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Quick Charge 5 takes your phone battery from 0-100% in 15 minutes

Quick Charge 5 has arrived, and Qualcomm’s latest high-speed charging system promises even less time hovering next to your adapter, not to mention more flexibility with devices. Now supporting upward of 100W, Quick Charge 5 could take compatible 4,500 mAh devices from zero to 50-percent of a charge in 5 minutes, the chip-maker suggests.

That, Qualcomm says, is enough to make Quick Charge 5 the “world’s fastest commercial charging solution.” With that same 4,500 mAh smartphone plugged in, you’re looking at a zero to 100-percent charge in 15 minutes.

All in all it’s 4x faster than Quick Charge 4, the company says, and 10x faster than the original Quick Charge all the way back in 2013. Since then more than 250 devices – initially phones, but expanding to encompass tablets, drones, wireless speakers, and more – and over a thousand accessories support the standard. One of the lingering challenges, however, has been being sure that you’re getting the maximum possible charging rates from your device and charger.

It’s something Quick Charge 5 attempts to tackle, Qualcomm says, using smarter power analysis. Rather than relying on what the power supply itself claims it can deliver safely, Quick Charge 5 now checks things like voltage and current behavior, voltage ranges, thermal protection levels, and other factors. That way it can best choose between 3.3-20 volts, 3A/5A/5+A, and what wattage from 45W upwards, based on the phone or other device you’re plugging in.

That helps deal with things like heat, with Qualcomm saying that the new version is up to 10 degrees Centigrade cooler in operation than Quick Charge 4 using standard cables. It can also be up to 70-percent more efficient. As you’d expect Quick Charge 5 chargers will be backward-compatible with previous iterations of the technology.

It’s designed to use new so-called 2S battery configurations, with stacked cells inside devices. That allows for twice the voltage and twice the speed for the same amount of current. Qualcomm has two new power management ICs (PMIC), the SMB1396 and SMB1398, which support fast wired and wireless charging, upward of 20V input voltage, and upward of 98-percent efficiency. With a pair of PMICs.

As before, it’s the familiar USB Type-C connection that Quick Charge 5 is designed to use. It also supports USB-PD as standard, and uses PPS as the communication protocol between client device and charging adapter. You’ll be able to charge things like USB-PD laptops with Quick Charge 5 adapters too, and even devices that aren’t explicitly Quick Charge compatible – like iPhone 7 (or later) – those same adapters should usually be able to support fast charge, Qualcomm says.

Of course, Qualcomm can provide the technology – and indeed is shipping the new PMIC chips already – but it’s down to OEMs to actually build it into their phones and other devices. Initially that’ll be in the Snapdragon 800 Series flagships, running the Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus, but it’ll eventually trickle down through the ranges into more affordable fare. First up to offer Quick Charge 5 will be Xiaomi, with Qualcomm suggesting we could see a device there in Q3 2023.

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5 Quick Ways To Stop Telus From Blocking Iptv

5 Quick Ways To Stop Telus From Blocking IPTV These tested methods will help you achieve your goal in no time




Access to TV service providers may be restricted by some ISPs, prohibiting users from accessing these services.

You can bypass your ISP’s restrictions through free and premium VPNs.

Thankfully, users may resolve the Telus blocking IPTV problem independently and avoid switching ISPs when it arises.

Telus provides access to the Internet and various related services for both individuals and businesses. This company disables some services, such as Telus blocking IPTV, as a safeguard.

IPTV (Internet Protocol television) is a service that provides access to television shows and other visual content through the Internet rather than through cable, broadcast, or satellite TV signals.

ISPs frequently block IPTV for unknown reasons. However, there are ways to prevent this from happening.

Does Telus block any ports?

For various security concerns, Telus, by default, restricts several ports. The company adds these ports to the block list to safeguard users since hackers often use them to access a network.

Setting up port forwarding serves no service since Telus blocks all incoming ports; this is done in addition to preventing unauthorized access to the network.

How do I stop Telus from blocking IPTV? 1. Use a different DNS

Enter your router’s admin panel. You may find this information under the modem or in the router manual.

Enter the admin username and password for your router.

Find and modify the DNS settings to utilize the Smart DNS proxy DNS IPs. Now, save the settings.

Restart router.

2. Use a VPN

Your internet provider won’t be able to impose content-based service restrictions or throttle your connection speed since it allows you to watch IPTV secretly and securely.

With ExpressVPN you can easily connect to servers in over 90 different countries. Keep yourself anonymous and watch whatever you want safely.


