Anti-Virus, Do I Need It?

Does my phone need Anti-Virus protection?

 

This is a subject of much debate between phone users. No matter which phone we have, the desire to keep our data protected is on everyone’s mind. Many people nowadays store lots of personal details on their mobile phones and even use them for banking. This means that if anyone did manage to infiltrate your phone, all of your data could be copied.

A lot of users simply put a lock on the phone, like a pin number or a password, so that other people would not be able to gain access to the phones apps without first knowing the lock code. This is great if the phone is picked up in person but does nothing to protect from downloaded attackers. Just like a computer, your phone and mobile devices can be susceptible to viruses and hackers. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that this will never happen to your device. All you can do is try to protect your devices so that the chances of this happen are very slim.

There are applications available for your device which will offer extra protection. You may even get the same manufacturer as the anti-Virus you have on your computer. These applications will scan you phone and help you manage it better. They offer back up services, remote wiping of your phone and even location services to help find a lost phone.

Although this is all true, what the anti-Virus companies don’t say is that you might not need their app in the first place. The thing is, the services that these anti-Virus programs offer are already included in a lot of phone systems. All of the latest Android, Windows or Apple devices have the ability to back up, remotely wipe and locate your device. With the latest Android System, Marshmallow, they have even included more security to protect against unwanted software. Apple and Windows devices also have built in protection but they also have a protected application store. Both the App Store and the Windows Store only have applications that have been approved by Apple or Microsoft. The Google Play Store does not do this pre-approval but instead learn by the feedback from users. This means that you can potentially download a harmful app before Google has found out about it.

There is a huge market for anti-virus apps so there is a lot to choose from, this also means that you need to be able to choose the right one for you and not an imitation that could itself be letting viruses in. This link shows the best rated anti-virus protection for android mobiles, if you are considering protecting your device, make sure you have one of these tried and tested apps.

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/security/best-android-antivirus-tested-2015-uk-may-3355021/

So, the big question is, do you need anti-virus on your phone? The Answer is simple, No. You do not NEED anti-virus however it can be very useful in keeping your phone safe. If you are in any doubt then get protection. If anyone borrows your phone regularly or you received it second hand then it is always better to be safe than sorry.

If you use the internet browser on your phone frequently then it might be best to get some form of protection as not all websites are secure. Be mindful of which sites you are visiting and try to avoiding downloading files unless you know where you are getting them from. The most common form of viruses gain access by pretending to be an advert and then activating when you click to learn more. The easiest way to avoid these is to know what your phone looks like in use and to understand where these adverts get placed. If you need advice on this then by all means pop in store.

You are probably wondering if we here at M-Viron have anti-virus protection on our phones, well keep reading and you will find out.

Personally I have never placed any anti-Virus or protection application on any of my mobile devices. This is not because I don’t believe that this could happen or that there are people out there who would want to access my personal data. This is simply because I do not do as much on my phone as I do on my computer. I only download apps that are produced by companies that I have heard of and I make sure to read the comments from other users first. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is in the case of most apps.

Tony has not put anti-virus on his phone because he does not keep personal data on his phone. He only uses it for calls and texts so only keeps contacts on his phone. These contacts are secured on his google account so if anything happens to his phone, he can stay safe knowing that if he resets the phone he hasn’t lost any data. He also does not download apps that use personal data, like banking apps.

We hope this article has helped you in some way. If you have any more questions, please feel free to pop in store or give us a call. We are always happy to help.

My Battery Keeps Dying!

Battery Life – Why does my phone keep dying?

 

Do you often find your phone out of charge? Does your battery run flat sooner that it should? Battery life is an important asset on many smart phones and yet everyone seems to complain about it. If you have found your phone’s battery life to die a lot sooner than expected, then have a read of our solutions. If they work for you then your phone will live longer, if not then you might need to purchase a new battery.

