How to Set Up and Configure a Wireless Network in a Secure Manner

   Did you recently have internet installed in your home?  Do you need a little help getting it  set up?  This is a “how to” guide on how to make sure your wireless network is safe and secure.  The first step is to make sure you have all the equipment you need to get the job done.  When setting up a wireless network at home, consider how large the house is and if you want to have internet outside.  There are different kinds of wireless technologies you should look at. The different wireless security protocols are WEP, WPA and WPA2.  WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) was created in 1997 to keep wireless networks secure but, due to it’s 24 bit vector it was easily hacked and broken into.  By 2003 WPA(WiFi protected access) came out and went up to 128 bits encryption which made it five times more secure.  The next year in 2004 WPA2 came out a new tech that would replace RC4 and TKIP(Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) with CCMP and AES which used a different algorithm that made  stronger authorization and encryption. These routers were some of the top rated routers on Best Buys website.  Starting from the left, the RangeMax N600 dual-band wireless-n router has 802.11n wireless technology which  is capable of 300Mbps and range up to 300 feet.  Also it has WPA wireless protocol  This router would be good for medium homes with limited amount of internet usage.   The next router is the AC1750 which works up to 1750Mps and has the range of 300 feet and the security protocol WPA2-PSK .  If you’re looking to...

7 “Best Self Improvement Tools” and how they are helpful

When searching online there are many self improvement tools that can be used  to help improve a person's organisational skills,  productivity, and efficiency.  The following lists seven tools that you may want to consider adding to your daily routine.  They include… Google Drive, Cozi, Hootsuite, MailBird, Wm Capture and Online Alarm Clock. The first tool is called Google Drive.  This tool is a cloud based service that stores all types of files online, making them available whenever needed.  You can access these files from a computer, tablet and a smartphone that are connected to the internet.  Microsoft’s  Word, Excel and Powerpoint files can be edited, shared and printed all using the built in productivity apps called docs, sheets and slides from Google. Google Drive helps to keep files organized and with you at all times.  This is one way to improve someone's day to day operations and make things go smoother. The next tool is called Cozi. This tool is helpful for active families that need to keep track of everyone's schedule.  This application is free and lets you add calendars, a shopping list, a “to do” list and more.  This is a snapshot of what the calendar and interface look like.  As you can see, I have added some events to the calendar.  By clicking the show button you can actually choose the person’s calendar you want to see. When double clicking on any of the dates it lets you add different events.  This is an example of how I added one of the events.  The next option on the menu is shopping… clicking this gives you a simple...

Three Ways to Repurpose Old Devices Around Your Home

Look around your home. Do you have any older  pieces of technology you’re not using, perhaps a computer or a smartphone.  These devices may be old but they can still be useful.  Let's go over a few ideas that you may be interested in. A desktop computer is one of those devices that gets replaced after two years but, might be still hanging around the house.  This desktop could be turned into a network attached storage device.  NAS is a device that holds data on a network that can be accessed from different computers and other devices.  You can find free software called FreeNAS which you can download.  Some of the features include file sharing, web interface and back ups.  FreeNAS software needs a 64Bit processor with 8GB of RAM.  The hard drive is going to depend on how much space you want available for storage.   If your computer isn’t fast enough to run FreeNAS, don’t worry about it.   you can still use it to share files on the network.  Assuming it has Windows on it you just need to set up file sharing and you will be ready to go.    If you could use a TV in the kitchen or you have smaller kids that love to watch Netflix now you’re in luck.  You can put that older monitor to good use.  Go purchase a Raspberry PI.  It is a low cost credit card sized computer that can be used for many things.  For example, watching your favorite shows on Netflix or playing old school games like Minecraft PI edition, Doom, Duke Nukem and many...