Get access to content from any country safely and fast.

Free Trial Visit Website

3. Check your ping using a websites address

Expert tip:

4. Use a proxy

To open Windows Settings, press the Windows + I key combination.

On the Settings menu, go to Network & Internet. Select Proxy.

Make sure the Automatically detect option is on.

Under the Manual Setup section, enable the Use a Proxy Server checkbox. Try the service once again after you turned the Manual Setup on.

5. Use Tor

Tor can be downloaded and installed through Tor’s official download site.

Connect to your VPN before starting Tor to provide the highest level of internet security. Being one of the most widely used browsers, this one is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

How do I check if my ISP is blocking streaming?

The best way to determine whether your ISP blocks streaming is to use the Opera browser. When you enable the built-in VPN, a new IP address is acquired. Your service provider is tricked into believing you are connected through a different provider.

You may enable VPN in Opera’s settings. Use the browser to access the streaming service.

Your ISP has blocked access to this content for you if you can watch any show. If the service doesn’t load, another reason must exist.

Many customers are impacted by the Telus IPTV settings bans. Thankfully, one of the solutions above on how to stop ISP blocking IPTV can assist you in resolving this issue.

The issue with Telus restricting IPTV is well-known, and many users claim that the issue is resolved by using a VPN before accessing the service.

This is why you may rest easy knowing that this problem may be easily fixed, so you can resume watching your favorite shows.

Still experiencing issues?

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Samsung’s Droid Charge A Strong Second Lte Phone For Verizon

The LTE speeds dazzle, the AMOLED display shines, and you get a free mobile hotspot at least for a little while. What’s not to like? Well, the battery life disappoints, but that may not be enough to spoil the fun.

CORRECTION: The original version of this review referred to the phone’s micro-USB port as a “mini-USB” port. We regret the error.

The Charge, which goes on sale April 28, costs $300 with a two-year contract–that’s $50 more than the ThunderBolt costs–but it includes a free mobile hotspot capability “for a limited time” (provided that you buy a nationwide calling plan and an unlimited data plan (starting at $30). The Charge’s mobile hotspot can connect ten devices via Wi-Fi or five devices via a 3G CDMA connection.

Key Specs


The Charge is a largish phone with an oval shape that comes to a soft point at the bottom. It is 5.1 inches long, 2.6 inches wide, and 0.46 inch thick. The Charge is about the same width and depth as the ThunderBolt, but it’s noticeably longer.

Like Samsung’s Galaxy S 4G, the Charge has a band of smokey chrome-colored plastic (Samsung calls this “mirror gray”) running around the outside front of the phone, which I think creates a cheap-looking effect. Question: Would Apple or HTC ever use such materials on a phone? Answer: Nope.

Display is a Difference Maker

The fat LTE pipe carrying the video data packets is important here, too. The high bandwidth reduce lost packets to such an extent that artifacting, skips, and jitter in the video become very rare. The Charge has the bandwidth to transfer high-definition video streams intact, and it has the responsive AMOLED screen to display the video well. That’s a pretty compelling combination.

As for the “outdoor visibility” claim, I’m a believer here, as well. I held the Charge and the ThunderBolt side-by-side in direct sunlight, pulled up the phone dialer on each, and could tell that the Charge’s screen was indeed easier to view. Though I could see the ThunderBolt’s dialer, I had to squint a little.

The Overlay


The video clips I shot were less impressive. Viewed on my PC screen, the video looked blurred and washed out in response to the smallest amount of motion. I also saw a lot of correction for light balance going on in the footage. The clips that I shot in normal light indoors turned out better, but they still weren’t as sharp as I had hoped. All of the videos looked better when viewed on the Charge’s screen than when viewed on a full-sized display.

Data Speeds

Testing from my office in the South of Market district of San Francisco, I recorded an average download speed of 8.5 mbps and an average upload speed of 3.9 mbps. Running the same test on the HTC ThunderBolt at the same time, I recorded a very similar average download speed—8.25 mbps. (Unfortunately, the FCC cannot accurately record LTE network upload speeds on the ThunderBolt, so I omit that comparison here.)

The Battery Problem

Samsung could have named its phone the Charge because that’s the mode the phone is likely to spend most of its time in.

The ThunderBolt has already gained a reputation for having a weak battery. And the first 4G phone, Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G, suffered from the same problem. The 4G radios in these devices demand far more power than those in 3G phones simply because they pull and push so much more data from and to the network.