In this article we will cover all aspects of your battery life, even try and teach you a few things about batteries through the ages. This should shed some light on why your phone battery isn’t lasting as long as you hope. There are many ways to assist your phone and keep your battery at its best. The sad thing is that you can’t learn any of this from the manufacturer. So whether your battery has already started to lose life or if you just want to be proactive with your new phone, following the advice in this article should help you.

 

Battery Deterioration

 

Sadly, the most common battery fault is the one that is unfixable. This is battery age. As your battery gets older it will deteriorate which is why you often find that by the end of your contracted two years, your battery barely survives half a day. Although this issue is unavoidable, it is manageable. There are many apps that can help monitor your battery life for you. These will let you know when you are using your battery excessively so you can change how you use your phone at the times you need to conserve battery life.

Some batteries visibly expand when they have reached the end of their lifespan. When this happens you need to change your battery as soon as possible. There is a high chance of expanded batteries exploding and damaging not just your phone but also yourself if the phone is in active use at the time. At the point, batteries can be very dangerous which is why you should always check for expansion if your battery life suddenly drops. For those that cannot see their batteries, if your screen starts to flex out of the casing then this is a sure sign that your battery is expanding internally. You must get this changed by a qualified technician ASAP.

Battery

An Example of an Expanded Battery Next to a Fresh Battery

Overheating

 

If your phone gets hot it can lead to faster battery deterioration. No matter why your phone is overheating, you can find your battery will not respond well to the heat. Phones will generally get warm with slight overuse, this can be leaving applications running in full or having it constantly searching for services. Hopefully the only time your phone gets warm will be the initial set up, this is because it hasn’t installed all the settings it needs to run smoothly yet. Also if you are taking information from a previous handset then it can get warm while having the communication channels open constantly. This is normal so don’t panic if your phone is warm after you have just set it up.

Your phone should not get hot with everyday usage. Your phone should not become too hot for you to hold or use. If this is the case, then usually it means that there is a process running on the phone that hasn’t stopped. This is quickly remedied with a battery pull. For those who cannot remove the battery, you can switch the phone off and leave it for a few minutes to cool before restarting. This is just a quick fix and if the problem persists then you have to think about what could be causing this overheating. You can get apps from the various stores, which can “kill” hidden processes so that if this does happen constantly, you can see what is causing it and end it before your phone gets too hot.

 

App Management

 

The easiest way to extend battery life is through app management. This can be as simple as closing your apps after you have finished using them or you can get new apps to help push your battery further by limiting the battery used by other apps. In other words, these apps optimise your phone to use the least amount of battery. If you find your phone’s battery dying frequently try one of these first to see if it’s simply your phone using excess battery.

App Killers are a great way of not only preventing your phone from getting hot but also to manage your battery life. They keep your phone in check and make sure that nothing stays running in the background that shouldn’t be. This means your phone will stay running cool and smoothly for as long as you have it. This form of app management is slightly more extreme than optimising as it will actively make sure that no apps are running in the background which means if you close an app, you will have to open it again rather than resume from where you left it.

Samsung have a built in feature which helps manage your phone if it is running low on battery. It is called Ultra Power Saving Mode. This feature turns off all extra services and turns the phone into black and white. It also limits app access so you can only do the bare essentials so you cannot use extra battery power.

Ultra Power Saving Mode - Galaxy S7

Ultra Power Saving Mode – Galaxy S7

Extra Features That Drain Your Battery

 

It’s not only apps that drain your battery life. There are lots of features on modern day phones that can leech your battery without you realising. Some of these features are enabled from the moment you switch on your phone like NFC. Most people don’t use NFC in their everyday lives so to have this enabled all the time is just a waste of battery. Another feature often enabled is Location or GPS, this is great if you use your phone as a sat nav but again, it likes to eat your battery. Most phones have a quick access menu that let you find these features and turn them off easily. If your phone doesn’t have this, then you can find all of these in the Settings menu. Bluetooth is another one that likes to drain battery, if you use Bluetooth a lot then it is better to leave it on but if you only use it sparingly then it is best to switch it off between use.

