Sunday, January 30, 2011

Internet Security Reviews

Internet Security Suites Software (Why? and What?)
Basically a suites software is used to protect your computer from all possible security threats that could destroy the data on your PC. Now to avoid this, install less number of security programs or go for these security suites softwares. This will remove all the junk, and creepy, crawly bugs waiting to make their way into your data and the electronic system, long before something gets infected badly. A user might look for several Internet security reviews and would separately purchase protecting softwares like, anti-virus, firewall, antispyware, etc. Well, you don't need to look so far, because suites softwares have already done this job. They are available as compact tools, providing everything from A-Z, that a user would require to stop the threats. Take a look at some of the Internet security reviews of suites softwares and preclude the threats instantly.

Latest Internet Security Reviews
  • Anti-virus: Anti-virus software has the capability of bringing down a virus that poses a threat to your computer. It is essential and effective. One of the best applications within it includes, advanced heuristics. It is able to spot virus type activity even before a virus program has been recognized.
  • Antispyware: As spywares are becoming a serious threat to the computer world, antispyware poses a counterattack to the spyware. Its features are capable of defeating trojans, adware, worms and any other harmful spyware over the Internet.
  • Firewall: Firewall, is in obvious terms a wall that helps in keeping away the threats from entering. Firewall is the first contact to the spyware and it should be very strong in itself to disapprove of malicious programs, even before they are detected by the antispyware and anti-virus scanners. Firewalls are known to be, prevention both ways i.e they avoid threats to enter and block information going out. This way you wouldn't compromise on your identity at least.
  • Support/Help: There should be enough help and support options provided by the software manufacturers to answer all the queries of the users regarding the protection of the computer. The programs can be made available either on the manufacturers website or can be incorporated within the program.
  • Other Security Features: Besides the above three to four pointers, make sure your suite has other security features as well. Parental control softwares can also be made part of this suite.
So now, that you know, from these free internet security reviews, as to what one should exactly look for while purchasing software suites, let us now, move on to know the kinds and names of security products.

Reviews of Internet Security Products
These reviews are of the best rated products that could be found on the internet, consisting of personal firewall, anti-spyware, anti-virus, internet security suites, parental controls, content filters and spam stoppers.

Personal Firewalls Reviews
Firewall is a device that allows or denies network transmissions and blocks unauthorized users and in addition to this protection firewall offers, a proactive security challenge consists of firewalls suites all-in-one. As described before, firewall protects your system from any sort of unwanted intruders. Thus, it is extremely vital to install certain programs that would wipe out all these malicious spywares and give you a clean computer system to use.

Best and Free Firewall Products
Online Armor, Comodo, PC Tools, Outpost, Online Armor, Privatefirewall, Jetico, Lavasoft, ZoneAlarm Pro. Out of which these are some best-free products; Online Armor Free, PC Tools Firewall Plus, Outpost Firewall Free, Comodo, Privatefirewall.

Anti-Spyware Reviews
In case your system has been exposed to some infection due to the unavailability of anti-spyware programs on your PC, don't worry, here are some tools available to help you fight the battle against computer viruses.

Anti-Spyware Products
Best Software - PC Tools Spyware Doctor 2010, Best Software (Budget) - Sunbelt CounterSpy, Best Spyware Protection (security Suite) - Norton Internet Security 2010, Best Free Removal Tool - Lavasoft Ad-Aware.

Wireless Routers Reviews
Wireless routers are routers having built in wireless access points so that a user can have a wireless Internet access anytime. Most of the times, wireless routers aren't so secured like the usual hard wires. Hence here are some programs, made available to you, to strengthen the security for your computer. Also keep in mind some technical names that might be effective to buy a wireless router. These names by themselves would help a user to set a home network wantonly.

Best Router Products - Apple AirPort Extreme, Linksys WRT610N, Linksys WRT400N, Linksys WRT54GL, D-Link DIR-825 Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router, D-Link Xtreme N Duo Media Router (DIR- 855), Cisco Valet Plus, D-Link Xtreme N Storage Router (DIR- 685), Linksys by Cisco Dual Band Wireless- N Gigabit Router WRT320N.

