Think Your Neighbor Is a Wifi Stealer? Learn How to Check Today!

Think Your Neighbor Is a Wifi Stealer? Learn How to Check Today!

Most Americans worry they are losing control over their personal data, but these same people fail to follow the best digital security practices.

If you’re worried about someone getting access to your personal information, you need to make sure you have the proper security to protect yourself.

And the first step is to protect against a wifi stealer.

Take a look at this guide to figure out if someone else is using your wifi and how to keep them from downloading your personal information.

How Can I Tell if Someone Else is Using My Wifi?

Because a wifi stealer sucks up some of your bandwidth, your internet will start to run slower than before.

You can tell your internet is running slow when things have a hard time loading. Maybe a simple webpage takes 30 to 60 seconds to load, or your Youtube videos are stuck buffering for several minutes.

Streaming shows and movies from places like Netflix will also be a problem.

Slow internet doesn’t always mean you have a wifi stealer. If you know for sure your family are the only ones using your internet (you’ll be able to figure this out after finishing this post), you should find another way to make your internet run faster.

But if your family has used the same wifi plan with the same devices for years or months and never had a problem, you may have someone else hopping onto your network.

Why Should I Worry About People Using My Wifi?

People use your internet for all kinds of reasons. Some may not be bad reasons, but you should always take action to get these people off your wifi for safety reasons.

The Not as Big Wifi Stealer Problems

If someone is using your wifi, it’s usually for innocent reasons. Odds are your neighbors just got a little lazy and decided to use your wifi to check their emails and watch their Netflix shows.

Typically, the most harm a wifi stealer will do is cost you some extra money. Most houses have a data cap, and other people using your wifi can cause you to go over, making your wifi bill go up.

This in and of itself is a reason to get that person off your wifi. But aside from giving you slow internet and bigger bills, situations like these don’t generally have any other problems.

But you should be worried about people using your wifi because they very easily could create other problems.

The Very Big Wifi Stealer Problems

If someone has access to your wifi, they have access to your entire network. That means they can see and download most everything on your network, private or important files included.

The person using your wifi might not be your neighbor, and even if it is, your neighbor might not be as trustworthy as you think. Hackers or people with the express desire to hurt you can mess with your important information and give you all kinds of trouble.

Sometimes, people are only using your wifi to perform criminal activities. They’ll do these activities on your wifi so their own wifi stays clean. Because guess whose door the authorities will be knocking on when they notice the criminal activity?

It was done on your wifi, so they’re coming to you.

These are just a few reasons you should be concerned if you think someone else is using your wifi. The truth is, you don’t know what those people are using your wifi for, so you need to get them off as soon as possible.

How Do Other People Connect to My Wifi?

In most cases, people only steal your wifi because you don’t have the right kind of security.

For example, if you haven’t bothered to change the original name of your router or set up a password, people can just click on your wifi and get on. When people see an open wifi network (one that’s not password protected), a lot of them just assume it is okay to use it.

Nine times out of 10, that is the problem. People who have to come up with a password to log onto your wifi usually just give up and try to find a different network.

Other people with other agendas can hack into a wifi network even if it has a password, which is why it’s important to get the best security for your network.

How Do Find Other People Who Are Using My Network?

There are a few different ways to do this, and they are all slightly different depending on what computer you have.

Check Your Router Light

An easy way to figure out if someone else is using your wifi is to check the lights on your router. Most routers will have a wireless light that turns on when any wireless device is connected. If you disconnect all your wireless devices and the light is still on, you have a wifi stealer.

But this method isn’t without fault. You have to make sure every single wireless device you own is disconnected, and it is easy to overlook a few things you didn’t realize had a wireless connection.

Unless you know for sure you got everything turned off, you should stick with a better test.

Check Your Router Device List

To check your router’s device list, you first have to get onto your router’s IP address.

After you get in, you have to look for a section about connected devices. It will look different on every computer, but it could be a category called attached devices, my network, or device list.

Once you see all the devices that are connected, you can check them on your family’s devices and find out which one doesn’t match up.

Use an App

There are a number of apps out there specifically designed to search for unusual devices on your network.

These apps include Wi-Fi Inspector, F-Secure Router Checker, Wireless Network Watcher, and Fing.

Just download the apps and they’ll get to work catching that wifi stealer.

What Do I Do If I Find a Wifi Stealer?

The short answer, upgrade your security.

Change your router name and password right away. This will kick all devices currently on the network off until they can provide the right password.

You should also make sure you’re using the strongest wireless encryption available, and right now, that’s WPA2. If your router is too old to support WPA2, it’s probably time to get a new one.

Keep Your Wifi Secure

If you think you have a wifi stealer on your network, you need to get that person off your wifi as soon as you can. Check for their device on your router or with an app then change your router security to make sure they can’t get back on.

Want to update the security on your router but aren’t sure what to use? Contact us and we can get you started!

