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Wed
03
Jan
John Lister's picture

ISP Issues Bizarre Warning to Customers Engaged in Piracy

An Internet provider has warned customers that "pirating online content could affect thermostats and security cameras." But the explanation is something of a stretch. The warning comes from Armstrong Zoom, an Internet Provider that serves several ... states from Ohio over to the Washington DC area. It's written to customers whose connections have reportedly been used to infringe copyright. The letter says customers won't face immediate action but will face sanctions for repeat offenses. That's similar of an industry-wide effort that tried to cut down on piracy (including a 'six strike' ... (view more)

Fri
06
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: 'Windows Setup has Failed to Validate the Product Key' Error

Infopackets Reader Jill G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a Windows 7 Pro machine that we use at work which has a broken Windows Update. I have tried to do an 'upgrade repair' in hopes of fixing the issue, but the Windows installer exits immediately. ... The major issue we're facing is that our Windows 7 machine has new user accounts on it which we did not create - we suspect that it has become compromised because it has not downloaded Windows Updates in over a year. From what I read online, it is possible to upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8 Pro (not 8.1!) which will keep my programs and ... (view more)

Tue
23
Aug
John Lister's picture

Netgear Offers $400 System to Combat Poor WiFi

Netgear is launching its own take on a multi-router system in order to improve WiFi across an entire home. It's not a new idea, but Netgear says its tweaks should give it a significant edge over rival setups. The logic of Netgear's Orbi and similar ... systems is that a single wireless router isn't always enough to cover an entire home adequately. Wireless signals can be weakened by passing through walls and floors, as well as being affected by metal such as pipe work. While that problem has always existed, it's become more noticeable as demand for high-bandwidth activity such as ... (view more)

Thu
28
Jul
John Lister's picture

Smart Devices Could Expose WiFi Passwords, or Worse

Are smart devices a security risk? Security firm Rapid 7 seems to think so. According to the researchers, a range of Internet-connected light bulbs had at least nine security flaws. While the potential consequences are hardly life or death, it could ... be a blow to the concept of smart devices in the home. Osram's Lightify range of light bulbs lets users control lighting via a smartphone or tablet app. The idea is partly to allow more precise controls, such as dimming a bulb or even changing its color, and partly to allow users to remotely access the lights. For example, if a home owner is ... (view more)

Tue
22
Dec
John Lister's picture

More Americans Now Using Smartphones vs Broadband

The proportion of Americans with a broadband connection (such as cable or DSL) at home has dropped for the first time. The surprise trend appears to be down to cost and people using smartphones as their main way to get online. The revelation comes ... from the Pew Research Center, which regularly surveys the public on tech and communications issues. It found the percentage of people who say they have broadband at home is now 67 percent, down from 70 percent in 2013. (Source: pewinternet.org ) Broadband Use Falling Across The Board While that could be a statistical quirk, it's borne out by the ... (view more)

Thu
17
Sep
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Home vs Pro: is it worth the Upgrade?

Windows 10 is a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users until July 29, 2016; if you own Windows 7 or 8 Pro (or higher), then you can receive Windows 10 Pro for free. Conversely, if you own Windows 7 or 8 Home ( or anything less than Pro ) then you ... will by default receive Windows 10 Home as your free upgrade. With that said, Windows 10 Home users can also upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for a $99 fee. So, is the upgrade from Hone to Pro worth it? Here are some of the differences and whether they may be worth paying for. Fewer Forced Updates In Pro Edition Every feature in Windows 10 Home is part of ... (view more)

Mon
06
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Which Version of Windows 10 Will I Get?

Infopackets Reader Larry O. writes: " Dear Dennis, In regard to the free upgrade to Windows 10, I am confused as to which version of Windows 10 I will receive. I currently have Windows 8.1 Pro on my PC; will I get Windows 10 Pro? What is the ... difference between Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro? " My response: This is a frequently asked question, so I will provide the answer for all PC users with Windows XP to 8. Windows 10 Home vs Pro First and foremost, there are two major consumer versions of Windows 10: Home and Pro. Windows 10 Home is targeted toward casual or "everyday" ... (view more)

Wed
04
Feb
John Lister's picture

New Wi-Fi Router Promises Entire Home Coverage

The makers of a new wireless router system claim it will offer guaranteed high-speed Wi-Fi connections throughout large homes. But at a minimum of $299 to take advantage, it's a costly solution. The Eero system is aimed at people who have an ... Internet connection and wireless router but struggle to get a good signal -- or any signal -- throughout their entire home. Wi-Fi signals can be weakened by structural issues such as in multi-storey houses, or by interference from wireless networks run by neighbors. The makers say this will become an increasingly frustrating problem as people make ... (view more)

Mon
12
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Share Internet between Two Homes?

Infopackets Reader 'vking' writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a wireless network inside my home and I want to share it with my neighbor, who lives approximately 250 feet away. Is there a WiFi range extender that I can purchase which allows me to share my ... Internet access and computer network with my neighbor? " Related: How to Fix: Stop Neighbors Stealing My WiFi Related: Need to extend your Wifi coverage at home or in the office? Read this: Explained: What is Mesh WiFi? vs Extender, Router? My response: Yes, there is, however I need to clarify a few things, first. The purpose of a WiFi range ... (view more)

Thu
01
Jan
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Report: Online at Work Productive, but Stressful

Today, most business offices depend on a range of technologies, from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and even tablets -- most of which are connected to the Internet. Now, a new study suggests that although today's workplace technology ... helps to increase productivity, it also lengthens the amount of time spent at work. The study, which was carried out by the Pew Research Center, involved surveying 1,000 adults between September 12 and September 18, 2014. The researchers focused most of their attention on just over five hundred participants who said they worked full- or part-time ... (view more)

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