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Keep up to date on what's going on in the computer world.

Feb 11 2017 by Trent

How to set times for restriced access to internet

Block Internet Use by Schedule

If you've talked with your kids about staying off the Internet late on a school night and they keep ignoring you – sneaking those devices to their bedroom and surfing the web into early morning hours, you have additional options. Routers also give you the ability to block Internet use from your network on set schedules. For example, in our house, we block all Internet access from iPads and laptops after 10 p.m. on school nights.

This isn't at all complicated to set up. First thing you will need to do is log into your router with the ip address in the manual (info may possibly be on the bottom of the router itself ) then follow these steps. For a Linksys router, you’ll first want to identify the MAC address of the devices you want to limit. You can find this under the Status menu, then "Local Network" and then click on the"DHCP Client Table" button.

router 1

This will pop up a listing of the DHCP Client Table, showing all of the devices currently connected (or recently connected) to your home network. Locate the name of your kids’ devices, and then note the value listed in the MAC Address field. Keep in mind that not all routers are the same, and not even all Linksys models have the same menu system – so you may need to search for these menus on your particular router. There are also online guides and manuals that can help you find these features.

Once you've found the MAC address for the devices you want to limit, next you'll want the "Access Restrictions" menu area, where you"ll find the Internet Access Policy page. Here, you can define a number of different policies for those devices and customize specific rules for Internet access for them.

router 2

Name the policy, enable it, and then edit the list of devices. On the list, you can type in the MAC addresses you’ve recorded from the previous screen. Then save your changes and close that pop-up window.

Finally, all you have to do is define the access restrictions you want to apply to those devices. Click on “Deny” and then set up the schedule you want to use. In my case, I actually have to set up two policies, because of how Linksys requires the start time to be larger than the end time – meaning I can’t set a P.M. start time and an A.M. stop time. So I’ve configured an evening block covering the 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. hours.

router3

Next I created the morning policy for the same devices, blocking access throughout all of the morning hours up until 6 a.m. Once you're done, you'll be able to see all of the Internet access policies you've created under the dropdown list next to "Access Policy".

router4

This is probably one of the most effective ways to manage Internet use (or overuse) on your home network. If you have kids (or anyone living at your house) who just won’t honor your requests to stop using the Internet after a certain time of day, you can take matters into your own hands on the router. Using their MAC address, there's no way they'll be able to find a way around it.

 

Special thanks to makeuseof.com where this portion of this blog was taken from. for the full artical please visit http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/4-ways-to-manage-your-kids-internet-use-with-your-router/

 

May 3/2016 by Trent

It is time to update to windows 10.

If you have been afraid to update to Windows 10, you shouldn’t be and you are running out of time to do it for free. As of July 29 2016, Microsoft will no longer offer Windows 10 for free. After July 29, it will cost you 150 bucks to upgrade.

Microsoft has already stopped all mainstream updates to Windows 7. This doesn’t mean Windows 7 is dead, it just means it wont get any improvements. Security updates will still carry on until 2020 but updates to improve the product will not happen again. In fact its been almost a year since there was an update to improve the product.

Windows 10 is the best Windows yet and nothing at all like the flop Windows 8 was. If you are a fan of Windows 7 then you will be happy with Windows 10. It is very similar in look and feel and really runs well on any system with at least 2 gigs of ram (I do suggest more).

Just remember to back up your files before any major update and if you have any hesitations, let a professional do it. This would also be a good time to get your computer checked to make sure its in optimal working order.

Apr 26/2016 by Trent

Is your anti virus up to date ?

I have repaired a bunch of computers lately infected with viruses. It seems lately that computer viruses have been getting out of control. In a day and age where it seems more and more people are after your personal information or just want to scam you out of some money it is now more important than ever to have virus software and ensure its up to date.

Why are there computer viruses and don’t people have something better to do than to create these viruses ? The answer is no, some people don’t have anything better to do, and believe it or not, its big business. Some people do it just for the thrill but most do it to extort information or money from you or a business and it can be big money for some (also know as malware) .With all that said, in most cases it will just be a pain in your butt as your computer will be messed up and now will will more than likely have to pay someone to fix it. You may loose files or worse, information may get into the wrong hands and be used against you.

So what can you do ? The answer is simple, get yourself anti virus protection, learn how to use it, and keep it up to date. Your next question might be where do I get this “anti virus” and how much is it going to cost me ? If your a home user, it doesn’t have to cost you anything. Avast, AVG, and Panda all have very easy to use (I personally think AVG is the best and easiest to use, but that’s just my opinion) and very effective software. They are all free to use and will work great for most home users. I do not recommend free software for business as generally they need a bit more protection and are more vulnerable to intrusions.

The bottom line is that it can cost you more than just a few bucks to get your computer fixed after a virus or malwear intrusion. It really is important to be aware what is going on with your computer and ensure everything is up to date. Virus updates and computer updates are no exception. Sometimes updates are there to close off vulnerability's in software so when your computer asks for an update, you really should do it.

