Articles in Category: Networking

Network connectivity and configurations, protocols and problems, articles relating to how computers connect.

A photorealistic image depicting a router with a small puff of smoke emanating from its ventilation holes, indicating a problem or malfunction. The router is placed on a desk with a clear view of its side, where the smoke is visible. The environment is a typical home or office setting.

Why Might My Internet Connection Randomly Stop Working?

Let me walk you through eight of the most common issues when it comes to internet connections, drops, and general connectivity.


Can My ISP See I’m Using a VPN?

Virtual Private Networks have characteristics visible to your ISP. I’ll discuss what they can and cannot see.

Photorealistic image of a traditional balance scale, with the scales clearly labeled. On one side of the scale, the word 'Success' is visibly written, on the other side, the word 'Failure' is written. The scale is depicted with realistic materials, such as polished brass or steel, and is set against a simple, neutral background to keep the focus on the balance scale. The lighting in the image highlights the reflective surfaces of the scale and the contrasting labels on each side. The image does not contain any additional text, ensuring the message is conveyed solely through the symbolic representation of the balance scale.

Increasing the Odds That Windows Network Sharing Will Work

Networking is… tricky. Here’s a process that works fairly reliably for me.

Wireless internet in the home.

How Do I Get Wireless Internet?

You hear a lot about wireless internet, but it’s not something you can just connect to anywhere. It’s more often something you purchase and set up.

Feature a whimsical, animated-style computer or laptop with a vibrant, exaggerated screen displaying fast internet symbols like a speedometer or lightning bolt. Include animated icons such as a Wi-Fi signal, Ethernet cable, a globe for DNS, and a creative version of the Windows 11 logo. The background should be lively and colorful, complementing the animated theme, making the image engaging and visually appealing.

8 Ways You Can Increase Internet Speed in Windows

Internet speed: we all want it. Here’s how to improve yours.


5 Steps to Better Wi-Fi In Your House

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.

Map with a pin in it.

How Do I Get Someone’s Location From an IP Address?

While getting someone’s name and address from their IP address is technically possible, it’s also difficult and requires law enforcement’s help.

Caution: Wi-Fi Ahead

Is It OK to Use this Random Wireless Network I Just Found?

When scanning for wireless connections, you may find several that are unknown, yet appear open and available. Using them is very risky.

Free Wi-Fi

Is Using a Shared Wi-fi Hotspot Safe?

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.

Two computers and a hub.

Why Does My Home Network Only Work with One Computer at a Time?

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.

Home wrapped in network cables.

How Do I Monitor My Home Network Usage?

It’s easy to monitor the amount of bandwidth a computer is using. The entire network? Not so much.

ipconfig output highlighting subnet mask

What Is a “Subnet Mask”?

A subnet mask is a way of telling your computer or router what network addresses are local and which are remote.

Network Activity

How Do I Monitor Network Activity in Windows?

You can find out a lot about what your computer is doing online by using the Resource Monitor in Windows.


I Keep Getting “DNS Server Not Responding” Errors. What Can I Do?

Slow Domain Name System (DNS) lookups can affect your apparent internet speed. Your ISP should provide fast DNS, but there are alternatives.

A Secure Router?

8 Steps to Securing Your Router

Your router is your first line of defense against malicious attacks from the internet. Is yours secure?


Who Is My Home Network Administrator?

Some Windows messages indicate that something was set by your network administrator. That’s probably you, even if you didn’t do it.

ProtonVPN in action

Proton VPN: A Fast, Reliable VPN Service

On a recent overseas trip, I exercised Proton VPN extensively and was very pleased with the results.

Chrome Remote Desktop

Using Chrome Remote Desktop in Windows

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.

Forget your Wi-Fi password?

How to Recover a Wi-Fi Password in Windows 10 and 11

If you forget your Wi-Fi password Windows may be able to remind you what it is.

Wi-Fi Snail

Why is My Wi-Fi Speed Slow?