Samsung says that the Charge’s battery will last for “up to 660 minutes”–that is, 11 hours. (Technically, of course, a battery that lasted only 2 minutes wouldn’t violate the promise of lasting “up to 660 minutes.”) At any rate, in our battery test, the Samsung battery life came up way short of the 660-minute maximum: After 4 hours, 8 minutes of continuous video streaming, the battery was depleted to 37 percent of capacity. At that rate, it would have expired completely in 393 minutes (6 hours, 33 minutes).

In identifying that figure, I assume that the battery continues to expire at the same rate as before when it starts running out of charge; but in my (anecdotal) experience, the rate of depletion accelerates. So the 6 hours, 33 minutes of battery life I calculated may be a little on the generous side.

Still, 6.5 hours of continuous use isn’t too bad. After all, few people keep their phone in continuous use for that long during the course of a day. It seems likely that a user could get through a day without the Charge needing a charge–and that’s more than I can say for some 4G phones I’ve used.

Call Quality

To test the Charge’s voice quality I placed some calls to land-line phones from a quiet spot, and then from a noisy location beside a busy street in San Francisco. The people I called said that they could hear me very clearly but that my voice sounded like a “radio voice”–present, but without much body. I heard the same voice quality through the ear speaker on the Charge: The speaker’s voice was clear, but it didn’t sound exactly human, as it does on the iPhone 4.

In my calls from beside the busy street, the ear speaker was loud enough for me to hear the other person’s voice clearly, without my having to turn the volume all the way up. Even better, the person at the other end said that the ambient traffic noise sounded no louder than a dull background noise on his end. The noise cancellation in the Charge must be of fairly high quality.

Since the Charge is the second LTE phone to hit the market in the United States, however, it must be measured against the first LTE phone, the ThunderBolt. And here the Charge comes up short. The ThunderBolt’s display may not look quite as beautiful as the Charge’s, but its connection speeds are the same or a little faster, its battery appears to be a little better, its physical design is smaller and more elegant, and its user interface provides a more orderly and pleasing environment to work in. In short, if I were choosing between the two Verizon LTE phones, I could choose the one that costs $50 less and still walk out with the better of the two phones.

How An Innovative Battery System In The Bronx Will Help Charge Up Nyc’s Grid

On a small patch of land in the northeast Bronx in New York City sits a tidy but potent battery storage system. Located across the street from a beige middle school building, and not too far from a Planet Fitness and a Dollar Tree, the battery system is designed to send power into the grid at peak moments of demand on hot summer afternoons and evenings. 

New York state has a goal of getting a whopping six gigawatts of battery storage systems online in the next seven years, and this system, at about three megawatts, is a very small but hopefully helpful part of that. It’s intended to be able to send out those three megawatts of power over a four-hour period, typically between 4 pm and 8 pm on the toastiest days of the year, with the goal of making a burdened power grid a bit less stressed and ideally a tad cleaner. 

The local power utility, Con Edison, recently connected the battery system to the grid. Here’s how it works, and why systems like this are important.

From power lines to batteries, and back again

The source of the electricity for these batteries is the existing power distribution lines that run along the top of nearby poles. Those wires carry power at 13,200 volts, but the battery system itself needs to work with a much lower voltage. That’s why before the power even gets to the batteries themselves, it needs to go through transformers. 

Adam Cohen, of NineDot Energy, at the battery facility in January. Rob Verger

During a January tour of the site for Popular Science, Adam Cohen, the CTO of NineDot Energy, the company behind this project, opens a gray metal door. Behind it are transformers. “They look really neato,” he says. Indeed, they do look neat—three yellowish units that take that voltage and transform it into 480 volts. This battery complex is actually two systems that mirror each other, so other transformers are in additional equipment nearby. 

After those transformers do their job and convert the voltage to a lower number, the electricity flows to giant white Tesla Megapack battery units. Those batteries are large white boxes with padlocked cabinets, and above them is fire-suppression equipment. Not only do these battery units store the power, but they also have inverters to change the AC power to DC before the juice can be stored. When the power does flow out of the batteries, it’s converted back to AC power again. 

Transformer units like these convert the electricity from 13,200 volts to 480 volts. Rob Verger

The battery storage system is designed to follow a specific rhythm. It will charge gradually between 10 pm and 8 am, Cohen says. That’s a time “when the grid has extra availability, the power is cheaper and cleaner, [and] the grid is not overstressed,” he says. When the day begins and the grid starts experiencing more demand, the batteries stop charging. 

