienced by individuals and businesses with poor service provided by giant telecoms plc’s, we are able to provide you with high speed internet access than are currently available with conventional fixed line solutions.

With Wave Internet we can supply you with fantastic broadband services for both residential and business addresses and there are many benefits including:

  • Greater upload speeds – especially important if you use any cloud based services or remotely back up your data.

  • Fast overall internet speeds

  • No monthly line rental fees, reducing the overall cost of the package

  • Voice over internet phone systems (VoIP) – cheaper calls, flexible and adaptable contact numbers, no line rental.

  • Reliable, fast response times – all of our masts are in this local area, and so are our engineers!

  • Guest networks for friends and visitors – give your customers access to the internet without them being able to access everything else on the network.

If you live in a rural location or a very hard to reach area and you believe your broadband services are not exceeding your expectations, contact Wave Internet today for a free site survey and we will help your broadband to get up to speed!

VOIP: The Future of Making Calls?

The history of the telephone is longer than you think, it actually reaches back to 1672 when a man called Robert Hooke discovered that sound could travel along a wire or string from a mouthpiece to an earpiece. But it wasn’t until the mid-eighteenth century when this technology started to be explored. 

Arguably there has been more progress made in telecommunications in the last three decades than in the last three centuries, one of those innovations has been VOIP technology. In this article, we look at why VOIP has been so successful in recent decades and consider the future of making calls with VOIP. 

A Brief History of VOIP

VOIP was developed in 1995 as a way for businesses (primarily) to save money on long-distance phone calls. It was discovered that cheap or free Internet calls could be made between servers that drastically cut conventional telecommunications costs. 

From 1996 onwards VOIP infrastructure and services have continued to expand with voicemail applications, multiple devices calling capabilities, and video conferencing services. Into the 21st century and companies realised they could transfer information over IP as well, further enhancing VOIP capability. 

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Today it’s unthinkable for businesses to operate without a VOIP system in place. VOIP offers high-quality reliable connectivity at a low cost and also syncs nicely with emerging technologies such as IoT and UC. The present rise of VOIP can be easily likened to the Internet boom of the early 90s.

VOIP: An Overview 

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Unlike legacy phone networks, VOIP turns the voice signals into digital ones and sends them through the Internet to a target server. VOIP technology uses Packet-Switched Protocols meaning that voice and data are sent in signal “packets.” 

Companies predominantly use VOIP networks today because they integrate both phone and data services into an existing network. Apart from being cheaper than legacy systems, VOIP allows companies to transmit information and data files as well. 

Using a VOIP network is virtually indistinguishable from using a traditional telephone line. The VOIP devices are plugged into an Internet connection and digital signals are sent instead of electrical signals, this makes it possible to dial and contact anyone on the global network. 

How VOIP Works 

VOIP is the 21st Century version of a global telephone network. Although landline telephones and legacy networks are still used there is a clear trend towards mobile networks and VOIP services – so how does VOIP technology actually work? 

In a way, it is exactly the same as recording your voice onto your computer. To do this you talk into a microphone and your computer records a limited frequency range using CODECS. The computer might also compress this file to save space. VOIP works the same way but it uses more sophisticated CODECs. 

The audio recorded by the computer is then grouped together into “data packets” which are transmitted over the IP network. These data packets contain around 10 milliseconds of audio. The same server protocol is used for VOIP as other data transmissions. 

The Benefits of VOIP

It’s clear that VOIP networks are the future, and here’s why. 

Lower Costs 

Because VOIP uses an Internet connection and transmits data digitally it slashed the costs of using multiple phone-ins on a legacy system. Internet service providers will usually offer businesses a “call bundle” with a discount on their VOIP service. 

Higher Call Quality 

Unlike traditional telephone lines that can suffer from interference, VOIP services use a strong and stable Internet connection. There is little chance of interference during important calls. VOIP telephone systems also offer HD voice for excellent clarity and crisp audio. 

Flexibility 

A VOIP service can be built around the needs of your business and tailored to you. You can add thousands of users to your network at no extra cost. The only limit to this is your bandwidth which can be modified separately at the router or with the service provider. 

Scalable System 

The aim of any business is to grow and become more profitable but that isn’t easy on a traditional network that requires more investment to add users. VOIP networks don’t have this issue, they can grow flexibly with your business at no extra cost. 

The Future of Making Calls 

The Future is looking up for VOIP networks, mainly because so much innovation is happening in the communications sector. New technologies are arriving such as AI and Machine Learning, and the increased use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Unified Communications (UC). 

As it happens VOIP systems link up nicely with these emerging technologies. Take the IoT for example, there is an ever-growing number of smart devices linking to one another and data such as calendar updates and messages can be sent over the VOIP networks. VOIP is also better at connecting devices. 

VOIP also links up nicely with UC which describes the process of bringing all communication resources together for maximum productivity. In the coming years, more communication and data will be sent via Web and video conferencing, something VOIP is made to facilitate. 

Wave WIfi Engineer

Get ahead with Wave

With all this in mind, it makes sense to get ahead of the curve and invest your business in VOIP technology today. There isn’t a lot to think about, VOIP technology is not only cheaper and more efficient, but it is also the future of integrated business networks – so why pass up on a golden opportunity.

If you are still invested in multiple phone lines to run your business you are paying too much for your communications network, you are also on the legacy side of technology instead of riding a WAVE to the future. You can switch to Wave Internet quickly and adapt your package according to business needs. 

Wave Internet doesn’t only cater to business customers, you can also benefit from VOIP as a domestic user. Think of the future, the Internet of things, unified communications, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This is a rising tide of possibilities for you, so ready your board in the water and get in touch

What will the big BT switch off mean for your business?

Use of the internet is an integral part of our daily lives whether at work, home or in a public space and as the world becomes even more reliable on internet usage for such things as services, grocery deliveries and even medication, a fast and reliable internet provider has never been more appropriate.

But what most people don’t realise is that the internet infrastructure itself is a very old implementation that was invented as a secure means of communication during the Cold War over an even older phone line system, and since then, apart from fibre optic upgrades, it has changed very little. Because of its age, the phone line system is now becoming outdated and BT is planning a switch-off that could affect your business.

Fortunately, there is good news but before we get into the details, some key considerations include:

  • What is the Switch Off?
  • New Tech, New Solution
  • Business Packages for Me

The switch-off is a planned event that is going to replace traditional ISDN and PSTN business communication methodologies with a completely online VoIP system while there is new technology available that offers completely tailored and relevant solutions for any size business with no abhorrent and outdated contracts.

What is the Switch Off?

