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16

Jan 2014

Best Free Antivirus Software 2014

Posted by / in Security / No comments yet

There are tons of free antivirus software programs that promise to prevent your laptop from becoming infected with the latest computer virus. Many may notice, however, that antivirus programs tend to slow down your computer. Others don’t even offer much protection, or require a paid subscription to get the latest updates. How do you choose the right antivirus software that provides you with the protection you need without taking money from your wallet?

AVG

Probably the most well-known antivirus software company, AVG was founded in 1991. Rumors state that the company originally released its software as “A Very Good” Antivirus solution. AVG offers its basic antivirus protection free of charge. Basic protection by AVG’s free edition comes standard with consistent online updates without any additional charge. AVG also offers premium subscription services, but the basic programs will keep you mostly covered.

Key Features of AVG

  • Detects, blocks and removes viruses and spyware
  • Checks links before you click
  • Frequent online updates

Although possibly the most protection when it comes to antivirus software, AVG tends to be a resource hog. For those computer users with outdated machines or limited RAM, you may want to choose an alternative to keep your PC top-notch.

AVAST

McAfee, Inc

AVAST Free Antivirus Sofware is a free antivirus software program for Windows, OSX, and Android operating systems. AVAST has been around for over 25 years, with a long reputation of performance and protection.

One of the key features of AVAST is its update service, which automatically updates other software on your computer for you. This feature’s appeal relies on the fact that many hackers and people who create viruses usually capitalize on the fact that most people don’t keep their software up-to-date. Recent threats exploit programs of common use including PDF readers or Internet browsers.

Windows Defender

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users may be able to sleep easier at night than ever before. The newest version of Windows come with the latest and greatest edition of Windows Defender. Windows Defender protects your PC from viruses and spyware free of charge. Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users can still download Microsoft Security Essentials for free from the Microsoft website.

The benefits of the built-in Windows programs are their comparable performance. Windows Defender and Microsoft security essentials use a minimal amount of memory and CPU, while maintaining superior protection against malware and viruses.

Windows user with Windows RT have no choice in the matter. Windows RT is shipped with Windows Defender and is always on, and may not be turned off.

Review

AVG and AVAST come with tons of features, some are only available with a premium account. In the end, PC users may get more benefit from a native free antivirus software such as Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials. However, AVG and AVAST offer antivirus software for Android smartphones in addition to PC’s, a feature that Windows lacks. Whichever free antivirus software you choose, it’s better to have something than it is to have nothing. Also, be weary of other antivirus software companies with little or no reputation. Often, those programs end up causing more harm to your computer than good.

 

 

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03

Dec 2013

How to Choose Home Wifi Router

Posted by / in Tech / No comments yet

So, you’re looking for a router? Purchasing a wireless router can be tough. Initially, every router seems to look identical to one another and you assume that all of them provide the same functionality.  However, there are numerous wireless router models exist and each of them possess its own set of unique characteristics.  Certain features as speed, warranty, and cost are a few of the considerations everyone has when purchasing a new router. Here are the details.

How does a router work?

A router simply allows you to connect multiple devices to the same IP address. The router takes the information sent to and from your computer(s) and the Internet and forwards that information to the correct destination. Without a router or switch, it would be impossible for your Internet modem to send a web page or software you’ve downloaded to the correct device with multiple computers connected. The router actually creates a “fake” unique IP address for each device on the network. The reason we call it fake is because that IP address only matters on the network to which that device belongs. The rest of the world can only access the IP address of your modem, which talks directly to the router. So if they all do the same thing, how is each router different?

Router Speed

Wireless routers measure their speed in megabits per second and usually come in slow, average and fast models.  Older models offer about 11 Mbps, mid-range ones 54 Mbps, and the faster routers can claim up to 450 Mbps.  Most buyers are tempted to think that router speed is the most important quality of a router and will make their connections faster, but this is actually not the case.  High speed routers cannot directly speed up an internet connection and any extra boost from the router might not be worth the extra cost.  So consider some of these other categories before blindly purchasing the more expense router with maximum speed ratings.

Also, the speed of a router depends on its processor. If you think of a router as a mini version of a computer, there’s a central processing unit (CPU) that it uses to carry out every function it requires. The CPUs of routers, as in PC’s and Mac’s, varies from brand to brand and model to model.

Router Warranties

Most routers usually come with a warranty package together with their equipment, don’t buy one that doesn’t!  The length and terms of each router’s warranties vary widely.  A better warranty may indicate a manufacturer more committed to support their products, while a lesser warranty could indicate the company feels there product is of a lesser standard. Always consider the warranty, as not only is useful for when the product fails, it may also indicate the quality of the product.

Router Reviews

There is a huge selection of review sites across the web that allow for anonymous reviews on products, such as routers. These product reviews  can potentially be quite helpful and informative. However, sometimes they are filled with garbage that can’t be trusted.  Anyone can post a review of a product, but how are we the purchaser to know they truly have our best interest in mind?  The answer is we don’t.  For all we know, the reviewer could be a plant or an employee of a rival product, who gives a glaring review in order to deter us from making a purchase. The same goes for overly positive reviews, what if that person works for the company’s marketing team?  There is no way to know for sure, so don’t take every horror story as the gospel.

Router Cost

Some manufactures offer a rebate on the full price of their products, so don’t necessarily dismiss a router due to its initial price.  Also, much like used cars, older routers may be able to serve your needs as adequately as a new one for a cheaper price.  Many companies continue to update the firm ware on routers, even after they release new versions, so an older model can be a great deal.  Be sure to shop around as many electronics stores and websites as possible before you make a purchase as there are some great deals out there.

Image use courtesy of Olivier Bruchez under the creative commons license.

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12

Nov 2013

How To Secure Your Wireless Network

Posted by / in IP Address Tips, Security / No comments yet

Security has become a crucial thing in the lives of many people currently. It is a very dangerous thing to have an unprotected wireless network. This is because any type of information that you send over the wireless network can probably be interrupted by malicious people. Therefore, if you are looking for a way to secure your network, then do not worry. The following are the step by step tutorial on how to secure your wireless network:

Step 1: Access your wireless network router

Wireless network routers are controlled through the administration pages which can be accessed through the web browsers. You only require your router’s IP address. This can always be obtained by looking online or its manual for information on the specific model of your router.

After you have the router’s IP address, you should type it in the URL bar of your browser. You will be required to insert a username and a password. The word admin is often used by default as both username and password even though there are some routers which use admin’ as a username and password’ as a password.

Step 2: Change your default administration username and password

You will want to limit access to the admin page of the wireless router. If an individual was to gain access to your router, they would change the log in details and even lock you out of your network system forever.

Step 3: Change your Service Set Identifier (SSID)

SSID is the name that will be visible for your wireless network every time you look for an open network using a wireless enabled device. In case the SSID of your router is set to default by the manufacturer, any would be able to see it if they are looking for an open network around and with some few online searches, they can find out the model number of your router which will assist them access to the settings of your router easily. Therefore, you need to change you router’s SSID available in the network wireless section in your admin page.

Step 4: Lock your Wi-Fi Network

At this point, you need to navigate to the wireless setup or wireless security section of the admin page of your router.

There are various security alternatives available for wireless network routers. For many users, WPA or WPA2-Personal is the perfect selection. You should never secure your Wi-Fi network using WEP. This is WEP is a very older security protocol which is extremely vulnerable to network attack.

Set both encryption and version techniques to the automatic settings. Thereafter you should set a password that you can easily remember but cannot be guessed by anyone else.

With the above steps your wireless network will be secured and no one would easily interfere or gain access to the system.

Image use courtesy of nrkbeta under the creative commons license.

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