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!

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 “”

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!

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!

A First Look at the Apple Campaign: iPhone Photography

A First Look at the Apple Campaign: iPhone Photography

Apple is at it again!

The tech giants have once again introduced a brand new campaign, and this one is for the shutterbugs.

Apple always tout the speed and power of their camera, so what makes this campaign any different?

Read on to learn more about this new Apple campaign and see what sets it apart.

The Newest Apple Campaign: “One Night on iPhone 7”

You’ve likely already seen the commercial, but if you haven’t (and where have you been?) take a look.

Their latest campaign is all about attracting photographers. As it turns out, it isn’t just the CPU that Apple keeps boosting.

Instead of telling you all about how great the iPhone 7’s camera is, they’ve decided to show you. Apple has enlisted the help of dozens of photographers from around the globe.

While some of us may find it intimidating to work for the company known for their iconic campaigns, many clamored at the opportunity.

Their mission: to capture everyday life using the iPhone. Photographers were told to capture their hometowns from dusk until dawn any way they saw fit.

The only limitation was their imagination.

It’s a truly inspirational campaign that offers fans the chance to experience more than just new technology. They’re letting the artists at the art speak for themselves in the best way possible.

Some of the results have been staggering, to put it mildly.

Who Are They Targeting?

So who is the new Apple campaign for? You may not be a professional photographer, after all.

We have two answers.

First, yes, they’re targeting professional photographers. While cameras have come down in price as the hobby’s popularity has risen, they’re still costly.

On average, pro-grade cameras, with equipment, will set you back a few thousand dollars.

“One Night on iPhone 7” shows pro photographers that the best camera at their disposal may be in their pocket. With a 12 megapixel camera and 1.8 aperture capability.

What if you’re an amateur enthusiast? Why should this campaign appeal to you?
Well, for the same reasons, really. iOS devices may not sell as well as their Android counterparts, but that’s changing.

It’s estimated that, at least in the U.S., Apple is set to overtake Google in the marketplace soon.

The point is, millions of people have iPhones in their pockets.

Take a moment to look around you. Odds are there’s someone with an iPhone out within a close vicinity to you at this very moment.

You don’t have to display your art in a fancy gallery to be a photographer. The improved iPhone camera is great for everything from family photos to selfies.

Why Does This Campaign Matter?

The new Apple campaign matters for a few reasons, actually.

First, it’s doing a great job of introducing great artists into the cultural zeitgeist.

Second, it’s a more natural way of showing off the iPhone’s camera. We love watching Tim Cook and company talk about their latest products, but now we get to see for ourselves.

And more than anything, we just love technology! Whether you need help with a device, or just want the latest tech news, be sure to give us a follow.

If you have any questions about the latest Apple campaign or just technology in general, get in touch! We’d love to hear from you!

How to Locate Your WiFi Password When You Forget It

How to Locate Your WiFi Password When You Forget It

We’ve all lost our WiFi passwords at some point in time.

And in that very moment, we all wished we would’ve written them down.

So, what if you didn’t write it down or memorize it? How can you get your WiFi password back?

Well, all is not lost yet. There’s a litany of ways you can get your password back.

Here are a few ways of how you can get your WiFi password back.

Look At The Back Of The Router

Most routers have the network key and password already labeled on them.

If you pick-up your router, you might notice a sticker on its back or bottom side. This sticker will have a few strings of numbers and letters on it.

And one of those long labels will be your router’s default password. If you haven’t reset your default password yet, this is your most current password. And will be able to get you back online.

However, if you’ve changed it recently, it might not work.

Your Window’s PC Already Has Your WiFi Password saved

Given that about 90% of the computer market is on a Windows operating system, you’re in luck.

If you’ve connected to a WiFi network over a device running a Windows operating system, your PC has remembered that password. What a relief!

If you’ve forgotten your WiFi password on your PC, locate the “Network and Sharing Center.” This is in the menu for the “Control Panel.”

Once you’re there, click on the network you’ve previously connected to. Scroll a bit down, and you’ll see “Show Password.”

And voila!

You’ve got your WiFi password again!

Even Your Mac Already Has Your WiFi Password Saved

If you’re in the minority running a Macintosh operating system, don’t worry.

You’re password’s still there.

Locating your WiFi password couldn’t be any easier on an Apple device:

Simply press the “Command” and “Spacebar” keys simultaneously to open “Spotlight.” From there, type “Keychain Access” into the search bar. Then press “Return.”

From there, locate the network you’re trying to get the password too. In order for this to work, you must have already joined that network before. And have used the correct password, as well.

Afterward, you’ll be presented with a window to fill out.

You’ll have to enter your administrator login information again. This will be the same username and password you use to log into your Macbook.

