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Fitness Tracker

Does a fitness tracker really help your fitness?

You see these more and more on people’s wrists and the buzz is about how many calories have you burned, how many steps you have taken, but do fitness trackers really help with your fitness.

We do all know that moving more and exercising more is good for our heart, but do we know if we are doing this enough or as much as we think?  This is where a fitness tracker really helps. We may think we have walked a lot or been active, but unless you see the results what you think and what you have achieved could be entirely different.

A fitness tracker will enable you to monitor how much you have moved, how many steps you have taken and help you with goals.  You can set goals to increase your steps or the distance you walk/run each day.  This can create good habits and increase your knowledge on what you are achieving.

The positive outcome of a fitness tracker is that it can change your mindset.  Seeing your steps and activity each day will remind you that you need to move and create positivity and targets.  It empowers you to achieve a fitness level each day.  Before fitness trackers, you wouldn’t really have known this information and would make presumptions.

There are many to choose from, which include smartphone tracking apps, simple pedometers, and more complex wearable devices such as the Apple Watch.  When you decide what you want, what suits you and your budget, away you go.

Some top tips:-

Set a goal – 10,000 steps as a daily goal are talked about a lot.  Check with your doctor and set your own and have goals to increase it.

Use daily – consistency is key to get the most out of your activity and to build habits.

Enjoyment – find walking routes you enjoy or go at a time of day that suits you best.  Find an activity that you want to do and will do regularly.

Work as a group – many trackers enable you to link with friends and family – this can create a great support network to keep you on track and committed.

Accountability – check your numbers each day and if you see your doctor regularly keep them updated – answering to yourself can be very powerful.

Fitness trackers are here to stay, and they will get more complex and collect more data, but most importantly they get people moving more.

Enabling parental controls on gaming consoles

gaming devices

As parents you might hate them and the time your kids spend gaming – unfortunately they are part of our kids lives and all that we can do is try to educate, protect and limit time spent stuck to a gaming headset.

An important part of protecting kids whilst gaming is using the parental controls.  Most modern gaming devices come with some parental control features.  There are a few key reasons they are present: –

  • Gaming laws wherever you may live
  • Screen limitation to help control how much time your kids spend gaming
  • Protect online wallets from exploiting kids with free-to-play tactics

Many new generation consoles come with the ability to activate the virtual babysitter inside your phone, PC or your game console.  Here are some key tips for the most popular: –

PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

The PlayStation 4 although the older model is still very much out there with the PlayStation 5 gathering more popularity as the newest offering.

The parental controls allow you as a parent to create restrictions according to the age of your child and what you want to limit.  You can set limits on usage and create screen curfews easily which is a popular control with most parents.  Within the dashboard you can set it up to block mature rated games and Blu-ray movies so you can leave your kids being rest assured they aren’t seeing anything that isn’t appropriate for their age or what you don’t want them to see.  As they come with a web browser, you can also setup appropriate filters via the in-built service from Trend Micro.  A great feature considering the reports about grooming and bullying, is that you can monitor communication from friend requests, to blocking messages and the ability to download user-created content.

3 easy steps are: –

Allocate permissions to yourself or any other adult you wish to help monitor your kid’s activity

In your Account Management section, set up a Family, adding your kids as users

On the console go to Settings – Parental controls – Family Management which will enable all your security features and let you set up all the above areas discussed

Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X

Easy to use, online or on the console, you can set your limits for different users – great if you have different ages of kids.  You can monitor all the data captured and so you know what has been going on in the Xbox Family Settings App (available for iOS and Android).  The limit controls allow you to set these for time, rating and spending.  Within the app it provides the functionality to set up screen notifications for both games and apps and set an approval limit for microtransaction spending – a really useful tool.  One bonus addition is that it allows you to block exploitative loot boxes which are on the increase.  The features available in the app will apply to Xbox consoles, including Xbox One and next-gen Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X and Windows 10 PC’s too – cover all of your bases to protect your kids.

