Tag Archives: wireless

Home Security: A Necessity Today?

August 30, 2010

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Remember–way back in the olden days– when most people could leave their doors unlocked and still sleep well at night? Are those days over?

It is a horrible shame that home security is basically a necessity in some parts of the country. Consumer Reports has a good (and free) article about how to boost your home’s security. Among other things, they recommend “kickproof” doors, bright lights, organizing your neighbors into a Neighborhood Watch kind of group, and installing a security system with alarm (but make sure the system is compatible with your voip (voice over Internet protocol) phone system, if you have one); also, there’s the option of hiring a company to manage the system, too.

Not too long ago, a home security system was a system of wires, but crooks figured out that they could cut the wires and disable the system. :-p So home security has gone wireless. I haven’t looked into this avenue very much, but I’ve considered it. From what I hear, wiring and configuring a wireless security system requires a home security team of experts! I can’t even configure my car alarm. :S I’m too afraid that the blasted thing will go off in the middle of the night or while shopping. I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate my home alarm sirens blaring on and off at 2am. (Although, ALL THEIR car alarms go off periodically at that time!).

So what do you think? Do you think your home needs a security system where you live? If you have one installed, does it work well, or do you get bells and whistles at 2am? :D

This post is a sponsored post, but all opinions are mine!

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Ethernet Cabling vs. Wireless Internet

September 28, 2009

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When I gutted and rewired my living room, I installed ethernet cabling (four jacks for the perimeter of the room). It was an added expense to an already very tight budget, but I bit the bullet and did it anyway. The work wasn’t difficult, but it required me to study up to make sure I was doing it correctly, and the parts and components are pricey (it cost me an additional $100 to rig up four jacks in one room).

Cat5 jack wired

Modular Face Plate

And BOY am I ever glad I did! You see, I’ve been struggling with our wireless connection and security here are the homestead, and the constant hassles drive me NUTS. My kids have laptops upstairs, and of course there’s no ethernet cabling upstairs (heck, there’s hardly any electricity upstairs yet!). So we rely on wireless for their machines. Their laptops are old and new, with a mix of Windows XP, Vista, and Linux Xandros. I am the chief IT person for the family… and the CONSTANT hair-pulling problems with wireless have me screaming in frustration sometimes!

(If you need a well-written article on the properties and differences between ethernet and wireless, see this very good post here at BestBuy.com).

Of course, you don’t need to have ethernet cables inside the wall cavities to work. You can buy ethernet cables at any store, and plug them in to your router and string them across your room to the computers. But there are a few problems with that, obviously:

  • You can only buy cables less than 100 feet long, or your connection quality diminishes.
  • You have cables hanging all over the place.
  • You can’t string the cables across windows and doorways.
  • It all looks just darn ugly .

Well, I have decided that I am going to install ethernet cabling in EVERY room in this house, once we gut it. The problems with the wireless system is driving me crazy! Not to mention that having wireless can cause security problems within your network. EVERY network should be secure (see this post about securing your wireless network), but wireless security is an oxymoron. Hackers are figuring out how to get past the encryption codes to get onto your network, where they can make all sorts of trouble and even get you into trouble with the law. So, essentially, a completely wired system is best. And that’s what I’m doing when I can. Wired is better!

P.S. Remember, before you undertake any project with electricity, or go tearing out your home’s walls, check with a professional and be thoroughly read-up on the projects. Some older homes have toxins like asbestos, lead, etc– Take extra precautions to know what you are doing, and to be safe in doing it! :D

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