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Which broadband provider should I use?

It is very easy to get confused when changing providers. Which is best? Who do I choose? There are a few things you need to consider What type of broadband is available, not what provider. There are two main types currentlyFTTP – Fibre Optic to the premisesFTTC – Fibre Optic to the cabinet All broadband companies use “Fibre” as a sales tactic but the two are very different indeed. What’s the difference? FTTC is means that there is fibre optic provided to the centralised green cabinet you see in the street. From here they use the copper wires to your property. These wires vary in quality and consistency, the further you are away the slower the connection you will get. The max speed this will support is 70Mbps download. So if you get near this figure then you are very lucky, but I would expect on average to get around 40-60Mbps. To check your speed position yourself as close to your router as possible either with a phone or laptop and go to https://speedtest.net How do I know if I have FTTC, check where your router is plugged into, if it goes into a telephone box on the wall then you have FTTC If you have FTTP you will see a white box on the wall as the fibre optic comes into the premises, it will look very different to a standard telephone line. FTTP means you have fibre optic delivered directly into your house replacing the traditional telephone line. The max speed for fibre is 1000Mbps but depends on what package you buy. This setup is much more reliable, more consistent. So which provider do I chose There are many, if you are looking to change, select which one gives you the best value for money, the best deal and if they can provide FTTP. The equipment used is generally just the same whichever provide you select. Again if you are changing from one FTTC provider to another then you will not notice much difference. Its all down to the speed and quality of your phone line from the cabinet to your property.

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Any old charger will do

Why is it important to use the correct charger for your device? Because they are designed for the task of charging your device, manufacturers spend lots of money and technical ability to make sure the charger is suited to the battery in your device.   Even though apple chargers look the same between devices, they may also connect using the same port, however iPhone chargers are for iPhones,  iPad chargers for iPads, and Macbook chargers for Macs. Because they each output a different voltage / wattage Charging an iPad with an iPhone charger will cause it to take longer, and may even cause the iPad to not get enough charge to turn on. Charging an iPhone with an iPad charger, will cause it to charge really fast however it will damage the battery and reduce its life. Charger type Output iPhone *5w iPad *10w Mac *60w *Typical Values Best case scenario you charge your device Worst case the charger causes the battery or device to catch fire or blow a component. Now using chargers other than manufacturer chargers is ok providing the charger is from a reputable company, Anker provide high quality products so we recommend these as an alternative. This article isn’t just about Apple chargers, Android chargers can equally be as dangerous, bearing in mind the amount of different android phones one the market, its vitally important to get this right. Safest bet? Get one recommended by your phone, Sony, Samsung and so on. Windows Laptop chargers This is probably one of the main dangers, do not use a laptop charger in any other laptop than for the make and model of the one purchased. There are so many makes models and types the variables can be extreme and cause irreparable damage to your device Even if the adaptor fits, it doesn’t mean it will work or not cause damage. Lithium batteries which are found in most modern tech, are very good power sources, but they need to be treated with care. Charged when needed and not overcharged.  They are volatile items and if not cared for correctly can cause them to expand, damaging internal components or catch fire.  Otherwise known as thermal runaway

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Latest Scam - Your landline
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Latest Scams – How to keep your money safe!

