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Mesh Networks: Simply Better

With the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are forced to work from home. Unfortunately, they are using home technology and networks, which may not be the best suited for work purposes. For instance, their wireless networks may have dead spots and be slow. Many people have not heard of a relatively new technology called wireless mesh networks.

In this article, we explain what mesh networks are and how they can improve both home and office wireless network performance.

business network
Business Network

Mesh Networks Explained

In the traditional home or office network, you have a modem and router (or combo unit), which sends a wireless signal to all devices. In some cases, you may also install a wireless extender, which extends the wireless signal further from the router.

One issue with this network is that the router and extender transmit networks with different names and passwords. As you move around, you have to manually switch from one network to another on your phone or computer. Also, there can be Internet speed and performance issues when using an extender. Normally, the wireless extender provides a network which has significantly slower speeds than the router’s network.

Mesh Networks consist of what are called nodes or satellites. Usually, one of these nodes works like a router, while the other nodes connect to this router or themselves. This means that you can install many different nodes throughout your home or office, if you like.

Since they are all part of the same network, the wireless performance should not drop significantly from one satellite to another. Most importantly, they send out a wireless signal with the same network name and password. Therefore, you don’t have to manually connect to one network as you get closer to it. Your phone or computer will always remain connected.

Mesh Network
Home Mesh Network

Mesh Networks Advantages

Easier to Use

One advantage of these networks is their ease of use. At your home or office, you have one mesh network. As you move around the network, you computer or other device will automatically stay connected to the network. The mesh network will continuously be looking to connect you to the optimal wireless node. Even when connected to one node, it will find the optimal connection to that node.

With traditional wireless router and wireless extender networks, your device will stay connected as long as it can to the wireless unit it is connected to. As you move to one side of your home, you have to manually switch to the nearest wireless device.

Better Performance

Generally, mesh networks will provide better network performance than traditional router and wireless extender networks. Your computer, smart phone or tablet will get a strong wireless signal with better speeds throughout your house or office. On the other hand, extenders normally transmit wireless signals which have noticeably slower Internet speeds than the main router.

Internet speed test for mesh networks
Fast Internet Speed

Easier Installation & Management

Usually, you can install a smart phone app to set up and manage your wireless mesh network. From this app, you can add new nodes, change the network security settings, enable a guest network, and block users. Normally, you can add new wireless nodes by clicking on an option in the app and then just plugging them in.

mesh network app
Eero Wi-Fi App

On the other hand, with a traditional router and extenders you usually have to set up each one separately on a computer or an app. Normally, you have to spend much more time installing and configuring the extenders.

When your home or business is hit by a power outage, a mesh network should automatically start working, once power is restored. Instead, a traditional network may not start working right away. You might have to reconnect wireless devices (i.e., router, extenders, etc.) one by one. This can take up a lot of time and energy.

Mesh Networks Disadvantages

Mesh networks' cost
Mesh Networks Cost

The main disadvantage of mesh networks is their cost. Because you usually have to buy a 3 pack of mesh units, the cost is more than a typical router and extender. An Eero 3 pack is relatively inexpensive at about $175. A Nest Wi-Fi 3 pack of a router and two nodes costs about $349. The Netgear Orbi AC2200 pack has a similar price.

For individuals who live in a small apartment or a single floor house, a wireless mesh system may be overkill. A router should provide sufficient wireless coverage. These individuals could always add an inexpensive extender to strengthen the Wi-Fi signal throughout their place.

If you have any questions need assistance with your home or office network, please feel free to visit Nucleus’s Contact Us page.


1 “What is a mesh Wi-Fi router and do you need one?” Link to Site

2 “Wireless mesh networks: Everything you need to know” Link to Site

3 “What is a mesh network” Link to Site

4 “The Best Wi-Fi Mesh Network Systems for 2020” Link to Site

Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats for 2020

Cyberattacks: An Increasing Threat

Cybersecurity is an increasingly important issue. In 2019, cyberattacks on businesses and individuals increased in number and complexity. Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses. According to, more than half of small businesses experienced a breach last year. On average, the attacks cost businesses $200,000 with many going out of business.1

Criminals not only attack businesses, but also individuals. Rumors circulated that the Saudi Prince sent a video containing malware to Jeff Bezos’s phone through WhatsApp to track his phone activities.2

Because of the serious threat that cyberattacks represent, Nucleus Computer decided to write about where we see things going this year.

