How to Keep Your WiFi Network Safe

How to Keep Your WiFi Network Safe - Specialized Audio and Video Sacramento

How to Keep Your WiFi Network Safe

After the year we just had, the Internet seems like a basic requirement to survive in the twenty-first century. If you look around, most of your audio and video products are probably connected to WiFi. It is safe to state that the Internet is for everyone and does not cater to the technologically competent. Unfortunately, if not protected, your information can get into the wrong hands. In this article, our Specialized AV team shares how to keep your WiFi network safe.

Change Your WiFi Name

The first step toward a safer home WiFi network is to modify the SSID (service set identifier). The network is identified by its SSID. Many manufacturers assign a default SSID to all of their wireless routers. In most situations, it is the name of the company. When a computer with a wireless connection searches for and shows nearby wireless networks, it identifies each network that broadcasts its SSID publicly. This increases the likelihood of a hacker entering your network. Specialized AV recommends changing our network’s SSID to something that does not reveal any personal information, so deterring hackers.

Create a Strong Password

A default password is pre-programmed into the majority of wireless routers. Hackers can easily guess this default password, especially if they know the router manufacturer. When choosing a password for your wireless network, make it at least 20 characters long and include numbers, letters, and symbols. Ultimately, this option makes it tough for hackers to gain access to your network.

Enabling Network Encryption

Almost all wireless routers provide encryption as a standard feature. It is disabled by default. Enabling the encryption setting on your wireless router might help safeguard your network. Make careful to switch it on as soon as your broadband provider installs it. Furthermore, WPA2 is the latest and most effective type of encryption available.

Turn Off Network Name Broadcasting

It is strongly advised that you prevent network name broadcasting to the general public when using a wireless router at home. This function is frequently beneficial for companies, libraries, hotels, and restaurants. Additionally, this is used to provide consumers with wireless Internet access, but it is typically unnecessary for a private wireless network. So, if you have a commercial building, our friends at Headwaters Construction Inc. recommend turning this off as well. WiFi is used so often that anyone could try to connect to your router.

Always Keep Your Software Up to Date

Router firmware, like any other software, can contain weaknesses that can lead to serious vulnerabilities. Always install the most recent software and download the most recent security patches to ensure that no security vulnerability or breach is left accessible to internet predators. Additionally, if your router is outdated, please contact us for WiFi installation in Sacramento.

Reliable Firewall

A “firewall” is intended to safeguard computers from malicious invasions. Wireless routers typically include built-in firewalls, though they are sometimes provided with the firewall disabled. Make that the wireless router’s firewall is turned on. So, if your router lacks such a firewall, make sure you install a reliable firewall solution on your system to monitor for unauthorized access to your wireless network.

Use Virtual Private Networks 

A virtual private network, or VPN, is a collection of computers or networks that communicate via the Internet. Individuals can safeguard and encrypt their conversations by using VPNs. Furthermore, when you connect to a VPN, your computer launches a VPN client. When you use your credentials to log in, your computer swaps keys with another server. After both computers have validated each other’s authenticity, all Internet communication is encrypted and protected from prying eyes.

Most importantly, examine which devices link to your home network and ensure that they are protected against viruses and spyware with reputable security software. Contact Specialized AV for more information on VPNs. 

As you can see, safe Wifi networks are important for both home and business purposes. Unfortunately, there are people out there who will take your private information. To ensure that your WiFi network is safe, contact Specialized AV for professional WiFi installation services. We will ensure that your network is not only safe but also fast and reliable. So, we look forward to hearing from you!

Pros and Cons of UHD Televisions

pros and cons of UHD televisions - Sacramento

Pros and Cons of UHD Televisions

UHD TV, also known as 4K TV, has grown popular thanks to the many advantages. If you have a standard High Definition TV, you may be wondering if UHD televisions are worth the money. In this blog, our audio and video design and installation experts with excellent advantages compared to other standard full HD TV with four times the definition. However, in order to select a TV that is appropriate for our family, we should first understand more about the benefits and drawbacks of 4K TV before making a decision:

Pros of UHD Televisions

The transitions between scenes on the big screen should be seamless. With UHD televisions, there is no pixelation effect, even when approaching the screen. You’ll be avoiding eye strain because the 4k provides more eye protection than traditional TVs. Most movies and shows are made for 4K capabilities. UHD TV is expected to be the primary development trend during the next five years. If you haven’t yet experienced 4K, it feels like you’re watching the scene in real life. Our friends at Headwates Construction Inc., a commercial construction contractor, recommend switching to 4K televisions if you have an office building. They’re great for the conference room.

