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Category Archives for internet

How to boost your High Speed Internet Performance

Example of a Single Point of Failure

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During this day and age, there is nothing quite as annoying as suffering through sluggish internet speeds. It seems to happen during the worst of times when internet users are uploading their latest family photos, streaming a new movie, or attempting to download that news songs and album.

Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel. There are a few simple tips and tricks that will allow anyone to enjoy lightning fast internet for any of their mobile and WiFi devices.

The first, and perhaps most important, place to look for a problem is with the computer itself. There are literally thousands of factors that determine the upload and download rates of high speed internet, and many have nothing to do with service providers, modems, and routers.

The first thing to do is to find a reliable anti-virus program and web browser. These two programs will eat up large amounts of processing power and not all browsers and spyware programs are created equal. Anti-virus programs on their highest settings will slow down even the most advanced computers which is why users have the option to find a comfortable balance between virus protection and processing speeds.

Within the browser itself, there are many options for the internet that will speed up connections. Cookies and caching will preserve bits and pieces of the most visited websites, allowing for pages to load much quicker. If websites are still loading slow, many browsers have a ‘text only’ option within their settings which denies any media or graphics to appear on a web page. It is also important to keep up with computer maintenance such as defragging, full computer anti-virus scans, closing down any unused background programs, and disk cleanup.

The next place to look is the modem and router. Even with advanced routers and modems being produced, many internet companies opt to give new customers the cheaper incarnations of this technology. This means that many are suffering through slow internet speeds unnecessarily. One simple solution to upgrade the speed and range of a wireless router is to change its position. A centralized location will offer an entire household or property the best chance at receiving a good signal. Other factors that may harm a routers signal include thicker walls, metal piping, and appliances of all types.

The least amount of physical items that the signal has to go through, the quicker the internet will typically be. It is also important to put a good password on every wireless network. The more devices that are directly connected to a modem or wireless router, the slower the signal will be. A
password will keep unwanted parties from accessing the internet. It is also important to turn
the wireless off any devices not being used.

Many houses may have dozens of pieces of technology that passively use up bandwidth including smartphones, tablets, laptops, printers, and ereaders. The final piece of the puzzle is the internet service provider themselves. There is no single provider that has the quickest speeds at all locations. One provider may be good downtown while having almost no service a short distance out of the city. It is imperative to look for reviews and to speak with the company themselves to ensure that they have reliable and quick speeds in that particular location.

These few easy tips and tricks can increase the speed and reliability of any internet connection in moments. It will enable those photos to upload faster, streaming movies to come in clearer, and that new album to download a little quicker.

Article written by Tre Wiseman from Broadband Expert where lots of different high speed internet plans can be compared.
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Botnets

Spammers and hackers today are very sophisticated when it comes to covering their tracks. Instead of sending spam or using their own computers to attack an orginization or individual they now employee Botnets.

 A Botnet is a collection of computers (that have been hacked and taken over) which a remote user can use to execute operations such as spam, DOS attacks and other types of mailicious activities.

To quote another article I recently read: “Joe St. Sauver, manager of security programs at the Internet2 networking consortium and the University of Oregon, said there are 5 million to 5.5 million botnets in active rotation at any time.”

Article: Botnets Running Rampant Neal Weinberg, Network World care of PC World

The best way to help prevent this from occuring for an end user is to keep your operating system up to date; Always have an updated virus software running (with a scheduled scan enabled weekly); Employee a good firewall.

I understand many of the computers that are part of Botnets are generally not an end user machines, but rather machines hosted in a public environment such as libraries, campuses and other public domains. Is there no IT staff available to monitor these networks?

Generally speaking the case is that the IT department is so understaffed, overworked, and under budgeted they simply don’t have the time or the money to implement the proper equipment which can detect and prevent this from occuring. That is if they have an IT department at all.

Look…We all know how to prevent most of this from occuring. I am by no means saying it will ever stop, because anything that can be secured can be hacked (it’s all a matter of time), but lets atleast try to secure our own computers.

If you would like more information on how you can secure your computer please follow this link to a previous article over best security practices I previously wrote. I hope it helps.

Microsoft Security Hole In Windows Vista and XP

  Microsoft is currently addressing newly discovered holes in the security of their Vista and xp operating systems. Most importantly a security vulnerability in Windows Vista and XP that could expose a computer to an early-season bite while you are connected to the Internet.

How it works is a hacker can broadcast rogue TCP/IP packets to any range of IP addresses. The rogue packets have the ability to circumvent Windows’ security and hijack a computer turning that computer into part of a Bot net. Bot nets are designed for spamming as well as launching self replicating worms and even worse ICMP attacks which can shut down servers.

Currently there have been no attacks using this vulnerability. Microsoft scrambled to make available a patch to secure this hole and it is currently available using the link below. The patch may already be applied to your system if automatic updates are turned on.

Click Here for The Microsoft Security Patch

Internet Speed Test

There are many things that can effect your Internet connection speed. In any network you are only as fast as your weakest link.

These weak links are typically called bottle necks. Even if you have a broadband connection your connectivity speed can be limited by bad connections, a router that is limited by it’s own internal connection limitations, or even the type of cables which supply your connection.

If you have ever wondered actually how fast your internet connection is? Now you can test your internet connection and review your test results using a free application.

This application tests your connection speed by evaluating your download and upload speeds. Once you have tested your connection you can review the test data against the connection speed data provided by your ISP.

If your connection is lagging comparatively to your ISP documentation you can then take steps to troubleshoot as to what may be the possible cause and then take the appropriate action.

To test your connectivity try our new Internet speed test.