Saturday, 10 October 2015

Why do I need good WiFi coverage all over my house?

The previous post is about extending your WiFi around your house, but why do I need it?

In terms of a laptop or tablet, when your WiFi becomes weak of disappears, then your internet stops working and you soon know. However, just recently there have been some updates on mobiles phones which can catch you out!

1. Facebook has a setting which allows it to play videos while you are just scanning your timeline. This is OK in WiFi zones, but the setting default is to play these in both WiFi and 4G (or 3G) areas as well. After buying a new iPhone 6 the data usage went up dramatically, so much that it went over our limit and started charging additional sums.

So check your FACEBOOK SETTINGS (not phone settings) and make sure the video is set to WiFi only (also check after a software upgrade). It also happens on Android and Windows phone also I believe.

2. The new IOS upgrade for iPhone 6, has now a new setting called WiFi Assist. This is a feature that allows the 4G to kick in if your WiFi signal becomes too weak. For example, you may be streaming video in you house and then if you move to a weak WiFi area, then the streaming drops on to 4G without your knowledge and racks up a large data usage.

So check your iPhone settings (only on iPhone 6, not seen it on 5) for the WiFi Assist switch, it is right at the bottom of the 'MOBILE DATA' setting option in SETTINGS. See screen shot on left.

Is your WiFi not making it?

In certain circumstances that your WiFi signal may not reach parts of your house, this could be that your house is too big, or in my case, a certain part of the office was shielded by a couple of walls. 

So what is the solution? A WiFi Extender?

There are several versions and manufacturers of these. One such is made by TP-LINK, I happened to see one in 'Staples'.it was about £12.50 which seemed a good price, although it was a 150Mbps version (the 300Mbps was about £28).

Setting it up:
The instructions enclosed with the item (no searching on the net?) seemed quite straight forward with 2 methods described:

Method No 1 was to use the WPS button on your router access point. I have a Virgin Super Hub 2 and tried this button, but could not make it work!

But not to worry, the instruction described method No 2, which was connecting the extender to your computer with an Ethernet cable. However, although the instructions seem straight forward, I did have a little bit of trouble getting it set up, but works.

So if you have a WiFi black spot in your house, then the inexpensive WiFi Extender is the answer for £12 or £28 take your choice.

Friday, 17 July 2015

WAZE - Super maps on your phone

One of the best map/sat nav apps for my iPhone is the Apple Maps app itself, it is always upto date and very smooth in tracking my location. Although I do like Google maps the Apple version seems much smoother. However, just recently someone introduced me to WAZE, which is a free map app with the option to join up with friends. It also includes Safety Cameras and other road hazards free of charge. It has a very nice 3D display and auto changes colours during the hours of darkness. Give it a try.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Keeping your data extra safe

Although we do use a password to log in to our PC or MAC these days, (well lots of people do), there are times when you may forget to log out, or there is even software to bypass the login system. So if you want to be really secure, you can employ additional encryption software to add extra secret and protected folders to your computer filing system. This can be on either Windows or MAC. If you have recently purchased a memory stick, there is generally some encryption software included so you can protect your data if your memory stick becomes lost (and believe me, this is quite a regular occurrence....).

There are a couple of encryption packages I have used with my Windows PC and my Apple MAC which seem to work. BUT BE WARNED, if you forget your password, there is no recovery system.

For the Apple MAC, use   PRIVACY BOX  available from the Apple Store (not free about £1.50), screen shot below.

For Windows use   SAFEHOUSES, available from   screen shot below

They both work in a similar way, but follow the instructions carefully....

Let me know if you use either of these and how you get on with them

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Free Office Software

As most people know, Microsoft Office is the default package used by lots of companies and individuals alike. However, although there is now a free on line version, there are also a number of alternative Office packages available completely free of charge...and with no catches...3 different ones spring to mind:

Soft Office, Open Office and my own favourite

Just do a search on the web, download and run the installer. 

However, please note...these free packages default to an open document format when you save a file. To make it completely compatible, change the save format to WORD Doc format so it integrates with the MS Word software.

There are also free versions for the MAC OS and also Linux

Use the comments to let me know your favourite......

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Are your passwords this short video

Each time you register with a new shopping site or email or newsletter or bank, you have to give some user name (can be your email or a bespoke made up name), plus you need a password.  The site usually has some rules on how this password is made up. 

All now are saying at least 8 characters, some with upper case, and/or numbers/ and or symbols. However, as the interview on the video suggests even these 8 character password are easy to crack by a auto program running on a computer.

So watch the video and as the question....'are my passwords good enough', take the advice and change it....let me know what you think in the comments....thanks to my colleague Vic for searching out this video clip.....

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Chrome Incognito mode Desktop Icom

Sometimes it is useful to have a desktop icon to launch Google Chrome in incognito mode, this is especially a good move if, like I do, use pool laptops for courses and job seeker usage. It is easier for learners to open chrome directly rather than opening in normal mode and looking for the incognito menu option, which is very easy to forget.

  1. Navigate to Chrome's installation folder
C:\Program files (x86) \Google\Chrome\Application
  1. Right click on Chrome.exe and select  Send to  - Desktop
  2. Go to the new desktop icon, right click and select Properties
  3. Go into the Target field, at the end of the field after the quote mark (") add a space then type   -incognito (don't forget the minus sign before the i)
  4. Apply and then OK
  5. Go on to the icon description, right click and then rename to "Incognito Chrome" or "Private Browse" or something else relevant.
 So a double click on this icon should launch direct into the incognito mode

Please try this out and comment if it works for you......