There are more that are there to simply damage your battery life if you don’t use them constantly. These are; Wi-Fi, Sync, Screen Rotation, Always on Screen and More. When you get a new phone be sure to check which features you will be using and which should stay switched off. The other main cause of battery loss is your screen. Nowadays most smartphones are offering HD displays of varying sizes, each manufacturer stating that theirs is the best. What they don’t mention is that the bigger the screen, the more battery it takes to power it. It’s not only size that is a factor either, your screen brightness plays a huge part in battery life. If you are watching movies on your phone, it’s not the fact that it’s playing a video but more the fact that the screen is on constantly that drains your battery. The best remedy for this is to simply turn your screen brightness down. “Live Wallpapers” are another feature best left switched off. This feature lets you have a moving background image on your phone which looks great however it doesn’t do your battery any favours. Keeping a moving image active on your screen and loading applications and keeping your screen bright will drain your battery in no time. Remember, if you do not use it, don’t have it switched on.

 

Battery Replacement

 

Here’s the bottom line. If none of the above helped, then you most likely need a new battery. Those of you with a removable battery, it is easy enough to purchase a new one and just swap it out. If you have an iPhone or a handset with a non-removable battery, then it is slightly more difficult. You can have your battery replaced but this has to be done by a qualified technician and you will most likely have to give your phone over to them for 2-3 days. This time frame can be difficult for those that use their phone constantly or for business but trust us when we say, it is very much worth it. To be able to use your phone the way it should be used is a great feeling.

We have qualified technicians that work with us here at M-Viron and we offer all sorts of repair services. The most common being Battery and Screen replacements. So if you need any advice, just pop in store or give us a call.

Mobile Networks

Which is the best Mobile Network?

This question is almost like, “how long is a piece of string?” since which network is best for you does depend on where you live. It’s true that some networks have better coverage overall in the UK than others, but for your home or work location things can vary enormously. It isn’t only location that alters signal strength either. Everything can affect your signal when you are indoors, from thickness of your walls all the way to where other people in the house are standing. The main benefit of 4G is that it can penetrate indoors much better than 3G and erase some of these silly signal problems. It is also best to keep in mind that networks are always expanding and improving their signal to make sure their customers get what they need. It is always good to keep an eye on signal strength as it can change every few years.

RootMetrics – independent tests

In terms of general coverage and performance, a company called Rootmetrics has tested the UK networks extensively in the past couple of years. Rootmetrics actually test mobile networks around the world, so if you wanted to know about performance in the US market they are the company. However, for most of our readers it’s the UK market that is far more interesting.

The best summary of the results from 2015 are shown in the graphic below.

rootmetrics

The full report can be read on their web site http://rootmetrics.com/uk/blog/special-reports/2015-2h-national-uk

The results at this moment for the best coverage/performance in the UK show the EE network coming out the highest. The tests that make up these results are not just based on calls, but doing all the things that a mobile phone does for us today. So yes Texting is still included but probably the most important thing is data. Whether its Facebook, YouTube or work emails that are the most important, these services all use data. So you need good coverage and high speed to support your mobile phone so that it in turn can give you the info you need.

Can your phone make use of the high speed network?

It is important to understand that you need a contract and a phone that supports access to the high speed 4G network, be it single speed 4G on O2, 3 and Vodafone or double speed 4G on the EE network. If you have a brand new phone but you put an old sim with your years old tariff, then chances are you won’t be picking up a 4G signal. Similarly, if you have a brand new tariff but put that sim into a phone which is a few years old then once again you are most likely not on 4G. The Old tariffs and old phones in the main won’t support the access speed that networks are able to provide. This is why you need to check both components have access to the 4G network to have the fastest connection.