By 2025, BT will have switched off all of its ISDN and PSTN internet communication systems. This is set to affect over 2 million small businesses in the UK that rely on the outdated technology for their day-to-day activities as BT implements a fully online Voice Over IP system that will mostly affect those who rely on telephone communication and faxing.

Voice Over IP is a web-based form of communication that uses the internet as a means of digital communication rather than traditional copper wire methods used for fax machines and landline telephones. However, this doesn’t mean anything bad for your business, in fact, it means quite the opposite.

You will have to adapt to a VoIP system but this is relatively cheap, costs less per month to run and provides superior quality over standard phone systems. Adaptors can also be purchased cheap and easily installed so that fax machines can operate via the VoIP system, therefore, benefiting from the faster speed and improved quality of fibre optic internet systems over the centuries-old copper wire Public Switched Telephone System.

New Tech, New Solution

Although VoIP can be integrated into the PSTN and ISDN systems, the technology is old and outdated therefore a new system is needed. Wave Internet offers a truly 21st Century solution to the 19th Century problem of fast, reliable and secure communication. Using microwave technology, at Wave Internet we can offer stunningly fast wireless internet connections to urban and rural regions alike.

We don’t mean Wi-Fi when we say “wireless”, our technology is much more advanced than that. Our wireless internet data is transmitted directly from one of our data distribution sites (that are connected to the fibre optic network) to your property, home or business without the need for any wires, just a small receiver dish similar to subscribed TV:

The use of microwave transmission means that no speed is lost and connection integrity is among some of the highest that modern technology allows. Because of this, being located far from an internet exchange is no longer an issue and we are able to provide superfast broadband wherever you need it, whenever you need it, regardless of location.

Wave Internet also offers superior advantages over other internet providers such as Sky, Virgin and BT, since they all still operate using wired technology which is prone to outages, exponential transmission drop off and requires a phone line billing system as an extra expense which can cost around £200 per year:

Wave InternetTraditional Providers
Maintains speed and connectionLoses speed and drops out
Flexible PricingExpensive and bound to packages
Provides a strong signal anywhereWeak or not available in some locations
No phone line requiredPhone line installation and payment 
Reliable mesh system availableWeak Wi-Fi signals

We also generously offer a free router to all customers who take up a no-contract subscription no matter what tier they choose, even our most moderately priced package.

Business packages with the latest in broadband technology

Despite our impressive technology, generous savings and super reliable service, where we really shine is offering the best packages to our customers that reflect fair and accurate pricing with no hidden charges or extraneous expenses. 

While we offer exceptional value for money with our family plans, we simply cannot be beaten with our comprehensive business tiers that offer everything a small to medium enterprise needs.

Wave InternetTraditional Providers
Transparent information and billingObscured technology and annual increases
Flexible contractsLong and locked in contracts
Unlimited usageExtra charges for exceeding limits
Exceptional customer serviceOutsourced and poor customer service

For businesses, our most reasonably priced Silver package starts at £49.99 per month for a guaranteed 20mbps download speed. More expensive options take business needs into consideration such as static IP addresses (required for remote access) and VoIP integration options with guaranteed download speeds of 65mbps and even 100mbps which can be discussed with our professional team. 

Connection is guaranteed even in the most rural locations* since phone lines and exchanges are not required as with traditional providers. This means that you will always have access to fast and reliable internet service that has been designed with modern-day communication systems in mind such as mesh systems and wireless technologies that will ensure a future proof implementation and guarantee a smooth transition into a 21st Century comms system when the switch-off has completed in less than 4 years.

switch graphic

*Wave internet currently only operates in the Lancashire and Greater Manchester areas but we are pleased to announce that we are expanding our services to include many more locations.

Cancelling Corporations – Wireless, Local Internet Might Be Better for You

When you think of the term ‘Shop Local’ you often think of the small coffee shop around the corner or the friend who has turned her hobby into a business. What you may not be aware of in the term applies to all aspects of the business including your internet provider.

The past few years have seen an increase in local shopping as people become more aware of the mass production process and want to know where their products come from.

Just like food and locally produced products, new technology has facilitated the use of local internet providers that can provide a fast and reliable connection with superior speed, connection and service over large corporations.

Similar to any other product, choosing a local provider means a tailored experience that results in a more reliable experience for the customer and the technology used allows for an internet connection in places that other providers often can’t or won’t provide.

Covid-19 and Internet Providers

The current pandemic has changed the world in many ways and the way we shop has been affected on a large scale. Since ‘stay home’ orders have been strictly enforced, online retail has boomed and has seen a 76% increase over the past 12 months.

Because of this, many local retailers have welcomed the opportunity to make the jump to online service in order to stay afloat during the pandemic as fewer and fewer people are able to make it to stores in person.

However, many large corporate internet providers that don’t have the infrastructure for reliable service in rural areas may force a contract on a small business owner that isn’t necessary, and are known for their terrible customer service. As of 2020, only 46% of Virgin customers stated that they were happy with their broadband service in a report issued by Ofcom shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic struck the UK.

The Problem with ISPs

Being able to access the internet is almost a basic human right as the medium is used for almost every aspect of modern life. In 2020 alone, approximately 700,000 school children suffered because they did not have access to the internet in order to take advantage of online lessons while they were at home during the pandemic. 

The cost of a good and reliable internet connection doesn’t come cheap and many of the major companies will force unreasonable contracts upon customers that require them to take up extra services that they don’t want or need in order to access internet services.

Virgin, Sky and BT offer their internet packages as standalone products but at a premium price. Their packages are tailored for customers to subscribe to their digital TV services and landline installation as well. These add unnecessary charges to monthly bills.

Sky TV’s cheapest package, for example, costs £43 per month with a £69 setup fee over an 18-month contract and while it includes broadband, which is quite slow, also forces the customer to take Sky TV as well. 

BT has also announced that they will be switching off their ISDN and PSTN services in 2025 and moving their phone technology completely online to a VoIP system. This is expected to affect over 2 million small companies in the UK that rely on telephone communication as a part of their day-to-day business.

While it will still be possible to send and receive data using the copper phone line system with VoIP integration, the technology itself is outdated and a modern method is required to bring a business into the 21st century. 

New Technology

Wireless internet has arrived as the only solution to the outdated methods employed by all major internet providers. This doesn’t refer to Wi-Fi, which sends a radio signal from a router that is connected to the phone line system to your mobile device, but rather completely wireless data transmission that provides wireless broadband without the phone line.

Wave Internet uses wireless fibre technology that utilizes microwaves to send data from distribution sites to your home or business with no loss of speed. Distribution sites are connected to the fibre optic infrastructure from where data received is transmitted without the need for a wired connection to your property, but rather is received via a small dish affixed to the outside of a building.

