Wireless Network Guide: Go Wireless

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Connecting to a wireless network is easy! With a few simple steps, you can get your PC to connect and surf the web. Before you go and connect to a wireless router, you need to identify a few things first. If you have a laptop, you must have a WLAN enabled. Usually for new models, it is simply done by pressing the function key and then holding the Wi-Fi key. There should be an indicator that lights up on your laptop to indicate that your laptop is ready to connect to a wireless router. To get the exact steps, you may want to consult the laptop’s user manual. If you have a desktop PC, then you need to find out if it has a WLAN card installed. If not, you need to purchase and install one. If you do not want to fiddle with installing a WLAN card you can always purchase a WLAN USB adaptor. This device resembles a USB thumb drive. All you have to do is to plug it in, install the driver, and you’re all set.

If you have determined that the WLAN connection is enabled on your machine, the next step is to determine the details of the wireless network you want to connect to. One of the details that you need to know is the SSID or the Service Set Identifier, basically this is the name of the Wi-Fi router you want to connect to. The next thing you need to know is the WEP key or the Wireless Encryption Protocol, simply the password to the Wi-Fi router. If you have the router at home and you don’t have any password or name for the wireless network, it is best to setup one to protect yourself from others in your area that will try to connect. The last thing that you want is someone connecting to your wireless network and gaining access to your files and internet connection. To setup SSID and WEP keys, you should refer to your router’s user manual.

Now that you have the information on the name and password for the wireless router, all you need to do now is to connect to the network. Easily enough, you can do this by clicking on the Wi-Fi icon on the notifications area on the task bar. A small window will appear wherein you can select the name of the wireless router and then click connect. You will then be prompted to input the password for the wireless network. Enter the correct password, then hit OK to finish connecting.

There are a few things you need to remember while connecting over a wireless network. Make sure that you don’t give out your IP address because this can lead hackers to infiltrate your PC. Also be sure to turn off the photo, video and file sharing option when connecting over a public wireless network like in a coffee shop. Your firewall and your anti-virus software should also be turned on if you want to connect to a public Wi-Fi connection for your safety.

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Preinstalled Software Removal for New PCs

If you have a new PC and you did not build it from scratch, chances are you might have a lot of pre-installed software that you might want to get rid of. Preinstalled software may not be necessarily bad for your PC as some are diagnostic tools and drivers required by your PC to run properly but for the most part most of these are trial versions of programs. When the trial period of these programs expires, they can be a source of annoyance since they tend to have pop-ups that remind you to register or purchase the program. In severe cases, the preinstalled software can cause the system to run slower because they use the resources of your PC even if you do not use the program.

There are two ways to remove preinstalled software from your new PC, and it is quite easy with a few simple steps. The first one is by manually uninstalling each program from your system. Depending on which OS the steps may differ. For Windows XP users, you need to access the Control Panel window by going through Start, then Settings, and then Control Panel. From the Control Panel window, look for the Add/Remove Program icon, then double click to open the list of programs installed in your PC. From here you select the program you want uninstalled and then click the uninstall button. For more recent versions of the Windows OS such as Vista and Windows 7, you need to go to Start and then to Control Panel. From the control panel window, you go into Uninstall a Program. The same procedure follows which is to select a program you want uninstalled then clicking the uninstall button. You can also try to locate the folder of the program which usually contains an uninstall icon. All you do is double click the icon to uninstall the program. With manually removing preinstalled software, you must be careful not to uninstall required components of your PC system and with this method it is common that you are only allowed to uninstall one program one at a time.

The second option you have to remove preinstalled software from your new PC is to install a software removal tool and use that to remove the preinstalled software. These tools are very useful since they do things automatically and with a lot more control over the process. These tools have the same basic functions for removing preinstalled software. After you have installed the program simply run it and you will be shown a list of programs that you can uninstall. All you have to do is select from the list all the programs you want uninstalled and then hit the uninstall button. Then, all the programs you selected will be uninstalled. Additional options for these programs can include deep uninstall which deletes even the registry entries of a preinstalled software, the ability to suggest programs you can uninstall and even the aid of online suggestion from other users about a particular software and whether to uninstall that software.

