Add to Your Outdoor Enjoyment

The sky is Carolina blue and the sun is shining. You’re standing in your backyard thinking about the perfect summer barbecue. As you survey the yard, a few fantasies dance in your mind:

A new deck or stone patio?

Built in Grill?

New outdoor furniture?

A fire pit?

Or maybe even a DJ …

 

Your imagination runs wild with the vision of family, friends and neighbors laughing and talking in your backyard – but wait …. there’s something else making it fun and festive – music!! With a sad glimmer of nostalgia, you remember the boom box that used to crank out your favorite party tunes (Jimmy Buffett comes to mind) – too bad that sudden summer shower destroyed it! With those fond memories running around in your head, you decide to look into something more durable. Something that is designed specifically for your yard where you can enjoy high-fidelity sound without worrying about the batteries, extension cords or weather.

Guess what… you’re in luck! Outdoor sound systems have come a long way since the boom box era.

When installed professionally, today’s systems produce extremely high-quality sound for listeners’ enjoyment. They are also very durable and can sound great for many years. However, there are a few key factors to consideration when designing your musical environment.

First off, an outdoor sound system can’t take advantage of the reflective surfaces that make indoor speakers more efficient (e.g. floors, walls and ceiling). In addition, there is ambient noise from passing cars, chirping crickets, and kids at play to consider in your design. Because of this, outdoor speakers require enough oomph from an amplifier with sufficient wattage to power them. The most common mistake people make with outdoors systems are under powering them which leads to distorted sound, or worse, blown speakers.

Consideration must also be given to the specific design of the area where people are to gather and the type of music you prefer to play. If your area is large, you’ll want to spread the load among multiple speakers and ensure optimal positioning. Multiple speakers playing softly in the right positions will sound much better than a few pushing too hard.

The backyard environment will also expose your system to the extremes of our North Carolina weather. Quality speakers must be able to endure sun, rain and hot/cold temperatures while melding in nicely with the landscaping. There are two basic types of all-weather speakers used: simple bookshelf-type models wrapped in protective casings, or stealth speakers that masquerade as garden rocks, flowerpots, or even benches. Although these speakers are built to be left out year-round, they will last longer and look and sound better if care is taken in determining their placement. For example, box-type speakers can be positioned under the protection of eaves or arbors. In the case of stealth speakers, they can be integrated and protected by natural cover like trees and bushes.

Finally, for convenience and user flexibility, wireless outdoor speakers are ideal. They operate on a designated frequency to deliver sound from your audio devices or Internet radio and can be tied into your home automation system.

So, this summer, you can stop just thinking about it and create the outdoor experience you have always wanted by adding quality sound to liven up gatherings or help you relax after a long, stressful day.

For more information on designing and installing quality outdoor sound systems, please contact Ken Henke at Secur-Tek: (919) 387-1800.

Is Your Wireless Security System Safe?

54163030 - information security online privacy protection conceptWireless has made life easier in many ways. You can print something from your living room using your wireless printer. Your wireless phone means you don’t have to buy a 30-foot curly cord and drag it around the house. (Remember that?)

Security systems are wireless, too. While wireless has made life easier, it also makes our homes and devices more vulnerable and not all security systems are created equal. Here is what you need to know to keep your family and valuables safe.

How Wireless Works

Wireless security systems use radio frequency signals sent from your door or window sensors. Those sensors trigger an alarm if breached. According to a study done by two researchers, most systems do not encrypt or authenticate the signals sent from those sensors. That means a hacker could trigger false alarms or even block the signal, preventing the alarm from sounding and preventing the system from alerting fire or police officials. Some alarms come with anti-jamming measures, but hackers have found ways around those, too.

How to Protect Your Home

You really do get what you pay for in security. Inexpensive, DIY systems are vulnerable to hacking. Lyric Systems by Honeywell offers 128-bit encryption. It’s more expensive, but more secure. Any system you choose needs to have encrypted signals. Some alarm systems broadcast on multiple channels, making them tougher to jam. Ask your security team about these options. 

Another option is to install a wired system. Some security experts point out that thieves can cut the wires, but in some residences, the wires are difficult to access, making this a more useful approach.