Troubleshooting Common Issues With Your Netgear Wireless Router

Troubleshooting Common Issues With Your Netgear Wireless Router

Whether you’ve just plugged it in or you’re experiencing a sudden outage, it’s not uncommon to encounter issues with your Netgear Wireless Router.

Fluctuations in network connectivity from your ISP or internet service provider, a power surge, or a spike in traffic can all contribute to interruptions in your service. Some issues come from user error.

Some issues come from user error. Other issues arise from your outdated firmware.

Before you end up trying to navigate the maze of the Netgear support, try some simple solutions at home. Below is a list of solutions to fixing hiccups in your connection that’ll get you back online and back to your life.

I Can’t Access the Internet

If all of your lights are steady and displaying the correct color, you might need to reset your device. If that doesn’t work, try going to “Settings” and choosing the option “Forget This Network“.

If that doesn’t solve your issues, you may need to look into the connection your router is making with your ISP.

Open up a browser and try connecting to www.google.com. If nothing happens, go to the router’s interface page at www.routerlogin.net. Go to Administration > Router Status. Find the label “Internet Port” and be sure you see a valid IP address.

If you see 0.0.0.0., your Netgear wireless router isn’t connecting to your ISP. Your next step might be to restart your network or call your ISP. Double check that your login and password to your ISP (if required) are set correctly.

My Connection is Too Slow

A slow connection is frustrating to deal with. If you watch movies or play games online, surely you’ve encountered slowdowns that have a negative impact on your experience.

There are some simple solutions to optimizing your connection speed to your Netgear wireless router.

Router configuration could be the source of your problems. If your router has QoS and WMM settings, you may want to disable one or both of these settings. In certain wireless configurations, disabling these two settings can increase your speed greatly.

Configuring upstream to QoS tells your router to prioritize data out. This can increase performance for gaming.

If you spend more time watching video or streaming from the web, consider prioritizing downstream with QoS.

No Connection In Some Rooms

You may be experiencing connection drops as you move from room to room. This can be the result of a variety of issues. Basements are notoriously bad for signal bounce.

Be sure your Netgear wireless router is set up in the center of where all of your wi-fi action will take place. Putting it in the corner of your place might seem like the most aesthetically pleasing solution but your connection could suffer.

Consider your options when dealing with dead zones.

If it’s in your budget, I recommend getting a signal booster or a powerline network extender. Extenders use the existing wiring in the house to transmit wi-fi signals from your router to every corner of your home. This isn’t the cheapest solution but it’s much better solution than trying to rewire your house.

Wi-fi repeaters are an alternate and cheaper solution.

However, instead of boosting the signal with house wiring, they can only transmit the signal that they receive from the main router. You’ll receive a steady connection at a mere drip of what you’d get from your primary wireless router.

The Power LED Stays Amber

If you’ve had to reset your router, it should come back to all green after a minute of being plugged in. You can disconnect then reconnect the power to see if the issue is resolved. Your next option is to reset the router to its default configuration and password.

Find a pin or a paper clip and locate the small reset button on the back of your Netgear wireless router. Press and hold the button with the small pin. After 20 seconds, release the button and allow the router to reset.

Following this process, your router’s default IP address will be 192.168.1.1 and the password will be set to “password”. Type the IP address into your browser to change or update your configuration settings.

Can’t Connect Wirelessly

Are you having trouble finding your wireless network in your device’s list of networks? Check to see if the wi-fi LED on your router is lit. If not, there may be a toggle button to turn it on.

If you’re still having issues, look at the wireless settings for the router. Find an ethernet cable and connect your computer directly to the router. Log in using the router’s IP address. It may still be set to the default 192.168.1.1. Go to Basic > Wireless. Select “Apply” once changes are made.

If you see your network but the connection is weak, try adjusting your distance from the router.

You should be at least 6 feet away but within a reasonable distance of the router. See if this improves signal strength. Remove any objects you see that might be getting in the way of your signal as well.

Other Netgear Wireless Router Issues

So you’ve updated your firmware, you’ve reset your router, and still nothing? It might be time to call tech support for any issues not covered in this guide. Before you drop an hour or two on the phone with support, go through our Netgear setup guide and see if you’ve missed anything.

Even someone with years of experience with IT products is sure to overlook a common issue in the frustration of troubleshooting. Don’t fret. You’re not the first person to encounter this problem and you won’t be the last.

If your issues still persist, don’t hesitate to contact us or search through our blog for more common solutions to common problems.

15 Awesome Features On The iPhone X

15 Awesome Features On The iPhone X

Ten years is an eternity in tech. Ten years before the iPhone X, my travel bag contained an iPod, a GPS device, a cellphone and a laptop in case I needed to do any writing or browsing.

The iPhone revolutionized more than my bag weight. This latest addition to the series continues to awe by improving upon previous versions and by looking years ahead of rivals.

The iPhone X, pronounced “ten”, is a marker or the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone.

Between the jaw-dropping image quality or the fun of sending animated emojis, there’s a lot to look forward to.

