Internet, the omnipotent “entity” that permeates the lives of billions of people every day. Living in an online world has become so common that it is really hard to imagine a day or, god forbid, more, offline. Be that as it may, electronic devices are not flawless. From time to time, they may malfunction, resulting in the internet connection failure. In such cases, even if you are not tech-savvy, there are certain steps you can take in order to restore your window into the world.
Track & Trace
First and foremost, we need to know what is it exactly that caused the internet connection to break. This is done by a simple process of elimination. We take all of the elements of a connection into account and check each one for errors.
The best place to start would be your ISP. Phoning the ISP would let you know if there are any problems at their end, and if by any chance you’ve missed your monthly installment (in which case further reading is recommended, but, not necessary). With certain providers, connection issues are common, due to bad infrastructure. That is why opting for a trustworthy provider like att u verse is the safest option.
If all seems well on ISP’s end, then the likely cause rests somewhere between the wall socket and the computer. Examining the wall socket and the cable between it and the modem/router would be the next logical step. In some cases, the cable might be damaged on the inside, so test it by using another one.
Next comes the modem/router. Commonly, the modem serves as a router as well, but some of you might have a dedicated router, so do make sure to examine both devices. Every manufacturer has different specs for their modems, which is why it would be a good thing to find the user manual that came along with it and see which lights should be blinking or not, and which should be always on.
If the modem is not working as it should, turn it off and then turn it on after 10 seconds. If the problem persists, call the ISP to intervene and probably replace the modem. On the other hand, should you learn that it is not the modem to blame, replace the cable between it and the PC and ultimately proceed to the PC itself.
With PCs, there are basically two main things that could cause internet outages – hardware and software. A faulty network device would show itself in the device manager with a yellow triangle and an exclamation mark in the middle. One can attempt to update drivers, however, in case of a hardware failure, it is just a waste of time. The best way to test the hardware would be by using a different device (pc, laptop or a phone) on the same cable.
With software, things get a little bit tricky. Windows users have an option to run a connection troublesooter which will, in most occasions, do nothing. One thing it will show you though is a clue as to where the problem might lie. A faulty IP/DNS/DHCP configuration is the most common cause for setups which have a high number of devices connected on a single modem. In such cases, it’s best to find a free IP in your local network and then enter the configuration manually. The settings should look like this:
IP address: 192.168.1.xxx
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Default gateway: 192.168.1 – the most common IP of modems
Preferred DNS: 188.8.131.52
Alternate DNS: 184.108.40.206
To enter these settings go to start > control panel > network and sharing center – click on “Change adapter settings” in the top left corner of the windows > right click the ethernet adapter and click properties. Then select Internet Protocol Version 4 and in that window choose “Use the following IP Address” – see the image for details.
In case none of the options above work and you don’t feel like troubleshooting on your own anymore, it might be time to get in touch with an expert.
Here is Why You Should Use Web Content Filtering
In today’s hyperconnected era, the internet has become critical for your business performance. It allows your staff members to seek information, collaborate, and share files in real-time. There are also many web-based platforms that can simplify almost any aspect of your business operations, from bookkeeping to project management.
However, do your employees always use the internet the way they should?
To take a break from their complex daily activities, even your most diligent employees will surf the web, share videos, and quickly scan their social media accounts.
Even though taking a selfie and posting it on Instagram or responding to a friend request on Facebook takes only a few seconds, stats say that these activities may harm the overall workplace performance and cause greater costs. According to Office Team, employees spend 5 hours weekly on non-work activities, which may lead to a worrying loss of $15.5 billion in lost productivity.
One of the most effective solutions to this problem is web content filtering.
Web Content Filtering Defined
When you’re filtering online content, you’re using a piece of software to identify and exclude any forms of inappropriate or dangerous content for your company. These tools recognize character strings that, if matched, indicate that the content is not appropriate for your organization. These could be suspicious files, spammy website content, pornographic content, and even social networks.
Now, let’s see what the benefits of web content filtering are for your business.
Tightened Network Security
The number of cyberattacks is growing. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that this trend will die down in the next few years. Namely, today’s online hacks have evolved, which makes them harder to predict and recognize.
Above all, most of them target small businesses. Research says that more than 70% of companies that are hacked are SMBs. The reason for that is simple – small businesses still don’t understand the importance of cybersecurity and are not equipped to fight sophisticated online threats.
One of the most frequent types of cyber threats is phishing attacks. The hacker’s goal is to deceive a user to steal their valuable data. This form of online breaches involves a myriad of tactics that are carried out through emails, social networks, IM platforms, etc. Some well-versed cybercriminals even build fake sites that look trustworthy and then ask users to provide their sensitive data.
Unsurprisingly, employees’ negligence is the greatest cybersecurity risk. Most of them will click on spammy ads, odd links, and download files from unreliable resources without thinking about the consequences of these activities.
This is where web filter solutions help. Namely, they provide services like information control, URL filters, traffic control, proxy control, behavior analyses, and online bandwidth management to prevent infected files from reaching your employees’ inboxes. And, even if an employee receives a malicious file or link, web filters will instantly block their access to such content.
