Category Archives: Networking

What Can I Do With an Old Wireless Router? Three Ideas

https://i0.wp.com/www.turbogadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/many-routers.jpgIf you’re like most people, you probably have an old wireless router stored in a closet or the garage. You may have purchased a new computer, or decided to upgrade to Wireless N, the most recent wireless network standard.

Regardless, there are a number of uses for old wireless routers, so dig them out, dust them off, and consider the following ways to reuse them to improve your home network.

1. Set up a new wireless access point in your home:

Perhaps your son or daughter would like to use their laptop in the basement rec room, or your new router is on the first floor and you’d like wireless access upstairs. You can use the old router as an access point to help extend coverage to areas of your home where the signal may not be as strong. To do this, you simply turn off the DCHP server on the old router and plug in an Ethernet cable from the new router to the old one. It is a simple and no-cost way to double the wireless coverage in your home. For more in depth information on how to create an access point using your old router, please check out this guide.

2. Create a wireless bridge with your old router.

If you’d like to extend your network coverage, but you don’t want to have to plug in the new router to the old one, you may want to consider creating a wireless bridge. This is a better option for those who prefer not to fumble around with bulky Ethernet cables, but the process is a bit more complex than simply creating an access point. You need to be somewhat tech-savvy, and you also need to install upgraded DD-WRT firmware to ensure your network remains secure. For comprehensive instructions on how to create a wireless bridge in your home, please check out this guide.

3. Convert your old router to a wireless hotspot.

Maybe you run your own business, or have a friend that may benefit from having Wi-Fi access at their store or café. If so, you may want to consider using your old router to set up a wireless hotspot. While you can just plug your old router into the wall to allow for internet access in your business, you will still want to implement the hotspot feature. Hotspots oftentimes require users to either pay for access, and there are also options out there that allow you to manage user accounts with a login feature. DD-WRT offers a few options for hotspot products, as does CoovaAP.

Old routers no longer have to occupy valuable real estate in your closet or garage. So dust them off, and try your hand at expanding your own wireless network’s capacity or consider sharing them with others who may benefit from having wireless in their business or home. If you are interested in finding out additional creative ways you can use your old routers, please check out these suggestions.

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Kerry Butters.  Kerry contributes on behalf of Broadband Genie, the advice website for all things internet and broadband. Click here for the best broadband deals currently available.

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Filed under Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Networking, Wi-Fi

Home Networking – Getting Started

Guest article by Mila Johnson

imageWhen computers first started becoming a normal part of the home, like a TV or VCR, networking was simply unheard of. After all, one computer was expensive enough and could do it all. Who in their right mind would have the budget, or the need, to have two or more computers?

How times have changed. Now – you might have a desktop for the kids’ homework, a laptop for your job, tablet PCs just for fun – and, maybe even a home media computer connected to the TV.

Computers have gotten cheaper and more necessary – and now, networking home computers is a must.

So how is it done?

Router

The first thing necessary to network home computers is a router. Home routers are getting cheaper all the time and are even more affordable with manufacturer discounts like HP coupon codes.

A router will connect the home network to the ISP’s modem, though sometimes the modem and router are combined in one piece of hardware provided by the ISP. Most routers today, have both wired and wireless components.

Wired or Wireless?

Wireless routers usually do have a handful of wired connections that can be used along with the wireless component. Home computers that will be stationary and located close to the router should be connected directly while portables like laptops and tablets should connect to the wireless network.

Both connections have pros and cons. Wireless is more convenient but, has a slower connection while wired is just the opposite.

Connections

Once computers are on the network, users can “see” each other’s computers via the Network link on the desktop or Control Panel. The easiest way to manage access is to establish local user accounts on each computer.

Since you’re not using a centralized server to control accounts, duplicate accounts with the same passwords need to be created on all computers. Once accounts are established, users can access each other’s computers, map drives and create links. Keep in mind that changing an account password on one computer necessitates changing it on the rest.

Security

Once all the home computers, laptops and tablets have been connected and corresponding user accounts have been created, it’s time to manage file security. After all, if you wanted to leave all files set to be accessed by the “Everyone” user group, there’s be no need to create accounts in the first place.

To manage file and folder security, the creator needs to right-click a file or folder and select “Properties.” Under the “Security” tab, users can be added or deleted and their level of permission can be adjusted. Users can be allowed read only, read write or outright denied.

Wired and wireless networks are now an integral part of our home lives. Homeowners who have multiple devices without properly networking them, however, are missing out on a lot of functionality. Adding user accounts and managing security allows home computer families to share files, work smarter and get the most out of their computer equipment.