Wave InternetTraditional Providers
Maintains speed and connectionLoses speed and drops out
Costs lessExpensive and bound to packages
Provides a strong signal anywhereWeak or not available in some locations
No phone line requiredPhone line installation and payment 
Reliable mesh system Weak Wi-Fi signals
Free RouterExpensive router
Transparent information and billingObscured technology and annual increases
Flexible contractsLong and locked in contracts
Unlimited usageExtra charges for exceeding limits
Exceptional customer serviceOutsourced and poor customer service

Unlike standard providers, Wave Internet can be tailored for home use, business use or even home office use. Comprehensive packages have been designed to take into account the different requirements for all types of users.

No longer will you be tied to an unreasonable contract with unreliable connection performance and even worse customer service. The nature of wireless internet technology means that a strong and reliable connection can be maintained at any site whether urban or rural.

Ranging from 12mbps, which is faster than Sky’s most expensive package, up to 40mbps, our home packages have been designed for all family sizes from couples and small families up to large families who like to game and use home offices.

For businesses of all kinds, including rural offices, industrial, commercial and hospitality sectors we offer excellent and reliable solutions ranging from25mbps up to 65mbps.

All of our packages, whether home or business do not require any phone lines or phone line installation, can be cancelled at any time and come with a free router. In addition, our business packages offer future-proof digital VoIP services which will get you prepared for the 2025 switch off.

Wave internet currently only operates in the Lancashire and Greater Manchester areas but we are pleased to announce that we will be expanding our services to include many more locations.

Complete Guide to VPN’s

You have probably heard the term before, but what actually is a VPN? We have created this handy guide to give you all the information on why you may need a VPN and how to use one.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’. It enables users to send and receive data via a secure connection to another network on the internet. Essentially, a tunnel is created between your private connection and a secure server, which protects your data.

For example, if you are trying to access a server in another country to stream files, make back-ups to the cloud, access websites, download movies, or play games, a VPN will help you do so securely. They are often used by individuals, schools, and businesses to access or prevent content being shared with certain countries and protect from malicious attacks. Anyone can use them that has access to the internet.

They are essential in the age of cyber hacking and invasion of privacy. A VPN can be installed on a mobile or computer device. It will help protect you when using the internet to access private or public servers. 

How does a VPN work

How does a VPN work?

When you connect your device to the internet, it connects to either a wireless or ethernet cable. While connected, your device will send small clusters of data that indicate what you want to do on the internet.

For example, you may log in to your blog dashboard to share a new article. This information is collected by the website, which will then respond by sending back data packets. These data packets can give away a lot of personal information about you to your internet provider, and potential hackers, without the right protection. Information that can be shared includes your precise location, which websites you visit, and any information you input into the websites. 

It can also detect your behaviour and location, which can result in blocking access to certain websites. Content may be restricted due to local UK government regulations. Using a VPN will set up a secure tunnel and allow you to access this limited content. This will mask the IP address you are using through the server. Not only will this mean you can access the data, but you can access it securely as your location, data, and behaviour will be hidden.

The main function of a VPN will help you hide your location so that the website does not detect when you are attempting to access the content. Thus, there will be no limitation. 

For example, if you on a trip to Istanbul and want to watch Netflix, but the show is not available in Turkey,  you will need a virtual network. It will change your address to your home address or a country where the show is available so that you can watch it. 

How to set up a VPN

You will need safe and secure wireless broadband. You will also need your chosen device using Windows, macOS, Linux, Android or iOS. 

It is simple to set up an account when you have chosen your preferred provider. They will only typically need your email address and payment. 

Step by step instructions for installing a VPN

If you are looking to set up a VPN account to access content safely from anywhere, here are the typical steps. 

  1. Choose a service: you will first need to research which VPN provider is most suitable to your needs, budget, and security preferences. It may be ideal to go with a paid service as they will offer more security when accessing limited content. For example, if you are looking to use a VPN for your business, you will need super reliable and secure access. You will not want to put any of your business data or private information at risk.
  2. Signing up: the next step will be when you sign up for your chosen service. Whether you have opted for free or paid, you will need to hand over a payment method for monthly or annual payments. Then, they might ask for a name, email, and other personal information. Some only ask for your email to increase anonymity.  
  3. Download and install the service: you will need to download and install the chosen service, which you will be able to do once you have signed up. This might be through an app or computer software download. 
  4. Open the software and sign in: once the software is installed, you will need to sign in and choose your preferred settings. 
  5. Test it: when everything is set up, you will need to test your VPN. You can use VPN service checker to check the speed and reliability. To get the most out of your VPN service, ensure a fast broadband connection, especially in rural areas for quicker download and streaming speeds. Wifi Boosters are always handy to have!

With the VPN set up, you can enjoy fast, reliable, and secure content from any website. 

Are VPN's Legal

Are VPNs legal?

VPN use is legal in most countries. But, there are some countries where  these types of networks are forbidden. See the following lists to see if you are able to use in your country or a country you are visiting.

Using a VPN is illegal in:

  • Belarus
  • China
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Oman
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela

Some countries are currently taking steps to make VPNs illegal, which includes Bahrain, Egypt, Cuba, North Korea, Libya, Myanmar, Syria, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam. Before using a VPN in a new country, always check the government laws. 

VPNs are legal for everyone to use in the UK, as well as any countries not listed above. They are ideal for personal as well as business use. For example, you may be looking for wifi solutions for your hotel or B&B in the UK; you can install reliable wifi and VPNs for you and your guests to enjoy.

Anonymity and VPN’s

On the internet, there is no such thing as being completely anonymous. Using VPNs in a residential setting or a business setup is completely safe, but it will not guarantee that your name or information will not be shared. VPNs are used to increase privacy as opposed to making your identity anonymous. A VPN provides a degree of privacy and anonymity but should not be relied upon to provide absolute anonymity or privacy.

If you want to increase your anonymity, you can mask your IP address, which will make your location and identity unknown. Yet, the VPN cannot be responsible for hiding your complete identity as your information may be stored in software that your VPN is not used for.

Misconceptions about VPN’s

There are numerous myths around VPNs, here are a few of the most common…

Hackers use them to access your bank account

It is essential to know that you cannot use a VPN when accessing your bank or any other personal financial information. No bank in the world should allow non-secure connections that do not provide location information. Seeing as VPNs withhold your precise location, a bank will not allow you to access the services due to a lack of identity. 

VPN’s can protect you from computer viruses

This is not true, and you should not rely on them to protect you from malware issues. A VPN works to encrypt data, not protect it. Before installing the virtual network, you should ensure to have virus protection installed for your own safety. 

a VPN can protect you from being tracked online.