Greater Workplace Productivity
Social networks are often being referred to as workplace productivity killers.
Still, is banning them a good option? Probably not.
First, this may hurt employee satisfaction and indicate that you don’t trust them enough.
Second, social networks are important for building brand awareness. When reposted on your company’s profile, your employees’ behind-the-scenes photos and videos may help you humanize your brand.
However, web content filtering lets you set stricter rules on what kind of content should be accessed at work. You don’t have to block social networks, but you can always filter out not-suitable-for-work (NSFW) websites, such as online shopping platforms, as well as gambling, torrent, gaming, or entertainment sites.
Maintaining Brand Reputation
Your employees’ lack of knowledge may not only hurt your network’s security, but also ruin the reputation your company has been building for years. Just remember that U.S. Airways’ social media manager accidentally published an X-rated photo on the company’s Twitter account. Even though they reacted fast by deleting the photo and apologizing, they still received lots of negative press.
Therefore, web content filtering may be one of the most effective ways to maintain a spotless brand reputation in the digital world packed with spam. URL filtering and real-time monitoring of online activities will reduce the disasters caused by employees misusing the internet, such as publishing offensive content, illegal file downloads, or publishing inappropriate content on your corporate accounts.
The power of web content filtering goes far beyond improving cybersecurity. This is one of the most effective ways to limit your employees’ access to non-work sites and, in this way, increase their productivity and prevent them from sharing any inappropriate content.
Sure, to get the most out of this strategy, don’t forget to educate your employees. They need to know how their use of the internet impacts the overall image of the organization. Most importantly, they should be aware of the major cyber threats and know what to do if they come across them.
Hope this helps!
Windows 10 tops Windows 7 as most popular OS
Windows 10, which was released about three and half years ago, nows top Windows 7 as the most popular OS. A report from Net Marketshare puts Windows 10 in the top spot for desktop operating systems. It’s the first time Microsoft’s OS took the top spot since hitting the market three and a half years ago.
Windows 10 held 39.22 percent of desktop OS market share in December 2018, compared to Windows 7 which sit at 36.9 percent. This is a statistics that is taken Microsoft three and a half years to accomplish, and it shows exactly how mainstream Windows 7 has been since its release almost 10 years prior. The more recent Windows 8.1, meanwhile, is a distant fifth — more than a percentage point below Windows XP.
Windows 10 is now in place on 700 million devices, comprising a broad range of products. Microsoft gambled with the release of a convertible operating system that could bridge the device between PC and tablet, and it appears to have paid off. As has the decision to bring the OS to its Xbox platform.
The market share milestone is an important one for Windows 10, and it comes just a year before Microsoft ends its extended support for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020. Microsoft have no choice than to convince businesses with deep pockets to move up to Windows 10, rather than settling on the Extended Security Updates (ESU) program for Windows 7 one year from now.
All of this marks a nice end to Microsoft’s solid year, which found it once again at the top of the most valuable companies. Apple, which is now in the No. 2 spot, secured No. 3 on the OS list, with 10.14 Mojave pulling in 4.73 percent of the market.
Google Is About To Fix Terrible Lag Issues On Chrome OS Tablets
So many complaints have been made by users about the Pixel state performance especially when the device is in tablet mode and Users also claim they encounter lagging issues while in the said mode, apart from having a janky experience overall.
According to report, It seems Google is now aware of the issue, at least. Since the Pixel Slate’s sluggish and stuttery user interface is becoming a deal breaker for most consumers, Google is reportedly planning to roll out an update that will improve the performance of its flagship tablet.
Chrome Unboxed has uncovered that Google aims to address performance problems present on the Pixel Slate, particularly issues with lag. What’s more, the fix might actually be a simple one.
Pixel Slate Lag Issues
For sometimes, Many Developers have noticed that much of the performance issues stems from the performance-intensive way the tablet draws rounded corners, and they especially persist when dragging down to reveal the overview mode.
“A lot of animation jank seems to be coming from the use of Mask Layers to create rounded corners. This combined with background blur adds a lot of additional steps in the paint/rendering pipeline,” according per the bug’s description.
When rounded corners are disabled, the performance allegedly improves, even on the Celeron-based Pixel Slate, which is the entry-level model of the lineup.
“The performance (fps increase) and memory improvement (tiles don’t get discarded and we actually see the content) is quite significant on Nocturne Celeron when rounded corners are removed.”
Of course, turning off rounded corners likely won’t solve every lag and performance issue present on the device, but it’s an easy and uncomplicated start, and should significantly increase performance for users who enter overview mode on a regular basis.
When Will Google Release This Fix?
As to when Google plans to release the fix is another story. The company has labeled the bug as high priority, at least, but bear in mind that the discussion dates back to November 2018, which suggests a solution might not be around the corner. Also, Google hasn’t formally acknowledged the Pixel Slate’s performance issues, making it harder to predict if and when the fix is coming.
That’s quite unfortunate since a number of reviewers liken the Pixel Slate as a successful attempt from Google to reinvigorate the tablet landscape, apart from being a worthy competitor to the Apple iPad. Clearly, Google has quite a room for improvement on the software side of things — and definitely on the hardware as well.