3 easy steps are: –

However you choose to access the family settings, you can set up the parameters to restrict communication, set time limits, filter web browsing and create your list to block mature content

Go to System – Settings – Account – Family, here you will be able to manage all the permissions for each user for each of your kids.  On your PC for Windows 10, you can manage family members under your Microsoft account

Purchase made on the Xbox, you select your kid’s account the Family setting, go to Privacy & Online Safety – Xbox Live privacy – View details & customize – Buy & Download. Again on your PC you do this through your Microsoft account.

PC and Mobile

While it may be easy to ban your kids from using games consoles, it is not as easy with phones as they can be pretty vital when they are out and about – also PC’s are now an essential part of school life.  They are both more complex than games consoles and require a different kind of parental control software.

This means that there is no single steps to follow but a whole host of apps to choose from. Most of the apps available will make it easy for you for you limit games use, check communications, control the games your kids can play and how long they can play for.  On some operating systems such as iOS, you can use the Screen Time settings to enter restrictions, set scheduling for play times and control multi-player access.  On the Android equivalent, unfortunately the settings are quite as powerful but with the operating system not being as locked down as iOS, this means that you can add in third party parental controls app – some popular ones are Qustodio and Kaspersky Safe Kids – when installed they are both more powerful than iOS.

On PC’s you can install a parental control app, and also use the built-in features which come with the most popular gaming-related programs.  By using the Family View, you can at least limit which games your kids have access to and apply time limits.

There has been a lot of press about Twitch which allows the viewing of others playing games through online streaming where you can watch live.  Within Twitch parents aren’t able to adjust privacy or messaging options at all.  Whilst Twitch promote a positive community the only solution if you don’t feel comfortable is to block the website altogether.

Nintendo Switch

At the forefront of online safety for kids is Nintendo, they want to ensure players are all ages are kept safe.  They do quite often get criticised for going too far as friends have to share lengthy codes to be able to play together online. They also drive you to use a cumbersome mobile app to enable voice chat between players – thoughts are that this doesn’t really offer much protection but just add a layer of inconvenience.

However, the Nintendo parental control app does offer genuine protection which comes with a number of features – available on both iOS and Android.  Within the app you can set up your time limits and restrict the content that your kids can access and in addition you can set up detailed schedules for gaming by allocating chunks of time to each profile you set up.  If there are specific sites you want to block you can set up your own blacklist and also create whitelists whilst setting controls age-appropriate gaming.

3 easy steps are: –

  • On the games console go to System Settings – Parental Controls. You will still be able to without the app, block games by age, limit communication and stop VR.
  • Download the app and follow the on-screen instructions under Parental Controls to synch the app and the Switch console – set to the same Nintendo account.
  • Once the mobile app is up and running, you will then be able to set time limits for your different profiles and block inappropriate content.

Phone contract ended, what should you do next?

mobile phone

Phone contract ended, what should you do next?

Phone contracts can last 12 months, 24 in a lot of cases, but what options do you have when your phone contract ends?

It is important to ensure you know when your contract is due to end.  Some providers don’t tell you and you could end up paying more than you need to.  You also need to decide if you want to enter another contract when your contract ends.

If you are happy with your phone, then do you really need to get another contract with a new phone.  If you are, then make sure you tell your provider and don’t continue paying the same monthly cost as you could be paying twice for the phone that you have had on contract.  Also, mobile phone tariffs are coming down so you may be paying a higher tariff than you need to.  Think about some of the options below: –

Pay as you Go

This is the option you need if you don’t want to be tied into any contract at all.  You basically pay for what you need upfront using top-ups which can be done online or via your phone on an app.  You don’t have to go through a credit check but be aware that the tariffs can sometimes be a little bit more expensive than some other options.  Shop around to get the best tariff.

Sim Only

When looking for this option you will see that there are two choices; fixed term contracts which will typically lock you into a contract for 12 months or a 30-day rolling contract which you can leave with a month’s notice.  It is thought that you usually get a better deal with the 12-month contract but that isn’t always the case so check before you commit.  If you are happy with your current phone, this is a great option to save some money and you can get some great packages if you are data hungry.  You will still have to go through a credit check for this option.