Then, you’ll be rewarded for all your strenuous work:

Your network’s WiFi password will be on display.

Reset Your Router And WiFi Password

If all else fails, start from mile-zero.

Should you not be able to get your WiFi password back after following the above tips, there’s only one option left:

Resetting your internet router.

Most routers will have a pinhole sized opening toward their backside. When inserting the end of a paperclip into it, hold it there fourteen seconds. This will make sure you’re fully resetting the router.

After doing that, you’ll have to reinstall your router. This may mean you’ll have to look for your router’s instructions to install it again.

A fresh install will allow you to reset your password, even though it may be some work.

Have any more questions for us on how you can get back your WiFi password? Feel free to get in contact with us!

7 Vital Components of a Home Netgear Security Camera

7 Vital Components of a Home Netgear Security Camera

With everything going on out there these days, home security cameras are becoming less like a luxury and more of a necessity. Especially since tech prices keep dropping.

Netgear security cameras like the Arlo and the Arlo Pro are getting cheaper and easier to use all the time.

Not only can they help you keep an eye on things, they can actually deter crime — even as much as 20% over an entire urban neighborhood.

So what can you expect from one?

Netgear Security Camera features include:

1. Object Recognition.

This is the most exciting development in security camera tech. Older cams were more or less motion detectors with video, but these days a good camera can tell the difference between a tree branch, a household pet, or a human.

The next level, which future Arlo upgrades will incorporate, is facial recognition, so your security system will know whether a human form should be in your backyard or not.

2. 720p Streaming.

This is the clearest HD picture you can get from an outdoor security camera — and you get a full week of cloud storage, so you can see what happens while you’re on vacation.

3. Wide Viewing Angle.

A 130-degree angle, to be precise. Again, the widest angle on an outdoor system.

4. Two-Way Audio.

This feature not only allows you to screen visitors from anywhere in the house, you can also use it for friendlier purposes, say, greeting Airbnb visitors or communicating with the delivery guy.

Think of it as a very smart, very secure doorbell!

(It’s only available on the Arlo Pro, but the price on the Pro has fallen far enough so that it’s not a costly upgrade.)

5. Smart Siren.

No matter how big your home is, the Pro’s siren will reach you when something’s not quite right on your property. 100 decibels of power that won’t annoy the neighbors.

The Pro also hooks up to free services like IFTTT, which means you can sync it with SmartThings, Phillips Hue lights, or your Apple tech.

Not to mention your GPS and your phone client!

6. Wide Range.

Netgear security cameras are still tops when it comes to scanning the outdoors, thanks to its unique hub system. The Arlo Pro will reach 300 feet at its max.

7. Dedicated Wi-Fi.

Worried about slowing down all the things in your internet of things? Don’t. Each Netgear security camera comes with its own wi-fi, so you don’t have to climb on the back of your normal web connection.

This provides extra security if someone tries to hack your router, too.

Better still, the batteries are not only rechargeable but good for a solid six months per use, which is at least three times longer than most other security camera systems.

With technology in the field advancing by leaps and bounds and prices falling so fast, it only makes sense to invest in a home security system you control.

The average response time of the police is somewhere between 9 and 11 minutes. That’s not always fast enough.

Why not be alerted as soon as possible? Get in touch and let us take care of your home security needs.

WiFi 101: Getting Up to Speed with Wireless Networking

WiFi 101: Getting Up to Speed with Wireless Networking

Are you trying to set up a wireless internet network in your home? Looking to learn more about wireless networking? In need of a WiFi 101?

These days, most people use wireless networking on a daily basis. Yet, few of us really know how it works.

Wireless networking can seem complicated. You can probably testify to how confusing wireless connection is if you’ve ever tried to set it up at home.

Setting up a wireless connection isn’t complicated once you understand how it works!

This article will serve as your go-to WiFi guide. We’re going to bring you up to speed with everything there is to know about basic wireless networking!

Understand Wired Networking

For there to be any sort of internet connection, you need a router. A router is the main device for any wired or wireless connection.

Usually, you’ll find around 4 ports on one end of a router. These are your LAN (Local Area Network) ports. LAN ports provide the network that internet users need to connect to.

The number of LAN ports is the number of networks that are possible with a single router. If you want to add more networks to a router, you’ll need to add more network cables and ports to the router.

For any wireless or wired router to connect to the internet, there needs to be a WAN (Wide Area Network) port. Routers usually come with 1 WAN port. The WAN port connects multiple LAN ports together.

Routers feature hubs or switches. These allow for multiple users to connect their devices to a network.

If you’re using a wired network, you’ll plug a network cable, like an ethernet cord, into one of these LAN ports. These network cables then connect to your electronic device.