Computer Recycling & Displosal Tips

In this day and age, the evolution of technology is pretty fast and most of our computers, specifically our desktops are rarely utilized or simply need an upgrade. A big chunk of pollution percentage comes from our industrial wastes. Old gadgets, both defective and outdated belong to these industrial pollutants. The need to raise awareness in proper disposal is really important due to the harmful effects of the toxic levels of mercury, lead, arsenic, and other elements contained by our computers. People usually do not have any idea what do with these items. Most of the time, these computers will end up in the attic or a storage room collecting dust and becoming obsolete. The truth is there are a lot of responsible ways we can dispose of electronic waste, particularly our computers. So, what can you do?

Here are five easy ways to dispose of your computers:

1. Donate It! – There are several companies that are dedicated in consumer education and who are committed with helping their communities to find programs where they can donate electronic products especially computer hardware. A lot of environmental groups or non-government organizations promote e-cycling and would like to acquire donated or recycled hardware. Since not every computer part is obsolete, that means something useless to you is not necessarily useless to other people. Various donation programs will refurbish computers into working order and then give it to people who need it or use it as a starter machine. Public libraries are also great places to donate since their budget is not mainly focused on technology upgrade. Schools in rural areas that do not have the funds to afford a personal computer will appreciate these types of donations as well. It will definitely help enhance the education one of our most important resources, our youth.

2. Resell It! – If you can still find value in your old computers, you can count it as an asset. There is a huge reselling market on the internet that could help you dispose your computers. Try selling or parting them out on EBay or Craigslist. EBay has a program called the “Rethink Initiative” that provides an easier way to deal with your used electronic equipment. If you do not know how to post your items, ask someone who can help you navigate the site. The good news is that you can find a local trading assistant who can make the selling process easier for you because they will be the one to handle it.

3. Recycle It! – And of course, there are also items that cannot be reused and are particularly hard to deal with, like your used CDs and ink cartridges. Find a recycling program in your local area. There will surely be a number of consumers that are interested in purchasing used products. Try looking for collection sites by zip code over the internet for companies that could help you recycle your computers, especially your portable rechargeable batteries.  A lot of us do not focus much attention to it, but we most certainly have them on our laptop computers.  If you cannot find any collection sites, try contacting your electronics’ manufacturers or retailers? They have various approaches to offer you.  Some places even offer Trade-In for gift cards or just give it away for free! There is OutletPC’s E-cycling Program where you can drop off your computers, consumer electronics, and other electronic wastes from computers, down to the printers and monitors.

4. Re-create It! – This is most applicable to people who are passionate about creating innovative art designs from raw or recyclable materials. Your computer monitor case could be cleaned and painted to become plant boxes, bookshelves, pet houses, or as storage box for kids’ toys. The other parts such as the keyboard, mouse, and so on, could be something else too– just be imaginative and creative.

5. Keep it! – Sometimes, you will come across children or adults who are looking to become more tech-savvy or knowledgeable about computers and electronic. The older parts are very good places to start and develop their knowledge in terms of self-study or discovery. They can tear your used computers and rebuild or reinvent something. However, if your computer is just old but is still functional, you can also give it to them as a gadget that they could play it. With all these options that you can choose from, there is no reason for us to have our used or old computers remain useless in the storage or be thrown away in the garbage. There is always a right way in disposing these items. Taking care of our environment is our responsibility. Maximizing our options by using these five easy ways to dispose your computers is a great way to start.

 

Choose the Right Anti-virus Software for your PC

With the world becoming increasingly connected to the internet, the threat to one’s PC is has also increased. Not only is the threat imminent to huge corporations and institutions, the same can be said to the average Joe/Jane who’s quietly surfing the net behind his/her laptop. The list is long for the potential threat these viruses and malware can cause to a user, anything from files or software corruption to identity theft and credit card fraud. Although there are a lot of security threats out there on the internet the anti-virus software makers are also stepping up their game in combating and protecting you from such threats. There are a lot of anti-virus programs to choose from which offer different solutions for your protection, to help you choose the one that’s right for you, here are a few.

The software maker Norton is considered to be number one in its offerings for protection on your PC. Currently it has three products in its arsenal to help protect your PC. The first one is Norton Antivirus 2012 with Antispyware, the program offers protection from viruses, malware, spyware and other threats without giving to much strain on your PC’s resources. Regular updates also ensure that your PC is protected from the latest threats and aside from onboard PC protection; you also have access to technical support through email, chat or by phone. Second in the line of protection is Norton Internet Security 2012 which has the same features as the first offering but with the added features of parental controls and identity protection. The last is Norton 360 which has all the features of the first two products plus a backup and restore feature with 2 GB’s of online backup and PC Tune up utilities.

