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WPA vs WEP Wireless Encryption
Author: Tim Taylor

What is the difference?
Which one should you use?
Why you have to convert to WPA.

WEP stands for Wired Equivalent Privacy
WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access

When you connect a wireless router to your internet connection it allows you to walk around your home or office with your laptop and stay connected to the internet. A wireless router transmits it's signal 300 feet away. Therefore, anyone within 300 feet can use your wireless connection to connect to the internet. Unless, you turn security features on.

If your connection is not secure it allows your neighbor to use your bandwidth, they can get access to your machine, a spammer can send emails outside of your home (or your neighbor) and they will track it back to you. 

Turning on Security.

The default WEP is usually turned on when you purchase the router. The problem with WEP is that is that it was defeated a few years ago. With the right device is can be cracked and your signal can be used.

You want to use WPA.

Turn on WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)
WPA provides enhanced security and control for AirPort networks. WEP-only Wi-Fi devices cannot use an AirPort network that uses WPA, so be sure to check if you are using non-WPA devices. WPA comes in two modes: Enterprise and Personal. Personal mode is most suited for home and small business use.

Open the AirPort Admin Utility, select your base station and click 'Configure', Click 'Show All Settings' and click on the 'Change Wireless Security' button. Select WPA Personal from the menu. Select the Password option from the drop-down menu on the left and input your chosen password. Click OK. Your network should now be available in the top right of your screen. When you select it you will be asked to fill in your password.


Why I don’t like laptops
Author: Tim Taylor

10 reasons I don’t like laptops

1. They are more expensive than desktops

2. They run slower - sometimes MUCH slower (their processors aren't as fast and their hard drives don't spin as fast)

3. They have smaller screens - unless you add an external screen. If you get one with a big screen, it will be very heavy

4. They have smaller keyboards - unless you add a regular KB and mouse

5. They don't last as long

6. They cannot be expanded easily or cheaply (more RAM or disk space)

7. They are very hard to work on when they have problems

8. The internal batteries usually only last one year

9. If you take it with you then you have to take the power supply with you (you have to crawl under your desk to unplug it - unless you buy another one for "on the road")

10. If you buy a cheap laptop you will really regret it - the 2nd year.

Basically, they don't make good desktop replacements - THE ONLY THING GOOD ABOUT A LAPTOP IS YOU CAN TAKE IT WITH YOU!


Backing up your cell phone
Author: Tim Taylor

 

There are a handful of programs that can be used to back up your cell phone contact numbers. Most of them are desktop-to-phone synching programs. They essentially copy your cell phone's list to your computer. Then they ensure that the two lists remain identical.

I carry around a Motorola RAZR phone. For it, I purchased Motorola’s $50 Mobile Phone Tools. This package includes software and a USB cable. You use the cable to connect the phone to your PC. It makes backups and a lot more.

When the phone is connected to my PC, it’s recharging. Best of all, I can enter contacts into my phone using my computer’s keyboard. Thank you!

There are other programs. Here are three you might want to check out.

DataPilot is compatible with Outlook and Outlook Express contacts. A basic kit including software and a cable for the connection is priced at about $60. The software alone is $35.

SnapSync is a straightforward program that can be used for backups. It is also compatible with Outlook and Outlook Express contacts. The software sells for $30. Phone cables are sold separately, also at $30.

MightyBackup is simple. It makes periodic backups of your cell phone's contacts. The backups can be loaded onto your phone if necessary. They can also be loaded onto a new phone if the old one was damaged. MightyBackup is a Web service. The backups are stored on MightyBackup's computers, not yours. The service works with wireless providers to include the monthly fee on your bill. The monthly fee for MightyBackup averages about $2.

These services provide lists of compatible cell phones on their Web sites. They are very specific, including brands and model numbers. Be sure that your phone is listed before buying.

If your phone is damaged, its replacement would have to be compatible as well. Otherwise, your backups might not transfer to your new phone.


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