Don’t buy a used system or used cameras. The previous owners may be thieves who retain access to those devices.

Change usernames and passwords. Anytime you buy an out-of-the box system, a new wireless router, or anything, you MUST change the username and password from the default. While this won’t necessarily prevent all hackers, you might as well make it a little tougher for them. As Forbes found, one security company mailed systems to people with the default login of username “admin” and password “admin.” Because those businesses never changed their login information, it was easy to guess and access their system.

If you have something to protect, such as valuable jewelry, electronics, or art, invest in a good security system installed by Secur-Tek. Our team can recommend a system that fits your security needs. 

Boost Your Network Signal!

Smart TV

First the laptop, then the smart phone, then the tablet, even the newer refrigerators, and now the smart TV. Technology and the Internet have become entwined with so much of our lives (and electronics). If you’re a smart TV owner, you can appreciate the beauty, the ease, the reach of your technologically savvy television. You can stream movies and videos, watch Netflix and YouTube, check your email, update your social media accounts, and surf the Web, all on a large screen. Convenient, easy on the eyes, crisp and clean clarity… unless you get the message that you cannot connect to the Internet.  However, a smart TV’s inability to connect to the Internet through a poor network signal, even though all our other wi-fi devices are connected, defeats the whole purpose of having one.

 

There are several reasons why your smart TV may fail to connect to the Internet or have a poor network signal.  Most homes with wi-fi can accommodate standard devices (smart phones, computers, laptops) getting online; but smart TVs require more bandwidth than your standard devices. And multiple devices drawing from the same network signal source could affect the speed of the signal. Other obstructions to your smart TV gaining access to the Internet can be metal objects or walls in the house.

 

Fear not. There is a solution. You can boost your signal strength using a range extender, which can extend the range of your wireless network by 10,000 feet by repeating and amplifying the signal. The increased strength not only allows you greater distance, eliminating those dead spots in your house, but also allows the wireless signal to penetrate walls and other obstructions.

 

With a range extender, your smart TV should have no trouble getting a signal; and, of course, once online, you’ll be able to take full advantage of all the wonderful features of the TV.

 

For more information on signal boosting, call Secur-Tek today at 919-387-1800.

Three Ways Secur-Tek Can Hook You Up!

Wireless ImageSecur-Tek, Wake County’s premier home and business security company, does much more than   the name implies!  Of course, Secur-Tek installs top of the line security systems at reasonable prices.  We also install central vacuum systems throughout a home or office, making it much easier to keep everything clean thus greatly improving air quality.  Secur-Tek installs custom Bose sound systems, bringing music to any part of the house, inside and out, throughout the office, or anywhere it is needed.  Our sales and design team can create a Control4 automation system, giving clients remote operation and control of electronics inside your home or office from anywhere.  No more driving home to check if the security system is armed or if you turned off the lights!

The number one security company in the Triangle can do even more for homes and businesses!  The most important ingredient in the office or household environment, especially within the technologically advanced world we live in today, is wireless networking.  If there is more than one computer or wireless device, tablet, smart phone or laptop, there is a good chance it has a wireless network connecting all of these devices to the Internet. Especially in an office setting, each employee has a laptop or desktop system which depends on the office’s wireless network for daily functionality and work performance.

Wireless is now the principal “connector” for everything digital, and nothing is more frustrating than a poor or slow connection.  Many homes have a certain area or room where the wireless is strongest.  Maybe there is a better connection on the couch than in the bedroom where most online work or browsing is being done. In the office, the break room may have a better connection than the cubicle. But this problem doesn’t have to be endured.  Secur-Tek is here to help!

Here are three key areas that improve instantly with Secur-Tek processes:

      Install a network.  If wireless is not already installed in your home or office, we can take care of hooking everything up and getting your network connected and running.

     Improve connectivity.  Connection problems are frustrating and can be detrimental to productivity. Secur-Tek will optimize the connection in every corner of the home or business.

     Expand the network.  Many individuals and organizations are in need of greater range and more bandwidth to sustain the proper network connect-ability. We assess the current situation and make the correct changes.

So quit wasting time waiting for more bars on the smartphone, call Secur-Tek today to get the connection you want at a price you’ll love!