Get the most out of your wifi

So your Wi-Fi router doesn’t seem to give you those blazing fast speeds it used to or it’s not reaching as far as it once did and your not sure what to do, well you are in luck because we have some tips for you.

  1. Hardwire any devices that are close to the router and that are stationary, doing this frees up wireless bandwidth and gives you best possible signal to your stationary devices. Don’t believe us? Hook up your Xbox/One or PS3/4 to the Ethernet cable and watch your performance increase. Why is this the case simply because Ethernet can support greater traffic with little concern for signal strength unlike wireless.
  2. Get the latest and greatest Wireless access protocol. What do we mean by this? If your router show 802.11g then you are long over due for an upgrade. 802.11n has been the standard for years now and its even faster brother 802.11AC is the fastest available on the consumer market, though you will pay a pretty penny to get there.
  3. Dual band routers come equipped with two frequencies 2.4GHz and 5GHz, while the latter doesn’t have the same range it does provide better bandwidth as it is less crowded.  Further more you can use your dual band to create separate networks: One for your family that is secured and once that is open to guests, if you feel so inclined.
  4. If your router or wireless card allows it, try out some high gain wireless antennas, they will set you back 30-40 bucks but will also allow you to send your signal out further. If you opt for an 802.11AC router then this wont be necessary as Wireless AC will focus its broadcast toward signal-fringe devices.
  5. Download an app to your smartphone to analyze the networks around you, by doing so you can see what wireless channels surround you and adjust accordingly. For example a lot of homes in my neighborhood are using wireless channel 11, so I switched to 1 and have a more consistent connection.

If in the end these tips don’t help you out as much as they really should, give our office a call and schedule an appointment to have a technician identify issues with your network.

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Back To School Means a Draining Laptop Battery… or Does It?

Here are a few tips to keep that battery going stronger for longer:

1) That Bright Screen:  Dim the screen to less than half its normal brightness (ambient light permitting). This is one of the instances you can control the amount of power your computer is using so why not save the battery a little juice. Most hardware will have programmed keys on the keyboard that allow you to adjust the brightness. This works with almost any device regardless of manufacturer.

2) Adjust Your Power Settings: In windows you have the ability to change your power modes to accommodate the battery. To do so you just have to go in to the Control Panel > Power Options> Edit Plan Settings (Assuming you have the view set to large or small icons). From there you can tell the computer to turn off your display or go to sleep after a given amount of time, adjust the brightness, and even go in to more advanced settings to fine tune other hardware power downs. On an Apple PC go to the Apple icon> System Preferences>Energy Saver once there you can configure your power settings to get the most out of your battery.

3) Turn Off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi: If your kids have access to a network cable then to save even more juice why not go ahead and shut off the WIFI, in most laptops there is a toggle that will allow you to do this easily. While we’re at it how about we shut off the Bluetooth if your not using any Bluetooth devices like a mouse/keyboard or external audio speakers/headphones.

4) Unplug Anything Not Necessary: Have a thumb drive in the side of the laptop or charging your phone via USB. Remove them when they aren’t necessary to save more juice. It doesn’t make sense to charge an iPhone battery from another battery.

5) Update Your OS, Bios, and Drivers:  Keep your OS up-to-date and your hardware bios and drivers as well. By installing necessary updates you will address known power issues, protect your computer better against virus/malware, and will help your computer perform at its best.

6)  Charge and Discharge Your Battery Regularly: While we can’t say that Li-Po batteries don’t gain a memory it is recommend to discharge your laptop battery down to 30% then recharge it back up to 100%. I do this every few weeks as a way of working the battery over.

Follow these tips and you should see a little more life added to your battery.

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How to Read Your Facebook Messages Without Downloading the New Messenger App

From Yahoo! Tech’s Alyss Bereznak located HERE
**NOTE: THIS APPLIES TO THE IPHONE ONLY**

Earlier this week we established that most people hate the new Messenger app Facebook is forcing them to download.

Luckily, The Guardian has discovered a way to stick it to the Zuck and avoid downloading the app. Keep in mind that it works only for those who don’t already have Messenger on their phones. Further, it could be disabled at any moment.

For now, however, the workaround lets you receive Facebook messages without having to download a second app for the privilege.

Here’s how you do it:

1. When you go to access your private messages on Facebook, you’ll likely see a notification that you must now download the Messenger app to receive them.
2. Click the Install button. The app will automatically redirect you to your phone’s app store. Tap the Free button (or, if you’ve deleted the app, the cloud) to begin downloading Messenger.
3. Before the download finishes, cancel it by tapping the progress button.
4. Return to the main Facebook app. You should then be able to see your private messages!

It’s likely this secret method won’t exist for long, but use it while you can. Lord knows you’ll want to avoid the company’s poorly reviewed, unpopular spinoff for as long as humanly possible.

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Email Has Been Hacked! What Now?

It happens even to the best of us, our email gets hacked and we start spamming out ads for pills most of our friends are to young to use/need yet. So what can you do when your email has been compromised? Below are just a few steps we’d recommend to get back on your feet.