Guest writer Bio – Mila Johnson is a freelance writer and blogger – with a passion for technology. When she is away from her computer, she enjoys the sport of kick boxing.

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Filed under Connected Devices, Guest Writers, Networking

FlashToMyPC – Access Your PC Remotely

Carrying computer files with you while you’re on the go is a breeze – USB devices, for example, are perfect for the job. File portability doesn’t stop there though. With a little planning, you can access your files through a Cloud based storage solution – SkyDrive, DropBox, Box.net – readily come to mind.

Here’s the kicker though – both of the above require that you plan ahead so that the required files are stored either on the USB device, or resident in the Cloud. Despite this plan ahead strategy, you may still run into one of those “uh, oh” moments. Robert Burns hit the nail on the head when he wrote (pardon the misquote) – “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray”.

If the file/s you need – then and there – are not on your USB device, or stored on a Cloud server, you’re probably looking at one of those “uh, oh” moments. Luckily, there are solutions to those almost inevitable – what am I going to do now times – that we’ve all experienced.

FlashToMyPC, developed by the folks at GigaTribe, which utilizes a good deal of the latter product’s technology, is a USB application which will allow you to access your entire hard drive from any Internet connected computer.

Here’s the lowdown:

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Graphic courtesy of FlashToMyPC. Click on graphic to expand to original size.

Step by Step installation

Select the USB device to which you will install the application.

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Once I had installed the application I took a quick look, using Windows Explorer, to ensure the executable installed correctly. Click on graphic to expand to original size.

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Launching the executable (from the USB device), will bring up the following screen so that the second part of the install can be completed ……

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the installation of FlashToMyPC on the selected machine.

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Setup continues with the usual user name and password input requirements.

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That’s it!

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From now on, just insert your Flash drive into an Internet connected machine to access your own Hard Drive.

For the security conscious user (and, who isn’t theses days), the developer has built-in a number of hardcore security features, including

Only your USB Flash Drive can access your computer.

Your Flash drive is identified via a unique combination of hardware ID, software ID, username and password.

All data exchanged between your flash drive and your computer is encrypted (AES 256).

Transferred files are downloaded directly onto your USB Flash Drive, leaving no trace on the computer.

After 3 failed password attempts, your computer access is suspended for 24 hours.

If you’ve lost your USB flash drive, you can delete your computer’s access to it.

Deleting a Flash drive’s access link is easy.

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System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7. According to the developer a Mac version

FlashToMyPC is not freeware but, you can download a 30 day free trial at the developer’s site. You may continue past the trial date, at an annual fee of $9.95 USD.

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Filed under Cloud Computing, Connected Devices, downloads, Encryption, File Sharing, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Networking, Portable Applications, Software, Software Trial Versions, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

GigaTribe Private P2P – Share Your Videos, Pics, And Docs Privately

image A few days ago, I ran a few tests on peer to peer downloads, on the off chance that things had improved in this malware infested playground. No such luck, of course.

Of the five game files that I downloaded, every one came packed with a Trojan downloader, which, had I installed any of these applications, would have wrecked havoc on my test machine.

In a nutshell, that’s the main problem with public peer to peer file sharing. The chances are high, that you will not get what you think you will, and you will get what you don’t think you will.

Additional issues (but not the only issues) are:

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share.

Spyware: There’s a chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. I can assure you that spyware can be difficult to detect and remove.

So what’s a fellow to do who enjoys file sharing, and who doesn’t want to be burned by the cybercriminals who skulk on public file sharing networks, searching for victims?

A terrific solution to this quandary is a free application from GigaTribe. An application which is designed to create a private network between you, and your friends, relatives, co-workers, or, whomever you choose.

If you have every used peer to peer software, then you’ll find no learning curve involved in using GigaTribe – it’s functional, efficient, attractive, and “follow the bouncing ball” intuitive.

How much more simply can it be than this:

GigaTribe

The following graphic is from the publisher’s site.

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Fast facts:

GigaTribe has more than 1, 600,000 users.
Its unique technology has been developed by talented programmers with a strong history in the software industry.

There are no limitations on quantity or file size.
All your files are kept on your hard drive, eliminating the need to transfer them to an external server.

Files are available in their original format.
In just a few clicks, you can share and also find files as if you were in a virtual library. You will see files as they were organized on the hard drive, and you can download them in their original format.

You don’t waste time uploading files.
Once you select which folders you want to share, the contents of those folders are instantly accessible to your friends.

Your files remain yours!
Files you have decided to share are not saved on another company’s equipment. You keep your data under your control.