Beware what your phone tells you

One item worthy of note is the signal level that your phone displays. Since there is only one place (normally at the top of the screen) to display signal level the phone has to decide what it displays. Most phones are now displaying the highest speed data service, so if 4G is available but has only one bar of signal strength, compared to the 3G signal at 5 bars, your phone will show only 1 bar. So you need to be careful in interpreting the signal level indication from your phone. This is especially important as calls at the moment use the 2G and 3G networks. So the fact you have only 1 bar of signal, may still mean that your phone will make a receive calls without any issues, but may have trouble with high speed data reception.

Dead Zones

So what can you do if you have limited or no signal coverage?

If you are out and about, probably not much. If you are travelling down a road and there is no network coverage, then there is not likely to be much of an alternative you can use to fix or help with the problem. That means you will miss calls/text, the sat nav on the phone may stop showing you the correct map and position (unless you have a Lumia phone) and generally the phone becomes a brick. Although this is sometimes a nice break from our busy lifestyles, anyone trying to run a business or expecting a call will find this very frustrating.

However, if you are in a town or city, then there are alternatives. Many phones now are capable of using the WiFI to make and receive calls/text over the WiFI network using your existing mobile number. So if you find yourself in a costa coffee or any place that has little or no signal see if the place has WiFi. Connect your phone to the WiFI and if your plan and phone supports it, you will not miss any calls/text.

The Future

The next thing coming down the line is 5G. You may say that they have not finished on the 4G yet and you would be right, but the techy’s are busy working on 5G already.

5G is based on 4G but faster. How much faster in practice has yet to be seen, but the technology should provide for 10 times the 4G speed. So downloading films etc will become a real possibility without having to wait for hours.

However, don’t wait for 5G before choosing your next phone. It is not likely we will see even trials in the UK before 2020 let alone big rollouts that you and I can use. Furthermore, one of the challenges with the expected 5G signals is the frequency. They use much high frequencies than 4G which is good for shifting data but lousy at distance. So you think you have coverage problems now. Just wait till 5G is not available in your location….

 

The New Samsung Galaxy S7

galaxy-s7_overview_kv_l

 

The New Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Rethink What a Phone Can Do

 

So, the new Samsung is coming out this coming month and we think that it is a great improvement over the S6.

Samsung have listened to the feedback on the S6 and have introduced an SD card slot once again, letting customers freely choose their storage.

The S7 also boasts an improved processor chip set, offering you much faster phone functionality. Samsung state that the new phone will be 64% faster than the S6.

For all the photographers out there, the S7 has a new Dual Pixel Sensor camera which provides a focussing speed to match your own eyes. To compensate for any conditions, the new lens has fantastic lowlight clarity and on screen light editing to suit day or night.

A new phone, a new feature for Samsung. Although Sony have been doing this for years, this is the first flagship Samsung product to be IP68 certified dust proof and water resistant. Pairing this with the latest Gorilla Glass makes the new phone much more resistant to wear and tear than it’s predecessor.

Lastly the new handset has a much improved 3000mAh battery. Match this with the quick charging circuits and wireless charging capabilities and you won’t be always searching for the nearest plug.

With all these new features, we believe the new Samsung is going to be one of the best selling phones this year.

To celebrate with this, we are doing a promotional offer for Small Business customers. The Samsung S7 Free of Charge on a £38+VAT plan which gives you a whopping 25GB of data every month. This plan is usually £52+VAT so this is a great offer for anyone looking for a new handset. It also comes with Unlimited minutes and texts along with 180 minutes to call to and from Europe and the USA.

For more information or to take advantage of this great offer, just pop into the store or give us a call.

 

New Sim Card Tariffs

General-Holiday-Image

Great News!

EE have just launched a brand new range of Sim Only Tariffs!

These new SIMO Plans give customers a larger range of options in allowance choice.

Introducing the new 1GB SIMO plan, finally we have a middle ground to stand on!

The other new SIMO Plans are Extra Plans, this means that the minutes and texts can also be used in Europe.

So pack your bags and get ready to enjoy your holidays with no worries!

The new Extra plans also have an introductory offer where you get the first 3 months half price.

 

For more information just pop into store or give us a call