Articles in Category: Networking
Network connectivity and configurations, protocols and problems, articles relating to how computers connect.
Wi-Fi has only become more important as more devices and online activities become essential at home. I’ll review some of the things to investigate as you search for better Wi-Fi performance.
While getting someone’s name and address from their IP address is technically possible, it’s also difficult and requires law enforcement’s help.
When scanning for wireless connections, you may find several that are unknown, yet appear open and available. Using them is very risky.
Free accessible Wi-Fi is almost ubiquitous, and most systems are set up to use it safely. There are a few things to pay attention to in order to stay safe.
If there is a conflict with your IP address, it could result in only one of the machines on your network connecting at a time.
It’s easy to monitor the amount of bandwidth a computer is using. The entire network? Not so much.
A subnet mask is a way of telling your computer or router what network addresses are local and which are remote.
You can find out a lot about what your computer is doing online by using the Resource Monitor in Windows.
Slow Domain Name System (DNS) lookups can affect your apparent internet speed. Your ISP should provide fast DNS, but there are alternatives.
Your router is your first line of defense against malicious attacks from the internet. Is yours secure?
Some Windows messages indicate that something was set by your network administrator. That’s probably you, even if you didn’t do it.
On a recent overseas trip, I exercised Proton VPN extensively and was very pleased with the results.
Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop is a free and convenient remote-access tool allowing you to get help from people you trust or be the person giving help.
If you forget your Wi-Fi password Windows may be able to remind you what it is.
Wi-Fi speed can be slow for many different reasons. Slow Wi-Fi can also be a symptom of speed constraints elsewhere.
Windows tries to be helpful by remembering the Wi-Fi networks you’ve connected to in the past. Sometimes, though, you want it to forget.
Bad Wi-Fi signal strength? A range extender need not be expensive, and can be a handy and flexible solution.
Web servers get your IP address when you visit. Whether or not that or other information can be used to identify you, specifically, depends on a lot of things.
Most Wi-Fi access points and routers easily let you block someone from using your Wi-Fi. I’ll cover the simple steps.
“Limited connectivity” displays when your computer is having problems completing its network configuration. It might as well mean no connectivity.
Mobile broadband is a popular internet connection alternative. As with any connection, it’s important to understand the security ramifications and tradeoffs.
After all this time, the average user still has trouble networking computers, and that’s really frustrating.
A MAC address can easily be traced for as far as it travels — which isn’t far enough to be useful.
Sharing Wi-Fi with your neighbor might seem like a friendly thing to do, but be aware you are potentially putting your own computers at risk.
If it’s certain a neighbor is using your IP address without permission, you need to take steps. But first you need to make sure.
Wi-Fi hotspots make for a convenient connection. To connect, you need proximity, a little hardware, and most important, permission.
Any device sitting on the internet is subject to a constant stream of “internet background noise”. It’s why you really want to be behind a firewall.
If someone threatens you because they know your IP address, it’s an empty threat.
Many households have computers used for sensitive things sharing a network with less trustworthy users. Here’s how to increase your security.
While you can’t find the specific owner of an IP address, there are a few tools to see what IP-related information you can get.
Absolutely not. This is a critically important distinction to make, and it’s one I’m afraid many people misunderstand.
Open Wi-Fi hotspots at coffee shops and other public places are opportunities for hackers. I’ll review how to stay safe.
A firewall is a critical component of keeping your machine safe on the internet. There are two basic types, but which is right for you?
People can tell very little from your IP address. For example, they cannot tell who or where you are. How much they can tell varies a great deal.
Wired speeds are almost always faster than wireless. I’ll review why and what you can do. Spoiler: “what you can do” usually involves a cable.
If you want to hide your IP address, it’s important to understand the terminology to get the results you want.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a fully encrypted, private internet connection via a VPN provider. I’ll look at what protection it offers.
How to quickly find the DNS servers used by Windows. They’re typically specified by your ISP, but I’ll also discuss why you might change your DNS servers.
When your computer can’t get an IP address any other way, it assigns itself a 169.254 IP address. It’s a sure sign of a problem.
Bandwidth, in computers and online, is all about speed. Better bandwidth means faster transfers. I’ll use a common metaphor to make it a little more real.
Thanks to popular media, many people expect much more from an IP address than is practically available. I’ll separate myth from fact.
A home network allows you to share a single internet connection, as well as data and devices, between multiple devices. I’ll review the basics components of a home network and some steps to take as your network grows.
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) have characteristics that are visible to your ISP. I’ll discuss what they can and cannot see.
Giving a neighbor temporary internet access seems like a neighborly thing to do. Before you do it, understand the risks of sharing your internet.
Every router has at least two IP addresses. It’s a characteristic of how routers do their jobs.
Network failures after standby remain common, particularly in older machines. There are a couple of things to try.
Sometimes using a DNS service other than that provided by your ISP makes sense. I’ll show you how to make the change.
A vulnerability has been discovered in a critical wireless security protocol. I’ll discuss whether you should worry and what steps you should take.
Even if you’re nowhere near a network you’ve connected to in the past, you can still recover the Wi-Fi password from Windows.
Accidentally connecting to someone’s nearby wireless network can be a serious security risk. We’ll look at some steps to prevent it.