Same as Norton, McAfee also has three products to offer protection for your PC. The first is McAfee Antivirus Plus 2012 which includes a slew of features like antivirus and malware, two-way firewall, digital data shredder, PC Tune-up, USB drive scanner, pre-install scan and anti-bot protection. The second product which is the McAfee Internet Security offers anti-spam, online usage report, parental controls and an online backup program. The third product which is the McAfee Total Protection has WLAN protection, anti-phishing software, safe URL sharing and URL shortening. All of the products have 24/7 support but only the last two can be installed to protect a maximum of 3 PCs while the first is a 1-license version.

Trend Micro offers similar solutions as that of Norton with its three products. To start they have the Titanium Antivirus+ with virus, worms, Trojans and malware protection and it includes a customizable look for the program interface. Second in line is its Titanium Internet Security that includes all the features from the first product, plus beefed up by parental controls, PC Tune-up utilities and data theft protection. The last solution on offer is Titanium Maximum Security which offers a hefty 10 GB of online backup, extended protection to include your smartphone or tablet and even social networking security for Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Mixi.

Kaspersky has perhaps the most products on offer and has specialized solutions for tablets, smartphones, password management, internet security and antivirus protection. Furthermore, it has products classified for home use and business use so in terms of getting what you really need, Kaspersky has done that by giving you a lot of options to choose from individually; you might want to get internet security but not tablet or smartphone protection.

Computer Backup and Recovery Why? and How?

When talking about backing up a hard drive and data recovery methods, the first thing that pops into mind for most are companies or businesses with servers. Although this it is essential for businesses to have a backup and recovery system for their data, the same can be also said for the average user. With the PC as an essential part of our personal and professional lives, the data can that is stored within our hard drives are as priceless to most. Anything from photos, music and videos to your files such as resumes, reports, and so on are stored on your hard drive. Loosing these files to data corruption or hardware is very frustrating, especially, when we have no means of recovering them.

It is established that the importance of hard drive backup is to protect valuable data or files from things such as accidental deletion, hardware failure, data corruption and even natural disasters. As with any tasks regarding your computer, each should be planned accordingly. There are a few things you need to find out in order to formulate a sound plan for your backup and recovery plan. First is the type of data you want to backup. If you have the resources, you can very well have a backup for each and every file in your system; however, if you are limited to only a portion of your stored files then the ones that are important should be the priority. Next that you need to consider is the method you are going to use for backing up your hard drive. There are lots methods to choose from; one is to save your backup with optical disks such as CDs and DVDs. Another method is with a use of USB thumb drives and external hard drives. The most convenient option would be to setup an online backup service. The frequency of having to do a backup for your hard drive also needs to be considered.

When you already have a good backup system, the next thing that you need is a way to retrieve those files that you have backed up when the need arises, this is where a data recovery system comes in. Recovering your data is done by various methods but mainly depends on how you were able to back up your data originally. For data stored in optical disks, external hard drives and thumb drives, data recovery is simple; you just connect your backup device to your computer and retrieve the files needed. In addition, software can be installed to help facilitate retrieval of data from your backup devices. For online backups, it’s as simple as using the software provided to retrieve the data stored online.

Among the solutions offered for backup and retrieval of data, the most cost effective and secure way is to use an online backup service, you can easily schedule the frequency of an update, what files to update and have an easy access to retrieving your data. The only downside to this solution is that it may hog your internet resources when doing backup and retrieval.

How do I prevent my computer from getting Viruses/Spyware?

There had been a few notorious computer viruses in the past that have caused tremendous damages not only to computers at home but computers used in business or commerce. If you own a computer, there is no need then to elaborate then how niggling it is to be attacked by such irritations. There are instances, unfortunately, wherein a computer is defenseless when a virus attacks, and it creates havoc on the machine. This havoc pertains to but not limited to slowing the computer down, deleting files, muddling registry entries for software, or even causing a total crash. If you maintain a safe back up of all the files and projects you are working on, you might not be so apprehensive. However, if you’re caught off guard with these trouble makers, it is certain that you will be in heaven and earth trying eradicate them and cursing those who have cause you such pain.