How to use Webinar Google Tools

Lets get Started! Step one: Log into your Google account and then click on the box with nine dots that makes up a square.  This will display the different tools that Google offers.  Now,  click on YouTube. Step Two: After clicking on YouTube, click on the Google icon at the top right hand corner to display different options for the Youtube account.  (Don’t click on the box with the dots)  Now, click on the creator studio button. Step Three:  Now that you’re in creator studio click on the live streaming option.  If this is your first time you might have to enable live streaming which can take up to twenty four hours to be approved. This is what the screen will look like if you haven't enabled live streaming on your account.Step Four:  After getting approved go back into your YouTube studio creator and click on live streaming… now click new live event. Step Five:  This is the main webinar event setup screen.  This is where you set the title, date and time and give it a description.  For searching purposes you can add different keywords to help your target audience find your broadcast.  Also, it gives you the option to share it on twitter and google plus.After setting up the event it will show up in the events box. If subscribers come to your channel, it will say on the bottom left hand corner how much longer until it starts.  For example, this event starts in ninety nine minutes. If you’re looking to start the event early,  you can find the event in the events box and click on...

Four Tools to help Automate End User Support

When working on a helpdesk there are different tools that can make life easier.  The following four help desk tools help  automate the process of user support.  They include… team inbox, knowledge base, chat,  phone, and mobile support. What is team inbox?  It’s a centralized location where helpdesk team members can log in and view all the different messages to the helpdesk. It keeps track of all the previous messages so it’s easy to find out where the issues left off.  Also, it has the ability to escalate problems to other departments.  Lastly,  the software includes different features like auto responses, keyboard shortcuts and other tools to improve responding time.    Knowledge Base includes different types of documentation that are stored on a website or other type of database.  Here users can access answers to frequently ask questions, common problems, pricing and other services.  All the information is searchable by the customer so they can find what they are looking for.  If they can’t find an answer, the phone number to a technician will be listed in the knowledge base.  Having a knowledge base helps customers answer their own questions without contacting the helpdesk.  This frees up the helpdesk team to work on more critical problems. Using forms is a great way to have your customers help each other out by answering questions for one another.  For example, I bought a Futon on Amazon and when I received it I didn’t know how to assemble it.  Then I posted a question on the user forms and asked “Has anyone put this futon together?”  Low and behold, another person commented and helped me...

Best Ways to Seek Out IT Computer Support Jobs

              When starting to seek out employment as an IT Support specialist, please consider the following four topics to help you find the right best employment opportunity.  The topics include your Professional Online Persona, Networking, Job Posts and Interviewing. What is a professional online persona?  This is what defines who you are online as a professional.  When employers find potential candidates to fill positions one step that is taken is seeking out different information by searching online. How to represent yourself online as a professional.  First of all, lock down all personal accounts that may be open to the public that employers could see as a weakness.  These accounts include Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  The next step to represent yourself online is to create a new Google account just for professional use.  For example, using your first initial and last name is a good way to go. (jsmith@gmail.com).  After creating the email you want to sign up for a Linkedin account.  This account will help  show potential employers your skills and accomplishments.  Also, Linkedin is a good way to connect with many professionals in your field.  Lastley, making a twitter account can show employers that you stay active in the IT field.  Twitter is an easy social networking tool to use to post articles, videos and connect with people.  When creating a Twitter account add a link to your Linkedin account, this will make it easier for employers to find you. Networking is all about building relationships and the easiest way to expand your network is to build on the relationships you have...

Using “Google Drive” and Some Essential Tools

What do most people have in common when owning a computer?  The answer is… an email address. The most popular email service is Gmail from Google.  Gmail can be accessed by using Google's web application or different client based software on computers and mobile devices.  When signing up for a Gmail account it comes with fifteen gigabytes of storage.  If you upgrade to one hundred gigabytes, it costs two dollars per month.   After signing in click on the box in the upper right hand corner displaying the nine dots.  This will show the various tools that google gives you access to at no cost.  The four tools I will discuss are drive, docs, sheets and slides.    To start any of these applications all you have to do is click on the one you wish to access.   This is what Google drive looks like when you first open it.  If you have just created an account, this will be blank.  I use Gmail for school and as you can see I have a folder for each class.  This helps me  stay organized and keeps everything in one place.    To start, click the “new button” and it will give you different options for creating different files and folders that you can use with Google Drive. These are the different options that will come up when “new” is clicked.  Now click on the “Google Docs” button and create a new document.   Google Docs is a cloud based word processor.  This will give a lot of the same options as Microsoft Word.  One of the benefits of Google...