Anti-Virus Reviews
As mentioned before, anti-virus is a program used to detect and remove worms, trojans viruses out of the computer system. Also, there are some names of lab-tested softwares, they are highly recommended because they have been tested under critical circumstances and have proven effective in ruling out the viruses spread in the computer. The names given here, will help you deal with the same.

Anti-Virus Products
G Data Antivirus 2010, Best Free Panda Cloud Antivirus Free Edition, Bets Mainstream Norton Antivirus 2010, Best Mac Intego VirusBarrier X6, Ad-Aware Pro 8.1, Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0, Norton Antivirus 2010, Panda Cloud Antivirus Free Edition 1.0, Spyware Doctor with Antivirus 2010, VIPRE Antivirus 4.0, Avast Free Antivirus 5.0 (more in Avast antivirus), AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 9.0, Double Anti-Spy Professional, Avira AntiVir Personal 10, IObit Security 360, Trend Micro HouseCall 7.1, McAfee Virus Scan Plus 2010 are some examples.

In recent times, the market is flooded with softwares that are top ranking and perform an effective job in the elimination of viruses out of the computer system. This way, the information and confidential data of the users is in the hands of softwares which are safe to use and ultimately the question never rises whether to not invest in and trust such Antivirus softwares.

Trusted Software Products
Avira AntiVir Personal, AVG 8.5 Free, Alwil Avast Antivirus Home Edition, MS Security Essentials, Comodo Internet Security plus Panda Cloud Antivirus, PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition, PC Tools Threatfire, ClamWin Free Antivirus.

Security Suites Reviews
When considering the subject, Internet Security, users have to see to it that, a complete security package is covered up. Two examples are, Best Norton 2010, Best Budget G Data 2010. A maximum security suite is an anti-spyware program which is rogue. It is mainly advanced through trojans. Once you install the security suite programs, these rogues scan your computer, and instantly give the status, whether it's infected or has high risk threats. But provided you purchase these programs, the removal of spyware is not possible. Many vendors provide best security for the Internet by scanning the computer and cleaning up all the possible threats located in the system. Vendors like A-V Comparatives Crows are known to be the best security vendors online. They offer programs which are used for low-risk threat detection, malware detection, low false positives, proactive detection, low performance impact, successful malware removal, fast scanning and dynamic protection.

These are the 2010 Internet Security Suites which are in rank order.

Security Suite Products
Norton 2010, Kaspersky 2010, AVG 9.0, PC Tools 2010, BitDefender 2010, Avast 5.0, McAfee 2010, Panda 2010, Webroot Essentials, Trend Micro 2010, F-Secure 2010, ZoneAlarm Suite, Eset Smart Security 4

Vendor Products
Symantec (Norton), Kaspersky, ESET, F-Secure, BitDefender

Spam Stoppers Reviews
Spam filters automatically protect the users email accounts, their mail box and e-mails too. It helps in filtering the spams out of the account. Spams are harmful to user's data or information over the Internet. They are able to phish for their confidential information, and can steal their identity or credit details. To stop all these malicious actions, anti-spam programs are introduced.

Spam Filter Products
Best Spam-Filtering Software - ClearMyMail, Best Anti-Spam - Cloudmark Desktop, Best Free Spam Blocker - SpamFighter.

3 Free Anti-Spam Products
Here are the 3 best ones available in the market - SpamBayes, Mailwasher, SPAMfighter.

Parental Controls and Content Filters
As we know that, in this difficult age, an open internet is really unsafe for parents and children, these are some names of the tools that parents can install and control kids from browsing the unwanted content. Also, it provides Internet safety whilst surfing the net.

Parental Software Products
NetNanny, CyberPatrol, Best Web Based - OnlineFamily.Norton, Best for Macs - Safe Eyes are some of these.

So hope these internet security reviews and products have helped you enough, to decide which product offering what, is good and safe for you to keep from all the Internet threats and risks.
By Fatima Rangwala
READ MORE - Internet Security Reviews

Email Security Tips

In today's world, everything is dependent on computers and internet. We all rely on computers and internet technology to such a extent that we often have to send our most personal information through emails. But emails are not 100% secure and there are many risks involved. We have heard of stories about credit card numbers being stolen, email accounts being hacked and personal data being altered, computer viruses erasing the entire system etc. The best defense against all these is in being aware. Let us take a look at some email security tips, which if followed can minimize the chances of someone hacking your emails accounts.