Cybersecurity Threat 1: Mobile Devices Will be Targeted

Typically, criminals look for weaknesses in any business. Because companies usually have some protections in place on their employees’ computers (servers), but not as much on their mobile devices, criminals will increasingly attack them.

Many companies adopt bring your own device (BYOD) policies for employees, which leads to even more security holes. Once the criminals hack a mobile device, they can access the entire office network.3

mobile cybersecurity
Mobile Security

Because there are so many smartphones in the world (about 3.5 billion)4, criminals will target them more often. Besides this, they have a number of ways to attack smartphones, including through email, apps and texts. All of these factors make them a very attractive target.

Cybersecurity Threat 2: IoT Will be Targeted

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? This term refers to all of the devices connected to the Internet, including computers, tablets and smartphones. Also, IoT includes smart speakers (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.), smart TVs, security systems and cameras, appliances, smart watches and other items.

IoT security
IoT Security

Because of the huge growth in the number of IoT devices, cybercriminals have a large target market. According to one source, there will be about 75 million IoT devices by 2025.5 Kaspersky, the cybersecurity firm, found 105 million attacks in the first half of 2019, compared to the same time period in 2018.6

Because manufacturers rush these devices to market, they do not provide them with sufficient security protection. Criminals take advantage of this by sending malware to them or using them to access other devices on the same network.

Some researchers hacked into smart devices using a laser. Please check out the following video:

Threat 3: Cloud Providers Will be Targeted

In 2019, businesses and individuals moved their files and software computing needs to the cloud. They use services like Microsoft Office 365 and Azure and Amazon Web Services. Because of this, there is no longer a need for a lot of hardware onsite, including servers.

cloud security
Cloud Security

Because of this change, cybercriminals will increasingly launch attacks on cloud providers, including online backup companies. This will make it important for businesses and people to research the providers’ security practices. Do they have data stored in several different locations? What encryption does the provider use?

Threat 4: Ransomware Attacks Become More Targeted

In the first quarter 2019, ransomware attacks grew by 118% and doubled for the entire year.7 Ransomware is malware which is installed on computers and devices. Typically, it will scramble documents and files and generate a popup demanding payment to unscramble them. Usually, the popup provides specific payment instructions, requesting payment in bitcoin, because the transaction remains anonymous.

Ransomware Attack
Ransomware Example

In 2019, ransomware attacks hit local governments, healthcare providers, hospital systems, dental practices, banks and corporations. In 2020, we expect this trend to continue. Because larger businesses have stronger security defenses, we expect that criminals will increasingly go after small businesses, which typically don’t have the financial resources to invest in cybersecurity.

Also, we expect these attacks to be well planned out as criminals observe businesses’ activities and systems for a while, before launching an attack. Finally, we expect the ransomware attacks to go after specific company files, like backups. This will make businesses very vulnerable.

In addition, attacks will increase on individuals, especially high net worth ones. These attacks are highly profitable and quicker, because the target is one person and not a large corporation with its bureaucracies.

Threat 5: Cybercriminals Will use Artificial Intelligence

In the past few years, the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have grown dramatically. Many companies, like Alphabet, Apple and Tesla, are developing self-driving cars, which improve through learning.

artificial intelligence cybersecurity
Artificial Intelligence

Companies incorporate Artificial Intelligence in their cybersecurity defense systems. While AI can add to companies’ security, many criminals observe these defense systems to determine their patterns and weaknesses. Then, they craft attacks which go after their specific holes.

We expect this trend to continue and for cybercriminals to increasingly use Artificial Intelligence and automation to guide their attacks. At one time, they will launch several different types of attacks. Then, they will tweak their campaigns based on continuous feedback on the results.

In conclusion, we hope this article has been useful and informative. If you have any questions about this topic or would like a free IT consult, please feel free to contact Nucleus Computer Services at our Contact Us page.