Cons of UHD Televisions

Although 4K TVs are a nice luxury to have for entertainment, they do come at a price. One of the biggest disadvantages is the price. They’re more expensive than standard HD TVs because of their superior technology that displays bright, colorful images. This technology comes at a high cost. Therefore the price of this gadget is perfectly in line with what it delivers. With the tools that generate a unique 4k resolution, the device’s price will be difficult to reduce to an “affordable” level in the near future. 

Another con of UHD televisions is the lack of content options. Since the technology is newer, producers and manufacturers are still switching over to 4K resolution. Most of the newer shows and movies have 4K resolution, but the older shows do not. This may not be worth it for those who watch older content. 

How much does a UHD TV cost?

UHD televisions are not cheap. To be honest, the most recent UHD TV models start at $2,000 and go up from there, depending on screen size. The cost of a UHD TV is significantly more than a standard HD TV. However, UHD TV costs are likely to fall this year. Furthermore, it is critical not to purchase obsolete UHD TVs because they lack the most recent capabilities, limiting your ability to appreciate 4K technology. UHD TVs from unknown names should also be avoided since numerous studies demonstrate that they are inferior to products from well-known companies. 

Contact Specialized AV

Many major television manufacturers have 4K televisions. If you’re interested in upgrading to a UHD television, contact Specialized AV to see which video option is best for your home. We are happy to help you with audio and video services, home theater design, security systems, and more. Check out our more recent audio and video projects.

Are Home Security Systems Worth It

Are security systems worth it - Sacramento CA

Are Home Security Systems Worth It

A home security system is an investment, and like with any investment, it is critical to assess the expected return. While calculating the upfront and monthly costs of a security system and alarm monitoring is simple, you can’t put a price on safety and sound of mind. That may not be enough to convince you to hire a professional for security system installation. Read the article below to find out if home security systems are worth it.

What Do Home Security Systems Do?

Security systems may do more than just discourage thieves. No matter where you are, home security systems can make you feel like you’re connected to your house. They’re great for notifying you when doors are opened and closed. You may also be able to take advantage of additional, hidden benefits, such as reductions on homeowners or renters insurance.

Home Security Equipment

When determining the initial investment needed to add a security system to your Sacramento home, the average cost might range from $250 to more than $1,000. This all depends on the system, equipment, and installation that you select. Our team has years of experience in installing security systems in Sacramento, CA.

The good news is that they are one-time expenses, and you will most likely own the equipment. There are monthly fees to consider once your system is set up and running. You have a lot of control over the monthly cost of your security system because packages vary greatly depending on the services, features, and levels of monitoring you choose. Basic plans from trustworthy companies are available for as little as $20 a month.

However, depending on your demands and budget, more expensive services with features like as live, round-the-clock monitoring, or frequent security patrols might cost several hundred dollars or more each month.

Are Home Security Systems Worth It?

To assess whether a security system is worthwhile for your family, consider what would make it worthwhile for you. There is no doubt that alarm systems prevent theft. Break-ins are discouraged by security systems. In fact, 60% of convicted burglars say they will target another home if they discover a security system in the one they are attempting to loot.

If your goal is to reduce loss due to burglary, it’s clear that security solutions make a difference. However, if you add smoke alarm, carbon monoxide, and remote home automation services, that can assist prevent loss of valuables while managing energy expenses. Our friends at Headwaters Construction Inc., a commercial construction company, say you might wind up saving a lot more with the additional services given by monitoring businesses.

Protect Your Valuables

Consider any irreplaceable objects, such as family heirlooms, art, or other items with significant sentimental worth. These items are invaluable, and there will be no way to compensate for the loss. Our friends at LMS Garage Doors, a Sacramento garage door company, points out that a home security system can protect your valuables as well as your vehicles. In fact, it may cost you more to not have a security system. You will almost certainly have to invest in a security system to keep these goods safe. Depending on how accessible you want these goods to be, a security system may be preferable to store them somewhere other than your house.

