Apr 17, 2023 | Family, Small Business, WI FI, Work From Home
Your top priority is keeping your family and home protected and safe from harm. Thankfully, today’s technology can help.
Your neighbors at FPUAnet Communications understand your concerns and desire to keep your family safe. We are also a part of our community and are proud to help serve and keep people informed, connected, healthy and secure. That’s why we’ve put together this brief guide to smart home security that anyone connected to our high-speed fiber network can learn from and put to good use.
This concise overview highlights some of the most well-regarded smart home security measures and technology recommended by home safety experts.
Smart doorbells help you see who is at your door before you answer. They also monitor any activity on your doorstep, front porch, driveway and even on the street in some cases. These devices can help prevent deliveries and packages from being stolen and deter suspicious activity at your home.
Smart Security Cameras
A smart security camera setup is a must for those looking for more robust security.
You can install a smart security camera system anywhere in or outside your home, from the driveway to the backyard. Many smart security cameras are designed with motion sensors, so any time a person—or even larger wildlife—is detected, you will know it.
You can also use smart security cameras with motion-sensing outdoor lighting, which will also help deter unwanted visitors. Best of all, smart security cameras connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and all your devices, keeping you notified of activity outside your home.
Smart Lighting and Glass-Break Detectors
Other state-of-the-art smart home tools can further improve safety and security. For example, glass-break detectors can alert you to intruders. Similarly, smart lights detect motion and can send notifications to your phone or tablet, alerting you to be on your guard.
When these devices connect to your home’s fiber network, your family can be notified of a break-in, even if you aren’t home.
Personal Medical Alert and Emergency Devices
Seniors and others with mobility limitations or chronic health problems need quick communication with first responders.
When there’s an acute health emergency or other safety concern, personal medical alert and emergency devices can connect people to first responders at the touch of a button. During an emergency, there’s no need for seniors to locate and use a phone. Modern wearable tech makes it easier than ever to contact emergency services in seconds.
Don’t Forget About Network and Online Security
At FPUAnet Communications, we take the security and stability of our network very seriously. Our engineers and technicians constantly work to keep the network safe from attacks. But there are also some steps you can take to protect your data and online privacy.
Keep your home network safe from hackers and phishing attacks by using strong anti-virus software and apps on all your devices, as well as password managers to safeguard your accounts.
And be sure to use a complex password that is difficult to guess—and not the same as all your other passwords! Ad blockers can also save both aggravation and the unseemly tendency of advertisers to track your online activity.
These are just some innovative devices and services available to put smart home technology to good use for home safety and security. But as always, practice common sense in and around your home and online.
Keep front and back doors locked (and car doors, too). And avoid clicking on suspicious emails or untrustworthy links, so you don’t become a victim of a security breach. A little caution, paired with modern technology, can keep your home, family, and community safe and secure.
Follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages to learn more about how smart home technology can help make your home more efficient and safer.
Apr 14, 2023 | Family, Small Business, Work From Home
Many internet users experience a sluggish connection even with “high-speed internet.” They’ve invested in a good Wi-Fi router, perhaps a range extender, and may have even upgraded to a faster internet plan.
So why do they find themselves frequently frustrated by slowdowns and freeze-ups? What about their devices—or internet plan—causes this underwhelming performance? And what, if anything, can people do to reduce or even eliminate these issues?
The most likely culprits behind poor internet performance are bandwidth hogs—devices and online activities that gobble up too much bandwidth and slow down everyone’s internet access.
The good news is FPUAnet Communications’ advanced fiber network provides exceptionally high download speeds and the much-overlooked bandwidth capacity that only fiber internet can offer. Combined, fiber’s high speeds and excellent bandwidth can end internet sluggishness.
We discuss bandwidth in greater detail below and explain why every internet customer needs to understand it.
Then, we turn to the most common bandwidth hogs in most people’s homes—devices and online activities—and then explain how FPUAnet Communications’ best speed tiers can help resolve any bandwidth issues.
What Is Bandwidth—and Why Is Higher Bandwidth So Important?
Bandwidth can be confusing. Put simply, bandwidth is the amount of information an internet connection can manage per second.
Bandwidth doesn’t measure a particular internet connection’s rate (or speed). Instead, it’s about the volume of online data a connection can “carry” and transfer at any given time.
High bandwidth levels let internet users accomplish activities like streaming TV shows, participating in video calls, playing online games, and posting to social media simultaneously without any slowdowns.
More bandwidth is indispensable for keeping an active online household productive—and happy!
What Exactly Is a Bandwidth Hog?
A bandwidth hog is a colloquial term for a device or online activity that eats up more than its fair share of bandwidth. It hogs too much bandwidth and greedily takes it from other devices or activities. Keep in mind that everyday web browsing typically has little impact on overall bandwidth use.
Some devices are famous bandwidth hogs. Just by turning on and connecting to a bandwidth hog, a huge amount of available bandwidth on your internet connection will be used.