I’ve put together a breakdown of the 15 most awesome features for the iPhone X in advance of the November 3rd release.

Better connected

Whether you use emojis to express things you’re too shy to say, or if you don’t want your friends to know that your ex is texting you, the new iPhone X has you covered.

1. No more prying eyes

The iPhone revolutionized the way we connect on the go, introducing FaceTime and the “…” notification that your recipient is responding. This release is no exception.

How embarrassing is it to pass your phone to a coworker so they can see your vacation pics only to have a Tinder notification pop up? Use the new Face ID integration to make sure your notifications and messages stay for your eyes only.

2. Next level emojis

I use emojis with my friends all day. Emojis can express excitement and frustration in a way you can’t always put into words.

But sometimes they don’t feel like they express enough.

The new “animoji” feature allows you to expand the expressiveness of your emojis. Using a face scan, animojis allow you send a talking panda or a grumbling pile of poo.

Powered up

The plight of the iPhone is wondering whether or not your battery will last you the night. As with every release, Apple continues to improve on power usage and charging.

3. Wireless charging is here

In a major upgrade from the last iPhone release, the iPhone X uses Qi (‘chee’) charging mats that other competing brands have already been using. Bringing the iPhone up to this standard has several benefits.

Instead of asking the bartender or the barista for a charger, these charging pads are sure to start popping up in restaurants, airports, bars, and libraries.

I’m not sure about you, but with every iPhone release cycle, I factor in the price I’m sure to spend on about six $20 charge cables until the next release. Never again!

In addition to apple, Belkin and mophie have created new wireless chargers made specifically for this iPhone.

4. Best battery yet

While we’re talking about power, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that the iPhone X has even more battery life than the iPhone 8.

While the iPhone 8 boasts 14 hours of talk time, this phone can offer an average of 21 hours. That’s 50% more time to plan, connect and chat between charge cycles.

Whether you deal with west coast traffic, east coast public transit or anything in between, all that extra time will help your commute breeze by.

iPhone X moves your money

In the last few years, the iPhone is trying to make credit cards obsolete. The latest iPhone might soon be the only thing you need to leave the house with in the morning.

5. Pay your friends through the messages app

None of my friends ever carry cash anymore. If we’re at a bar or taking a cab, they use an online payment method to send their half to me.

The only problem is we never seem to be on the same page.

The days of figuring out who is using Square vs Paypal vs Venmo vs 1st National Bank of Northeastern Minnesota are over! You can pay for pizza using the Messages app in the time you could send a pizza emoji.

6. Apple Pay integrated with Face ID

One of the biggest pieces of news is the introduction of Face ID for locking and unlocking your phone. iPhone X integrates this technology into Apple Pay.

For a new level of security, you can now pay for coffee using the same retina technology that Apple is using the unlock your iPhone.

The high-end retina scanners integrated into the phone make sure that no one will be grabbing your phone for a shopping spree anytime soon. It also means that it was, in fact, you who bought $48 worth of Taco Bell last Saturday night.

Taking your pics to the next level

Since the iPhone 6 ad campaign, Apple has attempted to make phone photography an industry-wide option. Their “Shot With iPhone” series is sure to be the beginning of a sea change with the iPhone X’s major leaps.

7. A better wide angle camera

For the last few releases, Apple has been trying to get photographers to use the iPhone as part of a professional’s toolkit.

With the addition of a 12MP wide-angle camera, they may have found just the solution. You can find this lens on the iPhone X and the iPhone 8.

If you’re an amateur photographer, your iPhone has just become the perfect camera to capture your travel abroad or your hikes through the woods.

8. An improved dual camera system

As if you needed another argument for leaving your DSLR home, the new dual camera TrueDepth system stands above any smartphone camera on the market.

Along with getting the perfect focus, the aperture of the telephoto lens has improved immensely.

The iPhone X has the same great f/1.8 aperture wide-angle lens as the iPhone 8 Plus. To give you amazing photos under almost any lighting conditions, you also get a f/2.4 telephoto lens exclusive to this iPhone.

Your vacation photos will never have looked so epic.

9. Unparalleled front camera lighting

And speaking of lighting, the iPhone X has front camera lighting control to create beautiful portraits.

The new lighting controls give you more than just a quick flash that makes everything behind you invisible. New front camera now has as much versatility as the rear cameras.

Adjust the lighting in portrait mode to create crisp photos with blurred backgrounds. With this phone, your selfies are sure to be confused with professional headshots.

Everyday improvements

There are a few improvements that have made the usability of the iPhone X smoother than any iPhone before it.

10. Apple’s biggest iPhone yet

Apple has finally caught up with every other manufacturer and expanded their screen size.

Apple has given this phone a 5.8-inch super retina display that fills up the whole screen.

That makes the iPhone X bigger wide than the iPhone 8’s 5.5-inch screen. There’s no “X Plus” option offered because if Apple knows one thing, it’s that this screen 5.8-inch screen size is likely to become the new standard.

