Parental Settings for Smart TVs

Parental Settings for Smart TVs

If you’re like most parents, you may feel frustrated when something as innocent and simple as turning on your smart TV can display gory images from ads for horror movies or suggestions for suggestive—or even outright raunchy—content on the home screen before you even navigate to your preferred apps and platforms.

While parental controls within streaming platforms don’t kick in until you open their apps, there is good news: Many smart TVs have parental control options and settings built right into their operating systems.

Below we discuss some of the settings parents can make on many of the most popular brands of smart TVs. Combining these parental controls on smart TVs with in-app settings enhances protection—and gives peace of mind to parents as they and their families enjoy FPUAnet Communications’ high-speed fiber internet and pristine streaming quality!

Smart TVs With Parental Control Settings

We begin with popular smart TVs that have parental control settings: LG and Samsung, as well as Google TV, which is preinstalled on many well-known smart TV brands such as Sony. Many other brands, including Fire TV, offer similar parental controls (and similar ways of establishing them), so we present these brands as models for exploring your options. 

In general, you can search for safety, security and parental controls in the Settings Menu of any of the models below. Some brands include more features than others, so check each of them out carefully before buying a new model.

LG Smart TV’s

Most LG smart TVs made over the last several years have a few key features to help parents feel more comfortable about letting their children use their television. Specifically, parents can lock channels out entirely, block visual and sound content of certain channels, block programming with certain TV content ratings, and even block access to particular apps. LG also lets parents block inputs to other devices as well, giving an extra layer of protection against “workarounds” a clever child may attempt.

LG uses the most common way smart TVs enable parental controls: the establishment of a PIN and passwords. Parents simply need to set up a PIN to create and manage the protections—and make sure they don’t share that PIN or password with their child! Though it’s probably obvious, be sure to choose a PIN or password that your child isn’t already aware of or cannot easily guess.

Set up is easy: simply navigate to the Settings symbol on the Menu, then click on System Settings, then to Safety Settings, and establish the password or PIN. From there, you can block channels or apps or block out content based on content ratings.

Google TV (Preinstalled on many Sony, TCL, and Hisense Smart TV models)

Next on our list is the increasingly popular Google TV, an operating system that is preferred by many customers for its easy integration within the Google ecosystem of apps and smart home devices, like Google Nest. You can find Google TV on many brands of popular smart TVs, including Hisense, Sony, and TCL, and on some Chromecast models.

Google TV has an option many parents will immediately appreciate: the ability to establish Restricted Profiles. Through Google TV’s Restricted Profiles, you can set content restrictions and limit what younger members of your family can watch when on their profile.

The only “downside” to Google TV’s approach is that parents (or any older viewer) need to remember to set the TV back to “Restricted Profiles” whenever the parent’s “unrestricted” use is complete. That way, when your children turn on the TV, they will immediately be in the Restricted Profile, with all the protections and limitations you previously established for their profile.

Samsung TV

Lastly, we consider Samsung, another popular smart TV. Like the LG smart TV discussed above, Samsung also lets parents set up a PIN or password to block channels or limit content to particular ratings.

Just follow these simple steps: First, head to your Menu and go to Settings. From there select Broadcasting, and then choose Program Rating Lock Settings. Next, create your PIN. Finally, choose your settings and limitations.

Other Parental Protections to Consider

Beyond setting up parental controls, PINs, restricted profiles, and other limitations and protections within a smart TV, parents should also remember that there are other steps they can take as well. Most apps, like Netflix, have built-in parental settings, including user profiles. These profiles can be set to filter content that is less than kid-appropriate, while still allowing other users to stream what they want in their own PIN-protected profile.

Additionally, streaming sticks and boxes also have parental control settings and options, beyond just the individual apps. Recall that streaming sticks and boxes can turn any TV with an HDMI connection into a smart TV. Roku and Apple TV are two ever-popular streaming devices, and both have settings and restrictions parents can implement.

By employing these recommendations, parents can breathe a bit more easily as they stream on FPUAnet Communications’ advanced fiber network. For more tips on staying safe online, follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages!

Explaining Our Internet Speed Tiers

Explaining Our Internet Speed Tiers

Perhaps the most common question we hear from customers at FPUAnet Communications is: “What internet speed do I really need?”

It’s actually an excellent question, and the answer can depend on a number of factors—from the number of people in the home and the number of devices regularly used at once to the types of online activities that matter most to you. (For example, gaming and videoconferencing will require more bandwidth than checking emails!)

While FPUAnet Communications’ advanced fiber network is the most reliable internet you can get—and that reliability is consistent no matter what speed tier you choose—we offer different plans and tiers based on the speeds your household needs. Some homes or businesses may need or want greater speeds than others, while others prefer to try to save a little money on a slower maximum speed given their actual usage.