Contact Specialized AV

So, are home security systems worth it? We’ll let you be the judge of that. If you need security system installation, audio and video services, or custom projects, contact Specialized AV. We serve the Greater Sacramento areas, and Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and more! Give us a call to schedule an estimate.


Common Home Theater Problems

common home theater problems - Sacramento CA

Common Home Theater Problems

Home theater systems are the best for entertainment. However, when you have too many wires and devices, it can be hard to troubleshoot when things go wrong. Our Specialized Audio and Video team have experienced quite a few problems in our many years in the audio and video industry. Fortunately, we’ve picked up a few tricks along the way. Below, we discuss the common home theater problems Sacramento homeowners come across.

Home Theater: No Sound At All

One of the most common home theater problems users experience is no sound at all. If your speakers aren’t producing any sound, you’ll want to unplug your receiver from the power supply. The good news is that it is highly rare that you have experienced a total device failure. That would require every single speaker in your system to go out at the same time, which is unlikely. The next step is to ensure that your audio and video receiver is properly paired. If you’re using bare wire, make sure it’s firmly held down by the binding post screws, with no apparent excess wire. Assuming everything is in order and properly paired, the next best guess is that the issue is with a setting in your receiver’s program. 

Navigate to the on-screen configuration menu and begin experimenting with various speaker settings. In certain cases, you may need to manually allocate speakers to specific channels. In others, the source material may be incompatible with the speaker setup you have. Regardless, experimenting with various settings can easily solve this problem. In certain cases, a total loss of sound is the simplest issue to fix.

Home Theater: My Surround Speakers Aren’t Working

Okay, this may seem obvious, but if your surround sound speakers aren’t working, try increasing the volume. In certain cases, audio and video may be lower on certain devices. Go to the receiver’s menu and see what the settings are.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to dig deeper into your source material. The question you must ask is if your source material is capable of 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. If you’re listening to music through your receiver, it’s unlikely that most songs are only combined for two channels, not five or seven. Surround sound is becoming more common in movies and television shows, but it is not always present. If this is the case, you may need to configure your receiver to convert a 2.1 mix to 5.1 or higher.

Receiver settings vary, but you should be able to find this choice under something titled DSP Settings or something similar. Again, experiment with various settings to see if it makes a difference. You can always test a source that you know is capable of full surround sound to see if your receiver or speaker is the issue.

Home Theater: Staticky Speakers

Static is almost often an indication of a problem with the speaker connection. A wire may have become dislodged from its original place, and all that is needed is for you to wiggle it back in. Is the problem still not resolved? To further investigate the staticky speakers, we need to know if the static presents all the time or sometimes? If so, what exactly are they? Changing out different sources is a smart way to narrow down your choices.

If you’re using a Blu-ray player, try a different one or watch something on a streaming service and see if the static repeats itself. The process of elimination should assist you in determining which component of your system is causing the issue. If you use a power amplifier with your receiver, you can discover that the problem is with the link there, which is much more common than you would expect.

In the end, dealing with static is almost always a problem with a loose link, and once you know where it is, it’s pretty simple to repair. Unless, horror of horrors, your speakers blew because they were mismatched with your amp. You should review this guide to ensure that this does not happen again.

Home Theater: No Bass

Check out the frequency settings if your home theater has no bass. Setting your subwoofer’s crossover will also make a significant difference in how your bass is viewed. Begin at 80Hz and work your way up. If you still aren’t hearing bass in your surround system, it may be a connection issue. When interacting with subwoofers, there are a few things to keep in mind. Traditionally, the most popular locations for a subwoofer are in a room corner, away from the walls. 

Contact Specialized Audio and Video

As you can see, there are quite a few home theater problems. One way to avoid all of these problems is by hiring a professional audio and video company. DIY audio and video usually end up taking more of your time and money. Specialized AV in Sacramento is happy to help with your audio and video services. Give us a call today for a free consultation on our home theater design.