It´s a two-way sharing service.
Each contact can both share and download. You decide which content is worth downloading among the files available to you.

You may invite up to 500 friends.

Transfer automatically resumes.
If a download is interrupted (for example, if a contact goes offline), the transfer automatically resumes with no loss of data when your contact comes back online.

Security is, of course, GigaTribe´s major concern.

Only the people you have invited can see your files. Only the folders you have selected are visible to your contacts. Every exchange is strongly encrypted – No one can see what is being shared.

Downloads are encrypted (Blowfish 256-bit).

As an added bonus, users’ can create profiles, and have access to personal chat and a private blog, all from within the program. Now that’s cool!

According to the developers, GigaTribe (although I haven’t tested this), can also be used to access your PC from a remote location.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7. (no indication on the publisher’s site of x64 compatibility).

Languages: English, Español, Français, Deutsch, Italiano, Português

Download at: Gigatribe

It’s not often that I can rate an application 100%, but GigaTribe comes very close. A superb application! If you’re into private file sharing, or it’s something that you’ve considered, then give GigaTribe a whirl – I think you’ll be glad you did.

For additional information checkout the developer’s FAQ.

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Networking, Peer to Peer, Privacy, social networking, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

How Do I Select The Right Company To Host My Website If I Live In Australia?

Guest article: If you want a website online, there are a number of reasons why you want all your support in your region. This is not just because they will speak your language. You are making contractual arrangements with suppliers, and therefore, you need them to be in your region for legal issues. Here is a deeper look at this issue when setting up a website.

imageDespite it being the World Wide Web, we want to make sure we know where our website is being hosted. This will also depend on the type of website you are building. Locality is always an issue. For example, if you live in Brisbane, you want IT services Brisbane.

In this article, we look at the right type of services, and other server needs you must think about. You could have put a lot of effort into your website, and you want to make sure you have complete control. There are some very local issues to understand even though you could view your website from anywhere in the world

  • Getting Started. When we think about setting up a simple website, we think about getting online and buying a host program – the hosting program is where your site will go. On these websites, we can buy domain names and buy the space and location for our website. We build our site ourselves, or we build it online through one of these sites. When everything is running smoothly there will be no problem. What happens if that company that you bought your domain name and hosting location goes out of business? What happens if something goes wrong or there are legal problems and the hosting company you bought space from is in another country? While we will buy a simple hosting package online, we still need to make sure that company is in our locality, city, state or country. It could be very hard to deal with them if they were in some lawless country on the other side of the planet. You know you are safe when the supplier is in your country, and they have a physical location. Get your hosting program from a company in your locality.
  • Computer Support. The hosting company will give you a limited amount of IT support in relation to how their servers work. This support is normally in the form of emails and other online interaction. You still need to maintain your own computers repairs, service and security. Even simple sites can have very confidential information, and so you will need to know how to handle this. If you are in Brisbane, for example, having a local computer repairs is essential. You might need to get face-to-face support by people who understand you and speak your language. Having support locally is always essential.
  • Going a Bit More Professional. When you buy your hosting program online, you are normally buying space that is shared with other people. The hosting company has a room of servers where everyone’s website and web space is shared. If you are looking for a more secure and professional setting, you will need to look for a more professional dedicated servers provider. Dedicated servers are individual computers for each client. This will mean you will have your own computer in a secure location with your own super-high speed internet connection and support. If you are intending to earn income from your website, this will be essential. It will mean your data, and information is more secure, your website’s speed will not be influenced by anyone else’s internet use, and you will have professionals who will keep an eye on it for you. You could set up your own server in your own location if you have that knowledge. You would need to make sure you have backup power and a range of other security issues (both online and offline) solved. Dedicated servers are often in a very secure location, and you want this location to be in your locality, city, state or country. Again there are legal issues you need to think about. Just like your hosting program, domain name and IT services, you want them from someone who understands you and resides locally.

Guest article by Sachin.

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Filed under Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Networking, Tech Net News, Web Development, Web Hosting, Web Site Design, Website Builders

The Never Ending Debate: Does Social Belong in Business?

Guest writer Grace Kang takes a look at social media, and lays out a logical and persuasive case for employing social media tools as a business builder. 

imageThe term “social” may sound like it belongs anywhere but the office, but the truth is, the success of the world’s best businesses can be traced to their leadership’s reliance upon increasing their workers’ networking, relationships and and transparency.

Instead of having individual employees focused on completing tasks alone, by encouraging employees to expand their own networks formally and informally, businesses are able to leverage their employees’ communications for better growth. Business collaboration software and online tools can help make the process easier.