11. No more unnecessary interruptions

I read all of my news and magazine subscriptions on my iPhone. As a slow reader, I’ve always had one major pet peeve: You need to keep your finger on the screen to keep your text from dimming.

Thanks to Face ID, if you’re looking at your phone, your brightness remains the same as you read!

No more frustratedly scrolling back or squinting every 90-seconds and readjusting.

12. It knows when to be quiet

Thank Face ID for another everyday change.

Next time your phone goes off in a theater or if you’re fumbling for your alarm in the morning, the iPhone X will recognize you and turn the alarm or ringer off.

The neural engine in the phone also learns to recognize you whether you’re wearing glasses, a winter hat or just waking up with your hair all crazy.

13. It’s been working out

As I stated, this phone has the largest screen size to date. Yet at less than an ounce, it’s lighter than the iPhone 8 Plus.

You can thank the all glass and OLED construction for the slimmer size. Think about how much easier it’ll be go jogging with this strapped to your arm over any of the previous models.

Game on

For all of my technical readers, I haven’t forgotten about you. And neither has Apple. There are some great changes to what’s under the hood of this phone.

14. A revolutionary CPU that learns your habits

The iPhone X features their fastest iPhone CPU to date. With four efficiency cores, Apple rates this release as up to 70 percent faster than A10 Fusion processor found in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Are you a resource-heavy user? Apple has packed this phone with enough firepower to run a handful of apps without a hint of a slowdown.

Smartphones can now handle network management apps, high-definition networked gaming, and remote file management. As the engine improves, so does every users’ desire to push it.

Thankfully the two main performance cores are rated up to 25 percent faster than before!

15. The A11 Bionic chip can handle whatever you can throw

If you’re a big gamer or user of augmented reality apps, you won’t be disappointed.

With the popularity of Nintendo games and apps for iOS, we’re sure to see lots of new augmented reality apps. The power of the A11 Bionic will allow new games go above and beyond Pok?mon Go before the next release.

The A11 Bionic chip is the most powerful ever sold in a smartphone. Combined with a neural engine that observes how you use the phone, the iPhone X is hands down the most powerful of the series.

Augmented reality has never looked so fluid.

Choose wisely

The iPhone series skipped out on a “9” version in order to jump right ahead and celebrate their tenth anniversary with their X series. By leaps and bounds, the iPhone X outperforms any iPhone to date.

But that doesn’t mean you might find that the iPhone 8 works for you.

No matter where you end up buying yours, I always recommend going to an apple store to try out all the models first.

Stock is said to be limited, meaning you may not be able to buy one for a couple of sale cycles. This should give you plenty of time to back up your current phone.

There are sure to be lots of surprises and cool hacks in store once the iPhone X ends up in users’ hands. Contact us if you discover any tips we might have missed out on!

Your Complete Guide to Netgear Router Setup

Your Complete Guide to Netgear Router Setup

Did you just buy a Netgear router?

If so, you might be looking at it and wondering exactly how to put it all together and connect to the Internet.

After all, this is the era of instant tech feedback, right? We expect to press a few buttons or swipe a few screens and have all the connectivity we need right at our fingertips.

Today, we’re providing your complete guide to Netgear router setup, taking you from in-the-box to up-and-running quicker than you ever thought possible.

While there are a few steps involved, the good news is that they don’t have to take long if you know the proper protocol to follow.

Ready to get started? Grab that new router and let’s go!

Step One: Grab Your Modem

If you have a Netgear router, you more than likely want to connect to the Internet. To provide an online connection to all of your network devices, you’ll need to first connect your router to a modem.

If you fail to perform this step, you’ll still have access to a Local Area Network (LAN). This means that all of your devices can connect to each other in the same general space, such as a home or office. Yet, you won’t be able to pull up any web pages until you add that critical modem component.

That means if you’re working in an office, all of your disparate systems can be on the same network, but none will be online.

Why Do I Need a Modem?

Your modem acts as the middle-man between your home and your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Your ISP is the company responsible for providing either your cable or Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Internet service.

Put simply, as information travels from your ISP to your computer, it does so in the form of analog waves. Yet, your computer can’t recognize or use these waves, as it stores data digitally instead.

That’s where your modem comes in.

Its main job is to receive those analog waves and convert them to digital signals, where your computer can easily pick them up.

Importance of Network Connectivity

If you’re working in an individual setting, on only one device (e.g., your personal laptop), you can just hook your modem up to your computer for Internet access. Yet, if you want to access the Internet from two or more devices, a router is necessary.

If you want your network to have an Internet connection, your Netgear router setup must include a connection to your modem.

Keep in mind that a “network” isn’t just a term reserved for corporate settings with slews of computers.

A network can be as simple as the set of technology your family uses to hop online. Got a smartphone, laptop, and a tablet in your home? Yep, you’ve got a network.

Modem/Router Combos

Today, there are many modems that come equipped with a router already installed.

If this is the case for you, you can skip this step, as your router will automatically come equipped with Internet capability.