Buying a new phone

You may be at the end of your contract but still want a new phone.  You do have the option of buying the phone outright which could be a good option.  If you are looking to buy a cheaper phone, consider…

Buying a phone and getting a Sim only contract

Easy to do, you buy the phone and find the Sim option that suits you.  Compared to a two-year contract, this can work out cheaper if you get the right Sim only deal.  If you looking to avoid a credit check then bolt on a Pay as you Go deal. To keep the cost of the phone down, consider looking at refurbished phones as they are usually a lot cheaper.  Most places will offer a warranty and they will have been tested.  Some may not have packaging or accessories, but these are easy to pick up.

Don’t want to lay out up-front cost

This could be an option if you want the latest phone, but it is too pricey to pay for upfront and you still don’t want to be committed to a mobile phone operator via a contract.  Apple for example offer a purchase option where you don’t pay any interest.  Apple Monthly Payments is their offering for interest-free financing of a phone.  Now it is available for the iPhone 12, 12 mini and also the 12 Pro Max – go on to Apple.com where you will find out all the details.

Compare Network deals

It could be the only option you have if you want a new phone.  It is recommended to look at reseller companies rather than go direct to the network operators – typically you will get a better deal – sites such as Mobile.co.uk and Carphone Warehouse. They can quite often come up with deals to cut down on the phone cost and give you access to some great Sim deals. Ultimately the contract is with the network provider, so you get the same service but at a cheaper price.

So, when your contract is up, stop and think and review all your options before making a commitment to a new contract.

What do I need in a laptop?

Laptops

What do I need in a Laptop?

Buying a new laptop can be confusing, with the number of laptops available, the difference in costs and understanding what you need.  It is worth having a think about what you want to use your laptop for, day to day tasks, work, etc.  Also think about your budget and look for the best you can get for your money.

Here are some tips to help make your decision: –

How powerful do you need it to be?

This is important depending on what you want to use your laptop for.  If you are planning to be a heavy user, maybe using your laptop for photo or video editing then this is vital to get right.  When looking at different laptops, you will see they all tell you what processors they have, and they will also show something called ‘clock speed’ measured in GHz and number of cores.  Simply put, if a laptop comes with a higher number of cores this will open the user ability for speed, it’s like driving down a motorway rather than a country lane – you can go faster.

The other area to consider with power is the RAM (Random Access Memory).  A high level of RAM gives you ability to instantly access files or content on your laptop.  It’s like getting something out of your drawer and having it on your desk – your desk is RAM – it is easier and quicker for you to get your hands on it.  Also, the bigger your desk (RAM) the more you can have on it!  4GB of RAM is standard now on most laptops, but if you are a heavy user, it is recommended to go for *GB.  Cheaper laptops or Chromebooks come with 2GB, so even a normal user may find this a little slow.

Operating System

Like the scenario with phones with them being in iOS or Android, laptops are now different.  There are three operating systems: MacOS, Windows and ChromeOS.  There are reasons to choose each of them: –

Mac

Opt for a MacBook – You will need a budget of at least £999 and if you want something to last you for years as they come with high build quality.  If you are an avid Apple user, then this is also a must.

Win Laptop1

Opt for a Windows 10 Laptop – If you know Windows well and used it for most of your life – this is the option for you.  If you already use specialist software that you need to keep using, then again opting for a Windows 10 laptop is essential – you will also get a big choice of laptops to choose from.

Chromebook

Opt for a Chromebook – This is a great option if you don’t have a lot of budget and want something simple to use.  You will also need to be willing to work on web-based applications.

Screen Size

It is best unless you have a really low budget to go opt for Full HD for any size laptop.  Bigger doesn’t always mean better either.  The larger the screen the heavier the laptop so bear this in mind.  An 11, 12 or 13 inch display will help preserve the battery life and give you a more portable laptop. The majority of laptops you will see will come with a Full-HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution screen which is ideal for most uses – the more you pay and the more expensive models some with a higher resolution and some come with 4K Ultra HD.