Email Security Best Practices

Create a Strong Password
One of the first tip to protect your emails account from hackers is to create a strong password and keeping it confidential. Viruses and worms have the capability of guessing weak passwords . Also to memorize them, we often create passwords based on our names, date of births etc. which makes your email account more vulnerable. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team advises people to use mnemonics, that is, instead of a password like 'michaelsmith' you can create your password as MNIMS which stands for 'my name is michael smith'. Mnemonics generated passwords are stronger and less vulnerable to be hacked. You can read more on commonly used passwords and stay away from them.

Identify Phishing Emails
The college of New Jersey explains that phishing is a scam where a hacker sends out emails that look legitimate and like they're from established nationally recognized companies, to try to steal your information and possibly your email passwords. Mails asking to update your bank accounts, passwords are some of the common examples. These mails are not legitimate, but are made to resemble one by employing social engineering techniques. Now the question is how would you identify phishing emails? A phishing email commonly uses the following words, 'verify your account', 'you have won a lottery', 'if you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed' etc. Whenever you find such emails in your inbox, don't reply immediately and instead verify with the bank/company if they have sent that mail.

Secure your Computer
Update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software. You may think that your computer is protected as you have installed an anti-virus software, but hackers think about how to break your security gate all the time. Once they find a loop-hole in your computer's security, they modify the viruses accordingly. The solution is to update your security software so that you are always one step ahead of them. Apart from this, you should always update your email security settings. For more information, read firewall settings.

Be Cautious While Opening Attachments
One of the most common ways of sending emails is by email attachments. Whenever you open an attachment, check for the URL. Be cautious even if the attachment is being sent by someone you know as many viruses can 'spoof' the return addresses. Also turn off the option of automatically downloading attachments.

Follow the Basic Safety Measures
Try using your email account at secure locations and remember to logout whenever accessing it from a shared computer. Change your passwords frequently and be aware of the latest happenings with regard to viruses, email scams, email security policy etc.

These were some email security tips, for more information, you can read :
  • Internet Security
  • Internet Safety
  • Internet Safety Facts
Along with the innumerable benefits, computers and internet have left us vulnerable to internet crimes. But the good thing is that we can prevent ourselves from being a victim, if we follow the above mentioned email safety tips. We all need to be well informed and guard ourselves against hacking, phishing etc. The hackers thrive on ignorance and casual behavior of people. I hope after reading this article on email security tips, you will surely adopt a cautious approach whenever you use your email. The fight against cyber crime can only be successful if we all are better prepared and responsible.
By Rahul Pandita
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Computer Maintenance Tips

If you are experiencing some computer slow down and constant crashes let me suggest a few tips that will help to speed up your PC and clean from system parasites and any other harmful malware.

First of all - clean up your system drive (in many cases it is drive C) from all the junk and old files that you have. One reason why your computer might be experiencing speed problems is full drive C. As it is system drive, it always needs some extra space for page files and virtual memory. If you have just few megabytes - I am not surprised that your computer is so slow. You can easily perform your disk clean up by using the Windows tool:

For Windows 7 users:
Select "Start", then "All programs", then click "Accessories" then choose "System tools" and "Disk cleanup". Select the logical disk that you want to clean. In the "Disk Cleanup For" dialog box select the files lists that you want to delete permanently and click OK. The clean up will start and it will take some time to finish, depending on the quantity of file that you have.

For Windows XP users:
Click "Start" menu, select "All programs", and click on the "Accessories" and in the drop down box select "System tools". In another drop down box click on the "Disk clean up".

The "select drive" box option will appear and you will have to select which drive you want to clean up. Press OK and a calculation of potential free space will run for a few second, displaying "Disk Cleanup for (C:)" window. Select the files that you want to delete and click OK. The process will start.

Defragment your hard drive. Defragmenting the hard drive is necessary function, especially after a long usage of your system. As you open and edit your files, the bits and pieces of your files are scattered or fragmented through the system. Next time when you open the files, it is more difficult for the hard drive to locate all the bits of your file, and the response time becomes slower. Defragmenting puts the files’ and folders’ pieces back together on a disk to make a single space for each. The reading and writing of the hard drive becomes much quicker when all the files are in one place and additional space is gained.