Step 2: Find the WAN Ethernet Port

Before you begin, make sure both your modem and router are unplugged.

Then, look at the back of your router and locate its Wide Area Network (WAN) Ethernet port. On Netgear routers, this port is typically highlighted in yellow with the words “Uplink” or “WAN.”

You’ll likely see several Ethernet ports on the back of your Netgear router, but they aren’t there to confuse you.

They provide connectivity for all the other computers and devices that run on your network, though many will undoubtedly connect wirelessly as well.

Just look for the Ethernet port that looks different from the rest.

Using an Ethernet cable (usually also yellow to match the ports), connect one end to the WAN Ethernet port on your router.

Step 3: Connect the Modem

The next step in your Netgear router setup is to find the Ethernet port on the back of your modem.

Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port on the back of the modem.

Plug your modem into the outlet.

Step 4: Configure Your Netgear Router Setup

Next, find another available Ethernet port on your router (on the same row as your Ethernet cable is now hooked up).

Using a separate Ethernet cable, connect your router to your computer’s Ethernet port. It’s helpful to use a cable in a different color, such as blue, to distinguish it from the other cable.

When this step is complete, your computer, modem, and router are all joined and able to “talk” to one another.

Step 5: Setting Up Your Login

Once you’re all set up, locate the installation CD that came with your router and put it into your computer.

From there, you’ll be able to open the software and use a wizard to help with the remainder of the Netgear router setup.

There are three decisions you’ll make concerning your router using this wizard. They include:

  • How it should hook up to the Internet
  • Setting up your wireless access with a name and password
  • Establishing administrator settings to ensure privacy and security

If for any reason you can’t access those configurations using the Netgear-provided software, you can still get to your settings.

Just look at the bottom of your router for your unique login website. It could be something as simple as “www.routerlogin.net.”

You can type that address into any Internet browser to instantly access your router’s setup page and make any necessary configuration changes.

Need More Help with Your Netgear Router Setup? Start Here!

If you’re still unsure how to get started with your Netgear router, we can help.

We provide handy and helpful Netgear-centric tips and tricks that cover everything from installation to troubleshooting support and everything in between.

Whether you’re just starting out with your systems or have been using them for years, there’s always something new to learn.

If you experience any issues or have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll hook you up with the answers you need!

7 Ways to Boost the Speeds of Your Netgear Router

7 Ways to Boost the Speeds of Your Netgear Router

What’s worse than trying to stream Game of Thrones and seeing the buffer wheel appear every two minutes? If it keeps it up, you’ll accidentally fall face first into spoilers on the internet.

Boosting your internet speed doesn’t have to mean investing in fiber optic cables or using your neighbor’s password. There are a few simple things you can do to boost the speeds of your Netgear router with little to no effort.

Here are seven ways to boost your WiFi speeds and protect yourself from spoilers (mostly):

1. Centralize and Elevate Your Router

Your router needs to be in the right place to work properly. For many of us, it’s located in an office, living room, or even in a cupboard. Unless those rooms are at the center of your house, your router is likely in the wrong place.

To rectify the situation and improve your signal and speed, put your router in a central area in your home and raise it up away from the floor.

The best place for your router is in an area that is as central as possible. You also want to keep it away from other electronics, especially anything that emits radio waves.

Keeping it in an open area away from walls is also helpful. Doing so prevents the waves from bouncing back towards the router rather than spreading out into your home.

Raising the router is also important because a Netgear router will send its waves down. Keeping it too close to the floor prevents you from maximizing the spread of the radio waves.

2. Change the Antenna Orientation

Most new router models include internal antennas. To make the most of them, be sure to use them the way they lay naturally. This means placing the router in its natural position.

In other words, if there are feet on the router, set the router on its feet. Don’t lay it down on its side. If the router has two sets of feet, feel free to set it on either side.

If your model uses adjustable antennas, you’ll want to lay them along the same plane. In this case, you’ll want to point straight up and the other to lay flat. This position maximizes radio reception.

3. Set Up an Automatic Reboot

It’s a basic IT maxim: when in doubt, reboot.

You’ll also likely have noticed that rebooting your router improves your speed. If you find your router loves a good reboot on a regular basis, set up a system to allow it to do so automatically.

Tomato or DD-Wrt firmware provides a timed reboot option for your router. Set it up to reboot overnight when you won’t miss it, and you’ll have better WiFi speeds all day.

4. Invest in an Amplified Aftermarket Antenna

The antennas added to the average router are enough to give you WiFi. They also have the added benefit of being omnidirectional, which means the router is easy to set up regardless of technical ability.

However, in some cases, the built in router is not enough to boost your signal if your WiFi conditions are less than perfect.

Replacing the existing antenna with a stronger antenna is often the way to go. Alternatively, you can add an additional external antenna to the router.

To get started, check out the router manufacturer’s website to identify the right additional antenna for the model you own. Be sure to buy an antenna that supports wireless N technology if your router offers it.