In the summer heat, when there’s a “grid event,” that’s when the magic happens, Cohen says. Starting around 4 pm, the batteries will be able to send their power back out into the grid to help destress the system. They’ll be able to produce enough juice to power about 1,000 homes over that four-hour period, according to an estimate by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA.

[Related: How the massive ‘flow battery’ coming to an Army facility in Colorado will work]

The power will flow back up into the same wires that charged them before, and then onto customers. The goal is to try to make the grid a little bit cleaner, or less dirty, than it would have been if the batteries didn’t exist. “It’s offsetting the dirty energy that would have been running otherwise,” Cohen says. 

Of course, the best case scenario would be for batteries to get their power from renewable sources, like solar or wind, and the site does have a small solar canopy that could send a teeny tiny bit of clean energy into the grid. But New York City and the other downstate zones near it currently rely very heavily on fossil fuels. For New York City in 2023 for example, utility-scale energy production was 100 percent from fossil fuels, according to a recent report from the New York Independent System Operator. (One of several solutions in the works to that problem involves a new transmission line.) What that means is that the batteries will be drawing power from a fossil-fuel dominant grid, but doing so at nighttime when that grid is hopefully less polluting. 

NineDot Energy says that this is the first use of Tesla Megapacks in New York City. Rob Verger

How systems like these can help

Electricity is very much an on-demand product. What we consume “has to be made right now,” Cohen notes from behind the wheel of his Nissan Leaf, as we drive towards the battery storage site in the Bronx on a Friday in January. Batteries, of course, can change that dynamic, storing the juice for when it’s needed. 

One of the ways that small devices like these can help is they can be placed near the people who are using it in their homes or businesses, so that electricity isn’t lost as it is transmitted in from further away. “They’re very close to customers on the distribution network, and so when they’re providing power at peak times, they’re avoiding a lot of the transmission losses, which can be anywhere from five to eight percent of energy,” Matteson says. 

And being close to a community provides interesting opportunities. A campus of the Bronx Charter Schools for Better Learning sits on the third floor of the middle school across the street. There, two dozen students have been working in collaboration with a local artist, Tijay Mohammed, to create a mural that will eventually hang on the green fence in front of the batteries. “They are so proud to be associated with the project,” says Karlene Buckle, the manager of the enrichment program at the schools.

Student council representatives at the Bronx Charter Schools for Better Learning (BBL2) participate in a mural project for the battery facility. Kevin Melendez / Bronx Charter Schools for Better Learning

Grid events

The main benefit a facility like this can have is the way it helps the grid out on a hot summer day. That’s because when New York City experiences peak temperatures, energy demand peaks too, as everyone cranks up their air conditioners. 

To meet that electricity demand, the city relies on its more than one dozen peaker plants, which are dirtier and less efficient than an everyday baseline fossil fuel plant. Peaker plants disproportionately impact communities located near them. “The public health risks of living near peaker plants range from asthma to cancer to death, and this is on top of other public health crises and economic hardships already faced in environmental justice communities,” notes Jennifer Rushlow, the dean of the School for the Environment at Vermont Law and Graduate School via email. The South Bronx, for example, has peaker plants, and the borough as a whole has an estimated 22,855 cases of pediatric asthma, according to the American Lung Association. Retiring them or diminishing their use isn’t just for energy security—it’s an environmental justice issue.

So when power demand peaks, “what typically happens is we have to ramp up additional natural gas facilities, or even in some instances, oil facilities, in the downstate region to provide that peak power,” Matteson says. “And so every unit of storage we can put down there to provide power during peak times offsets some of those dirty, marginal units that we would have to ramp up otherwise.” 

By charging at night, instead of during the day, and then sending the juice out at peak moments, “you’re actually offsetting local carbon, you’re offsetting local particulate matter, and that’s having a really big benefit of the air quality and health impacts for New York City,” he says.  

[Related: At New York City’s biggest power plant, a switch to clean energy will help a neighborhood breathe easier]

Imagine, says Matteson, that a peaker plant is producing 45 megawatts of electricity. A 3-megawatt battery system coming online could mean that operators could dial down the dirty plant to 42 megawatts instead. But in an ideal world, it doesn’t come online at all. “We want 15 of [these 3 megawatt] projects to add up to 45 megawatts, and so if they can consistently show up at peak times, maybe that marginal dirty generator doesn’t even get called,” he says. “If that happens enough, maybe they retire.” 