WiFi 101 #1: How Wireless Networking Works

With wireless networks, they mean exactly what they say.

WiFi 101 Rule #1: No wires. No cables.

But wired networks tend to be faster than wireless networks. That’s because wireless connections compete less with other connections in the air.

Wired networks connect to a single router and don’t compete with other networks in the area. But wired networks mean less flexibility to take your devices where you want.

A WLAN (wireless local area network) is another word for a wireless network. A wireless network uses the same features as a wired network.

For a router to provide wireless connection, it needs an antenna. Antennas are usually built right into the router or on the outside of it.

Rather than connect with network cables, wireless networks communicate with wireless radio connections. Devices that can receive wireless radio connections can connect to a wireless network.

For there to be WiFi, there needs to be an access point. An access point (AP) transmits a WiFi signal and allows you to connect to it.

Wireless routers come with multiple LAN ports, a WAN port, and an access point. Every wireless network belongs to its own access point.

WiFi 101 #2: What to Expect When Setting Up

When you set up your wireless network, you’ll need to name it. This name is your wireless network’s Service Set Identifier or SSID.

An SSID distinguishes a wireless network from other networks. This is what you see when you try to connect to WiFi.

You’ll need to access your router’s configuration page in your web browser when setting up. You’ll configure your router by entering its address bar on the configuration page. You’ll find your router’s IP in the instruction manual.

Have you ever had to enter a password to connect to a wireless network?

That’s because people privatize their wireless networks, and so should you!

Your router supports different modes of authentication to support your WiFi. Some are less secure than others. In your home network, you want to use a WPA2 authentication.

WPA2 is an updated security protocol that will secure your wireless network.

To speed up your wireless connection, you can set up a password with an authentication scheme. This prevents neighbors and others in the area from using your internet.

Most modern routers are dual band. This means that they support WiFi in 2.4 or 5 GHz. 5 GHz is faster, but some devices won’t be able to connect as easily.

Connect Better With Wireless Networking!

Wired networking and wireless networking both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Wired networks provide faster internet speed. But nothing beats being able to take your home internet connection with you anywhere!

You can connect to the internet in your bathroom, kitchen, or backyard on a wireless network! Create a faster and more efficient experience using the most up-to-date wireless router!

How Ransomware Works to Attack Your Home Network

How Ransomware Works to Attack Your Home Network

Since the dawn of the internet, cyber security has been a major concern.

The attacks have changed over the years, but the same problems still exist. Hackers want your data and you’d like to remain safe while enjoying all the benefits the internet has to offer.

But everytime developers and IT security pros solve a security issue, new ones emerge.

One of the latest and most common internet security threats is ransomware. Ransomware is easy for hackers to implement and tough for you to defend against.

Whether you’re a casual PC user or are about to set up your own network, you need to understand ransomware.

So what exactly is ransomware?

Let’s take a closer look at how ransomware works.

How ransomware works its way into your home

Like many malware issues, ransomware issues typically begin with an email.

A user will receive an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate source. In the email, they’re directed to a link. Once the link is clicked, the user is taken to a malicious website and it’s all downhill from there.

Ransomware can be found in malicious links online as well, so be careful what you click.

What happens next

Once you’ve clicked a link in an email or online that introduces ransomware to your computer, an exploitative kit begins to look for vulnerabilities on your machine.

Once the ransomware finds its way in, it encrypts the files on your computer and sends an encryption key back to the creator of the ransomware. By encrypting your files, the ransomware effectively locks down your computer, preventing you from using it.

A computer that has ben infected with ransomware is only accessible by someone with the encryption key.

How ransomware got its name

The next step is where the “ransom” in ransomware comes from.

Once a hacker has locked down your system, they will then ask you to pay a ransom to regain access.

The ransom message typically comes in the form of a popup on your screen.

Why ransomware is so effective

Ransomware is so effective because it plays to one of our most basic (and exploitable) emotions: fear.

No one wants to lose their data. Whether it’s personal or work-related, losing your data or the use of a computer is not an ideal situation.

Most users–whether they’re individuals or large organizations–are going to relent to the hacker’s demands. And that’s exactly what they’re counting on.

After all, it’s tough to run a business, hospital, or your life without the use of your network or computers.

It doesn’t end there …

Sadly, even if you’re able to ransom your computer back from the attacker, they will often then install more malicious code onto your PC.

Once they’ve collected their ransom many hackers will then use the opportunity to infect your computer with additional spyware to capture your credentials, financial information, or other sensitive information.

Are you safe from ransomware?

Now that you understand how ransomware works, do you think you’re safe?

The simplest step you can take to protect yourself and your network from ransomware are to simply exercise common sense. Check the source of any suspicious emails before opening and be cautious when clicking on unknown links online.