You don’t need any additional tools to upgrade existing external antennas. The process is as simple as taking off the old antennas and replacing them with the new one.

Note: if you’re unable to remove the original antenna, they aren’t replaceable.

If the antennas aren’t replaceable, move on to option #2: add an additional external antenna.

Check your router for an additional external antenna jack. The jack is designed to provide a simple connection for an additional antenna. However, you’ll need to make sure you order the correct antenna for your router type. So, be sure to look at the router manual before ordering a new one.

5. Buy a New Router

Older routers will be slower than new models.

The current WiFi standard is 802.11ac. If you want to maximize connectivity, look for a router rated:

  • 802.11n
  • 80211.b
  • 802.11g

These are best equipped to boost your speed and connectivity throughout the home.

Not sure what WiFi standard you’re running?

Check it in three simple steps:

  1. Click the WiFi shortcut found on the bottom of the PC screen
  2. Click on your connection
  3. Click on ‘Properties’ and your connection will be visible under ‘Protocol’

6. Update the Router’s Firmware

Just as old versions of an operating system slow down your phone or tablet, old versions of firmware impede a router’s performance.

Router manufacturers provide updates to their firmware on a regular basis to keep them competitive and promote performance.

The ease of this process depends on both the manufacturer and model of your router. Newer routers have a firmware upgrade button, which simplifies the process. If you’re running an older Netgear router, you may need to hunt down the firmware on the manufacturer’s website.

7. Switch Your Frequency

The most common frequency used on a Netgear router is the 2.4GHz band. By switching over to the 5GHz band, you’ll achieve better throughput, which translates into faster speeds.

Even if switching over doesn’t improve the real speed, it will at least cut down on the interference from all the other routers in the area on the 2.4GHz band.

Switching couldn’t be simpler. Check the administrator interface to see if your router offers the option for 5GHz. If so, turn it on and set up the network as you would.

Grow the Horsepower of Your Netgear Router

Now you’ve got seven simple tips in your arsenal to make the most of your WiFi by optimizing your router. Use them all together, and you’ll never buffer during your favorite shows again.

Do you have any tips for improving WiFi speeds and Netgear router performance? Let us know in the comments.

A Complete Guide to the Amazon Fire TV

A Complete Guide to the Amazon Fire TV

Are you considering cutting the cord on your cable TV subscription?

If so, you’ve got lots of company.

Whether you are considering dumping cable or just want to add to your current options, Amazon Fire TV is a great addition to your home entertainment system!

Read on to learn more about Amazon Fire TV and what it offers!

What Is It?

Amazon Fire TV is a digital media player designed for use with HDTVs for use with internet streaming services.

Since its release in 2014, it has competed with Roku TV and Apple TV and edged out sales of Apple’s product in the United States that year.

With Fire TV, you don’t need cable to make it work. You just need a high-speed internet connection. This way, it allows your TV programming to run smoothly without any glitches. If you are using WiFi, it’s also important to protect your internet connection so that it works at its highest level.

Fire TV also offers far more than what consumers have come to expect from traditional cable TV packages.

You can use the system to access more than 300,000 TV episodes and movies from places like Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu and others.

Are you an Amazon Prime member?

You can use your subscription to stream unlimited Prime Video — giving you access to thousands of other movies and TV shows!

What Does It Cost?

Amazon offers a Fire TV Stick for $39.99 and the traditional Amazon Fire TV can be yours for $89.99.

But what’s the difference between the two?

For one thing, their shape. The ‘Firestick’ as it’s known, resembles a USB external hard drive that plugs into your HDTV and uses a remote. The traditional console is a larger box with a remote control.

If you are a technology buff, you may have already purchased a 4K Ultra HDTV. If you aren’t familiar with that technology by now, you will be soon. It’s a form of high-definition TV that offers picture quality detail.

When considering costs, keep in mind that Amazon’s offerings give you a great user interface. However, there is still a need to subscribe to services like Netflix, Hulu and others.

You Should Consider Amazon Fire TV

Fire TV is one of the leaders in the industry when it comes to streaming content on HDTVs through your high-speed internet connection.

If you are considering your alternatives to traditional cable TV or just looking to add to your options, Amazon offers a competitive product with a lot of ways for you to customize it to fit your needs.

Better yet, it’s also affordable. For less than $40, you will have access to Fire TV. But it’s also important to consider the extra costs for the subscription services you may be interested in.

But even if you add on additional costs, you still have an outstanding product that has drawn many people to cut the cord on their traditional cable subscriptions.

Amazon was initially known for being a revolutionary e-commerce website but has quickly grown into much more.

Fire TV is just the latest in a long line of offerings from Amazon that’s changing the way we live our lives.

Settings on iPad: The Top Tips and Tricks

Settings on iPad: The Top Tips and Tricks

Owning a new iPad is a time to enjoy the many cool features of this device.

The larger screen of an iPad is perfect for watching hours of video. iPad apps do wonderful things including helping to manage your wi-fi.

Before delving into the App Store, you’ll want to change a few settings. Changing settings on iPad devices can drastically improve the user experience.