Defragmenting in Windows 7:

Select "Start", then "All programs", then click "Accessories" then choose "System tools" and "Disk Defragmenter". In the dialog box "Disk Defragmenter" select the drive to be defragmented and click "Analyze". The analysis will show you whether you should make the disk defragment or not. Click on the "Defragment Disk" button and the process will start. You will be able to monitor the whole process.

Defragmenting in Windows XP:
Click "Start" menu, then "All programs", click the "Accessories" and in the drop down box select "System tools". Click on the "Disk Defragmenter" in another drop down box. The new window will appear, where you will have to choose the drive and click "Analyze" button. The pop up dialog box will show the information, if you need to make defragmenting or not. After that you can click the "Defragment" button.

You could also check your hard disk for errors. To do that you can right click on your drive (C: or D: or any other letter), select "Properties" and "Tools". Press "Check now" in the "Error checking" option.

Scan your system for any spyware, adware or viruses. Spyware process may dramatically slow down the whole system. I suggest installing and updating the newest antispyware or antivirus programs - it can be AVG, Avast or any other antivirus, besides those suggested are free of charge. Additionally you might as well install antispyware program and run updates. It searches more thoroughly for root kits and some of those can bypass antivirus scans. The best antispyware for me is Super Antispyware. Here is more information about the antispyware and computer diagnostics.

By Tomaz Greicion
READ MORE - Computer Maintenance Tips

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What is a Router

Are you interested in knowing what is a router? Read this article and all your questions regarding a router will be answered.

The Internet is the ultimate resource for any kind of information today. And a router is an important thing in the concept of Internet connection. It makes your web experience better. Despite it being so much important, many people don't exactly know what is a router for a computer or Internet. So I have made an attempt to explain everything I could, about a router in the following article.

Definition of a Router

A router is a computer networking device that facilitates the communication between two or more computers or computer networks. The router deciphers data coming to a computer through a network and directs it toward the right computer. It comes in various types depending upon what kind of connection you are using. Note that a router is not the same as the modem.

What is a Router Used For

The router works on the IP level. Every computer has a unique IP address and the router recognizes data requests based on these IP addresses. The router sends and receives IP data in the form of packets. Now these data packets have to go through thousands of routers on their way and every router saves some information about the sender router in a routing table. This is done so that the routers can control the incoming or outgoing packets.

The router connects only from computer to computer and does not have to deal with phone lines. It uses the RJ45 type of connection to connect with the computers. The prime responsibility of a router is to pass on signals from computer to computer so it does not convert any signals. It is also used as a means of security as firewalls are implemented through routers. Also, a router is not mandatory for an Internet connection. But it is mandatory for establishing wireless Internet access. Another important use of routers is for connecting two or more computers to a single Internet connection.

Types of Routers

Understanding the types of routers is an important part in understanding what is a router because choosing the best router for your purpose depends upon that. Actually there are many different types of routers but here I am mentioning only the major types of routers, namely the broadband router and the wireless router.

Broadband Router
There are several things for which the router is used. For example, if you want to use a VOIP service, that is Voice over Internet Protocol, you will require a broadband router. This router will let your Internet service communicate to your phone line thus letting you make calls through the Internet but from phone to phone. If you are thinking of buying a broadband router for VOIP read about router reviews to make an informed decision.

Wireless Router
If you have an Internet connection which you want to use all over the house you will need a wireless router. This way you will be able to use your Internet connection all over the house and you will be able to connect multiple computers to each other or to the Internet connection. But these wireless signals can spread across a long distance and a good hacker can break into your connection so make sure you are using a quality anti-spyware software to secure your data. Also read how does a wireless router work.

Many people tend to confuse a modem with a router but they are completely different devices used for completely different purposes. One important difference between them is that a modem is essential for an Internet connection whereas the router is not. There are other differences between them which you can check out in this article on router vs modem. I hope the above article on what is a router has provided you with some good information.
READ MORE - What is a Router

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ethernet Hub vs Switch

An Ethernet hub vs switch comparison would precisely explain what is the difference between these two networking devices. That is exactly what you will find in this article.