And certain activities require excess bandwidth to carry out your needs. When even one (or more) bandwidth hogs are activated, the dreaded slowdowns and freeze-ups can occur, leading to frustration and anger in your home!
Common Household Bandwidth Hogs
Today’s smart TVs feature enhanced technology that displays amazing picture quality.
High definition, 4K, and 4K Ultra-HD TVs produce stunning imagery and hog lots of bandwidth in the process. Using your smart TV can devour an enormous slice of your home internet’s bandwidth. If you have limited bandwidth capacity, your smart TV could impact other devices and online activities or even slow down a show you want to watch.
By far the activity with the most excessive use of bandwidth is streaming video.
Netflix tends to be the top offender, in part due to its popularity and vast library of content. Many people stream shows and movies on other devices like their tablets rather than just their smart TVs. And if you have more than one person in your household—and multiple tablets and phones in use—your bandwidth can easily be hogged just by streaming shows and movies.
And Netflix isn’t the only problem. Streaming services like TikTok and YouTube also use lots of bandwidth. Posting videos also hogs the bandwidth dedicated to uploads, which can be limited unless you’re on a fiber plan with symmetrical speeds.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, video conference calling became a daily part of life for many people. Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and other services allowed people to stay connected face-to-face, even across long distances. But video calls are notorious bandwidth hogs.
Voice, text, and video all combine to devour bandwidth—and that’s why you’ve experienced those ridiculous freeze-frame faces during the call!
And remember, with video calling, you are not just receiving data—you are also continuously sending it back to the server (uploading). That accounts for video calling’s massive appetite for bandwidth and why so many video calls end up frustrating people… unless you have fiber internet’s fast uploads!
Another big-time bandwidth hog is online gaming.
Online gaming is incredibly problematic from a bandwidth perspective because, like video calling, information is shared—from the player back to the server and the server back to the player. It often jams the internet connection for gamers and others in the house.
Higher bandwidth allows this excessive volume of data to transfer with far less latency or other delays. So gamers experiencing lag or freezes will benefit from internet plans and tiers that provide more bandwidth.
What’s the Best Way to Get More Bandwidth?
Well, apart from eliminating bandwidth hogs—the devices and activities you already have and love—your best solution is to upgrade to fiber internet.
DSL, cable, and satellite internet don’t have fiber’s high speeds or bandwidth capacity because fiber’s innovative design and cutting-edge materials allow for data to transfer faster and in much higher volumes.
If you already have fiber internet and would like to improve your internet service, you should increase your plan’s maximum speeds. With our fastest plans, offering speeds up to 1 Gbps, not even these typical “hogs” will be able to gobble up all your bandwidth!
Our top tier package provides plenty of bandwidth to allow a steady flow of online activity like streaming TV and movies, video calling, online gaming, and social media posting. Just by using fiber internet and upgrading your internet speed, you should easily get all the bandwidth your household needs.
To sum it all up, the more bandwidth an internet connection has, the more information it can send out and get back at any particular moment.
And with fiber’s advanced technology and higher speeds, you’ll have additional bandwidth to disburse throughout your home and among your devices. With fiber’s higher bandwidth capacity, your household can avoid the freeze-ups and slowdowns that still plague so many internet users today.
If you have more questions about how fiber internet and its maximum speeds and higher bandwidth can make a difference in your internet connection, feel free to reach out to us.
And be sure to check out FPUAnet Communications’ social pages to learn more about our fiber network!
Oct 24, 2022 | Family, WI FI, Work From Home
Slow, interrupted, or choppy internet can be a frustrating experience. And if you and your family experience it when everyone is at home and streaming shows or movies, you know how it can ruin your evening. Subpar internet can also make everyday communications with friends and co-workers difficult and negatively impact your productivity, as well.
Having fast, reliable, and consistent internet throughout your day (and night) throughout your home is essential—almost as necessary as all the other utilities. It can help keep the peace at home, too!
But you may have experienced enough consistent problems to wonder if something is “wrong” with your internet. While slowdowns and unstable signal are often due to your Wi-Fi hardware being older or not updated, your internet may be slow because your internet service is not as reliable and fast as current technology can provide.
The good news is that you can upgrade to fiber internet—the fastest, most reliable internet you can find! And FPUAnet Communications and its team of expert technicians can help get you on the road to high-speed fiber internet starting with one phone call.
Before we explain how fiber can turn around your frustrating internet experience, we discuss five warning signs that indicate it’s time for an upgrade. From “dead zones” in your house to not being able to stream on multiple devices simultaneously, we will help you troubleshoot so you can make the right adjustments and improvements.
1) Slow Speed Tests
The fastest way to determine if you’re not getting enough internet signal is to run a speed test.
Speed tests can be checked on a cell phone in any room in your house. Start your internet troubleshooting by running a speed test anywhere and anytime you experience choppy or slow internet. Take note of the times of the day these slowdowns most frequently occur. It’s a great first step to turning your internet around.