Wi-Fi speed can be slow for many different reasons. Slow Wi-Fi can also be a symptom of speed constraints elsewhere.

So. Many. Hotspots.

Why Does My Laptop Keep Connecting to the Wrong Wi-Fi Network?

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.

Wi-Fi while camping?

Increase Your Wi-Fi Range While Camping

Bad Wi-Fi signal strength? A range extender need not be expensive, and can be a handy and flexible solution.

Searching an IP address

Can a Website Identify Me When I Visit?

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.

Wi-Fi Router

How Do I Block Someone From Using My Wi-Fi?

Most Wi-Fi access points and routers easily let you block someone from using your Wi-Fi. I’ll cover the simple steps.


What is “Limited Connectivity” and How Do I Fix it?

“Limited connectivity” displays when your computer is having problems completing its network configuration. It might as well mean no connectivity.

Caution: Wi-Fi Ahead

Is Mobile More Secure than Wi-Fi?

Mobile broadband is a popular internet connection alternative. As with any connection, it’s important to understand the security ramifications and tradeoffs.

Network cables

You’re Not Alone: Networking Sucks

After all this time, the average user still has trouble networking computers, and that’s really frustrating.

Network Cards

Can I Trace a MAC Address?

A MAC address can easily be traced for as far as it travels — which isn’t far enough to be useful.

Neighbor Sharing Wi-Fi

If I Share Wi-Fi With My Neighbor, Can They See My Network Traffic?

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.


How Do I Stop My Neighbor Using My IP Address?

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.

Free Wi-Fi

How Do I Connect My Desktop to Open Wi-Fi Nearby?

Wi-Fi hotspots make for a convenient connection. To connect, you need proximity, a little hardware, and most important, permission.

A wireless router.

What Are These Access Attempts In My Router Log?

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.

You Are Here!

Someone Has My IP Address – Should I Be Scared?

If someone threatens you because they know your IP address, it’s an empty threat.

Digital Sheild

How Do I Protect Myself from Other Computers on My Local Network?

Many households have computers used for sensitive things sharing a network with less trustworthy users. Here’s how to increase your security.

IP Address

Finding the Owner of an IP Address

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.

Wi-Fi Hotspot

Does an Open Wi-Fi Login Page Mean It’s Secure?

Absolutely not. This is a critically important distinction to make, and it’s one I’m afraid many people misunderstand.

How Do I Use an Open Wi-Fi Hotspot Safely?

How Do I Use an Open Wi-Fi Hotspot Safely?

Open Wi-Fi hotspots at coffee shops and other public places are opportunities for hackers. I’ll review how to stay safe.

Do I Need a Firewall for My Home Network?

Do I Need a Firewall for My Home Network?

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?

What Can People Tell from My IP Address?

What Can People Tell from My IP Address?

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.

Caution: Wi-Fi Ahead

Why is My Wi-Fi Speed Slower than Ethernet?

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.

Eye Spy

Can My ISP See I’m Using a VPN or a Proxy?

If you want to hide your IP address, it’s important to understand the terminology to get the results you want.


How Does a VPN Protect Me?

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 Do I Find the DNS Server Used By My PC?

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.

Simple network

Why Can’t I Connect with a 169.254 IP Address?

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.

Speed / Bandwidth

What is Bandwidth as It Applies to My Computer?

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.

IP Address Search

How To Trace an IP Address: Myth Versus Reality

Thanks to popular media, many people expect much more from an IP address than is practically available. I’ll separate myth from fact.

How Should I Set Up My Home Network?

How Should I Set Up My Home Network?

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.

Network Boundary

Is it Safe to Share My Internet Connection with My Neighbor?

Giving a neighbor temporary internet access seems like a neighborly thing to do. Before you do it, understand the risks of sharing your internet.

A Router's Role

Your Router’s Two IP Addresses

Every router has at least two IP addresses. It’s a characteristic of how routers do their jobs.

Laptop Error

Why Does My Network Not Work After Resuming from Standby?

Network failures after standby remain common, particularly in older machines. There are a couple of things to try.