Battery Life

All laptops will come with an indication of the battery life but this is dependent on what you are using the laptop for.  Just use the guidance as an indication and don’t rely on it.  If you are out for several hours, it is always recommended to carry your charger.  Once you get used to your laptop, you will get a feel for exactly how long the battery lasts for.

Cost

Some guides to what you will expect to get for your money: –

Over £800 – This budget is recommended for technical tasks such as photo or video editing and gaming.  Great speakers and screen definition.

Under £800 – Good all-round spec, rounding up everything you get in a cheaper laptop as per below and a good battery life.

Under £600 – Expect 8GB of RAM, Intel Core i5, i7 or equivalent.  Good for general photo editing – you should be able to get a thin and light design that comes with a full HD screen.

Under £450 – Check it is a Intel Premium processor or equivalent and 4GB of RAM. You will get a good allrounder for general use with browsing and work tasks.  You should be able to get one with a full HD screen.

Under £300 – You should see the newer Intel Celeron processors with a max of 4GB of RAM.  Won’t provide you a fast user experience but for a light use you won’t be let down.

Under £200 – Expect to see an Intel Celeron or Atom processor and the maximum you are likely to get is 2GB of RAM.  Won’t be fast but for browsing and note taking, should serve you well.

The key to buying any laptop is to shop around, lots of options in store and online, read reviews and ask questions.  Following this, you should find the laptop for you.

keep your family safe online at home

shutterstock 553978390

Technology is used more and more at home and by the whole family, especially our kids who can quite often be more tech savvy than their parents.  But in the overwhelming world of technology, how do you keep your kids safe online?

There are now many online toys, apps, games, social networks and tools, aimed at kids for fun or learning.  It is easy to overlook security measures and cybercrooks are always looking for new ways to exploit us out of hard cash and data.   Here are some points you might want to consider doing to keep your family safe:-

WiFi Network – you want to make sure your WiFi is safe from hackers who are looking for access to infect your laptops and PC’s with malware or even use your system to send out malware attacks.  The best thing you can do at home is to make sure that you use a strong password for your router, never leave it with the factory set password it comes with.  It is also advisable to change it regularly, use a long password with a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. This applies to any online account that you have.   If you do have the option to use a security question that only you will know the answer to, make sure you do.  Make sure you also enable wireless encryption which will stop strangers from seeing your network – you can then restrict access.

Safe Social Networking – firstly check the age rating of the social networks that your kids want to subscribe to – many have a minimum age limit of 13 years.  It is easy when prompted to enter personal details to do so, but teach the your family not to use their full names, address, birthdays on any profile – this is providing potential secure data to predators and hackers.  It is also wise not to post photos of identifiable pictures of your home or car or shout about going on holiday and leaving the house unattended  – all can pose risks.

Parental Controls – we all like to trust our kids, but with the murky world of online, it is better to put some precautions in place.  There are many parental control tools available on the market, use them for blocking access at home to inappropriate websites that you wouldn’t want your kids to see – you can usually select the categories of content you wish to block.  You’re not spying on your kids online just protecting them from exposure to indecent material. A great tool we recommend is the App ‘CleanBrowsing’ that offers a free level of child safe VPN protection on your children’s phones – simply download and install the App (iPhone App or Android App) and your child’s phone is protected from accessing inappropriate material.

Blogging – this is becoming more and more popular amongst the younger generation and it can be really positive and great for kids to do, good for learning, expressing themselves and interacting.  However, it is wise to spend some time with them to explain that keeping their posts generic is better than posting lots of very personal content that can easily identify them – this can make them easy targets for predators or stalkers.  Obviously make sure access to their blog is password protected and kept private and check in on it from time to time.