One simple setting change improves how you get to sleep at night. Learning these top iPad tips will have your device optimized.

In this article, you will learn four setting changes on your iPad that are beneficial to adjust.

Turn on Find My iPad

This feature is on by default but you’ll want to check, to be sure. Access this Find My iPad feature by going to: Settings > iCloud > Find My iPad.

Next, download the Find My iPhone app which connects your iPad from another Apple device or computer. If lost, signing into the app allows you to share its location or scrub its data.

Find My iPad provides protection against thieves accessing information on your iPad.

Help You to Sleep Better at Night

Blue light is a light emitted by electronic devices including an iPad.

This form of light helps to keep you alert during the day. At night, blue light is the worst enemy for sleep.

Bluish tinted light reduces the amount of melatonin your body needs to sleep. Research links blue light exposure to increased risks of cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

The iPad contains a feature called Night Shift, giving your screen a yellowish hue instead of blue light.

To turn on Night Shift, go to: Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift. This feature sets an automatic lighting schedule. You can access settings on iPad to enter the changeover time.

Optimize Storage for Automatic Data Management

One reason people love the iPad is its ability to play music, movies, and games. You might find that you’ve reached your iPad’s storage limit.

There is a newer feature on iPad devices that manages data storage automatically. The Optimize Storage feature is found by going to: Settings > Music > Optimize Storage on your iPad.

Next, you’ll enter select how many GB to free from the device, when needed. The iPad will purge itself of files that aren’t used often.

Change Settings on iPad to Adjust System Text Size

An iPad features a large screen display. You could still find that the default text isn’t large enough.

You can change text size on an iPad in the settings menu. To change the size of the system font: go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Text Size.

You’ll see a slider that has the letter A on both sides, smaller on the left and larger on the right.

Adjust the slider to a text size you’re happy with and you’re all done!

Having trouble with your router during an iPad configuration? Our website is filled with helpful and informative Netgear router tutorials.

5 Reasons to Switch Laptop to Your Tablet

5 Reasons to Switch Laptop to Your Tablet

Everyone seems to have a tablet.

You see kids playing games on tablets in restaurants, CEOs doing business in airports and you’ve probably even seen a teenager or mom using a tablet while relaxing poolside. Tablets bridge the generational gap.

They’re everywhere, being used by all types of people.

Some people have ditched their laptops altogether. Perhaps you’re thinking of making the switch from laptop to tablet yourself.

If you are, here are 5 reasons to switch laptop to tablet.

1. Portable

A tablet is portable. More portable than a laptop.

Tablets are smaller, thinner, and lighter. You can easily stick one in your bag and go. Laptops can be heavy, awkward and cumbersome.

Tablets are especially handy when you’re traveling by air. Security is easier to get through and you can keep your tablet on during take off and landing!

2. Easy to Use

Tablets are very user-friendly. Most screens are self-directive and downloadable apps are easy to navigate.

Laptops, by comparison, are a portable PC. They are identical to their desktop PC counterparts but with less power. Laptops often have several programs you must learn, countless useless icons and the need for firewalls and virus protection.

PCs and laptops can be challenging for newcomers to use. But you can hand your grandmother a tablet, show her the ropes, and she’s good to go!

3. Simple

A tablet is not only easy to use, but it’s simple, too.

What makes a tablet simple is that it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that a laptop or PC has. It doesn’t need as much power or software. This means fewer delays slowing you down.

Average technological users tend to do simple browsing on the Internet. They scroll on social media, stream, and use other apps. And not much more.

If this is how you like to spend your time online, a tablet is an ideal option for you.

4. Great Battery

Since the tablet is small, it’s going to have better battery life than a laptop.

This goes back to the tablet’s simplicity. Because it doesn’t have as much power or a big screen, your battery will last longer once it’s fully charged.

This is great for when you’re on the move. You won’t need to worry about whether or not an outlet is available to charge your tablet.

5. Affordable

In comparison to the laptop, a tablet is easily more affordable. Even the iPad is more affordable than a laptop.

Like any other piece of technology, the price of a tablet will be based on features such as memory and display.

Some tablets will cost more than others, like the iPad. But once you determine the tablets use, you can make an informed purchase.

Ultimately, it will come down to your tastes and what you’ll use the tablet for.

Conclusion: Switch Laptop for Tablet

For leisure and entertainment, the tablet is perfect for all ages. It’ll become your best friend next to your smartphone.

You could even say that a tablet is really just a bigger version of your smartphone.

So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to switch laptop for tablet? Do you need any help getting set up?

Or have you already switched your laptop for a tablet? Are you happy with the switch?

Let us know in the comments!

How to Backup Text Messages on Android and iPhone

How to Backup Text Messages on Android and iPhone

When it comes to technology, we’ve all had one of those moments where we accidentally delete something. A moment of absent-mindedness where we clear out the older messages on our phone, only to realize they contained something we needed.   