Latest Scams – How to keep your money safe How conscientious are you about the security of your devices? Do you have a firewall? Anti-virus? Are you one of those people that carefully considers what they do online? In my opinion and experience the most insecure device in your home is…. Your landline telephone. Backstory Hacking computers has become increasingly difficult for the average scammer, security is very good these days and devices are harder to hack and gain access to, but the scammers still need to get their fix. So they resort to other methods.. They target the person on the end of the phone, get them to give them access to their computer or just get them to transfer money into their accounts. Case Study The scammers are professional confidence tricksters, and this story comes from a real life experience from one of our customers this week who lost in excess of £40,000, and its my passion that I want to raise awareness of this scam because its not new, its been doing the rounds for at least 8 years. A customer came in today, and I started to say the same thing, your landline is dangerous,  he was taken aback, he said “I just hang up on them”. I know it’s a scam.  But I regailed the story of what happened earlier in the week. “Ok” I said.. Phone rings.. you answer.. “Hello this is Detective Constable Andrews from the Metropolitan Police, we have just arrested a suspect in possession of your credit card”. They ask you to check to ensure you have your card in your possession. Then they ask you because of  what’s happened, you should be alert. And they say don’t believe any call you receive, and ask you to hangup, call 999 and ask to be put through to DC Andrews. The caller hangs up, calls 999 and sure enough the “switchboard” put you through.. This is not possible and in actual fact an abuse of the 999 call system, but it isn’t on this occasion, its fake, its not a control room and DC Andrews does not exist.. You haven’t called 999. How is this possible?  Remember when someone calls you landline to landline?  And the caller does not hangup the phone? IT KEEPS THE LINE OPEN!! They play a fake dial tone down the line, get someone else to impersonate a 999 call operator and hey presto your confidence in this officer is falsely increased. Then from this point on, it’s a game, it’s a game of removing any doubt in your mind.  The next step is the “officer” will ask you to call your bank to cancel your cards, they are expecting your call, you now trust him and he says he will call you back. You hang up the phone line, call the number on the back of your card and speak to lovely person from your bank who has been expecting your call and advises you what to do to freeze your accounts. They will also know how much you have in your accounts, they have access to your credit reports, they know you how much you have and how to little by little tease your hard earned money from your hands. On this occasion after numerous phone calls and increasing confidence over a period of weeks, they manage to get you to transfer money into a “safe” account. Once the transaction has been done, in the banks eyes, you have willingly given your money to a third party, and the litigation then starts of you trying to retrieve it. The aftermath Can you imagine how distressing this must be, for you, your family and your self confidence. Now how is all this possible? What can you do to stop it happening to you? The single point of failure and the start of the confidence trick is the landline telephone. Why does it keep the line open when the receiver of the call hangs up? What reason could there possibly be to still have a system like this? If someone knows the answer to this I would be love to be informed. Does it happen with your mobile?   No when using a mobile, if anyone ends the call it’s ended. Simple. If this happened in the first place, then none of the fake calls to 999 or the bank would have been possible. How do I keep safe? The answer. Be aware! Trust no one! Remember this article! Consider removing your landline telephone. Scammers will tend to target the vulnerable, retired and ill informed.  They call hundreds of people a day until they get that hook in. If you are too difficult they will not waste their time on you and move on. If the person is genuine and you tell them you don’t believe them, they will understand. Take their number, verify who they are from another phone by calling the head office or visit your local Police station or bank, if they get pushy, then this is your warning, hang up. If you need to verify someone’s identity, use your mobile to make a call to a verified number you have gathered from an independent source, such as online or legitimate paperwork.  Call the number from this phone, do not use the same phone you were called on. You would then get through to a real 999 call handler and your actual bank. And if all else fails, visit your bank. If money gets taken from your account without your intervention, then it will be returned to you.  If you transfer money after being tricked then you will have to fight to get it back. For further advice please visit the following website Age Concern If you find yourself in a situation where you think you have been scammed, then please visit our website and book an appointment with the nerd.

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IT Support
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Spot a scam

Fake social media profiles Have you seen a friend share a post, promising them that they have been entered into a competition? Does it seem too good to be true? The first thing is check the profile of the business, how many followers do they have? Search for the real page Check how many posts they have made and do they appear genuine Is there a verified tick next to the business name? for such a large company, this should be done Does the page name have any unusual characters in it? Such as a (full stop) at the end? This would indicate that it is fake. So many people fall for these tactics, the pages are invented to create that “dream”, or that must have item. When your friends share it, it gives the post credibility, “Well Doris shared it so it must be true”  The sinister part of this scam is to eventually lead you to a way of gathering personal information about you, your passwords and indeed your accounts, and if you use the same password elsewhere then things could get serious very quickly. See one of these being shared again?  Tell your friend immediately, do not comment on the post,  it only adds to the credibility as your friends will now see the same post because you commented on it. So keep an eye out, don’t be afraid to question and keep yourself and your friends protected. If you need anything else, computer related or help with your business needs, such as social media, bookkeeping or a place to work for the day that isn’t home, but its our home 😍 full of friendly staff doing their best to help,  Then get in touch! Breakout the small business dedicated for your small business and the ones who like to keep our followers safe online Here are the links to the genuine pages Disney World Southwest Airlines

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IT Support
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Poor wifi?