Apr 11/2016 by Trent

What to know before installing Windows 10

Even though Windows 10 has been out for almost a year now I still have had quite a few people calling me in a panic after installing window 10 not knowing where there documents went. This can be a very scary experience. Most people have all their pictures, homework, tax files and many other personal documents stored on their computer.


The first thing you should do before any major update is do a full back up of your computer. I can't stress this enough and have wrote several blog's on the importance of backing up your computer. Your hard drive can fail at any time, and all drives eventually fail at some point, they are not designed to last forever. I have seen brand new drives fail at 1 week old (manufactures defect). My point is don’t ever trust your hard drive, EVER ! Backup, backup, backup. I cant say this enough.


With all that said and now that you have saved all your files to an external hard dive you can safely upgrade to windows 10. As you go about the install, read what is going on. There are 3 options when installing windows 10.

  • keep everything

  • keep only personal files and documents

  • keep nothing


This is very important. Keep everything will do exactly that. All your programs, and all you files will stay where they are and nothing will really change but the look of you desktop


Keep only personal files and documents will not keep any of your programs and will give you a nice fresh install of windows 10 without any other programs but still keeps your personal files intact


Keep nothing is actually my favorite. This does the best job in making a computer that may have viruses or malware or unwanted programs on it run clean again. This is basically a 100% clean install and sets your computer to as it was new state. You files will all be gone (windows does actually move them to a different folder, but this doesn't’t matter because you are smart and backed up you files) but your computer will be as new and gives a great opportunity to set it up exactly as you want it.


In any case, windows 10 is actually one of the best operating systems to date. I’m not a huge windows supporter, but I actually think they did a good job with this upgrade.


If you are in doubt, let a professional do it. This is also a good opportunity to get your computer checked out to make sure its in good working order and is ready to run windows 10 properly and efficiently.


Mar 8/2016 by Trent

What are Solid State drives and do I need one ?

The difference between a solid state drive and your regular HDD drive as far as what they do (save your data), is nothing. They both save your files on your computer. How they do it is where a solid state drive excels. Although solid state drives are a bit more expensive (however they seem to be getting cheaper by the day) , the benefits support the extra price.

Solid state drives have no moving parts like a HDD drive does. This makes them more durable, no noise from a spinning disk, and the best part, they are way faster, 2-3 times faster than your standard HDD drive.

If your hard drive is failing or has failed, or if you just looking for a good upgrade on your computer, I would highly suggest a solid state drive. You will notice faster boot ups and less time waiting for things to open. These drives are especially beneficial in laptops that you may be a bit rough with.

Feb 22/2016 by Trent

Do I need more RAM ?

Fist off, what is ram ? It is an acronym for “random access memory”. Without getting too involved this basically translates into its the memory responsible for your day to day activities. It aids in the things that you are doing right now.


This is one of the most cost effective upgrades that can be done on a computer and can greatly improve performance for a very reasonable cost, next question is how do you know if you need more ram ? If you are running anything less than 4 gigs of ram then you should defiantly add some more. Today’s computers need at least 4 gigs to properly do the everyday tasks most people do efficiently.


Now your probably asking how do I know how much ram I have ? The link below will tell you how to access your control panel, There you can tell how much ram you have. This link is for windows 10 but windows 7 is the same way. If you are running window 8 please stop and upgrade to 10, lol.


http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2691-control-panel-open-windows-10-a.html


If you computer is running slow, you may need ram as well. Just because you have lots of ram, It doesn’t necessarily means its functioning properly. If all the sudden your computer slows down, It could be an indication you ram had malfunctioned and needs to be checked out.

Feb 19/2016 by Trent

Pop-up scams

pop up scam

You have probably seen them and may have even been taken by them, but the bottom line is that Microsoft or any other software out there, including virus software will not contact you, PERIOD ! if you get a phone call or a pop up from anyone saying your computer is infected, its a scam 100%.

I have heard from many people that have gone threw this, and some that have fallen for it only to pay and not have any results. These people are scam artists and make it sound very real and can make it a pain to use your computer to the point where you feel you have no choice but to pay these people to get rid of the problem, don't fall for it.

The software used to do this sort of thing is a virus that takes advantage of insecure points in software. It can come from e-mail that you indirectly opened. it can be as simple as you saying yes to some software some site said you needed.

How do you avoid it, always read what you are installing. Most times you may be installing something you legitimately need but it may ask if you want to install this product to speed up your system, or get free gifts. Bottom line is if its being offered to you free and it sounds fishy, it probably is.

Another way this happens is threw e-mail, don't open things if you don't know what it is. Again, if it looks fishy, probably is.

