With the power of the internet today, we live in an age of endless opportunity. But, just like we have the opportunities to share information, ideas, and inspiration with each other, so do the bad guys have the opportunities to take advantage of it all. For example, every 2 seconds, another identity is stolen online. And while the internet is a phenomenal tool ready at our fingertips, we all stand to benefit from beefing up our security, especially with more ways for hackers to get into your home security system. So this National Cyber Security Month, let’s focus on three easy ways you can do just that.
Better Safe Than Sorry
As Benjamin Franklin’s famous saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And if you can keep any cyber-attacks at bay, then you’re set up to save yourself tons of time, money, and headaches. So let these three smart and safe products help you produce your own ounce of prevention. #1) Samsung SmartThings Hub A smart home is a safe home. But if you don’t have a digital general that can command all your devices – and one that can avoid being hacked – then all your smart home security might be at risk. But with the new Samsung SmartThings Hub, you can monitor your whole home securely, from anywhere. Acting as the heart of your smart home, this hub will connect all of your different smart locks, lights, outlets, thermostats, and more. It gets along with various communication protocols, such as ZigBee, Z-Wave, IP, and other wireless protocols. Plus, it’s able to connect with your home’s devices from a range of 15 to 30 feet away, even with a wall between them. It even has a battery backup that lasts for 10 hours, so you aren’t in trouble when the power goes out. Just be sure to keep in mind that, although some functions will work without the cloud, the experience is much more robust with the cloud connected in your home. The hub’s also easily compatible with devices from a variety of brands – including Honeywell, GE, Philips Hue, Kwikset, Cree, GoGarage, and more – so that even a non-tech type person can set them all up. And once you do, you can then control them all from the free SmartThings app for your smartphones and tablets. Via the app, you’ll receive notifications about what’s happening in and around your home concerning your home’s security, energy usage, lighting, and more. The latest version of the app now includes a “Rooms” view that gives you the power to control an entire room at once, as opposed to having to repeat the process over and over again for each individual device. And as a result, this smart hub strikes a beautiful balance between cost, usability, features, and product support. #2) Amcrest NV4108 1080p Plug-and-Play Network Video Recorder (NVR) So you’ve got cameras installed in every dark corner of your home, ready to record whatever may come. But what happens when you run out of hard drive space to save it all? What if all your recording devices don’t play nicely with each other? With the Amcrest Plug-and-Play Network Video Recorder, that’s never been an issue. It’s simple to use, and hard to hack. The Amcrest NVR works with virtually any ONVIF compatible IP camera – such as Amcrest, Foscam, Dahua, and more. It easily connects to and manages all the WiFi IP cameras on your network directly through their Ethernet cables for ultimate ease and convenience in creating a home security system. And after a quick and painless plug-and-play setup process that’s just as easy to configure, you can remotely watch things as they happen around your home. That because the Amcrest’s blazing throughput of 80Mbps enables you to watch things in real-time, highly-reliable, HD video without any loss or delay. This NVR lets you record in widescreen and in extraordinary quality, as it supports 8-Channel 1080p/3MP/4MP/5MP resolution. The playback features intelligent search, and back-up functions provide enhanced ease of use and security (for example, motion detection event and exact search functions that are accurate to one second). The feature-rich user interface allows you to customize and control Camera Name, Time, Motion Detection, Video Loss, Lock, and Record Status Icons. You can even set multiple trigger/alarm events to have the system engage in Recording, PTZ, Tour, Video Push, Email, FTP, and/or Buzzer modes. Plus, custom record modes (such as Manual, Scheduled, Motion Detection) – as well as Record Intervals of 1-120min – allow you even finer-tuned controls. To watch your recordings, simply scan the QR Code on the NVR from the Amcrest View app to instantly access live viewing and playback on iPhone, iPad, and Android. You can also remotely access your recordings using standard Windows and Mac browsers. And on top of that, there’s also a USB backup feature for additional peace of mind. And this unsurpassed value is all backed by Amcrest’s 1 Year US Warranty. #3) TP-Link Wireless N300 Access Point (2.4Ghz, 300Mbps) With all of your personal data that’s wirelessly flying through the airwaves these days, you can count on this TP-Link Access Point to keep it all secure. This 300Mbps Wireless N Access Point comes with three omnidirectional antennas and adopts both MIMO (Multi Input Multi Output) and CCA (Clear Channel Assessment) technologies alike. Together, these technologies deliver optimal wireless performance, transmission rates, stability, security, and coverage. The access point’s wireless N speeds of up to 300Mbps make it ideal for high bandwidth data consumption or interruption-sensitive applications such as video streaming, online gaming, and VoIP. It’s also fully compatible with 802.11b/g products, and the detachable antennas allow for stronger antenna upgrades should you ever need to boost your signal further. But, this device’s biggest feature is its versatility. Depending on the mode you set this access point to operate in, you can have it serve five different functions for flexible networking.
Access Point Mode (Default)
- Connect to a wired network and transform wired Internet access into wireless, allowing multiple devices/users to share the Internet at once.
- The device receives and broadcasts your existing wireless signal to extend its wireless range (with the same network SSID and password). This is especially useful for covering areas that receive little, weak, or no wireless signal strength.
Client Mode (Wi-Fi to Ethernet Mode)
- Connect to another device via Ethernet cable and have the device act as an external adaptor to send/receive the wireless signal from your wireless network.
Bridge Mode (WISP Mode)
- Connect to an outdoor WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) or public Wi-Fi to allow multiple devices/users share the same wireless internet connection.
- Create up to four different SSIDs for different groups of users. You can also assign VLANs to those networks to make them accessible or inaccessible to each other.
And no matter which mode you choose to use, the TP-Link Access Point will always offer a great connection. So as you’re reconnecting with all your family and friends this holiday season, be sure that you’ve set up a fast and secure internet network. Because only cybersecurity can keep a digital thief from stealing happiness from your holidays.