While many VPNs services can hide your location from websites and keep your location safe, some online services need your location to function. For example, online banking or social media platforms need your location in order to function and provide you with the service. It is their way of guaranteeing you are a real person and are the person who owns the account. 

A VPN can slow down your internet connection.

In some cases, it might. But, this is not the case for everyone, especially if you have a good wireless connection. Fast broadband will offer you a quicker download and upload time, which will make your VPN work smoothly will delay or interruption.

How to choose a VPN

VPNs come in all shapes and sizes, and you can choose one depending on your preferences. There are high-end paid options or free services. Before deciding on what service you want, you should read reviews such as Trust Pilot. There, you will find honest opinions from users of the service. It will indicate the pros and cons of each provider. 

For school broadband and VPNs in public settings, it may be better to have a paid-for option. They often provide more security and privacy, which will protect all users of computers and technological devices. You can monitor your information easier if using the network for individual use, which means you may be able to be safe enough from a free service.

If you are totally unsure of what to look for when choosing a VPN provider, here are a few tips.

  • Look for encryption protocol. These perform security-related functions and applies cryptographic methods, which offer protection and speed. 
  • See if they use an ad blocker service. Some VPN providers offer ad blocking services, which can maximize your download or viewing experience of the content you want to access. Ad blockers enhance your experience as well as preventing malicious code, viruses, and other dangers from infecting your device.
  • IP address ghosting. Other premium features from VPN providers may include the ability to ghost your address so that your service provider does not know you are using a VPN. 
  • Extra storage. Some VPN providers may offer you extra storage in your package, which will allow you to store extra files, photos, and videos. It often acts as a bonus feature so you can get more out of your money.
  • Written assurance. Written assurance will help you understand that your server logs are never shared with outside parties. This offers more security and privacy of your data. 

Your chosen VPN will be down to your personal preference. Look for extra bonus features if you want more for your money. Or look for written assurance to guarantee the complete privacy of your data and personal information.

In Summary

A VPN is ideal if you want to create a secure tunnel between your device and a blocked server. By using a VPN, you can change your location so that you can access limited data, such as movie streams and games. They can be used on a range of devices, so long as you have an internet connection. A reliable and super fast wireless broadband connection will maximize your online experience, as there will be limited delays and interruptions. Although VPNs cannot guarantee anoynomity, they will help you mask your location and personal data so that you can enjoy any content from anywhere. 

Can I get broadband without a phone line?

Have you wondered if it’s possible to get broadband without a phone line? Absolutely! It ultimately depends on the type of broadband you have as to whether you can separate from signing up without an active phone line.

A broadband connection through the telephone lines is an outdated infrastructure that is quickly being replaced by modern technologies. Most UK providers are still using the BT-owned Openreach along old copper telephone wires, but this is no longer your only option.

Some providers combine this into their prices offering ‘free line-rental’ but you can be sure that you are still paying for an unnecessary phone line.

Why do so many companies force you to have a phone line?

When broadband began to replace dial-up connection in the early 2000’s, it followed the same model of connecting your computer to the internet via telephone wires. With so many telephone wires intact, many broadband providers continue to offer options that forcibly require a phone line in their package to reduce installing new wires. However, fast forward to 2020 and there are great new technologies able to offer broadband connections without a phone line now.

Unfortunately, some companies haven’t moved quickly enough to offer another solution even though the share of households who use a landline telephone is going down exponentially.  

Since the era of the mobile phone, there is no longer a need to own a landlaine. Many people opt to using a mobile only, natually avoiding those rather annoying sales and spam calls.

So what are these new internet breakthroughs? Below are some options that allow you to forego the phone line and purchase a broadband-only package.

Cable

A cable connection requires a fibre cabinet in the area that uses coaxial cables to connect to this cabinet and provide a high-speed internet connection. The most well-known cable provider is Virgin.

Cable veers away from using the copper wire telephone connection, allowing customers to purchase broadband without a phone line. Check the options available in your specific location and always read reviews before choosing a provider.

Fibre Optic

Fibre Optic is one of the newest forms of broadband connection. It is still developing in its infancy, and generally is not an option seen very often. This method requires a fibre optic cable to be installed and comes in multiple forms. Only one option allows users to opt-out of a phone line:

FTTP.

  • FTTP (Fibre-to-the-Premises). As the name suggests, FTTP waives the usage of copper wires by using fibre cables entirely. From the fibre cabinet to the premise, only fibre optic cables are used which make it the costliest method. This is also referred to as a full-fibre connection. Keep in mind that most providers who offer this still include a phone line!

Mobile Broadband

Broadband on the go: This broadband connection is available in multiple forms: a dongle, a portable Wi-Fi/Mi-Fi box, a car Wi-Fi box, and several other options.

This option is excellent for temporary broadband with short-term contacts and pay-as-you-go plans. However, it can be slower and significantly more expensive than a fixed-line broadband connection secured to your home. For locations that are more rural and don’t have the infrastructure to offer any other type of broadband effective, this is a great alternative.

Mobile broadband can also be limited to multiple devices and easily accessible to other users. Regardless, it is an available option for those looking for a broadband connection without a landline contract.

Why not fill in our coverage checker to see your choices.

Fixed Wireless Broadband

Using radio signals, a wireless modem/router is connected to either the cable phone wires or fibre optic cables to transmit internet to Wi-Fi enabled devices.

These internet-radio signals are picked up and then used to access the internet. Wi-Fi is expansive, convenient and allows for many devices to be connected to the internet at once.

Satellite Broadband

Choosing to relinquish yourself from the wires and cabled services opens up another realm of possibility – satellite broadband. Widely used amongst more remote users, the internet is transmitted wirelessly through a satellite dish.

Because of this, a phone landline is no longer necessary or required for satellite broadband service. Using similar infrastructures to GPS, satellite TV and weather forecasting, this wireless broadband offers a stable and uniform connection. It is the perfect service for hard-to-reach, rural locations. This is the new age of broadband as new satellites are launched into space.

Wave Internet Satellite Broadband

Wave Internet services rural areas of the UK with superfast broadband anywhere and anytime. Wave Internet is one of the only small companies on the market who services this niche area, typically helping internet users with the poorest internet connections.

Wave offers three packages: residential (starting from £29.99/month), business (£49.99/month) and education (£49.99/month) to ensure the best coverage for your specialised needs.

No phone line is necessary with any packages, compared to other traditional services. You can save over £200 per year choosing Wave Internet, and you have the option to add a VOIP line.

In the coming years, there are sure to be more competitors on the scene for the growing market, but Wave offers quality benefits such as a superior customer service team with UK only call centres.