These are the moments when you wish you had the foresight to run a regular backup of your phone messages.   

The thing is, it’s actually quite simple to do. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, learning how to backup text messages is quick and easy.   

Read on and we will take a look at the best way to go about backing up your data.   

Backup Text Messages Today to Save You Problems Tomorrow  

The first thing to understand about backing up your data is what happens to your data once it’s deleted.

In a simple world, deleting something would mean it’s gone – lost to the annals of time and space. When it comes to technology, deleting is more accurately described as marking something as ‘inactive’. 

As you use your phone, these inactive fields are overwritten, rendering them truly ‘deleted’. 

If you can get to your files before they are overwritten, then you can retrieve them. If you’re too late, then you’ll need to call in the (expensive) help of experts. 

There’s an App for That…

In this day and age, there’s an app for almost anything you need. From Venmo, where you can seamlessly pay back your friends for last night’s dinner, to the Genie App that allows you to make changes to your home router from your mobile device. Data backup is no different. 

Data backup is no different. Both Android and iPhone offer several apps that can help with this.

Android Apps to Save You Heartache

Android is a wide-ranging platform. They are open to allowing multiple levels of technology work with their base platform. This means that there are plenty of tools out there to help you backup text messages

The most popular ones, which also happen to be free are:

Back up your Mobile – a simple tool that is easy to use and can comfortably backup all the data and apps you could need. 

Easy Backup and Restore – a smart tool that can backup your data as needed, and even offers both a direct-to-device solution and a direct-to-the-cloud solution. 

iPhone Offers In-House Solutions to Backup your Data

Unlike Android, the iOS system likes to play things closer to their chest. However, that doesn’t stop them from offering high-quality backup solutions

iCloud is a Sensible Choice – anyone who’s anyone knows about the cloud. The virtual way to store your data securely, and access it anytime, anywhere. Using iCloud for your backups makes the most sense from a technological standpoint. 

iTunes offers a Sleek Alternative – while the cloud is new and fun, for those that want to run with a tried and tested method, iTunes also offers you a great way to manually trigger a back up. All you need is an app such as iExplorer, which you can get for around $40. 

This app allows you to directly access your backed up messages, meaning you never need to worry about losing them again. 

A Backup is Something You Need to Schedule

It doesn’t matter what tool you use to backup text messages, the important thing is that you find a way to schedule a regular process, that secures your data. 

This applies to all data on your phone, not just apps and pictures.

Whether you are looking for ways to back up your data or manage your wifi connections, there are apps out there that can help you. They don’t cost much, and can be worth their weight in gold.

Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Networking

Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Networking

Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Networking

Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Networking

Are you looking to create a connection and want to know whether it should be wired or wireless? Here’s some help to choose wired or wireless networking.

Keyword(s): Wireless Networking

Do you need a reliable internet network but can’t decide what’s right for you?

Wired networks like ethernet are famous for their speed and stability, but your computer must be connected to a cable at all times. This can limit your movement and the ability to communicate with other computers.

Wireless networking is a better way to link several PCs through a single hub, but the connection may be slower and less secure.

Wireless internet is often used on laptops and mobile devices. Wired connections are a better choice for home and office computers. 

In this article, we’ll compare the benefits of wired and wireless networks.

Wired Networking

The most popular type of wired connection is ethernet. Other similar types are phone-line and power-line.

If you want great speed and reliability, choose ethernet. You’ll get seamless data transfer experience and network stability. It’s the best choice for home networks when you have a single computer and don’t need to move it around.

Ethernet speed ranges from 10-100 Mbps depending on the manufacturer, but you can easily update it to 1 Gbps.

Wired networks are generally safer than wireless and come with pre-installed firewalls.

Though it all sounds good on paper, the benefits of wired connections come with a few drawbacks.

For example, if you have several computers in your home or office that all need an internet connection, you’ll have to connect them all through wires.

Thus, if these computers need to communicate with each other and share files, the solution is to create a local wired network through a hub. If you don’t mind the extra cables and adapters, this option can work out well.

Wireless Networking

Connecting through wireless networks is becoming very popular due to ease of use.

With so many people on the go, it’s logical to choose networks that’ll give you complete freedom of movement.

Although wireless networking is slightly pricier than ethernet or other wired alternatives, it has its own perks.

For instance, you can easily connect several devices through a router at your home or office without having cables everywhere. You’ll need to choose the best one for your needs and the number of computers. Then, you should figure out where to place it in the home or office based on the coverage you need.

Wireless connections are less secure than wired. But if you configure them properly, you’ll have nothing to worry about. 

Bottom Line

If you can’t make up your mind between wired or wireless networking, compare their pros and cons. Some users look at prices before making a final decision.

Most people choose wired ethernet for their home or office computers and wi-fi for any other computers on the same network.

Choose wired connections when you need stability and speed during data transfer. Install wi-fi to communicate with other computers on your network.

This way, you get only one wired PC on the one hand and a decent internet connection for all other devices on the other.

It’s a win-win situation!