First let us know the enemy…

To differentiate virus to spyware, the source of each must be questioned. Viruses are commonly received by opening unsafe email attachments or transferring data from other computers or laptops. The use of flash drives, hard disks and CDs can be a medium for such transmission. Deleting files is the most common symptom that you may see when your PC has caught a virus. Another symptom is causing program malfunctions in your system. Even worse, some viruses can automatically initiate or attach themselves to outgoing emails to people you know or might now know. The content of the email may be malicious or some or some type of advertising.

Spyware is acquired by downloading programs or going to websites. Merely browsing or visiting a page can cause your computer its doom, especially if you are visiting “shady” websites. Another way is by downloading software from the internet. Usually free software titles that may sound too good to be true, are indeed spyware. Generally, spyware are created to spy on the user. It can record your computer activities and habits. Although usually they are not harmful to your system, but they can be harmful to you since it is invasive to your privacy.

Next, defend yourself against the enemy…

To prevent nuisances such as virus and spyware, one must install effective and up to date anti-virus software. Choose something that can scan files from your internal and external hard drives or any programs and files. Keep in the habit of making a back up copy of your files. You can store your back up to a flash drive or portable hard disk. Although these may also be prone to file corruption and physical damage, you can also use the cloud technology. Once the antivirus is installed, conduct a computer scan as often as possible and scan each portable device you plugged to your computer.
Last, cripple the enemy.

The antivirus software can notify you on the current threats, but it takes a great deal of self-control to win the fight against virus and spyware. Never open attachments from people you don’t know or even people you do know who you think do not practice safe file transfer. Stay away from the websites that have very minimal visitors. Try your best to always choose a reliable downloading website.

Should you acquire a virus or spyware despite all these suggestions, try to find out what kind of virus you have. Most viruses can be eliminated by updating your antivirus software. If that fails, visit a computer technician as soon as possible and they should be able to help get it removed.

How to fix a scratch on an LCD Screen

Fix a scratched LCD Monitor

If you’ve ever scratched your monitor, your laptop screen, or an LCD screen on your camera – you know it can be frustrating. Especially since the replacement parts are difficult to find (or in some cases out of production). So most people just live with the scratched screen – but you don’t always have to!

Obviously LCD screens are very susceptible to scratching and marks that come from drop damage, fingernails, car keys, or other sharp objects. Obviously you want to protect these screens as much as you can both before and after they get scratched to minimize any future damage. There are several methods to attempting to repair a scratched LCD and we’ll go over them here. Are any of these methods 100% fool-proof? No! It really depends on how deep the scratch is and what your situation is. But they’re worth a try.

Disclaimer: Check to ensure any chemicals or substances you apply to your screen are not going to cause it damage PRIOR to going forward with the applications. Contact your manufacturers to ensure that using any of the methods outlined below will not void any warranties you may have. We do not take responsibility for any damage caused by using one of these techniques. Proceed at your own risk.

Method 1: Vaseline

1. Start by cleaning the LCD screen and wiping away any smudges, dirt, or debris
2. Carefully smear in some Vaseline into the scratch / cracked part of the LCD
3. Use a business card or credit card to wipe off excess Vaseline from the areas surrounding the crack
4. Use a non-abrasive cloth to clean the rest of your screen

If you do this correctly the Vaseline should fill in the cracked area and match the optical density of the material closely. This should generally looks like the scratch is no longer there. Make sure when you’re cleaning the surrounding area you don’t accidentally wipe away all the Vaseline in the crack.

Method 2: Dremel

1) Rub some automotive rubbing compound into the damaged area (for this we recommend BRASSO but you can also get by with toothpaste). Make sure to rub in a circular motion and apply a slight amount of pressure to ensure that the damaged area gets fully covered.

2. Use a DREMEL with a buffer piece or felt cone bit to buffer over the excess compound. Polish until it goes flat.

3. By doing this you’ll notice that the anti-glare coating on the screen area you buffered may have been stripped away. Now to reapply this! First, clean the surface area of the screen affected

4. Get a thick piece of paper and poke a 5mm hole in the middle of it

5. Place the paper closely over the scratch but do NOT let it touch the surface of the screen

6. Spray clear lacquer in small puffs through the hole of the paper along the length of the scratch.

7. Let everything dry before turning on the monitor once again

You’ll notice that when the screen is OFF the scratch that you filled in will be shiny and stand out. However, if you do this correctly, when the screen is ON the scratch should mostly disappear.