A customer came to breakout this week complaining of a poor internet connection. BT had been out and changed the router but his connection was very poor. We quickly attended the same day and diagnosed the fault as being poor wifi reception in the home. The routers that are provided by internet service providers such as talk talk, BT, virgin etc only provide a limited connection around the home. There are various situations that this will hamper the signal from passing through walls or getting interfered with by other devices within the home. The solution which is now outdated was to install a wifi extender to help cover those dead spots, however these come with their own issues. They appear to increase the wifi signal, your device will show a better signal, but it’s false becasue the speed of the original connection will drop. Try it for yourself, run a speed test on your phone whilst stood next to the router, then move to the furthest point then run the same test. . The more extenders you have the worst this becomes, especially if they are daisy chained to each other. A typical wifi extender setup credit to signalboosers.com for the image. This image from this article explains the issue with extenders, as you can see the a wifi extender takes the edge of the signal where its already poor, to then create a hotspot based on that poor connection. The solution to this is simple, wifi mesh system is the answer. Wifi mesh system This image shows the difference, using a series of nodes they all communicate with each other, sharing the internet speed across the whole home There are various solutions available but from as little as £180 we can look to install a mesh system in your home without fuss. Case study I attended a clients address, they had 70Mbps download and 20Mbps upload, a great connection when stood next to the router, the system was a sky system which has various extenders throughout the home. As I left the room and moved to the next room, the signal on my laptop was still showing full. I ran a speed test. The results were 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload. A huge drop, paying for broadband in one room that no one uses, to then get such a poor speed was not acceptable. I quoted and installed a Eero mesh system. The result throughout the whole 5 bedroom home, upstairs and downstairs using 4 nodes was incredible. The 70Mbps and 20Mbps utilised everywhere. Contact us Contact us today, arrange us to visit your home and check your system and see where we can help. Contact us have you seen our new website design page?

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IT Support
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IT Support @ Breakout

Welcome Firstly let me introduce myself, my name is Andy or locally known as “the nerd.” I have been involved in computers from a young age, started with my first computer the rubber keyboard ZX Spectrum 48, before moving on to the 128k version. Before biting the bullet and switching over to Commodore Amigas, then eventually personal computers. Got my first job in IT in 2000, working for a business to business Internet Service Provider and on call support. Then I decided to setup my own business as more of a hobby to keep my skills up to date. I met Sarah (Farley) through helping to set up her own business. I was getting so much work through her and her clients and I loved her work ethics, that we have moved forward together and decided to blend our services. Since this happened only a few months ago now, it’s gone from strength to strength. Each providing our unique set of skills to help small businesses as well as private clients Not only do we provide desk hire, Self assessments, life organising and business advice, we now provide computer support and website development. Watch this space for news about our latest projects. This week This week has been a busy one, upgrading many laptops to solid state drives to make them faster than when they were bought 5 years ago, we also had a customer struggling to get a stable internet connection at home. BT had visited the premises and was unable to help, they even changed the router but to no avail. Breakout attended the customers home, within minutes diagnosed the fault to be a poor wifi reception within the home in certain areas. Advised customer to install a Wireless Mesh System from TP Link. Ordered and installed within days and the customer now has an excellent connection at home. Support We support all manner of devices, from Phones, Tablets, Laptops, personal computer and even business networks and servers. We also provide a service for Apple computers. What else do we do at Breakout? Have you checked out our Business Review page?

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