  • Flexible Contracts: Where other providers always force customers into rigid and long-term contracts, Wave offers customised options tailored to your needs. They offer super flexible service, giving users the choice to stay long term.
  • Unlimited Usage: No hidden or extra fees, or data usage limitations, for going over allowances like with other providers.
  • No Phone Line Needed: There is no need for landline charges when Wave uses new, state-of-the-art technology.
    •   Wave offers flexible VOIP phone systems to users if phone services are needed.
  • Quality Service: Instead of funneling their services through overseas call centres, Wave has local engineers within 40 minutes of their beam points who respond rapidly fast.
  • WIFI boosting upgrades: Even if you are not currently a Wave customer as you are in another contract, we can help bridge the gap to improve your connection with our Wifi Boosters.

Although Wave owns “one of the largest private wireless internet networks in the North West,” they are looking to further expand their mass infrastructure.

View our home broadband packages

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New changes coming in 2024

With the rise of broadband connectivity, the landline game is changing as we speak. Though companies continue to force customers to purchase phone lines due to existing telephone wires and obligated package deals, landlines are projected to cease to exist in 2025. Active phone lines are proving to be dangerous, as scammers are calling people, imitating their broadband internet service providers, and tricking them into sending large sums of money to avoid having their broadband “cancelled.”

Mobile phones and Wi-Fi connective devices continue to rise, moving internet users farther away from telephone cables. New services are currently popping up to replace traditional methods, like VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol, or a cloud phone system.

what is voip

Benefits of VoIP

Think of providers like Skype or Zoom, who offer their users an option to pay a fixed fee and make a call anywhere in the world via the internet. VoIP phone services provide their customers with a similar experience: if you have an established internet connection, you can make any call without the need for local phone service.

Your IP address is your Internet Protocol address; if you ever wondered, this is how devices communicate with each other via the internet. It’s the same concept with VoIP phone services, which offers users the ability to use their IP address to make phone calls. With this new technology, as people across the globe switch providers to broadband connective service providers, VoIP has the potential to render traditional phone services completely obsolete relatively soon.

How do I replace my line with VoIP phone services?

Typically, VoIP is offered to broadband internet users in their business package. Wave Internet, however, offers a VoIP service package for the home! By taking advantage of the internet, Wave’s VoIP phone service allows their internet users to make quality phone calls at a fraction of the price of obsolete landlines.

Wave’s VoIP services come at an £7.99/month addition to your normal broadband internet cost. There are no connection fees, or rounding up to the next minute, and no bundles. It is also significantly easier to block spam callers through VoIP services.

The future of Broadband has no plans to slow down anytime soon. Instead, it has the potential to become more expansive and vaster with plans to connect more than 8 billion users globally to the internet using broadband connectivity.

In fact, the UK Prime Minister is trying to invest in more widespread, faster internet access to boost the UK’s productivity and infrastructure. Rishi Sunak, the UK Chancellor, has announced in his 2020 Spending Review to allocate £5bn for his “UK Gigabit Broadband Programme,” in order to “deliver faster broadband for over 5 million premises across the UK” by the end of 2025.

The lockdown pastimes eating up your bandwidth

Lockdown 2.0 is well underway and if we have learned anything from the last one, it’s that we’re going to need plenty of distractions to ensure we get through it with our sanity intact. Not being able to see the people you love or live life as you would like is frustrating, but even more so if you have nothing to occupy yourself with while you’re at home. 

That being said, depending too much on things like apps, software and gaming, can mean slowing down your bandwidth and having trouble when you need it most. Your data speed has more to do with your bandwidth usage than many people realise. In some cases, your wifi may slow down so much that platforms you would usually use easily become unusable. It gets even worse if you have more than one person trying to use the internet at the same time. 

Don’t jump to conclusions and call your internet service provider with a barrage of insults just yet – it’s probably not their fault! To get back to streaming, gaming, and watching things like a pro during lockdown 2.0, you need to address the things eating up your bandwidth. 

So, what is using up all your Bandwidth?

Streaming Netflix

Streaming

Streaming can be one of the main culprits when it comes to these pastimes. Netflix, YouTube, and Prime all require bandwidth to ensure that you can watch high definition playback of your favourite shows without any issues or delays. Nobody wants to deal with the dreaded ‘buffering’ signal, do they? 

Each service does offer the ability to downgrade your streaming to save on bandwidth, so that could be worth a look if you feel this may be one of the main sources of your problems. Hitting Control+Alt+Shift+S allows you to bring up a menu that can override the quality settings. Netflix ensures smooth streaming is by toggling its video quality based on how much bandwidth your internet connection has, so sometimes it will do it automatically. If you make changes manually they will come into play within 8 hours.

If you tend to stream in other ways, such as playing games on platforms like Twitch, for example, then you need to remember that this is also going to take up a substantial amount of space. 

Gaming

The speeds required to enjoy a solid gaming experience will depend on a variety of factors, from the games you are playing to the consoles you are using. If you’re going to game seamlessly then you need to make sure you have enough bandwidth free and that you even increase it, if needs be. Do your research before buying a new game or console to be sure you can handle it. If you’ve already been experiencing issues, checking out the bandwidth required by the game may give you insight into why things haven’t been working the way they should. 

Downloads

Downloads consume your bandwidth and can slow down your internet speed substantially. Whether you’re downloading shows to watch on your device without an internet connection or something else, you should be aware of this before you begin a download. Depending on the size of the download, it could take hours. 

Uploads 

As with downloading files, uploading files such as Youtube videos will take up a proportion of your bandwidth. Being prepared to take your activities offline while this happens may be your only option. 

File Sharing

File sharing is one of the biggest bandwidth-hogging activities out there, for instance, when you use a peer to peer file sharing system. Many people try to upload their files and download at the fastest rates possible, but this will dominate your wifi without fail. Whether you’re transferring music or movies, remember that you could also be open to legal action from intellectual property owners. 

Speed Up Slow WIFI

Figuring out what the problem is 

Use Your Router 

See if you can use your router to figure out what the issue is. You can check your IP addresses, MAC addresses, and the current connection status so you can see exactly what is connected to your network at the moment and what you could potentially do without. 

Use Apps

If you’re still none the wiser, certain apps could help. Apps like Glasswire can give you a more accurate insight into how much you’re downloading and uploading over minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months so you get a feel for whether you’re uploading a bit too much. Bandwidth+, Netguard, and BitMeter are other options you can look into. Being aware of what’s really going on can help you to make a plan for future uploads, downloads, and anything else you want to do. 