Online Gaming – kids love the concept of live gaming, they can interact with friends and get involved with leagues and competitions.  Great fun but it can expose them to bullying, online predators and even harassment.  Get them not to reveal their real identify when playing with strangers, easy to use a nickname or even an avatar.  It’s good to check in and see who they are playing, just to keep an eye on things.  Many games consoles come with parental controls so make sure you use them.

Use Trusted Sources Only – when looking to download music, films, games, etc but they can come riddled with spyware or malware and other things that could compromise your online security.  Consider making a list of trusted downloading resources that the whole family have access and make sure that they use it.  Get the kids in the habit of checking with you first before they download anything.

Phishing Scams – cybercrooks are after your personal data – bank accounts numbers, credit card details, PIN’s, your birthday – all key information they want to enable them to commit fraud against you.  They will try all different ways of getting access to this information by sending you emails. Messages, even commenting on your social media posts.  Look out for unexpected messages – your bank accounts is about to close, lottery wins or prizes, donations and more.  Look at how the message is written, does it look credible, what email has it come from – there will usually be something if you check that will alert you that it is a scam – don’t click on any links if you are unsure.

These are just a few ideas to help you keep you and your family safe online.  When looking for online solutions, check out what is recommended and do your research.

pop doorbell cameras 1588340065 scaled

Do I need a smart doorbell?

Smart doorbells are becoming more and more popular and with many more choices on the market than ever.  Is it just a trend or do you need one?  They are encouraged to enhance your home security and help you manage deliveries, so you never miss one again.

Smart doorbells or sometimes known as video doorbells, are a WiFi connected product and acts as an intercom system for your home.  Via an app which is specific to the doorbell that you opt, you will receive direct notifications to your phone and a live feed so you can see who is at your door.  This gives you the option to speak to the caller without even opening your door or from wherever you are – helps if you don’t want to open the door to a stranger or arrange where you want the delivery driver to leave your parcel.

Some models will come equipped with motion detection sensors or AI facial recognition – this will allow your smart doorbell to notify you when someone is approaching without them even pressing the buzzer.

Smart doorbells are typically easy and straight forward to install – especially if you choose a battery (usually rechargeable) operated device, you then don’t need to worry about wiring.  It’s as easy as securing the device to your door or home and then connecting it to you WiFi, download the relevant app and then away you go.

Some makes of smart doorbells have the ability to interact with other smart devices such as your Alexa products.  With the increased use of IFTTT (IF This Then That) you can use some smart doorbells to trigger and communicate with other smart devices.  The two dominant companies providing smart doorbells on the market are Nest and Ring – worth checking them both out and decide the model which is best for what you want and your budget.

If you need any help or advice on installing your doorbell, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installers by using the search box on our homepage.

DSLR

Do I need a digital camera as well as my smartphone?

As smartphones have developed so have their in-built cameras.  For example, the iPhone 12 Pro, comes with an ultra-wide, wide and telephoto lens, 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out and 4x optical zoom range with a digital zoom upto 10x and completed with night mode.  With this spec is there any need to invest in a digital camera?

There are thoughts, that yes there is.  Options such as the GoPro or a high-end DSLR with bring added enjoyment and quality to your photos.  Before making the decision, ask yourself the following: –

Exactly what are you going to use the camera for? – Both options are there to capture your memories, whether you are on holiday, at a family event or simply out and about walking.  It is important to think, once taken, what do you want to do with your photos.  It is obvious that using your smartphone as your sole camera is convenient – you already carry your phone with you, so it makes sense.  It also means that you are ready to capture a photo at any time.  The apps for photo editing that are now available to download to your smartphone are also endless which makes it easy for you to make changes to create the perfect picture.  In today’s experiences and with the social media platforms such as TikTok, it is likely that many photos taken will just end up on social media. With larger screens now available with smartphones you can even see more of what you are capturing and great for video playback.

