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  1. #1
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    Default Smart TV security and wireless networking

    I want to buy a smart TV for my bedroom when i move home in a few weeks. As this is basically a TV/Computer combi do i need to be concerned about virus problems and if so do i need a special type of anti virus security or can i stick with Windows Essentials? I have two young children who love pulling wires out of things so my plan is to use my bedroom as the control centre for the whole house and run as many things as possible wirelessly. I plan to have the router in the bedroom and use laptops in other rooms. I heard the new ac dongle is a lot better than the n dongles. Is this true and would it be better to buy a good quality router rather than use the one my ISP supplies? I will be changing my ISP from Sky to BT. Also any tips on setting everything up would be very helpful.
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    As this is basically a TV/Computer combi do i need to be concerned about virus problems and if so do i need a special type of anti virus security or can i stick with Windows Essentials?
    Note this is just a computer with a TV tuner built in that just happens to use the same power supply and monitor as the computer. So yes, you certainly do need to "practice safe computing" by having a decent firewall enabled and Windows Firewall is just fine for that. You need a decent anti-malware solution and Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is fine for that too - note "Windows Essentials" is basically an email program and not a security program. You also MUST keep Windows and your security programs current, and finally, you must avoid risky behavior like illegal filesharing via torrents and P2P sites - all the things you need to do with any computer that connects to the Internet.

    Yes, 802.11ac is better than 802.11n (though there is nothing wrong with n). But to take advantage of 11ac, both ends (the router and the computer's network interface) must both support it. That said, if you buy an 11ac router today, it will support your 11n devices and you will be ready for the future.

    Understand BT will provide at least a "modem". The modem serves as your network's "gateway" device. Your router connects to the modem, and all your devices connect to the router. Note the modem and router are separate network devices that do different things. The WAP (wireless access point) is a 3rd separate device that connects your wireless computers to the router. And all your wired (Ethernet) devices will connect through the 4-port Ethernet switch. Four separate, totally discrete devices.

    However - there are "integrated combination" devices on the market that combine 2 or more of these devices into one box. The most common these days are "wireless routers" - a marketing term used to describe a router, a WAP and an Ethernet switch in the same box that happen to share a circuit board, a case and power supply.

    Separate devices, same box. Remember that.

    And then there are some integrated devices that happen to bundle the modem in that box too - and that may be what BT provides.

    So like your TV/Computer which is really a separate TV and computer in the same box that just happen to share the same box, power supply and monitor, these network devices are separate but together. And like all combination devices, there is no guarantee all components within are of equal quality (and a main reason I buy and use my own network devices).

    Now - back to BT. Does BT provide that device for free - or must you pay a monthly rental fee? If me, I want to pick and choose my own parts, in part because ISPs have been known to modify their supplied devices - not to spy on you, but to "monitor" your traffic. To me, monitor and spying are too close to the same thing - especially since ISPs can monitor your traffic from their data centers. Now a major ISP will never monitor your traffic for devious reasons - so perhaps I am just being unduly paranoid. But I still prefer I connect on my terms, not theirs.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  4. #3
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    Thanks Digerati... That is certainly a lot to think about. Yes BT do provide a free router but i heard all ISP's offer the most basic equipment that just about does the job and it is always better to buy your own. Here in England we have three major players in the ISP market, Virgin (useless), Sky (OK but poor customer service) and BT. BT offer something called infinity which is the fastest fibre optic broadband available here and about 25 times faster than my current Sky deal. But so far it is only available in about 30% of the country. I checked and luckily it is available in my new home so that is why i chose them instead of staying with Sky.
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    Yes BT do provide a free router but i heard all ISP's offer the most basic equipment that just about does the job and it is always better to buy your own.
    Again, are we talking "router" or "modem", or some integrated device?

    A router alone will NOT connect you to your ISP. You MUST have a modem and modems are very basic devices and you likely will not get any noticeable performance gain by using your own modem - even a fiber-optic modem.

    If they provide an integrated device, I would want to ensure the integrated switch supports 1Gbit networks (10/100/1000) for my wired devices and if wireless too, at least 802.11n, though 11ac would be nice.
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    I don't really know. Sky sent me a router which i connected to my television with an ethernet cable. I assume BT will do the same.
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    Okay, then I am sure it is an integrated device and they are simply, and incorrectly calling it "router". Some ISPs call those integrated devices "Home Hubs" - but a hub is something different yet. I wish the marketing people would use proper terminology.

    BT will surely provide a device that will work fine. It is just a matter of you wanting ownership of all your network gear, or if you want to pay a monthly fee to rent it.
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    Thanks Digerati
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    Sure! Good luck and I have to say, I envy you! Fiber will not be in my old neighborhood anytime soon.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!
    MS MVP, 2007 - 2018
    ─────────────────────