Glasswire Usage

Scan For Malware

Malware can sometimes be the culprit when you’re using up too much bandwidth, so get some software in place and scan for it. Stay alert and keep your computer and other devices clean and running smoothly. 

Make Sure You’re Getting What You Pay For

In some cases, you may not be getting the promised speeds that you have paid for. Use speed testing websites to see if your uploads and downloads match up to what you’re paying for. Running tests at different times of day across different sites will give you a better idea of what’s going on. Ookla Speedtest can give you an accurate analysis of your speeds. 

COVID-19 and broadband usage

Could it also be affected by high usage due to Covid-19?

Christmas is going to involve more virtual living room family visits this year, but can the infrastructure hold up on the biggest day of the year? We found some interesting statistics on the recent publication on internet usage from Ofcom.

  • Adult internet visitors on average spent 36 minutes longer per day online during April compared to January!

internet usage covid-19

The next generation of consoles to be released is going to ensure a spike in gaming and streaming, which according to Openreach is the major culprit of usage. The zoom calls don’t seem to be the biggest worry in the industry.

The release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X is no doubt going to put a strain on the internet. The size of the game’s data being downloaded are huge as the Playstation, for example, has no DVD slot and is 100% downloaded.

Let’s brace ourselves over the festive period and hope the internet doesn’t, well, break!

Take a look at our services for great speeds & customer service!

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How to Boost Your Home WIFI Signal

We all know just how frustrating it can be when you’re experiencing slowdown issues with your home wifi. No one enjoys seeing the movie they’re trying to watch drop in quality before continually buffering. It’s annoying but what can be done about it when you find yourself dealing with these problems more often than you’d like?

Well, there are some options out there so you shouldn’t feel as if it’s something that you simply have to put up with because that’s not the case. There are lots of small changes and improvements that can be made in order to boost your home wifi signal; it’s all about finding the solutions that work for you. Read on now to find out about what you should be doing to improve your wifi performance.

Upgrade the router if it’s old

Age can be a significant factor when it comes to improving the wifi signal in your home. First of all, old buildings can present problems when it comes to achieving a sufficient wifi signal, as well as homes that have thick walls. But the age of the router itself is also something that you should take into consideration.

Old wifi routers tend to have quite low bandwidth capacities. You don’t necessarily need to know why that’s important, but it is. It means your wifi speed will be lower than it should be. So if you want to expand the reach of your wifi and improve its speed, it might make sense to upgrade your router if the current one is old.

WIFI Mesh system

Consider a Mesh Wifi System

Even if the router you choose to replace your old one with is new, you might not get the reach you’re looking for. That’s why using a mesh wifi system might be something that’s worth considering. This kind of system uses multiple routers throughout the home that work in tandem with one another.

This means that they’re able to extend and expand the coverage in your home, routing the signal to where it needs to be and covering the entire home in a network signal that meets your daily requirements. You’ll have to invest a little more money to get all of this set up, but it’s a system that’s proven to work.

Or Use Wifi Range Extenders

If you don’t think you need to go as far as setting up a whole new mesh wifi system, it might be a good idea to simply use one or multiple wifi range extenders. These simply plugin and start performing right away. You can place them in parts of the home where you’ve noticed that the wifi signal tends to be weakest.

When the extender is operational, you’ll notice that the wifi signal should be better in that specific area of the home. It doesn’t involve any new routers or anything like that. They don’t always perform as well as you would like them to though and the mesh system discussed above definitely yields better results.

Use an External Antenna

If your wifi router currently has an antenna attached to it, it might not be offering the signal that you’re looking for. That’s what the antenna is there to do, but you can actually achieve better performance by investing in an external antenna that sits alongside the one that’s currently attached to your router.

You can buy these antennas pretty cheaply and they then connect to your router and start boosting the signal throughout your home. It’s a small upgrade but it’s one that might make a positive difference for you. You can choose a directional antenna if there’s a particular direction you want to send the signal in.

Check and tweak the quality of service settings

There’s a range of settings that come with your wifi router, and it’s a good idea to take a look at these. They’re known as Quality of Service settings and they dictate how much bandwidth certain applications are using. It could be the case that these settings are out of line with how you want the wifi to be used.

When that’s the case, it means that your wifi usage suffers while there’s excess bandwidth being dedicated to other things that you don’t need or want to use. By changing the settings, you can shift the priorities and give priority to certain tasks, such as video calls of wherever your main priorities lie.

secure password

Secure the Network to Prevent Others Using It

If you want to get the most out of your wifi network, you need to make sure that you’re the only one using it. If your network is not properly secured, other people might have access to it and start using it without your permission. That’s going to be an additional drain on your network and prevent you from using it to the fullest.

Stronger password security and things like that will ensure that people can’t just hop onto your network whenever they feel like it, so that’s something to explore. The best type of password protection to put in place is WPA2 password. Once you’ve done that, it’ll be much harder for any unauthorised people to invade your network.

Try Manually Selecting a Channel

There are many different channels that wifi signals can utilize, and this is to ensure that different signals in the area don’t all try to use one channel, which would result in delays and slowdowns. If you’re having problems with your wifi, you should see if you can select a channel manually. A simple change might make a big difference.

Modern modems have the ability to switch channels relatively easily. It doesn’t need to be a complicated process. Simply switch if you notice that there’s a problem with slowing speeds, and then assess whether the channel you switched to offers better performance or not. You’ll eventually find the right one for your home.

Switch to 5GHz

If you’re able to take a look at the frequency on offer, you might want to change it. You might have a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz frequency available. If you do have that choice, it always makes much more sense to choose the 5GHz frequency option because this is going to offer better levels of performance.

The great thing about 5GHz is that it offers faster speeds while also experiencing a lot less interference from external networks and things of that kind. So if you’ve been using 2.4GHz, now is the time to change that. You should notice a difference as soon as you make the switch.

WIFi router

Put the Router in the Right Place

Where you choose to locate the router in your home will have a big impact on how it performs. Of course, in some instances, you might not have much scope to move it. But even small movements can make a difference. For example, you should avoid keeping it too close to other electrical devices because this will only cause more problems.

Ideally, you’ll want to make sure that the router has plenty of space around it. Having it stand against a wall, especially thick walls is a bad idea. Give it some room if you can and this should help to improve the performance it offers. In terms of which room to put the router in, the most central area of the home is usually the best place for it.

Update the Firmware Your Router Runs On

Updating the firmware on which your router runs is something that’s definitely advisable too. If the firmware hasn’t been updated for a long time, there might be vulnerabilities and performance issues present. Whenever an update is released, it’s because there are changes that the developer feels need to be made.

