5 Tips for a Secure Home Network

Home Network SecurityThe majority of U.S. households connect to the internet using a wireless router. Wireless internet (Wi-Fi) is a convenient way to allow multiple devices internet access without the inconvenience of ethernet cords. However, Wi-Fi presents security risks to information stored on your devices including: documents, photos, financial information, login credentials and emails. Fortunately, most of these security risks can be easily eliminated or reduced with a few easy changes to your network setup.

5 Tips for A Secure HomeNetwork

  • Change Your SSID and Password The most common mistake for homeowners to make with their internet security is that they never change the basic credentials they are given when their internet is installed. By now you should know that none of your passwords should be “password” or “1234” and that rule of thumb includes your home internet credentials. Ensure that you change your SSID (Service Set Identifier) to something that would not be easily guessed (i.e. if your last name is Johnson, your SSID should not appear as JohnsonHome). When creating your password, make sure it is long (more than 8 characters) and created with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols.
  • Keep Software Up-to-date This includes all your devices that regularly connect to your home’s Wi-Fi as well as the router itself. Some routers have the capability of auto-updating their software, however, many do not and will require manual updates. A small price to pay when avoiding potential threats to your internet security.
  • Disable Your Router When Away Many of us take a lot of precaution when planning to leave our home for an extended period. We have neighbors bring in our mail, take out the garbage, and we set-up timers to turn on lights to give the appearance that someone is home. We live in a day and age when we also need to plan for our home internet while we are away. Turn your router off and rest easy knowing that your most valuable information is protected while you are gone.
  • Enable Network Encryption Encrypting your home internet network is as easy as turning on a setting. Encryption language is constantly changing to keep up with more advanced hackers. Currently the best encryption setting is WPA2.
  • Use a Firewall Firewalls are different than anti-virus software. Anti-virus software scans incoming files to look for threats while a firewall stands guard looking for outside attempts at accessing your information. The best wireless routers come with the hardware firewalls pre-installed. If your router does not have pre-installed firewall hardware, you can easily install a firewall device on your router.

We work hard to keep our homes and families safe, and the information found on your wireless devices is just as vulnerable and important. Don’t wait until it’s too late to ensure that your home network is as secure as possible.

Need help? We can assist with all your home networking needs.

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Refresh your Home’s Theater Space for Football Season

Design Home Theater for Football SeasonFootball season officially kicks-off on September 7th.

If you’re considering a revamp to your home theater to make this the best football season yet, we’ve got you covered with these 3 easy-to-follow guidelines. Continue reading

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5 Tips for a Backyard Movie Night

5 Tips for a Perfect Backyard Movie Night in Charlotte NCIn the Charlotte, NC area, we can celebrate outside at least 3 seasons of the year! Outdoor movie nights are great ways to bring the neighborhood together or spend time with your family in the evenings or on the weekends. No need to be intimidated on how to design a system that works for your space and budget; we’ve got the 5 most important tips you’ll need to make the night a success!

5 Tips for the Perfect Backyard Movie Night

The Projector (or Outdoor TV)

You might already have a top-notch projector to stream your movie of choice, but if you don’t, that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to throw your party. Projectors sell at many price points and can easily sync up with your laptop to stream your movie. And if you prefer to stick to TVs, there are also outdoor TV options available at a variety of price points.

Your Audio

So now you can see the movie, but how are your guests going to hear it? Just because you are enjoying your time outside doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice top quality sound or any of the audio features that you have indoors. Whole home audio systems can be extended to your covered patio (and also be controlled through your smart home tech), and outdoor speakers can be indistinguishable in your landscape.

Your Movie Screen

If you prefer to watch your new release on your outdoor TV, then you’re set! But if you want to create the true “outdoor movie theater” ambiance, you can opt for purchasing an outdoor projection screen or go with a professional muslin backdrop. You’re movie ready!

The Snacks

What would a movie night be without popcorn?! Add some festive flair to your popcorn with a popcorn bar. Let guests choose from a selection of goodies to add to their popcorn and create their perfect mix! (Ideas for add-ins: Chocolate chips, peanuts, marshmallows and M & Ms)

Outdoor Décor

Make the night magical with some simple décor. Dig out your white Christmas lights and string them around your backyard to create a gorgeous glow. Make sure your guests are comfortable and bring out all your patio cushions, pillows and throw blankets! If you have an air mattress or even an inflatable pool, blow it up for your guests viewing pleasure!

The last ingredient to the perfect backyard movie is filling your backyard with great family and friends. Once the movie starts rolling, sit back, relax and enjoy your perfect DIY movie night!

We can help you with all your indoor and outdoor AV and smart home needs. Click to contact us.

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Smart Energy Monitoring Systems for your Home

Smart Energy Monitoring Systems for your HomeGone are the days of studying your electric bill every month to monitor your energy usage. Now you can rely on an energy monitoring system to include the necessary sensors, data gateway and displays necessary for you to easily review your home’s energy usage at any time you choose. Continue reading

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3D Audio & Why It’s Different than Surround Sound

3D Audio & Why It's Different than Surround Sound3D/Immersive audio is the future of audio systems and headphones. But what separates it from traditional surround sound? While the two terms are often mistakenly used interchangeably, there are considerable differences between the two types of audio. Continue reading

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3 Top Reasons People Cut the Cable Cord

reasons to cut cable cordChances are that in the last year, you’ve either thought about cutting the cord with your cable company, or you’ve gone ahead and done it. An estimated 1.7 million households eliminated their cable bills in 2016 and that number is expected to be beat by the end of 2017. It’s easy to question the necessity of cable with streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime offering convenient and high-quality entertainment at a much lower monthly rate. Continue reading

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Ring Floodlight Motion-Activated Camera

Ring Floodlight Motion-Activated CameraWe’ve all been there. Standing in the kitchen, cleaning up the dishes from dinner before heading off to bed when it happens. Your motion detection floodlight turns on outside. You know something is outside your home moving around but you have no idea what, or who. What’s your next step? Go outside with a bat? Hide under your bed? Call the police? Continue reading

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Triad Garden Array Speakers

Triad Garden Array SpeakersIf you’re keeping up with home technology news, it’s safe to say that you’ve heard talk about smart homes and that you’ve also heard talk about outdoor home entertainment. Both are thriving industries that continue to grow, and develop technology and new integrations at rapid-fire pace. Perhaps the most pivotal integration between the two industries is the recent announcement that Control4 will now offer the new Triad Garden Array Outdoor Speakers as part of their custom, easy-to-use, smart home technology. Continue reading

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Control4 Home Automation

Control4 Home Automation SystemIf you are interested in home automation but have been hesitant to take the plunge, it’s time to jump in. Millions of home owners have been dragging their feet on home automation due to a lack of integration across service providers, which can result in frustrating set-up and difficult-to-use systems. At Home Theater Solutions, we agreed that the market needed to step up to meet consumer demand for an easy, one-stop shop system. We believe we have found just that in Control4.
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6 Choices in Internet Streaming Services

Internet Streaming ServicesAre you ready to cut the cord with your cable bill? Join the ever-growing club of consumers who have realized that traditional cable services may no longer be necessary. Internet streaming has taken over the way people are watching television, and the competition between the top services has given consumers a variety of exciting options to choose from.
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