5 new features in Android Oreo 8.0

The first new feature in Oreo is that Google has changed the way settings is displayed.  When going into settings Google has consolidated a lot of different options to make it easier to navigate and find what you're looking for.  For example, when you go into display setting it’s going to give the options to click brightness, night light, adaptive brightness and wallpaper.  These are the options a basic user would look for. On the other hand, if you need more options you can always go into advanced options.   Also, when swiping down from the top of the phone to get the quick settings, this is where  you find different toggle switches that can be rearranged.  At the bottom of the quick settings menu you have access to the settings menu icon, quick settings edit button and profile button.   Another interesting fact about Oreos UI is that when receiving notifications a dot will appear on different application icons.  To preview the content of message, you long press that icon.  If the message is of interest you can go into the app, if not you can dismiss it. Picture and Picture The second feature of Oreo is called picture and picture. This is a great multitasking feature that lets you do more than one task at the same time. For example, say you want to watch a Youtube video as you’re going through your emails, this will allow you to do it.  To launch PIP all you have to do is tap the home button while your watching a video.  Just to let you know, not all applications...

How to create backups in Windows 10

Windows 10 Backup I think we are all at a point in our computing lives that we understand that everything we do on a computer should be backed up in a secondary location. Right? If not, you should start doing this now, if not sooner… I am going to show you a quick & easy (and cheap) way to backup your files on a Windows 10 operating system. First, you will need an External Hard Drive. It looks like this… The model pictured here is less than $100. It has 4TB of storage and is just larger than a deck of cards. This drive will store a tremendous amount of data (every picture you have ever taken won’t even scratch the surface of this drive), and it is very user friendly. There are cheaper hard drives out there, but please don’t skimp on quality/size to save a few bucks. This is your backup for everything. My family pictures are on this drive, in my case. You now have the external Hard Drive- Let’s go… From your windows desktop, click on the Start button… Select Settings. Scroll down to “Update & Security” … Click on that You will now be at this screen… Click on Backup… This is the final product of the backup. You have many options at this point. You can choose where the data is backed up to, how often the files are backed up, and how long to keep them. After all is said and done, you can change the settings if you wish. You can exclude folders that you don’t want to save. If you...

New Features of IPhone X

The iPhone X is Apple's latest creation.  This amazing device connects people with their technology like never before.  This new iPhone has an OLED 5.8 super retina screen that has has a 1,000,000 to one contrast ratio.  The phone will be brighter, crisper and look more amazing then ever before.  The iPhone is made of stainless steel and glass that is so durable it can withstand  drops from a height of four feet.  Other great features make this iPhone water resistant, dust resistant, and it has wireless charging.Apple's new iPhone X has a whole different look.  For years when looking at an iPhone it featured the standard home button.  Now, apple has designed it so with a movement of your finger or your voice you can navigate your phone with ease.  This gives the Iphone an advantage.  Now, with fewer moving parts  it is less likely to have mechanical problems.   Apple has also added the option of wireless phone charging.  This great feature works by purchasing a wireless charging mat.  This mat will also charge the Bluetooth earbuds that connect you to your phone.  If you travel, some airports and hotels may have these mats available.  Don’t worry the new iPhone still has a lightning port to charge from the wall. Apple introduces Face ID in their new iPhone.  This technology will let you lock, unlock and pay using facial recognition.  This feature works by having the True Depth camera create a map of your face by scanning it and using it as a key.  The software will change your face over time so that it continues to...