Have you ever wondered how the vast network of the Internet, connecting billions of computers worldwide, manages to be orderly, without steeping into chaos? It is an achievement of computer networking engineers and scientists who cleverly designed this network to be automated and established protocols for communication between machines, which made this possible. Besides the hardware constructs, what makes disciplined data traffic possible are the networking devices. It is through devices like Ethernet hubs, switches and routers, that unhindered data traffic is made possible. The aim of this article is to present an Ethernet hub vs switch comparison, which underlines the fundamental differences in the working of these devices.

What is the Difference Between Ethernet Hub and Switch?

Before I start explaining what is the difference between hub and switch, I assume that you are familiar with the basics of Ethernet and you have a rough idea about the OSI model, which forms the theoretical foundation on which a computer network is understood and designed. If you have no idea about it, check out the article which has OSI model explained. In the following lines, you will find Ethernet hub compared to switch. This will be followed by a comparison of their features and applications.

Ethernet Hub vs Switch: Basic Differences
Let us define what is meant by an Ethernet hub and a switch before we scrutinize the differences in their functioning. An Ethernet hub connects computers in a network segment together and facilitates data transfer within the network.

When a hub receives a data packet, it transmits the packet to all the devices or computers that are connected to it. Only the computer or device which was supposed to receive the packet, accepts it. The whole hub connected network functions as a half duplex, as any device cannot transmit and receive at the same time.

There is no selectivity in the destination for the data packet in a hub. They are simply broadcasters or repeaters of the data, which they receive. Ethernet hubs are operational at the first layer (physical layer) in the OSI model.

A switch is a more evolved version of a hub. They are mainly operational at the networking layer (Layer 3) of the OSI model. However, switches can function at multiple layers too. Instead of transmitting data packets to every device on network, switches are smarter devices that directly link the nodes that are sharing the data. This means that simultaneous data transfer between multiple nodes is possible. You might also want to check out the router vs switch vs hub vs bridge comparison, to get a much clearer picture about things.

Ethernet Hub vs Switch: Features
Hubs can make a computer network sluggish because of the half duplex transmission and the extra load of data transmitted to multiple devices. More the data traffic between the nodes in a network, slower the transmission becomes. However, a switch carries out data transmission faster as it directly hooks up the nodes that are part of the network.

This makes simultaneous data transfer possible between multiple nodes; achieving high transmission speed and less of lag. Hence switches are used to manage data traffic on networks, which are high in complexity. Among an Ethernet hub and a switch of the same bandwidth, a switch offers faster data transmission. Hubs cost considerably lesser than switches, which are more advanced devices.

After reading through this Ethernet hub vs switch comparison, most of your doubts regarding the functioning of these devices should have been cleared. Both Ethernet hubs and switches make intranetwork traffic possible, but they differ in the sense that both are at different positions in the technological evolution tree. As we saw above, a switch is an improvement over a hub and it reduces data transfer time, while making optimum use of bandwidth. For small networks, a switch is often an overkill and hubs are preferred. However, for large networks, there is no alternative to network switches!
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Laptop Battery Troubleshooting

The use of laptops is widely spread, and one certainly wouldn't be able to work on a business tour or vacation without these portable devices. Their continuous use, leads to several laptop problems, most common being a battery problem. Troubleshooting laptop battery problems can be a manageable task, if you are aware of the necessary steps to be followed. For laptop battery troubleshooting, just read on...

There are many laptop battery problems which can be solved with some simple troubleshooting steps, without even calling the laptop service people. Some troubleshooting methods are printed on the laptop manual itself, so it is necessary to refer to the manual before using the laptop for the first time. There is no average battery life provided by the manufacturers as the battery life depends largely on several factors like the size of the laptop screen, battery capacitance, and the kind of applications that are generally used.

In the case of a new laptop battery not functioning, firstly ensure that it has a full charge. When you get a new laptop from the shop, it generally comes with a discharged battery, and you need to charge it for further use. A new Li-Ion laptop battery is essentially required to be charged for nearly 12 hours before use. If it's an NiMH battery, it would need to be charged at least for 24 hours for proper functioning.