2) Needing to Regularly Restart Your Router
If you frequently restart your router, it could indicate your internet needs an upgrade. While it’s recommended to reboot your router every few months to improve connections, doing so routinely (weekly or more often) is likely a sign your internet service is just not fast enough, rather than the router not working properly.
3) “Dead Zones”—Or Not Getting Adequate Wi-Fi Signal in Particular Rooms
Many homes have the dreaded “dead zone,” where your internet only has a weak or lifeless signal, rendering it useless to stream music, TV, and movies or even check your email.
With today’s Wi-Fi technology (properly set up and situated), dead zones should be rare, if not extinct. So, if you find dead zones in particular areas of your home, it may be time to improve your internet service to get a stronger signal everywhere in the house.
4) Struggling to Stream on Multiple Devices Simultaneously
If your family is struggling to stream TV and movies simultaneously on different devices, your family is likely to…well…struggle.
We understand that keeping the peace at home is a top priority, and quality internet should be a non-contentious issue! But difficulty streaming on multiple devices simultaneously is a sure sign of insufficient bandwidth which means you have outdated, poor internet service. So, if this issue keeps popping up, it’s time to consider an internet service upgrade!
5) Videos Buffering Too Long and Slow Streaming
Our final sign that you need an internet upgrade is probably the most obvious and exceedingly frustrating: your movies and TV buffering for way too long.
If you find this happening n, or if the picture quality is frequently pixelating, indicate your internet does not have sufficient speed or bandwidth to handle streaming.
Upgrading to Fiber Internet Can Make All the Difference
Any of these issues could indicate a problem with your internet service. Unfortunately, many customers experience more than one—or even all—of these problems and others we don’t list here.
This is where fiber internet technology, such as the service provided by FPUAnet Communications, comes in.
Fiber internet technology transfers its data (i.e., emails, music, movies, TV, voice and video calls, photos, files, etc.) through light, sometimes reaching around 70% of light speed! Traditional copper-based coaxial cable just cannot compete with fiber’s speed capabilities.
But it’s not just speed that makes the difference. Fiber also carries higher bandwidth capacities than cable or satellite internet. Taken together—increased speed and higher bandwidth—and fiber internet is the clear winner. With fiber internet from FPUAnet Communications, you can get your family on the path to high-speed, high-picture-quality, and reliable internet throughout your home.
So, if you’re experiencing any of the frustrating warning signs outlined above, reach out to FPUAnet Communications and its friendly and resourceful representatives. They’re happy to help you determine if upgrading to fiber is the right move for you, and to help you select a package of services that will greatly enhance your internet connection!
Aug 22, 2022 | Small Business, Work From Home
As beneficial as the internet can be to empowering individuals and enriching lives, there are negative aspects to being online.
Privacy concerns, disclosed personal information and data, hacking and security breaches, and computer viruses still plague this internet.
FPUAnet Communications does far more than provide fast, reliable fiber internet.
We work tirelessly to deliver your high-speed internet service as safely and securely as possible. However, you still need to take steps to ensure your privacy and online security, too.
One of the most frequently cited recommendations to protect your privacy online is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
But what exactly is a VPN, and how does it work? And do you really need a VPN?
Below we explain what a VPN is and discuss how it works, so you can make a more informed decision about whether to employ a VPN yourself.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a private network that, once established and enabled, creates a secure “tunnel.” Through the tunnel, data sent and received by your devices online is transmitted to a private server, where the data is encrypted before moving throughout the internet.
In essence, then, through this process, your data is more protected and secure while you’re online.
How do VPNs work?
VPNs utilize applications to transmit and relay online data (emails, browser searches, messages, photos, videos, etc.), to secure servers via the encrypted data tunnels.
Once encrypted data arrives at these secure servers, it gets routed to its final destination, such as a website, email server, or social media app.
The VPN’s encryption process shields your I.P. address (your location online) and other sensitive personal data.
For example, instead of revealing your I.P. address, the VPN’s server’s I.P. address “becomes” your I.P. address, concealing who you are and providing extra protection.
Similarly, by using a VPN, the internet traffic you receive has gone through the same more protected process before reaching your devices.
This sounds helpful—but do I need a VPN?
A VPN is a solid online privacy and security measure.
While some cybersecurity experts still recommend them, technically, you do not need one.
Until recently, VPNs were more necessary than they are today. But technology and online security have improved markedly over the years, with many websites and apps employing strong data encryption, helping enhance online privacy.
People who regularly use public Wi-Fi, such as in coffee shops or airports, are more vulnerable to hacking and cyber-attacks.
VPNs can help protect your devices (and online privacy) in those situations. But you can employ other security and privacy protections that can safeguard your data and internet traffic without using a VPN.
Whether you use a VPN or not, please don’t forget other essential protections, like password managers, anti-virus software, and ad blockers. They can protect your identity and prevent your online activity from being tracked.
Of course, should you have more questions about online security and privacy, FPUAnet Communications can always help.
And to learn more about navigating the web more securely and staying safe online, follow Fort Pierce Utilities Authority‘s social pages.