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Sunday, December 16, 2018

1965. Set up a guest network

I just realized that when my WIFI gives access to my network that guests of mine will be able to access my disk server and my computer. I don't want this what can I do?

This should be a concern for business ans well as even home WIFI. If you let people use your WIFI, make sure it is protected. You should protect information on your network. Especially if you let people use your WIFI.

Most newer WIFI routers have the ability to support "guest" users. Guest users will have the ability to get access to your WIFI, but will not be allowed to do anything other than to go to the internet.

If you have network accessible data that guest user will not be able to see or access your local network devices.

Some people also remove a password to access their WIFI network. This is also a very bad decision. You may trust your friends, but if you have no password anybody can not only get to the internet using your bandwidth but then can get access to your devices on the network.

Another option is to not broadcast make your WIFI name (SSID). This way the cheap neighbor next door who knows the kids and dog's name that you use as a password to not even see that you have a WIFI.

Protect yourself and your network. Use a hidden SSID, have strong passwords, and use guest networks.

1964. Bad software support

was having problems with my software product. I looked up on the internet and called the software support number. But I ended up having a $400 bill. Turns out I didn't get the real vendor but someone else.

Just because you search for a certain software support vendor, doesn't mean the search will result in talking to the official vendor you wanted.

Remember these search engines make money by putting solutions in your search results. Companies pay for key word placement. If your search has "quicken" in the search information, and the search engine is being paid more money from then they will end up above Intuit or quicken .com results. So if you search for "Quicken support" the search may very well list companies that are not the official Quicken support number. PLEASE take the time to read the search results. Not only look at the words but look at the URL that you will be taken to.

If I look for Quicken support, I do not want to go the a URL that isn't I am only using Quicken as an example.

1963. Cost for backup

I want to re-install my Operating system. You suggest backing up first. Can you justify the cost?

Yes here we are telling everyone why they should backup their computers again. And yes we will.

I had another new client who called me to say suddenly their 3 year old computer was great one evening and the next morning it had that blue screen of death. Another disk drive failure. Sadly they had not listened to our rampage and did not have an image backup.

That image backup would have cost another $75 plus software. Well the software cost was not a valid reason because Windows 10 has built in image backup software. And you can get free copies of Macrium Reflect.

But yes the backup drive could cost around 60-75. When replacing the disk I asked for their Windows license code so I could install a new version of Windows. They didn't have it and no "label" was found. So not only did they need a new disk, we had to buy a Windows licence. There goes their cost of a backup drive. Please image backup.

And trust me the same problems will and do happen to your Mac. Spend an extra $60-75 for a backup drive and save yourself hundreds of dollars and data loss later.

1962. Fix or new computer

I have had more failures with computer hardware. Most of the computers have been 3-4 years old. What should I do. Get it fixed or buy a new computer?

3-4-5year computers are really ready to consider replacing. In many cases I find that fixing them costs more than getting a new one. A key issue when considering a new computer is really what do you do with the computer now vs. 4 years ago. You really might not need the same kind of computer and the horsepower.

Besides hardware causing your old computer slowing down are the updates that have been done over the 4 years. The operating system for both Apple and Microsoft have more an more things being done and that alone can cause a slowdown. Also ever time you go to a website, often that site will add "extensions" to your browser. This over time will also put additional loads on the computer. Search on the internet how to clean up extensions on your browser/computer.

If your current computer seems to be running slowly you may want to consider adding more memory or replacing the old spinning disk hard drive with the new all electronic SSD drives. On a typical computer the parts to do this can be can be around $120. In many cases you might try to replace these parts. A simple search on the internet can give you YouTube directions on how to do this. Check these directions to see if you can do the job. If not these steps shouldn't take more than an hour of time from a technician. So tuning up your old computer can cost around $200.00

Once you understand the needs if you determine that you should get a new computer start shopping.A new computer for typical desktop average type usage will cost you around $1000.00.

Some things to think about.

1961. Password issues with Outlook

All of a sudden I have had to enter my password in Outlook to get my email. It keeps asking over and over. Whats up?

This problem has been happening with many of my clients. The email service has been with many different ISP's like Yahoo, Office 365 and gmail. Here are some solutions.

To do any of these options you will need at least your email address and password. In addition you may need to search the internet to get the login details for accessing your email at your email service provider.

If your email service is with Office 365, the easiest way I found was to be on the computer that has Outlook installed. Then log into your Office 365 account using your browser. The URL to do this is .com. Enter you email address and password. Now within your browser you should see a "help" button popped up on the lower right of the browser window. Select this button and a pop-up will ask to define the problem. Say you have to enter your password over and over in Outlook.