As well as better performance, upgraded firmware will also patch any security issues that might be present. That’s why you should always try to keep the firmware updated, even if you aren’t experiencing any problems such as slowdowns or performance-related problems. They’re always important.

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Compare the Wireless and Wired Internet Performances

Before you assume that the problem is with your wifi signal, you should also make sure that the wired performance that your internet service provider is offering is strong. If it’s also offering a weak performance, that suggests that there are bigger underlying problems and that it’s not a problem with the wireless wifi signal at all.

You should contact your internet service provider if you find that the wired connection is also poor in terms of performance. And switching to another service might be the best way forward as well. Wifi coverage is an issue if the wired connection does perform well and your wifi performs better when you’re closer to the modem.

As you can see, there are lots of ways in which you can take steps to improve your home’s wifi performance. If you’ve been having struggles and it’s frustrating you on a daily basis, it’s definitely a good idea to try some of the ideas discussed here. You’ll eventually find a few approaches that work for you.

 

Best CCTV Cameras 2020: Home Security & Surveillance

There are a ton of home security & CCTV systems on the market in 2020, so how do you choose? It’s important to feel safe and secure in your own property and advances in technology mean home surveillance is more affordable than ever.

Home security with the latest tech

Not only can you easily purchase online, but you can also have some delivered the very next day! Some are easier to set up than others, but they all come with easy instructions. You can connect via WIFI with most systems directly to your smartphone. This enables you to keep an eye on your property at all times. The progression of technology also means that you can receive alerts, view live images and have a conversation with someone as they approach your property. If you want to say hello while you are on the beach in Hawaii, then you can!

So, let’s take a look at the best CCTV cameras for your home in 2020.

Arlo Pro 3 1. Arlo Pro 3

Price: £899.99 for the whole system:

This includes:

4 x Arlo Pro 3 Cameras
4 x Rechargeable Batteries
1 x Magnetic Charging Cable
4 x Wall Mount and Screw Kits
1 x SmartHub
1 x Ethernet Cable
1 x Power Adapter
1 x Quick Start Guide
1 x Video Monitoring Decal

Overview:

The first on our list of the best CCTV cameras for your home is the Arlo Pro 3. This outdoor security camera is weatherproof to deal with that great wet British weather and offers quality 2k video resolution. The wide 160-degree viewing angle gives you the optimal view of your property, combined with colour night vision. You will also love the LED spotlight feature. You can either activate it manually or set it to trigger with movement.  You can connect it with Apple Home Kit, Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant.

Features

  • Quality 2K video resolution
  • Wide 160-degree angle view
  • Integrated smart siren
  • Manual and motion LED spotlight
  • Colour Night Vision
  • 2 Way Audio
  • 30-day recording history

Ring Stick up camera 2. Ring Stick Up Camera

Price: £89.99 – for the new 2020 model

This includes:

  • Stick Up Cam Elite
  • Base Cover
  • Base Pad
  • PoE Adapter with Power Supply
  • Ethernet Cable
  • User Manual
  • Security Sticker
  • Installation Tools and Hardware

Overview:

If you are looking for a more affordable CCTV camera for your home, consider the  Stick Up Camera from Ring. This is a battery-powered wireless model that has all of the basic security features. It includes 1080p HD video, as well as a 150° horizontal & 85° vertical view. While there are options with arguably better features, this is going to offer you the essentials for your home security needs. The design is sleek and subtle with a black or white minimal style. The motion detection alerts can be directly sent to your phone. You can use the two-way audio to speak to visitors and there is also a night vision mode. You will need a subscription to Ring Protect which records a history of video triggered by the motion detect. This is from £2.50 per month for the basic plan.

Features:

  • HD Video
  • Motion detection alerts
  • Two-way audio feature
  • Sleek and subtle design
  • Removable Battery Pack
  • Night Vision
  • Ring App

Nest Cam Outdoor

3. Nest Cam Outdoor

Price: £153.17 on Amazon

This includes:

  • Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera
  • Mounting magnet
  • Camera wall plate
  • Power adaptor
  • Adaptor Wall Plate
  • Nest screws
  • Wall anchors
  • Cable clips
  • Installation guide
  • Welcome guide

Overview:

Next up is the Nest Cam Outdoor security camera. This is another highly rated choice but it does carry a higher price point. The extra expense, however, does come with extra features. It performs well in temperatures from -20 to 40 degree Celsius, so if you live in the outer Hebrides, this is probably the one for you! It has great night vision, a 130-angle view and 1080p HD video, as well as a two-way talking system so that you can speak to a visitor at your door.

It even has facial recognition and smart tracking so that you can know who is on your property. You will receive alerts to your smartphone. You can zoom in on images of your home if you want to see something more clearly too. It comes with a free Nest Aware trial, which you will need to keep if you want 24/7 continuous recording and person alerts. That way, you’ll know straight away if someone’s at your door.

Features:

  • Features two-way audio
  • 4K sensor for quality images
  • Facial recognition and smart tracking
  • Live updates to your phone
  • Works with Alexa
  • Nest App

Swan Smart Security Camera

4. Swann Smart Security Camera

Price: £269.99 for the 8 channel camera kit

This includes:

  • 4 Camera 8 Channel Kit
  • Black or White Camera
  • Wall Plug
  • Power Adapter & Splitter
  • Ethernet Cable
  • HDMI Cable
  • Mounting Screws
  • Mouse
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Theft Deterrent Stickers

Overview:

Included in the best CCTV cameras of 2020 is the Swann Smart Security Camera. This offers 1080p video and 102-degree angle that most cameras offer you and you can stream live images of your home to your smartphone. It has a modern design that is going to be a subtle addition to the inside or outside of your home. You can also store videos by uploading them to the cloud. It is affordable and features two-way audio. While it does not have any unique features, it offers everything you need to get started on your home security. The Swann kit works with both Alexa and Google Assistant.

Features:

  • Wireless Connection
  • Heat sensor technology
  • Free 7 secure cloud storage
  • Alerts & Playback
  • Voice command compatible
  • Long Battery Life
  • Weatherproof

Ring Indoor Mini

5. Ring Indoor Cam Mini

Price: £49.00 

This includes:

  • Indoor Cam
  • Power Supply
  • User Manual
  • Security Sticker
  • Screws & Wall Anchors.
  • Mounting base/stand

Overview:

If you are looking for a great inside camera then this is one of the best in 2020. With its compact size, it can be placed discreetly, and it has a super simple plugin & go installation. Link a few up in different rooms with a bundle. Enjoy a 1080p resolution and wide 140-degree angle viewing with this camera. Like the others from our list, it has a two-way audio system, as well as Alexa support. There is also night vision & motion detection alerts. An affordable option from a trusted brand.

