IT & Tech Services

Smart Houses

The concept of a smart-house has been around for decades now, made popular through TV shows and films like Iron Man with JARVIS. The idea is simple, a house where all of your devices communicate with each other and adapt to what your individual needs are. This started as a sci-fi theme, but over the past 10 or so years has been developed into a marketable product. Smart houses can be custom built by companies, installed into existing houses by contractors, and even done yourself for a relatively low cost.

Smart houses are a favourite of people who are focussed on security, and ease of use. Remote camera systems are commonplace in many homes, made popular by ‘nanny cams’ but have steadily evolved into full coverage, remote IP CCTV. Being able to use your mobile phone or tablet to see if the back door is shut is fantastic peace of mind for anyone travelling for work, but the personalization goes leagues further than this.

Programmable machines have been common for many years now, from coffee machines to entertainment systems, all can be customized to some extent. But having a smart house takes this one further, what if they devices in your house turned off automatically when nobody was home? It adds up to save alot on bills, and minimizes risks like fire damage. Smart houses have many options, such as motion sensors for alarms being utilized for mood lighting. One of the greatest assets of a smart house is that all of the customizations can be done remotely.

Imagine setting up your house to brew a pot of coffee every morning. Now, this could be set up with the coffee machine itself normally using the timer setting, but what if you were out of the house that morning, or ill and didn’t want to leave bed? By accessing the control panel through your mobile device, you can stop the coffee being made and wasted within seconds. Using the remote detection settings from your smart house its possible to tell if the doors are locked, what time people came home, and even how many people are in the house.

Anybody considering installing a smart system into their existing home needs to work out their budget before anything else, then decide which aspects they would like the most. If money is no object then every option can be taken from a professional company, but money is always an obstacle.

A low budget smart-house can be made for only a few hundred or thousand pounds, using materials available online and resources available in open-source file sharing such as GitHub. The best way of doing this, by far, is using Raspberry Pi circuits. These circuits are available online for very cheap, and are entirely customizable mini-computers. Sensors, remote access, giu, and servers can all be purchased or downloaded online, and full creation kits are available through third party resellers.

Knowledge of coding or programming is not necessary for using Pi, as all the resources are free and custom made. Of course, an alarm system to integrate with will cost if the house does not have one, but most older systems can be attached to easily.

Timer switches controlled by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth are available for under £10 online, and can become an easy staple for smart houses without the newest appliances. Even central heating can be automated through simple heat sensors and dimmer modules, meaning your house can always remain at your perfect temperature. The customizations of smart houses are endless, and it can be a great project for anyone to get started on.

Can Paying For Ransomware Be Avoided?

Ransomware is one of the largest and most recent threats to take over the world, and should be respected as well as feared. The number of ransomware attacks rises as the months go by, simply because it is so profitable for the malicious user. By targeting companies and unsecure individuals, hackers can literally hold their systems to ransom for an anonymous payment.

Ransomware is simple and elegant; malware installed onto a system which encrypts the users drive, and needs a payment to remove. This type of malware is gained in the same way any other malware is, through phishing or bundled downloads. Once the malware is on the system, a fake message usually pops up to avoid the user turning off the computer. This usually happens in the form of the famous ‘blue screen’ with a % loading at the bottom. Ransomware takes hold of any infected computer by peoples’ desire to save their system by not interrupting the error reporting.

Once the ransomware has fully encrypted the system, a screen appears with the ransom amount and target account or wallet. Historically, this amount goes up every day or few days, and can end up costing many thousands to remove. If your computer is infected with ransomware, then fixing it sooner rather than later is always the best option.

For anyone confused as to how the encryption cannot simply be decrypted; ransomware with newer strains does not have a public decryption key like the older ones such as Locky. Most modern ransomware used 128bit military AES encryption, which would take more than the lifetime of our Earth to decrypt with a single computer. Encryption is not password protecting, it is scrambling of all data.

As a result of this, ransomware is very easily to get rid of, but incredibly hard to recover data from. The scrambling of drives is not irreparable, but without an encryption key it is virtually impossible to restore data to its previous state.

Fortunately for everyone, there are a few ways you can avoid paying for ransomware. The first method is by far the safest, easiest, and most reliable; restore from a backup. Backups are the first line of defence against malware and ransomware in 2017, and your system should always be backed up to a remote location. If your business or home uses a backup service, the entire recovery process can be done within an hour, with no further steps needed. It can’t be stressed enough that backups are the best option for protecting data.

The next favourite option is to see if there is a public decryption key available for the specific strain on the system. Older versions of ransomware have been fully discovered, and systems can be decrypted by free, open source programs. Unfortunately, most ransomware is a different strain of a hierarchical group, meaning a different encryption/decryption key.

One less known option to avoid paying for ransomware is through the use of a virtual wallet; faking a BTC transfer to the host wallet and receiving a decryption key. Surprisingly, this has been shown to have some success; the target BTC wallets send a key on access, not on validation. Of course, this option is risky as the malicious user may notice and deny access fully, but as a last resort it is worth a try.

The final option is to simply wipe the computer, something which no ransomware can disable. This is the last ditch resort, as all data will be lost, but if there is nothing truly important on the system, it can be better than paying.

Remember, the only true way to avoid paying ransomware is to have all data backed up remotely. Preparation is key.

Repair Computer Manchester, England.

Are You Shopping For A Brand New Computer Or Computer laptop?

This short article is all about what to expect when you are buying brand-new a new computer or a laptop.

There are still plenty of people out there that have no idea when it comes to choosing personal computers, mobile computers, and computer hardware. I hope that this information will assist and give you some guidance.

The more information you have about the different parts of personal computers and mobile computing devices etc. The better it will be for you to make the right decisions when you eventually do go to spend money on your devices.

For people who are not certain with regards to whether to invest in a desktop computer or a laptop computer, a desktop PC offers you the most cost effective computing power for the very same money as a notebook or laptop.

Laptops are definitely more practical and useful practical if you need a mobile computing device to carry around, however if you plan to do most of your work from your own home, a desktop Computer that is comparable in price to a mobile computer is what we recommend that you choose.

If you happen to play console games, create music, do editing of videos, etc. you will need a much more powerful computer.

If you are planning to work from home, desktop pc’s are generally much more useful, you can make your working area much more comfortable if you use an ergonomic keyboard together with a larger-sized modern day monitor. If you set up everything properly you will find that your working environment will be very relaxing and comfortable.

PC’s normally have Microsoft Windows or Apple MAC installed, and it is most often pretty much personal preference as to what type of OS you end up picking.

You should set a budget dependent upon the needs you have and what you’re willing to spend.

In this day and age, nearly every home has one or more PC. The majority of people use their laptops or computers every single day for work, for pleasure, and also for networking with family and friends.

We rely on our computing devices to have access to the web, to store important data, graphics and video etc . and we’d be really annoyed if our pc’s didn’t work anymore.

Whenever something fails on your pc you really need someone reliable and trustworthy who is able to diagnose the trouble immediately and efficiently. It should be somebody who is not going to bewilder you with techie kargon or lingo and who will never give you an expensive quote.

For the best prices and a free quote, get in touch with the experts today, contact Cheap PC Repair Manchester now.

An experienced pc repair expert will be able to get to the root of the problem and find a solution that will get your kit working again in the shortest possible time.