Higher quality with digital cameras

Even though smartphone cameras have developed with technology, they are still best capturing a static picture and one that has good lighting.  Capturing moving pictures and those that aren’t in great light should drive you towards buying a digital camera.  Not only are they better here but they provide higher quality images which is enabled by larger sensors on a digital camera which capture more light.  You can also add on a more powerful flash and with a 10x optical zoom – you just won’t get this with a smartphone.

You will have many options available to you for lenses if you opt for a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) that enables you to capture the results you want depending on the type of photos that you are taking.

If you plan on printing pictures you will get a higher quality image using a digital camera.  Typically, with a smartphone image you will need to blow it up for a larger print, meaning the grain levels are more noticeable than with digital cameras which have higher megapixels and resolution.

Most people will continue to use their smartphone as it is so convenient and for its purpose, they provide good quality pictures and video which suit uploading to social media etc.  If you want high quality printable pictures or take photography a bit more seriously then a digital camera is a must.  GoPros are great for action shots and DSLR’s are great for pure photography for the best images.

Smart Lock

Make your Smart Home secure

Years ago, a secure home meant you had locks, deadbolts, and latchkeys with little keys for all your windows.  Since then, home security has come a long way with smart and keyless security options for your home.

Before deciding on what you need or want, it is worth taking a bit of time to research the options such as motion sensors, alarms, cameras, and smart locks.  With online security a hot topic, also take the time to understand what data is stored and shared by the devices that you opt for.

Here we explore smart locks.

Keyless systems for the home may seem new and almost futuristic but we have been using this type of technology for years from the office down to the local gym.  It seems a sensible and obvious step for this technology to be used for the home.  Don’t be scared off by the technology.  Digital keys are safer than the more traditional keys that we are all used to due to dual encryption used in many keyless solutions – think about it being like the encryption used when you log into online banking.  Many solutions now also link to your Alexa or Google Assistant making is easy and integrated to what you may have already in the home.  In many circumstances you may also be able to link in light and heater timings so your smart lock can act as a trigger.

Worried about physical keys ending up in the wrong hands? Geofencing technology is provided with many options – this technology uses a smartphones GPS capability to understand where you are and will secure or unlock your home accordingly – far better than searching for your keys at the bottom of your bag!  Some that come with the Yale Access App will unlock your door as soon as it senses that you are within five metres of your front door, or you can set the mode to away or change the distance.  You have the control of timing to always suit you best with remote access to check the status of your locks.

Geofencing

We recommend you explore the web to find out more about smart locks..

WiFi Garden

Get Ready for the Summer with WiFi in your garden

We are still set to have a heatwave in August and even without the heatwave, the weather hasn’t been too bad.  With the kids off, wouldn’t it be great to get even more out of your garden and enjoy summer nights of entertainment.

Having WiFi in your garden will enable you to enjoy streaming films, playing music and even connecting to other smart devices and solutions like lighting.

Before you start anything, it is best to check that your broadband and WiFi in the home is working at the best level it can – this will ensure that you get the best experience as you extend into your garden.

Here are the best options to get the connectivity you need:-

WiFi Extenders

Using extenders provide one of the easiest and simplest ways to increase your connectivity to the garden.  You may already be using extenders around your home, so this will be an easy solution for you.

You need to consider where your router is and where you place your extender is important.  Pick a plug socket that is closest to your garden but still as close to your router as possible.  Just bear in mind though – they boost your signal range from your router but they won’t boost the speed – this is why it is important to ensure you have the best broadband service available for your area.  When choosing an extender, it is also worth checking the maximum speed it can handle, invest in a good model.

Two extenders which may be worth considering are the Netgear Nighthawk X6 WiFi Range Extender (£113).  Handles speeds upto 2.2Gbps and also comes with a Smart Roaming feature.

Or a more affordable option is the TP-Link RE450 WiFi Range Extender (£52).  Handles speeds upto 1.75 Gbps and has an intelligent signal indicator which helps you find the best location to plug it in.

Mesh Network

There are a few reasons to consider a mesh network; if you have a large house, large garden or just worried that the extender won’t give you the strength of signal needed.  Mesh networks operate in a similar way to extenders but they typically provide a more powerful solution, offer greater reliability and are more effective at creating a network for your garden for multiple devices.