Nationally, most of the United States experiences a peak need for electricity on hot summer days, just like New York City does, with a few geographic exceptions, says Paul Denholm, a senior research fellow focusing on energy storage at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. “Pretty much most of the country peaks during the summertime, in those late afternoons,” he says. “And so we traditionally build gas turbines—we’ve got hundreds of gigawatts of gas turbines that have been installed for the past several decades.” 

A very small amount of power can come from this solar canopy on site—a reminder that the cleanest energy comes from renewable sources. Rob Verger

While the three-megawatt project in the Bronx is not going to replace a peaker plant by any means, Denholm says that in general, the trend is moving towards batteries taking over what peaker plants do. “As those power plants get old and retire, you need to build something new,” he says. “Within the last five years, we’ve reached this tipping point, where storage can now outcompete new traditional gas-fired turbines on a life-cycle cost basis.” 

Right now, New York state has 279 megawatts of battery storage already online, which is around 5 percent of the total goal of 6 gigawatts. Denholm estimates that nationally, nearly nine gigawatts of battery storage are online already. 

“There’s significant quantifiable benefits to using [battery] storage as peaker,” Denholm says. One of those benefits is a fewer local emissions, which is important because “a lot of these peaker plants are in places that have historically been [environmental-justice] impacted regions.” 

“Even when they’re charging off of fossil plants, they’re typically charging off of more efficient units,” he adds. 

If all goes according to plan, the batteries will start discharging their juice this summer, on the most sweltering days. 

Coronavirus: 5 Apps To Make Your Work From Home Easier

Work From Home Apps to use in Coronavirus Lockdown

Now, there are tons of apps available in the market that can be utilized to facilitate different tasks for different people. We’ve included five of them that are highly versatile and can help you primarily with cloud meetings, sharing texts and files, scanning documents, and expediting productivity.

1. Zoom Cloud Meetings

Zoom is a powerful video conferencing and communication tool that can be used to organize cloud meetings amongst team members. You can carry out video calls with up to 100 people at once for 40 minutes in the free version. Plus, you can even record sessions to view them later.

Besides, it has some cool handy features on offer such as screen-sharing, voice calls, and instant messaging. You can also share photos, group texts, images, and audio from your mobile and desktop. If your job requires face-to-face interactions, Zoom is the way to go! It is available for download on Android, iOS, Windows, and as an extension for Chrome & Firefox.

Android  iOS  Windows   Chrome Extension

2. Chrome Remote Desktop

As the name suggests, Chrome Remote Desktop lets you remotely access your computer from another computer, phone, or tablet through a secure protocol developed by Google. Using it, you can control any of your Macs or PCs without actually being present on the desk.

Android  iOS  Web  Chrome Extension

3. Telegram

Now, many may argue- Why not use WhatsApp altogether? Well, there are multiple reasons for using Telegram over WhatsApp, particularly for work purposes. For starters, Telegram gives you unlimited cloud storage, meaning all your text messages, images, documents, and other files will be saved on the cloud. And you can access them on any number of devices together, without losing any data or worrying about backup and restore.

Unlike WhatsApp, you can choose to send uncompressed images/ videos or any type of file through Telegram. More importantly, you can send messages in private chat and groups without having to reveal your mobile number. Telegram supports cross-platform sync and is available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Android  iOS  Windows, Mac, and Linux

4. Adobe Scan

Working at the office generally requires you to play with a lot of physical documents, notes, and receipts. However, at home, the absence of a handy scanner makes it hard to collaborate at work. This is where Adobe Scan comes to the rescue.

You can use it to scan and convert anything, including receipts, notes, documents, photos, business cards, and whiteboards to shareable PDF documents. Adobe has also integrated an automatic OCR reader, which helps in recognizing and extracting digital text from printed lines and handwriting.

Plus, you can enable cloud sync and access all your documents on any device via the Adobe Document Cloud. The app is completely ad-free and available for Android and iOS.

5. Trello

Trello offers you a real-time bulletin board to organize your as well as your team’s working schedule for the day. Using it, you can keep a check on ongoing projects and the work done by all members of the team under different boards for different projects.

Android  iOS  Web

Tip- Ambient Sound Apps

A lot of people tend to suffer from a lack of concentration while working from home, due to changes in the work atmosphere. If you too are one of those, then we’d suggest using ambient sound apps like Noisli, chúng tôi and Coffitivity to keep you stay focussed.

Studies show that these sounds can boost your concentration and overall productivity. Hence, you should definitely try them for once. Anyway, different things work for different people. For instance, I usually listen to the Superman movie soundtracks to stay calm at work; sounds strange, isn’t it?