What do you do if this happens. This depends, sometimes these can be a real pain to get out and if all else fails you will have to take it to a professional but there are things you can do yourself to try and get rid of it. First and foremost make sure your virus software is up to date and run a virus scan. After that, I have enclosed a link to a good site that has a list of these viruses and how to remove them. Check it out.

https://malwaretips.com/blogs/remove-tech-support-scam-popups/

 

Feb. 9/2016 by Trent

How to do your own maintenance.

There are certain times that you should bring your computer in to someone that knows what they are doing, but there are things you can do yourself that don't cost anything and are simple for the average user to do. If your computer is running slow or just not what it used to be, try these step first before taking it in.

 

First thing, never spend money on a "Tune up program". They don't work and can often make things worse. Most of this software is just a money scam and in allot of cases will add more crap you don't need. Windows actually has some pretty good tools built in that will help keep your computer running smoothly.

 

Disk Cleanup

“Disk Cleanup” has been around since Windows 9x because it’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to clean up your hard disks without installing third-party software.

disk cleanup

Drive Optimizer

When it comes to keeping your system running well, hard drive optimization is important. Windows includes a great tool to keep your drives in tip-top condition.

drive optimizer

Task Manager

The “Task Manager” has always been the geek’s go-to tool for diagnosing and alleviating system slowdowns.

 

task manager

File History

Backup your data! Backup your data! Backup your data!

I cannot emphasis this enough. Windows includes simple tools such as “File History” and “System Image” so you can protect yourself from catastrophic data loss!

 

file histiory

These are some of the tools that windows has built in that can help your computer run smooth. In conjunction with this always make sure your updates are done, your virus software is up to date and a general cleaning of your computer is beneficial.

 

Crack open your case and use a can of air cleaner to blow it out. Don't use a compressor, they tend to have too much air pressure and can actually damage things. Another thing you should do is hold your fans as not to let them spin. In very rare cases they can actually create a charge and damage components. Keeping the inside clean can stop future problems. Don't touch anything other than the plastic fans, and I would also suggest grounding yourself as to not get any electric shocks to the system.

Feb. 2/2016 by Trent

When is it time for a "Tune Up"

Knowing when you should take your computer in for a tune up before something really bad happens is very important, but how do you know when ?

The average user generally waits till something bad happens (computer doesn't work at all) before getting any service. This is a big mistake and can mean you have lost documents, pictures, and any sort of important information. Think about how much you rely on your computer and now think if it was taken away from you right now. Would you be in a position to cope with it ? I have always stressed the importance of backing up your computer to an external hard drive or a cloud base server, and this is invaluable, but how do you access it if your computer is not working.

 

You do regular maintenance on your car, you should do the same for your computer. I generally tell people to spend about $100.00 a year on your computer. Small price to pay for something you rely on so much. Of course this is just a ball park but its a good number that ensures your computer is checked over by a professional as well as gives a bit of money left over for potential upgrades. Maybe new ram, bigger hard drive, better video card, etc.

 

Someone that knows computers can usually tell threw sounds, performance, and standards tests if things are working the way they should. A few tips for the average user when it may be time to get your computer checked out:

  • Slow or unusual performance
  • Odd noises (especially a clicking noise, usually a hard drive about to fail)
  • Odd smell (sounds weird but could be electrical problems)
  • excessive pop ups
  • programs wont load

In general if you think there is something weird going on with your system, get it checked out before it becomes a bigger problem and you can save yourself headaches and money in the long run.

Jan 27/2016 by Trent

Why its so important to do "back-ups"

Having duplicate copies of your most important information saved in a remote location or a portable hard drive keeps it safe in case anything goes badly wrong with your computer.

When you think about it there are a number of ways files can be lost unexpectedly…

Computer crashes – always happen when you least need it, and can lead to data loss.

Virus Infection – aggressive malicious viruses can corrupt files and disable computers.

Hard drive failure - hard drives all die at some point. There is a spinning disk (just like a DVD drive) in there. Its a movable, wearable part and eventually it will wear down and fail. Sometimes they last 10 years or more, but I have seen them last 3 months as well. Backing up at any stage in the life of a computer is essential.

Physical computer damage – your files are more at risk if you use a laptop. Light and portable comes at the price of reduced durability. Laptops are sensitive and are easily damaged if dropped or have drinks spilled over them.

Theft – computers are sought after by thieves and cannot always be kept secure if its gone, now what ?

The bottom line is that if you value what’s kept on your computer, it’s wise to take steps to protect your information from sudden loss.  Work can be redone, but the loss of cherished files like family and travel photos is permanent.

 

Jan 16/2016 by Trent

Why hire someone for your web site ?

There are a ton of sites out there that let you build your own web site without any knowledge on how to build a proper site. This is fine if you are just looking for a personal site for maybe your own pictures and to keep in touch with your family, but this can be dangerous to business. Unless you know how properly do your keywords, set your S.E. O. up and properly organize your site in a way most search engines like it, your site can end up never noticed.

This is why if you are running a business you should always hire someone that is up to date on what the major search engines are looking for and knows how to optimize your site to get noticed.