Below, we describe each of our speed tiers, as well as some of the key factors and considerations any customer should take when choosing an internet speed tier. And we help explain the reason why some speeds will work well for certain households or businesses, while others may simply need more. Still, have questions? Call us or stop by! We’re local and happy to help.

[NOTE: YOU MAY WISH TO EDIT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION BELOW

100 MBPS

100 MBPS is generally considered the “entry-level” or most basic speed for high-speed internet service. While it is certainly a lower speed and does not take full advantage of fiber’s capabilities, for some households, 100 MBPS may be sufficient for most needs.

For example, 100 MBPS should enable customers to use three or four devices simultaneously for basic email, web browsing, and social media use—the kinds of everyday internet usage you’ve been accustomed to for years.

And 100 MBPS also lets you stream TV and movies and other videos and music on one or maybe two devices at a given time. But as streaming and other more data-intensive online activities like gaming do require much more information to be transmitted, 50 MBPS is likely to feel more sluggish, or even rather limiting, compared to faster speeds.

However, for a smaller home or business, or even for a household with just one or two users, residents may be able to get by with a 100 MBPS tier for most internet uses. Just keep

in mind that multiple users streaming at the same time will likely notice the need for a speed tier upgrade.

200 MBPS

200 Mbps internet speed is good for multiple people using multiple devices at once. It can stream TV and movies on three or four devices at the same time, and it allows for 4K streaming. This speed is a good option for most households.

Multiple people using multiple devices at once: With 200 Mbps internet speed, you can have multiple people using multiple devices at the same time without experiencing any lag or buffering. This is ideal for households with multiple children or for families who like to stream TV and movies together.

Streaming TV and movies on three or four devices at the same time: 200 Mbps internet speed is fast enough to stream TV and movies on three or four devices at the same time without sacrificing quality. This means you can all watch your favorite shows or movies together without having to worry about buffering or lag.

Allows for 4K streaming: 200 Mbps internet speed is also fast enough to stream 4K content. This means you can watch your favorite movies and TV shows in stunning high definition.

A good option for most households: 200 Mbps internet speed is a good option for most households. This is because it is fast enough to handle most of the things that people do online, such as streaming TV and movies, browsing the web, and playing games.

If you are looking for an internet speed that is fast enough to handle multiple users and devices, 200 Mbps is a good option to consider. It is fast enough to stream TV and movies, play games, and download large files without any lag or buffering.

500 MBPS

500 Mbps internet speed is excellent for multiple people using multiple devices at once. It can stream TV and movies on multiple devices at the same time, and it is ideal for gaming and other data-intensive activities. This speed is a good option for large households or businesses.

Multiple people using multiple devices at once: With 500 Mbps internet speed, you can have multiple people using multiple devices at the same time without experiencing any lag or buffering. This is ideal for households with multiple children or for businesses with a lot of employees working from home.

Streaming TV and movies on multiple devices at the same time: 500 Mbps internet speed is fast enough to stream TV and movies on multiple devices at the same time without sacrificing quality. This means you can all watch your favorite shows or movies together without having to worry about buffering or lag.

Ideal for gaming and other data-intensive activities: 500 Mbps internet speed is also ideal for gaming and other data-intensive activities. This means you can play online games without lag or interruption, and you can download large files quickly.

A good option for large households or businesses: 500 Mbps internet speed is a good option for large households or businesses. This is because it can handle the increased traffic that comes with having a lot of people or devices using the internet at the same time.

If you are looking for an internet speed that can handle multiple users and devices, 500 Mbps is a good option to consider. It is fast enough to stream TV and movies, play games, and download large files without any lag or buffering.

1 GIG (or 1000 MBPS)

The best possible internet speed.

Allows for simultaneous use of multiple devices and data-intensive activities.

Ideal for households with many users or businesses with high bandwidth needs.

For users looking for the best internet and streaming experience available—and to take full advantage of fiber’s advanced technology—the 1 GIG or 1,000 MBPS speed tier is the clearest choice. At this speed, fiber internet simply pours data into your home, powering your devices with the internet they need to perform at their best. With 1 GIG fiber internet, you and your family can easily use ten or even more devices at the same time to surf the web, check email, and play on social media.

Streaming TV, movies, and other video on multiple devices simultaneously is a cinch with 1 GIG, so you’ll never need to ration out streaming times in your home again. And the streaming quality of 1 GIG fiber internet is just exemplary, with 4K’s brilliant resolution making colors and textures pop on all of your screens. At this tier, you can also power a fully connected smart home (think Alexa, security cameras, and more) without noticing a slowdown on your device.