Office 365 will then offer a number of options to correct the problem.

Other services may have similar options, but if all else fails you want to redefine your Outlook Profile. This is what you entered when you initially installed Outlook and gave it the information on how to connect to your email service.

The easiest way to create a new profile without losing your old one is to go to the Windows Control Panel. On that panel is an icon with the name Mail. Open that option. You will select New Profile and redefine the information to create a new Outlook profile.

This usually resolves the need to re-enter your password in Outlook.

1960. Remote server support

I have a need to run applications on a server but I don't what to buy all of that hardware and software. Is there any way to get server type of computing without the hassle of owning?

Yes Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Services offer cloud support to run private computers that you can use for your business. Most often these computers are called Virtual Machines (VMs). They are complete computers like physical computers but they actual share a physical server with other virtual machines. You can also "rent" real physical computers but in most cases you would want to use VM's. These VMs can be Microsoft Operating Systems, as well as Linux, and even Apple. They can even be non-servers like Windows 10 or even Windows XP.

You can create your own Virtual network with many VMs connected together. You pay for the amount of computer time you use, data storage and internet connection data. You can have the computers automatically turn on and off at various times of the day or night. Basically you only pay for what you need. If your local computers need access to these cloud computers you must have reasonable internet connection speed to support the application.

For those of you that have had servers you know that the support and TLC can become expensive. You may need a backup computers and support equipment and where you have your computers must be air conditioned. If your power goes out you may need significant backup power. Many of these issues can go away by renting time on one of these cloud services. Also a great way to test new systems without interrupting you current system.

I have one client that ends up paying less per month to rent the cloud computer system that they were paying for just the extra electricity to run their in-house computers.

All of the cloud service companies offer redundancy for the computers, power and internet connections. The only real concerns that if the computer services are critical 24/7 concerns you may need a secondary internet connection. But give cloud services a look whether you need to test a new program on Windows 10 or a complete Domain network system.

Local companies in the area can help you determine if this type of service will work for you. Email for help finding one.

1958. What is 5G and not the 5.0 Mhz WIFI

I still can't get decent internet service at home. I've heard something about 5G. Will this help?

Currently our cell phones use a service called 4G. which is 4th generation cell phone service and it gets pretty decent speeds and it's available pretty much everywhere. Even here out in the country we have 4G. service from all of the major carriers.

Unfortunately 4G. service is limited to how many people can connect at the same time and how much data they can consume concurrently. So there really isn't any way for the cell phone providers to use their cell towers and the cell signal to let us use for a 4G service for home Internet with any kind of bandwidth that we want to use oat home.

You wouldn't be able to stream video for example, for very long before consuming all of the bandwidth they have.

5G. or the 5th generation service is due to be launched very soon, maybe already by the time you hear this.

Various companies including Verizon, Sprint , AT&T. T-mobile are are all planning 5G. service in our area at some point. 5G. service provides basically unlimited throughput. So when for Verizon or whoever else comes through Verizon looks like they're going to do it 1st comes through with home 5 G. service.

Even if you're out in the woods as long as you have cell phone service that's reliable you should be able to get the 5G. throughput which is very fast certainly capable of streaming video making audio phone calls and letting you do what every work you want to do on the Internet without bandwidth or throughput caps.

So yes 5 G. service once it's available, will make it easier for you to get high speed internet service wherever you live. I must add the warning that there are those who believe that the signal used by 5G. service is going to scramble all of our brains and perhaps kill all human kind . This may or may not be true. You might want to find your aluminum foil hat but I'm not sure there's much we can do about it at this point. 5G. is coming so we might as well take advantage.

1957. EKG feature

I heard that the new Apple Watch supposedly includes an EKG somehow. I can't find it. What's up?

When Apple announced the new Apple Watch for earlier this year, they announced it would have some very useful features especially for us old folks. There is a feature and that was easy to find where if you happen to fall down or have a hard fall and don't get right up it will call 911 for you. I appreciate that haven't fallen yet but you never know.

They also advertised that the watch would include an E.K.G. That is the ability to have a heart monitor record your heartbeat. I don't know what it is, I'm not a doctor, but it's certainly something that I've done in the hospital before and I'd love to have one on my watch.

Unfortunately it wasn't there when the Apple Watch 4 first shipped. As of the time we are recording this tip however that software was released on this very day and I am downloading it this very minute as we record this tip.