To simply explain what a mesh network is – it is a group of devices that act together as a single WiFi network for you to connect to.  Compared to the extenders, they don’t boost the signal they act as additional access points for WiFi across your home or garden.  Placed in the correct position they can cover dead-spots in your home and then out into the garden with many mesh devices designed specifically for the garden. Some broadband providers can supply you with a solution so it is worth checking with them first before you invest independently.   The benefit of buying independently is that it will work with any broadband solution.

Two options outside of your broadband supplier include the Google WiFi Mesh Whole Home System which starts at £189 for a triple pack or another option is the Amazon eero system – these are sold in packs from one to three with each additional units priced at £89 rising to £399 for the Amazon eero pro.

Ethernet Cable

This option will provide you the best and most robust option and will give you the best internet speeds in your garden.  You need to run ethernet cables direct from your router into any ethernet port – for example, into the back of your TV or laptop – you can also place a secondary router in a suitable position in your garden, maybe in a shed for example.  It prevents loss of signal which you often get with WiFi.  Cabling can be a cheap option but when using cables it is advised to protect the cable from weather and the sun.  You can buy different casing and trunking which will help you to achieve this and remember to protect any ports, sockets or routers from the rain.  We recommend getting this option professionally installed.

Powerline

A good option for you if you don’t want to run cables.  You build a network using two plug in adaptors into a regular mains plug socket.  Each has a short ethernet cable with the first being plugged into the mains and the cable plugged into the back of your router.  You then plug the second adaptor into a location where you want the signal – so close to your garden even into a garage.  From here you can then use the cable to plug into the back of your TV, laptop, etc.  Or as with previous solutions you can opt to plug the cable into the back of a secondary router again where you are looking to gain connectivity to which you can connect to wirelessly.

Powerline adaptor kits can be purchased for as little as £25 or you can opt for more sophisticated solutions costing nearer £250.  The main difference is usually the number of adaptors you get and the speeds that they are capable of achieving.

Two options include the TP-Link AV600 Nano Powerline Starter Kit (£24), which comes complete with two adaptors and transfer speeds upto 600 Mbps or opt for the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi Next Powerline Whole Home Kit, priced at £250 and comes with three adaptors with transfer speeds upto 2.4Gbps.

We hope that you have the solution that suits you and you enjoy your summer nights in the garden.

If you need any help or advice on installing your WiFi, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved WiFi Installers.

ring

Thinking about getting a smart doorbell?

Smart Doorbells are becoming more and more popular to enable homeowners to see who is at their door and to provide additional home security.  With the increase of smart devices and smart assistants, we can all get a bit overwhelmed with the different options, amount of apps we have to install to control and interact with the devices – it can be enough to put you off.

Smart Doorbells can be a great addition to your home and a great new feature which will be available soon, may encourage you now to take the plunge.

The new feature is Quick Replies which enables you to use an automated response from your Amazon Alexa to answer the doorbell for you if you are unable to make it to the door in time.  You need to select a pre-recorded messages so a little time is required initially.  You are able to choose from six pre-recorded messages which options such as ‘Please leave the parcel outside’ or a simple message to ask the caller to wait to give you time to get to the door.

It has the flexibility to be set to be activated with the ring of the doorbell or even just by the detection of motion – this is helpful if you have concerns for parcels being taken from your doorstep when left by a delivery driver.

If you opt for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro – you will have more options, however, you will need an active Ring Protect subscription.  The added features include, when the bell is rung, your Alexa can ask how she can help the caller – either take a message or even provide a location for a parcel to be left. The messages can be easily accessed via your Ring app and can also be watched back or in real-time if you can’t make it to the door.

Linking it to your Alexa could just be the right time to take the plunge and get a smart doorbell from Ring.

If you need any help or advice on installing your doorbell, it may be useful to contact one of our Approved Installers by using the search box on our homepage.