Wrapping Up

More on Coronavirus-

5 Steps To Keep Your Smart Home From Being Hacked

Consumers who outfit their homes with home automation devices without considering security may be inviting hackers and thieves inside.

Repeatedly, studies have revealed that devices designed to automate the home have serious vulnerabilities. Many devices have weak password policies and do not protect against man-in-the-middle attacks, according to an HP survey of 10 off-the-shelf home security systems. Others do not prevent access to the device’s debugging interface, which could allow easy hacking of the device, according to an April study by code-security firm Veracode. And, if an attacker is able to gain access to the device, almost all devices could be easily compromised and turned into a Trojan Horse, according to a study by security firm Synack. In fact, it only took between 5 and 20 minutes to find a way to compromise each device, once the researchers unpacked the hardware.

“These companies are really pushing to get a product to market to really compete in this Internet of things boom, but they don’t have a security guy on their team, so there is a lot of small stuff being overlooked,” says Colby Moore, a security research analyst for Synack. “The majority of companies are ignoring the basics.”

Buying a used Nest could be a bad idea. Criminals could install custom firmware that enables them to compromise a host of other devices on your home network. 

By the end of the year, about 2.9 billion consumer devices will be connected to the Internet, according to market researcher Gartner. While the Apple Watch may be the best-known device among the Internet of Things menagerie, many of the “things” that you will connect in the future will be part of your home. Unfortunately, the rush to deliver home automation capabilities to users has resulted in poorly secured systems creating additional avenues of attack for online miscreants.

“It’s hard to not be excited about what the IoT has enabled and will bring in the future, although that doesn’t mean cybersecurity should be sacrificed in the process,” Brandon Creighton, Veracode’s security research architect, said in a statement.

Each device had security shortcomings. Consumers’ desire to control their home from the smartphones, for example, means that losing the device can have some significant consequences for home security. In addition, so many products do not use encryption technology.

“I can’t say that I was shocked, but it was pretty shocking,” Moore says.

For those consumers embarking on a journey into home automation, here are some mostly simple steps to protecting the devices as much as possible.

Lock down the router

Routers are the digital doorway to the home, and a poorly-secured router can allow an online attacker easy access to all the home automation devices in your network. In May, for example, security firm Incapsula found that a group of attackers had turned routers with default passwords into a botnet that they then used to take down Web sites using a denial-of-service attack.

Users should invest in a router with a good security track record, make sure that the default admin password has been changed, and that it’s running the most current firmware.

Mike Homnick

Don’t let your router be the weak link in your connected-home system. Make sure it’s secured with strong passwords and keep its firmware up to date.

Prevent tampering with devices

Getting two minutes with devices in the home did not give the attacker enough of a window to modify the devices, according to security firm Synack’s study. Devices with a USB update mechanism, however, were vulnerable to quick compromise.

Home users should put devices in places where untrusted people cannot easily access them, with particular emphasis on devices with a management port.

Go with a cloud service

Cloud services designed to help a consumer manage home-automation devices, such as Vivint, ADT, or a similar service provider, typically cost money and can open up privacy and security issues if not properly secured. Yet, for most situations, the service provider does a better job securing the service than a home user can. If you do not use a cloud service, you will be responsible for checking the security of the systems yourself.

So consumers should shell out the cash to make their home-automation more convenient and more secure at the same time. However, users do need to pick a complex password and should also ask about two-factor authentication, which adds another layer of security to accessing the account.

Many of the developers creating the software for home-automation products are relative novices when it comes to security. David Jacoby, a security analyst with Kaspersky Lab, attempted to hack his home and found a number of simple vulnerabilities in his home storage product that gave him a beachhead into the network.

“The developers have the excuse that they are not security people,” he says. “But we need to get the vendors to patch the vulnerabilities that they learn about.”

Because so much security functionality needs to be improved, applying updates is a critical step to insuring home-automation devices remain secure from the simplest attacks, he said.

Go with a name brand

A company that is just dabbling in home automation will not take the security of their products seriously. Consumer should focus on companies that have committed to their products and the security of those products, says Synack’s Moore.

“You want someone who has been around, someone with a reputation,” he said. “At least they will stand behind their product and push out updates.”

The conclusion of Synack’s testing resulted in a positive recommendation of Nest thermostats and home automation equipment. Of course, the study was sponsored by Nest, now part of Google. Hive, a home-automation integrator, also did well in Synack’s tests, according to a presentation on the study. SmartThings, which grew out of a 2012 Kickstarter project, garnered high the best performance in Veracode’s study.

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