Online gaming, which can keep players engaged for hours (and build skills regularly used in “real life,” too!), is incomparably better with the 1 GIG speed tier for any gamer. 1 GIG’s greater bandwidth capacity allows more data to flow up and down seamlessly, preventing lag and other delays and choppiness that stymie gamers on slower speeds.

We hope this guide helps you assess your internet speed needs for your household or business. It may even help “diagnose” why you may notice some less-than-stellar internet performance—i.e., when too many people are using too many devices for intensive online activities simultaneously!

The friendly and knowledgeable support team specialists at FPUAnet Communications are available to answer any question you may have about which speed is best for you or any other question you may have about our fiber network. So feel free to reach out at your convenience!

And to learn more about FPUAnet Communications and why its fiber internet cannot be beat, be sure to check out our social pages!

How Fiber Optical Cable is Made

How Fiber Optical Cable is Made

FPUAnet Communications is now offering business-level fiber optic cable service, part of a nationwide rollout that’s bringing the fastest internet service with the broadest bandwidth ever before widely available.

But just what is fiber optic cable, and how is it made? And what makes it so much better than copper cable?

Also commonly called fiber cable, fiber optic cable is a cable line filled with very thin filaments made from silica glass or plastic. The data is then transmitted using light pulses rather than the electrical signals used to move information on copper lines.

Fiber cable moves data much faster than copper lines—easily 20 times faster or more—and can accommodate far more data at once, which means more devices can use bandwidth-hogging applications at once without throttling, buffering, or other slowdowns that could occur during high-traffic times, like your business hours.

A quick history of fiber optic telecommunications
Alexander Graham Bell gets the credit for being one of the earliest experimenters with fiber optic technology, something he explored as he created the telephone in the 1880s. But it was almost a century later before commercial production began.

Credit for the big breakthrough goes to Corning engineers who found a way to make strands of glass that could move data contained within pulses of light that computers could then convert to usable forms for the human beings at each end. And critically, it could do all that without the light pulses leaking from the cable.

That was in the 1970s, at the dawn of the computer age. In fact, fiber optics grew up along with computers and the internet as telecommunications technology advanced at the revolutionary pace that we’re still seeing today.

The 3 Cs of fiber cable

Fiber optic cable is manufactured with three major components. From the inside out, that’s the core, the cladding, and the coating.

The core is the key to fiber optic’s ability to transmit data at very high speeds and very long distances without the loss of signal strength that can plague copper wire. It’s the center of the cable that contains the super-clear glass or plastic fiber comprising strands roughly the thickness of a human hair.

Then there’s the cladding. That’s another layer of glass that functions as a reflector to keep the light pulses inside the core as they hurtle to their destination at a pace that can approach the speed of light.

Finally, there’s the coating, a thin rubber layer that shields the fiber from scratches and other damage. (One thing the shield doesn’t have to do is contain electromagnetic signals. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can be a major problem with copper cable, a problem that doesn’t exist when simply moving light.)

Creating the fiber itself

Optic fiber glass strands are created in a highly controlled environment and a multistep process that begins with a ceramic rod that attracts the silicon dioxide that then forms into a thick cylinder. Any moisture is removed in a high-temperature furnace and the resulting blanks are then placed vertically in an even hotter furnace for the process called the draw.

The draw is when the melting glass forms into strands used for both the core and cladding. After they cool, the strands are wrapped on spools and then later unspooled—either on-site or in a specialized finishing facility elsewhere—for the application of the rubber coating. They later can be joined together into multiple-strand cabling that can then be run through metal or rubber conduits and, when needed, separated back into individual strands at their final destination.

By building our network with this top-of-the-line tech, we can provide high-speed, high-capacity telecommunications that can easily handle your most demanding applications, including multiple VoIP phone lines, teleconferencing, large video uploads and downloads, and cloud-based, business-critical software—with speed, capacity, reliability, and security that copper lines simply can’t match.

To learn more about our fiber internet for your business, contact us at (772) 468-1697 or sales@fpuanet.com. We’re proud to keep Fort Pierce’s homes and businesses connected!

Why You Should Ditch DSL and Cable for Fiber

Not all internet options are created equal. All it takes is one missed virtual meeting or one lagging video game to realize that your current internet speeds may not be sufficient. If you aren’t happy with your current speeds, you may want to look into other options. But which service is best for you? Let’s explore the speed, reliability, and bandwidth of the three major service delivery options—landline telephone line (DSL), cable TV line (cable), and fiber-optic line (fiber)—to understand why fiber is the clear choice for today’s citizens of the internet.