Why does social belong in business?

  • People everywhere are choosing to communicate through social media. In a survey by Central Desktop, the participants indicated that 49% were using document collaboration tools, 19% said internal social networking tools, 18% were using wikis, 9% using discussion threads, and 5% using activity feeds.
  • Social media is a great place to build long term relationships
  • It makes it easy to engage prospects and customers with games, contests and more. In the survey, 22% said they used social tools to connect with customers, and 18% to win customers.
  • Social software for business is getting better. To see the evolution of social collaboration tools, check out “The State of Social Collaboration”, a neat infographic that illustrates how social tools have changed since they were first introduced in the 1970’s.
  • Its only going to get bigger, and you need to be there.

Even if a business is physically spread out across the country or even the globe, using social networking within the organization can have a dramatic positive impact on the company’s current and future returns. Collaboration software and online project management meld together through Central Desktop, which is a social software for business that provides employees who are located at separate locations a cohesive means of sharing ideas, planning projects and ultimately adding value to their shared business.

As transparency increases between groups located on different continents and between business units and functional centers, efficiency also will increase. Concerns that would normally have to be fed up and down their respective feeding chains are shared immediately for a fast response from the appropriate personnel.

Avoiding triangulation, wherein a the party in need of assistance goes to a third party instead of the party who can actually assist him or her, reduces staff time devoted to a project while empowering employees to take ownership of their work. As a result, employees take more pride in their work, act more efficiently and are more likely to produce a high quality product.

Social Collaboration Promote Employee Ownership and Morale

Employee ownership of work also makes it easier to identify supply chain problems early on and correct them before they snowball into larger concerns. The increased communication between departments bleeds into increased communication within departments. Greater clarity of duties, concerns, issues and other tasks at all levels reduces the chances that employees will spend their time working on the wrong types of projects, while increasing employee morale.

Allowing employees to mingle at a virtual water cooler means fast tracking discussions of interdepartmental issues, so that resolutions can be found in a timely manner.

A business group located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, can benefit greatly from learning about the solution that a group located in New York City or Hong Kong implemented, rather than working to try to figure out a solution to the problem themselves, which would take more time that they may not have to spend on the problem. Business collaboration software and tools like Central Desktop are leading the way.

Bio:

Grace Kang is a writer for Central Desktop, the leading social collaboration software solution for mid to large sized businesses.

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Filed under Collaboration, Communication, Enterprise Applications, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Networking, Productivity Software, Social Networks, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

The Importance of Real-Time Server Monitoring

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to access information online and being met with that annoying little Error 404 page. Think back to the times you’ve experienced this frustration, and now imagine your customers or consumers having to experience it because of your website. This, in itself, is reason enough to invest in real time server monitoring, something any good IT support company should offer.

What Is It?

Real time server monitoring is software that allows you or your IT department to monitor in real time any glitches or problems that may arise with your server. As soon as something goes wrong or a site begins experiencing problems, you can address the problem then and there.

Benefits:

Feedback

Especially if your site is in its infancy or beta testing stage, feedback on the way your site runs is crucial to making those tweaks and changes that turn a good website into a great website. Real time server monitoring is a means by which you can receive and analyze this feedback before it has a chance to harm your business.

Sales

If you are operating an e-commerce website, where you offer people the option of buying your products online, it is of the utmost important that your server is running and healthy at all times, and that any downtime it may experience is rectified immediately as it happens. Imagine your store is not online, but is in a shopping mall, and you left it unattended and shut up for half a day. Do you think customers would hang around until you finally returned to open the store, or do you think they’d go and find their products elsewhere? I know which one I’d choose!

Mail

Another reason that real time monitoring is so important is that you need immediate and full access to any correspondence you may receive or need to send. In a professional environment, emails are the number one form of communication, and what’s more, with the advent of Smartphones and wireless technology, we expect our emails to be answered in as short a time as possible. If your server has problems that prevent emails from being properly delivered, you are virtually missing out on business meetings and opportunities, which in this fast paced world, will not wait around for you.

What To Look For

If you’re choosing a real time monitoring service or software you should look for a program that is able to check your site using HTTP, HTTPS, FSTP, FTP and FTPS protocols. It’s also highly advisable to go for a program that offers data recording and statistics, so that you can analyze the efficiency of the server and how often it is down—this can be helpful in deciding whether or not you’re with the right hosting service. Your IT support service will be able to advise you as to which programs are better suited to your needs, and in consultation with them you can find a solution that protects your business and website.

Guest article from Sachin.

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Filed under Cloud Computing, Integrated Solutions, Network Tools, Networking