1) Change Your Password : Change your password ASAP to something difficult and include letters, numbers, and symbols. Be sure to update all email accessing device passwords as well.
2) Remove Filters and Forwards in Settings: Some email hackers are crafty and place filter and forwarding addresses on your email account redirecting mail to themselves or your trash can.
3) Apologize to Friends and Family : We’re pretty sure Pastor Joe isn’t looking for “Hot Young Singles” in the area and Grandma doesn’t need the latest male pill so be sure to apologize for the weird emails.
4) Links are Bad M’kay : Never log in to a site via a link within an email not matter how official or authentic it looks. This is a phishing attack, designed to catch a “fish” on its hook and reel in user data.
5) Scan for Bugs: Now that you have the web side of things nailed down tight it’s time to clean house internally. Start off with a deep virus scan followed up with an adware scan. Leave no stone unturned when cleaning up.

Getting More from Your Iphone

iPhone Fixes and Flaws

Contrary to what some users will tell you, the Iphone is not without its own set of flaws and while they aren’t numerous they do exist. We can help with that though, below is a list of  3 common Flaws and Fixes that should get you in ship-shape in no time.

1> Flaw: Battery Drains Quickly. Fix: Turn off your Background App Refresh option. Settings>General>Background App Refresh. From their disable any apps you don’t want running.

2> Flaw: Lagged interface. Fix: Reduce unused apps and photos by deleting them or sending them to the cloud. Also, disabling parallax wallpaper can help as well. General>Accessibility> Reduce Motion *ON*

3> Flaw: Crashing Apps. Fix: Update all of your apps on a regular basis to reduce crashes. If the app continues to lock up double tap the home button and swipe the offending app closed.

 

 

 

 

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Google Mastery L33t Skillz

So you think your a Google master?

Think again, with these few tips you can utilize Google’s search potential to the max.  Here are just a couple of tips from America’s Digital Goddess, Kim Komando, that will get the most out of your Google searches.

1. Special searches allow you to get the weather, check flight status or  track a package, you can do currency exchanges on the fly.

2.  Wanna do a reverse image search to avoid being catfished. Go to your Google home page and then click Images. You can click the little camera icon and either drag and drop a photo or upload one from your computer. -Directly from link posted below.

3. Gags and Games abound from the fine folks at Google. Search Google for French Military Victories and hit the I’m Feeling Lucky Button to get a parody search result that says ” oops did you mean French Military Defeats” as if you mis-keyed your entry.

Poke around and feel free to explore more fun thing at Kim’s original post HERE

 

IN THE FACE…BOOK!

Stop the Ads in Facebook

Facebook announced this week that their new system will create new ad sets based around your surfing history. If you aren’t a fan of the idea you can always opt out at the following site Here (*Cookies must be enabled*) in your browser .If you use iOS go to General>Restrictions>Advertising (located under the PRIVACY heading) and move the slider to turn on Limit Ad Tracking. For you Android users out there go to Google Settings>Ads>Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads and check it.

With this done your should have fewer ads for Facebook to bombard you.

Happy Facebooking.

Originally Posted here

 

 

Weak Passwords Mean Compromised Accounts

Building a Better Password Do’s and Dont’s

You woke up this morning and your email is spamming Rx ads you want nothing to do with and you realized you’ve been compromised. Time to change your password. Here are a few recommendations:

1)   Avoid common names, dates, phone numbers or things easily associated with you.
2)   Avoid common words or phrases as they would be the first thing checked by password cracking software.
3)   Use a combination of numbers and letters.  For example, substitute numbers for letters and letters for numbers in a word or phrase.
4)   Make it something you can remember all by yourself.  Don’t write it down anywhere!
5)   Don’t use naturally occurring keyboard sequences (like “qwerty” for example)6)   Try to make it at least 8 – 16 characters long.  Obviously the longer the better.
7)   Plan on changing your password often.  Experts suggest changing your passwords at least every 6 months.

For more Password Advice check out the original post here

Windows 8 Refresh

Windows 8 Refresh = Bad, Windows System Restore = Good

So your computer is running a bit sluggish or you started getting errors after an update but you don’t know what to do…  When it comes to troubleshooting your computer problems don’t get yourself in to unfamiliar territory and don’t panic. First and foremost, Do not use Windows Refresh unless you intend to reinstall all of your applications and downloaded apps. First give a system Restore (not Recovery or Refresh, there’s a big difference between the three) a try to see if you can correct the bombed updates or underlying issues. Unless you are ready to start from Day 1, application and updates gone, avoid Refresh and Recovery options.

If after attempting a system restore and you’re still having issues give us here at Computer Medics of Kansas City a call and schedule an appointment.

Getting the most life out of your Galaxy S5

12 Days of Battery Life… It’s Now Possible.

If your Galaxy S5 is glued to your ear or your hand like most of us, you know that by the end of the day your battery may end up on its last leg but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Beginning with Galaxy S2 the Power saver was added to extend battery life and the Galaxy S5 takes it a step further with Ultra Power Saver which can extend battery life from hours to days. For example with my S5 battery at 92% after entering Ultra mode I have an estimated 11.5 days of battery, the downside are that apps are restricted down to essential apps (which you can choose), the screen goes to grayscale, and services like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are shut off.

If your interested in activating Power Saving or Ultra Power Saving mode on your S5 just do the following : Settings> Power savings> Ultra Power Saving Mode > and switch the slider to on. It’s that easy, sure it won’t look as pretty but when you can get 11.5 days of life on your battery that’s a worthy sacrifice especially on long road trips.