If you've done with a sufficient battery charge and still the laptop is not working, simply ensure, if the battery is decently inserted into the laptop. If the laptop turns off automatically, examine its power management settings, as the laptop may be set to automatically shut down, when the battery power becomes low.

If the laptop battery turns warm after using it for a while, you don't need to worry, as it's not a problem and is normal with all laptops. But if the battery turns hot or too hot, it might be a serious problem. In such a situation, just take the battery out from the laptop and allow it to cool down. If this problem occurs on a regular basis, the battery itself may be at fault and you may need to give it for replacement.

If the battery is not being charged when you connect it to an electric socket using the adapter, check the power source if it is providing sufficient power to charge. You may also try to charge the battery using the same adapter, but on a different power source socket. Interruption in the power supply may also be a problem which leaves the battery without power. Check all the power-related cord connections, such as the connection at the back of the notebook and at the transformer box. There are also possibilities of the adapter being defunct.

If you find any kind of notebook battery problems, just remove the battery from the notebook and check for any debris or dirt in or around the connections. The debris or dirt may restrict the notebook to get connected with the power components inside the battery compartments. Moreover, you also need to check if there are revealing signs such as any burn marks in the battery compartment.

Before taking any step to troubleshoot laptop battery, you need to be confirmed about the problem being persistent only in the battery and in no other part. If the above steps don't seem to work, the last option left is to call the laptop service person, and let him know about the problem and what all troubleshooting steps you've taken.
READ MORE - Laptop Battery Troubleshooting

Keyboard Problems

There are many hardware parts of the computer which can start giving problems. The keyboard is one such computer hardware which can give some problems, such as not being detected at all or some of the individual keys not working. If you face any problem with keyboard, it is suggested that you try out some troubleshooting steps first, before you decide to buy a new one. You will regret if you get a new one before realizing that the actual problem was just due to an improper connection.

Read more on:
Troubleshooting Keyboard Problems

If the computer keyboard is not working at all, you should check its connections to the CPU cabinet. Locate the back of the cabinet where the keyboard is plugged in, remove the plug from the slot, and reinsert it, and then check if it works. If it is still not working, restart the PC and check. You can check the functioning of your keyboard or PS/2 (or USB port) by connecting the keyboard to another desktop computer, or using another keyboard on your system.

If you notice there are some keys on the keyboard that are hard to press or not working, there can be possibilities of dust and debris accumulated in there. You then need to clean the debris off the keyboard by turning it upside down and shaking it or tapping it from above. You can even use a vacuum cleaner for taking the dirt off the keyboard. In order to prevent the keyboard from attracting dust, you can use a ready-made keyboard cover or simply make one at home by using a plastic sheet.

If some character keys on the keyboard do not work even after cleaning the keyboard, you may have to replace those particular keys. This problem may be experienced mostly on frequently used keys. If some kind of liquid falls on the keyboard, immediately disconnect the keyboard from its cabinet port. Turn it upside down and keep it for drying in the same position for a while under the fan or in sunlight. Check the working of the keyboard by connecting it back again only after you are sure that its completely dry.

Some keys on the keyboard might not even function due to the device being in a cold room for a considerable period of time or not used for a while. If you think this can be the reason for the keyboard not functioning, you should use the keyboard for some minutes. Check if it works, after typing few sentences in the notepad application.

If the keyboard still does not work, updating the respective drivers may solve the problem. For updating the drivers on Windows Vista, go via Start->Control Panel->Hardware and Sounds-> Keyboard->Hardware->Properties->General->Change Settings->Driver->Update Driver. Check if the keyboard functions after the drivers have been updated. Driver updation is a good method of getting rid of a keyboard problem. Wrong characters issue can be rectified by changing the settings for the input language and the keyboard layout.

Read more on:
This was a general guide on troubleshooting keyboard problems. For you to not experience a keyboard problem, typing should be done softly, especially in the case of laptop computers. If your wireless keyboard is having functionality issues, a good troubleshooting step is to make sure that the batteries are not weak. It none of the steps seem to work, the last resort is to get a new one from the market.
READ MORE - Keyboard Problems

Computers and Technology