Features:

  • 1080p HD Video
  • Alexa compatibility
  • Wide 140-degree angle viewing
  • Night vision
  • Two-Way Talk with noise cancellation.
  • -20°C to 45°C
  • Live View

Swan Floodlight Camera

6. Swann Floodlight Security Camera

Price: £199.99

This includes:

  • Floodlight Security System
  • Junction box & mounting hardware
  • Operating Instructions
  • Theft Deterrent Stickers

Overview:

We all worry about our house being broken into when we are not around. The best part about this security camera is that it has a bright floodlight and siren to deter any unwanted intruders. You have the option between Infrared and floodlit night vision. There is also two-way audio and a 125-degree field of vision with True Detect™ motion sensor technology. Connect to your smartphone using the Swann Security app for IOS & Android.

Features:

  • Features Alexa and Google Assistant Integration
  • Bright floodlight and siren
  • Connects to your smartphone for alerts
  • Two-way audio system

 

We hope this guide list helps you to make an informed choice on your home security system.

and finally…

Make sure you have a stable internet connection

All of these CCTV cameras use WIFI. This means that you need a reliable internet connection to use these security cameras for your home. Whether you are in the house or out, they are going to rely on your broadband connection.

If you live in a more rural area you will have likely experienced a slow and unstable connection if you used a wired solution.

With Wave Internet, we don’t use traditional methods but we provide the latest in technology beaming the internet wirelessly. We specialise in fast broadband for remote areas. Switch to us and we can ensure you have a strong and consistent connection so that you can always keep an eye on your property.

Check if we cover your area & get a free site survey to check your potential speeds

Wifi Security – How to minimise the risks

Do you worry about being hacked or having your private information compromised? WIFI security issues are one of the most common worries amongst internet users. There are many horror stories in the media, which are growing due to the popularity of smart devices.

Just because these things are happening, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy having WIFI and smart devices in your home or business. It just means that you also have to be smart with your security. Let’s take a look at some easy ways to minimise risks.

Security tips for WIFI

First of all, we will take a look at ways you can secure your WIFI. This is something you can do before adjusting the settings on your smart devices. So, let’s get started.

secure password Use a strong network password

Of course, the most obvious security tip is to have a strong password on your WIFI. This is going to stop any unwelcomed guests using your internet or compromising your security. You would be surprised how many people do not have passwords.

In addition, a lot of WIFI networks will have a default password. Have you ever changed this? Not a lot of people do. But if you want to be extra safe, it is recommended that you change all of your default passwords. Ensure your password is strong by using a variety of numbers, letters and symbols. Of course, it should be something that no one will easily guess or is common knowledge about you. You may also want to change the network names if you are worried. You can use a password generator website to create something super secure.

Update the Software Keep software up to date

We are all guilty of ignoring updates when we are busy on the computer. But it is best to always install the updates when they are available. In particular, WIFI providers may send you updates that boost the security of your computer and other devices. It is essential that you install this so that you can enjoy the latest updates to remain secure. Hacking and viruses are getting more sophisticated all the time. It is necessary to stay up to date when your provider is offering new software.

guest wifi Have a guest WIFI network

If you run a business, it is not always advisable to have a public WIFI network. Of course, this depends on the type of business you have. An office may only need internal wifi, but in hospitality providing your customers with a connection is a good way to attract people into your store, café or restaurant.

If you are not careful, it can cause real security problems. A public WIFI network without a password for example, can be easy for hackers to access your data, as well as your customer’s data. Keep internal and guest connections separate. This is going to make sure that you are not open to threats and you are still offering a connection for your customers. They will not be able to access your other devices, such as smart devices and printers within your business. You can also enjoy peace of mind and know you have done everything.

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Change Provider

If you have already experienced security problems with your internet provider, it may be time to switch. This can be the best way to avoid security issues happening again. For example, at Wave Internet, we can provide you with super-fast and affordable broadband in your home or business. You can stay connected, as well as secure, allowing you to browse with confidence. You don’t need a phone line and there is unlimited data usage. We also have a local telephone number in case you have any problems. This is a great solution for customers living in rural areas and needing reliable coverage.

smart devices Security tips for smart devices

Do you have smart devices in your home? By smart devices, we mean Amazon Alexa devices, such as the Echo and Echo Dot, Ring doorbells, Hive lighting and heating and Google Home. All of these devices need an internet connection to operate. Once you’ve secured your WIFI, there are some things you can do with these devices too to be extra safe.

1. Erase Alexa voice recordings

You may not realise it but Amazon Alexa devices keep a log of all the voice recordings you have made. Think about it like your web history but on your smart device. If you are not comfortable with the smart device storing all of your commands, you can easily erase them in the history settings. It is advisable to make a habit of doing this every one to two days. This way, you can keep on top of things and make sure there are no voice recordings left on your smart device.

2. Turn off cameras and microphones

Are you guilty of leaving on a lot of devices when you do not have to? Perhaps it is time to consider switching off your smart devices when you are not going to be using them. There are a lot of bad stories in the media about hackers, which can be quite scary. Limiting the amount of devices you have on in your home could minimise threats.

In addition, there are now smart devices that enable you to manually switch off the microphone when you are not using it. Simply use this button when you are now using your smart device and this can stop it listening to your conversations and recording with you realising.

3. Choose a unique wake word

Do you know what a wake word is? This is simply the phrase you use to wake up your smart device and begin giving it demands. In other words, this is when it starts to record your voice. To avoid the possibility of interference, as well as recording conversations you do not want it to do, you can change the wake word. Try to choose a unique word that would be hard for someone to guess and that does not pop into everyday conversation. This way, the device will only record when you want it to.

4. Use a pin for voice purchases

Of course, one of the great things about Alexa devices is that they enable you to make quick and easy purchases. All you have to do is say your command and your items will be ordered. But this also makes it simple for children or somebody else to make purchases on your account. The best way you can secure your device is by setting up a pin code for voice purchases. This can be easily done in settings on your Alexa account. Make sure it is a pin that nobody is going to guess.

5. Adjust privacy settings

Without you realising, a lot of smart devices are using your information in one way or another. Make sure that you read the privacy policies and terms of use so that you are familiar with the data that is used. If you are not comfortable with some of them, do not use them. But there are ways you can adjust the privacy settings. For example, in the Alexa app, you can view and adjust your privacy settings. You can manage what information is going to be sent away to Amazon. You can also review the permissions on your phone so that smart device are not using your microphone, camera or other information without you knowing.

 

Want to discuss your internet security?

Get in touch with our team by calling 01254 377373 or email us at info@waveinternet.co.uk.