Method 3: Pencil Eraser

1. Clean the surface area of your LCD screen

2. Take a pencil eraser and rub lightly back and forth along the scratch area

3. Rub until the scratch disappears. Remember to never put too much pressure on the screen!

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The Benefits of a Mobile Workforce

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Factors to Consider
We can help get your business moving in more ways than one!
Did you know:*
• 89 of the top 100 companies in the US offer telecommuting
• 58% of companies consider themselves a virtual workplace
• 67% of all workers use mobile and wireless computing
*Insight Research – The Mobile Workforce and Enterprise Application 2007-2012
Improved Quality of Life – less time spent in stressful traffic situations means
happier, healthier employees.
Global Benefits – less wear and tear on cars, roads and less consumption of fuel.
Increased Productivity – get more out of a limited number of hours in the day
because there is no time spent commuting.
Financial Benefits – reduced cost for office equipment, real estate and infrastructure
plus reduced energy consumption.

Now that you know the benefits, let’s get a move on!
Wireless Services – stay connected and productive during travel or off site with clients.
Mobile Devices – with the right devices, your business information will be accessible
wherever you are, right in the palm of your hands!
Security – gain peace of mind knowing that as you and your employees travel, your data
will be safeguarded from hackers and intruders.

Let’s talk about BYOD
• Save money on high-priced devices that you would normally have
to purchase for your employees.
• Take advantage of newer technology – faster.
• Attract top employees, who want to work flexibly and put in time
outside of traditional work hours.
Have you heard of Bring Your Own Device to work? BYOD is the perfect starting
point for businesses that are not yet ready to go completely mobile or businesses that enable employees to be mobile within the company – and it can benefit
nearly every industry. The best part is, the technology needed to implement a
mobile workforce is the same technology needed to support BYOD. Essentially,
you are investing in two business strategies for the price of one!

Did you know:*
81% of employed adults use at least one personally
owned electronic device for business use. *Harris Interactive survey
Whether you are ready to take your business on the road or learn
more about how you save money with BYOD, We CaN heLP!
Benefits to your business!

Content courtesy of DH

4 Easy Tips to Protect Your Business

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4 Quick & Easy Tips to Protect Your Business

• Monitor what is exposed in your trash! Your trash gives trespassers insight to what may be inside your property.
• Be careful with social media posts. While away from the office, be careful not to let intruders know your building is vacant.
• Be sure to use an appropriate voice mail message, telling callers “you can’t come to the phone” rather that you are away. This will protect both your office and your home!
• Use automatic timers to turn on and off lights. This will keep intruders guessing whether or not you are in or out of the office. (And save on energy costs!)

Content from DH

Power Protection & Surge Suppression

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Power Protection

Power disturbances are a major cause of PC and server downtime. In fact, the results of large-scale power incidents have been well documented with some studies showing businesses losing upwards of $64 billion in revenue annually.

Besides the loss of revenue, there are other factors to consider that greatly impact your bottom line; employee downtime, recovery time, program and data corruption, data loss, material damages, service interruption, and the list goes on.

Protecting computer systems with UPS hardware is your first line of defense.
A UPS (uninterruptable power supply) is a device that protects electronic equipment from power fluctuations. Think of it like a wall between the incoming electricity and your sensitive computer components. The UPS allows your computers to be switched to emergency battery power when electrical problems strike.

So you need to protect against Electricity
Yes, not all electricity is created equal. Numerous factors can affect the quality of electricity you receive. A lightning bolt can create a surge that will flood your components with power, while on the other hand, extreme heat can cause a brownout which means your systems won’t be performing to their potential. And then there is the dreaded blackout which can leave you without power for an extended period of time. This means your components will shut down improperly, leading to a series of potentially devastating consequences.

Power Protection Goals & Best Practices
Reduce equipment downtime and production expenses,
therefore increasing profit.
• Purchase a UPS with extended run time in case the outage lasts longer than the runtime of the UPS
(generally the more wattage the UPS supports, the longer time the computer can run when power fails).
• Protect the network equipment with UPS – applications are only as available as the network, plus you’ll
need your network to manage multiple UPS hardware.
• Accommodate each systems’ individual time requirement for shutdown – some large servers can take
up to 20 minutes to shut down properly.
Millions of dollars’ worth of hardware
and files are lost every year because
of power problems that could have
been avoided with proper UPS usage.

*Information courtesy of DH