1 “Cyberattacks now cost companies $200,000 on average, putting many out of business” Link to Site

2 “Saudi Hack of Bezos’ Phone Shines Bright Light on Security Challenges” Link to Site

3 “2020 Cybersecurity Trends to Watch” Link to Site

4 “How Many Smart Phones are in the World? ” Link to Site

5 “Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices installed base worldwide from 2015 to 2025” Link to Site

6 “Kaspersky Reports More Than 100 Million Attacks Hit Smart Devices in H1 2019” Link to Site

7 “Ransomware Attacks Double in 2019, Brute-Force Attempts Increase” Link to Site

Dark Web Scans: Are They Worth it?

Dark Web Scans

Should you do a dark web scan for your business or personal information?  Many of companies promote dark web scans online or on TV.  For instance, Experian offers a free scan when you set up an account with them.1

Supposedly, dark web scans discover whether or not someone hacked your personal and financial information.  Often, you’ll find this info on the “hidden” web where criminals try to sell it.

In this article, we explore whether or not you should do a dark web scan.

What is the Dark Web?

Besides the Surface web which everyone explores, there exists a hidden web with sites called the “Deep Web.”

The Dark Web refers to the part of the Deep Web where criminals have illegal sites and conduct illegal activities, like selling stolen Social Security numbers or drugs.  Also, you need special software, like one called Tor, to access this web.

Dark Web Scans

Dark Web Scans: Are They Worth it?

To answer this question, we’ll compare the regular web with the Deep web.  The regular web, which we can see, is really small compared to the Deep web.  It can thought of as the surface of the ocean, while the Deep web constitutes the rest.

Dark Web

Also, you can search the Surface web using search engines like Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo.  On the other hand, one cannot search the Deep Web.2

Because of its large size and unsearchable neature, we don’t recommend doing a Dark web scan.   It’s like looking for a needle in a hay stack.  Also, criminals use a lot of tools on the Dark web to hide their identity.  Until they thoroughly screen other parties and collect payment, they do not make sensitive personal and financial information available .3

Nothing is Free!

Therefore, we suggest that you don’t try any of the free dark scans the Experian Credit Agency and others offer.  They advertise free scans to try to get users to sign up for their paid monthly services.

Experian offers a free dark web scan to see if someone hacked your email address and password.  We believe they don’t do a real dark web scan, but just looking at publicly available data dumps.  If you sign up for their monthly plan, Experian offers to do a search based on your Social Security number, bank account numbers and other information.  Therefore, Experian uses the initial free scan to entice you to sign up for their monthly subscription service.4

How Can I Tell if my Info has Been Hacked?

Instead of requesting a dark web scan, you can use some free tools to see if your sensitive information has been exposed.  For instance, at one website (, you can check if someone hacked your info.  Also, you can set up an account to receive alerts in case someone hacks one of your accounts.

Hack Check

Also, BreachAlarm represents a good alternative to the “Have I been Pawned” website and offers many of the same services and features. A website called DeHashed differs some from these other two.  Besides checking on email address hackings, DeHashed searches for hacks related to your name, password and other info.5

How Can I Protect Myself and My Business?

You should operate under the assumption that a hacker compromised your login credentials at some point.  Last year, cybercriminals hacked the Equifax credit agency and got Social Security and Driver’s License numbers on over 143 million people.6

To protect yourself and your business, you should use unique passwords for every online account and also change these passwords frequently (at least once every three months).   By using a password manager like Lastpass or Dashlane, you can secure online accounts.7

To protect yourself further, you should consider putting a freeze on your credit with the three main credit bureaus (i.e., Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).  This will prevent any criminal from requesting credit using your stolen info.  If you need to request credit, like applying for a home loan, you can temporarily unfreeze your credit.8

Freezing you credit will not prevent your bank or other financial accounts from being hacked.  You will should monitor their activity separately.


1 “Is Your Information on the Dark Web?” Link to Site

2 “A beginner’s guide to the dark web” Link to Site

3 “What is a “Dark Web Scan” and Should You Use One?”  Link to Site

4 “The Experian Dark Web Scan: Do You Need it and Can You Trust it?” Link to Site

5 “How to know if you’ve been hacked” Link to Site

6 “Equifax Hackers Steal Personal Details of Up to 143 Million People” Link to Site

7 “10 ways to protect against hackers” Link to Site

8 “Credit Freeze FAQs” Link to Site

Credit Agencies:

Equifax:  Link to Website

Experian: Link to Website

TransUnion: Link to Website