So if you have an Apple Watch 4 and you haven't yet gotten the latest version of the watch software which at this moment is 5.1.2 then you should because it does include an E.K.G. as part of its software.

Maybe will report in later how it works but if you need that functionality and who doesn't download the latest version of the watch OS. and give it a try.

1956. Eero, Orbvi, etc

A friend of mine has a really large house, and can't manage to get their WIFI reach all the rooms. Is there a simple solution?\\

Maybe your friend would like to give his house to someone else who could use, just kidding, we don't need bigger houses what we need is less stuff.

But given a big house if you need to get WIFE to all corners of the house there are lots of different options. You could get a range extender. Every manufacture of networking equipment makes range extenders but they all kind of well they're not great None of them works really well.

A better alternative is to look for a new technology called mesh networking and each of the big networking vendors makes something or provide some hardware that will provide this service. The one I happen to like best is from a company called EERO.

Oh it's very simple to set up. There are attractive little units you can buy a set of 3 of them for somewhere around $300.00. It's not cheap but it's super easy to set up. makes one called the ORBI and there are others from other vendors as well.

You find the one you like. You can do research online and you just have to hook a wire up to one of them. So your wire comes in from ISP, whatever it is from Comcast or AT&T or whatever it is and that wire goes into one of the EERO units and then the others you spread around your house to get signal to wherever you need it.

There's instructions that are provided by these manufacturers. They're simple to set up and after being out for a few years now they're very reliable. Check out mesh networking for more information about getting your WIFI signal to all areas of your large house.

1955. MVNO

I heard about some cell phone service that's really cheap. What's up with that? Should I switch?

If you're working with one of the main cell phone carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile, or Sprint you're most likely paying more than you need to for cell phone service. If you're happy with what you've got and what you're paying no point in changing but there are smaller carriers most often carriers that use the same networks as the big 4.

These are called MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) carriers and one of them is Mint Mobile at uses T-Mobile's towers and bandwidth and they have pretty good coverage in our area.

Mint Mobile during the Thanksgiving holiday period was incredibly cheap. It was something like $20.00 for 3 months of service which you could extend to a year's worth of service. Unfortunately that bargain is gone, But they're still very inexpensive for something like $15.00 a month. You get a reasonable amount of data, unlimited talk, and text, and hotspot availability on your phone.

If your phone supports T. Mobile's bandwidth and most do you might be able to switch. So check it out. But each of the big carriers has an MVNO. In subsidiary for example AT&T has Cricket.

You can check these out online but if you're using one of the big 4 and you're unhappy with how much you're paying for service check out the smaller carriers. They're using the same cell towers in the same band with so why not?

1954. Informed Delivery

We recently talked about the US Postal Service's service that emails you a photo of each mail piece that you're going to get each day. Is this still available?

Funny about this when we 1st discussed it Doug was a little skeptical and was worried that the US Postal Service would be getting information about my mail because I had set this up that it shouldn't have. But the fact is the U.S. Postal Service has always photographed every piece of mail or at least in recent history and the service only sends you those pictures to make it easy for you to know what's coming in your mail and make choices about whether to schlep out your mailbox and get the mail or not.

But recently I heard about a scam involved in this service which makes it imperative that you sign up for this service. The service is called Informed Delivery. You can search online for that the problem is if you don't sign up for informed delivery at your address some scammer can and then some crook then is able to see what mail you're about to get.

If you're going to get a check for example they could then go to your mailbox and steal your mail. It sounds far fetched but this has happened already. So if you're connected to the Internet and if you receive mail at home I suggest you do sign up for Informed Delivery at the U.S. Postal Service so you get information about the mail that's going to be delivered to you instead of someone else.

1959. Apple Pages file

Someone sent me a document created in Apple's Pages application. I can't open it on my PC. Is there any way I can view or edit it?

The simple answer is absolutely. Now although you cannot install the Pages application on your Windows computer that doesn't keep you from editing the file. One quick solution is to use Apple's own website. This site is built so that you can edit things online so all you need to do is log into your iCloud account which of course you don't have because you're a Windows user. So you'll need to create one but it's free. If you have an Apple phone or tablet you might already have an Apple account. If you don't create one it's free. I said that and then upload the file to your iCloud account. Once it's uploaded you can open it in pages on the website. It's simple to use. It's a simple word processor. I mean it does a lot but if you just want to edit the file it's real simple and you can do it for free on Don't be discouraged because you have a Windows P.C. and you can't open the pages document . You can. The same thing applies for Numbers or Keynote documents which are also Apple specific but are available for editing on