Internet Speed

Fiber-optic broadband, which uses glass, offers faster internet speeds over greater distances than its copper-based competitors such as DSL and cable. “Fiber to the Home” (FTTH) internet service providers (ISP) boast gigabit-level speeds up into the 100–1,000 Mbps range—several times faster than the maximum offered by its counterparts. Comparatively, DSL speeds max out at about 45 Mbps, while cable hits top speed at 300 Mbps. While that may sound like more than you’ll ever need, the capacity and speed of cable and DSL fluctuate during times of demand, which can leave you lagging when you have a pressing deadline or virtual meeting to attend.

Internet Reliability

Simply put, if reliability is important to you, choose fiber. DSL and cable experience significant slowdowns during peak hours and during extreme weather conditions such as drastic temperature changes and flooding. Fiber alone withstands all of these conditions, including the heave usage of peak hours. Keep in mind that unplanned downtime adds a serious cost to both your productivity and bottom line.

Internet Usage

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your internet usage. The reality of technology advancements is that most of us are now high-capacity users. How many desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, and gaming systems are competing for bandwidth in your home? Do you stream Netflix or Hulu or videos on YouTube? Do you play video games or games on your phone? Do you have a security system or a video doorbell monitor that requires internet connection to function? What about a home assistant device? Even smart appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators usually need an internet connection. As we get more connected, a lightning-fast internet connection becomes increasingly important.

Ready to make the switch to fiber? Contact FPUAnet Communications today!

Why Upload Speed Matters

The future of the internet is sharing―from capturing Instagram-worthy meals to enjoying video chats with friends―and FPUAnet’s unmatched upload speeds make that future a reality. 

Here are a just few ways FPUAnet’s fast, reliable upload speeds make your life easier:

Video chat and live sharing

Skype, FaceTime, and other video messaging services all require robust upstream connections to ensure clear audiovisual quality and to prevent freezing and blackouts. Sharing big news on Facebook or Instagram Live also works better with greater upload speed.

Working or going to school from home

You need a robust upstream connection to interact with colleagues during video conferences, collaborate on team projects, and share important files. Online studies also can tax your upstream connection, especially if you join a virtual classroom or share large portfolios. 

Keeping family, friends, and followers in the loop

Upload new videos to YouTube or share photographs with Flickr faster with a better upstream connection. 

Faster data backups and online file synching 

If you back up your data with a service like Backblaze or Carbonite, you need upload speed that meets basic requirements to ensure your data is protected quickly and without glitches. File and photo synching services like Dropbox, Google Photos, and Microsoft OneDrive all require a minimum of 5 Mbps upload speed to operate properly, and the more upload capacity available, the faster these services can sync and share files.

Online gaming, remote security and much more…

From online gaming to connected security systems that send real-time images through an internet connection, a fast upload connection is key to ensuring all your interactive online activities function well.

Understanding Speed Test Results

Testing the speed of your internet connection is easy, but it’s also easy to misunderstand the results. Your devices — TVs, routers, smartphones, laptops, desktops, etc. — have different capabilities, and you can get different results on each one, even while using the same internet connection. 

This is particularly noticeable to users taking advantage of higher speed packages offered by FPUAnet.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating your speed test results:

HARD-WIRED VS. WIRELESS 

That old-school cord-and-plug is simply more reliable than WiFi (wireless) connectivity. Even those super-fast 1 Gbps connections, now widely available across the country, won’t test out at higher than 500 to 700 Mbps when tested over WiFi. For the most accurate speed test result you must test with a hard-wired device. 

Why? Because there are nearly endless variables that can negatively affect a WiFi signal, everything from nearby construction or the wireless printer in the home office to a baby monitor or microwave in use in the home. 

Keep in mind that one limitation with a hard-wired connection is testing with a device that has a 100 Mbps NIC (Network Interface Card). This can cause you to consistently receive speed test results at 90-98 Mbps. FPUAnet recommends testing on a device that has a 1 Gbps NIC. 

POSSIBLE PROBLEMS AFFECTING SPEED AND SPEED TESTS 

Slow internet speeds are sometimes caused by malware such as adware and viruses. There are several free and inexpensive programs and apps to deal with that, and they’re important to use for many reasons. 

This also sounds obvious, but it’s very easy to overlook any ongoing downloads or programs like video chat that may be turned on while you’re conducting a speed test on your device. Close these applications, reboot your device, and test again. 

Even the browser you use — Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft’s new Edge, etc. — can affect your test speed. Try different browsers to see if that’s the case on your system. 

If you have a WiFi extender, make sure you turn it off before you run a speed test. Otherwise, your computer may test the wrong connection. 

This brings us to a final point about equipment. Technology advances constantly, and many older routers and computers simply cannot take full advantage of the blazing speed and bandwidth of today’s fiber broadband connectivity. 

When you’re ready to upgrade your technology, make sure your new equipment has the network cards and internal processing power that can leverage the speed of market-leading fiber broadband like that from FPUAnet.