Mobile Wi-Fi is on the Move

Remember when you had to drive across town to get a signal from wireless connections coming out of cafe’s or someone’s house? It seems like a faint memory now, as technology speeds on with or without us, those days are done. Today there is a way to carry a Wi-Fi signal with you. This is a growing trend that will only keep getting more use because people need connections, and they need them now. Not down the street, not at home, todays consumer of electronics and web media needs access to the world every second of the day. Just what is mobile wireless, how does it work, and how can I get connected?

This device right here is from Novatel, and it is called Mi-Fi - a compact wireless router you can pocket and walk around while producing a wi-fi signal.

It is a new day and a completely different age for using the internet. Mi-Fi gives the user an option of connecting up to 5 devices to it, whether that be your smartphone, laptop, desktop, or gaming device. No more having to sit in a noisy Starbucks or try to connect to a weak signal from someone else’s router. You can go anywhere where the signal can backconnect to a cellular network (Sprint, ATT&T,?Verizon) and then frontconnect to local Wi-Fi devices.?So the signal is sent to the cellular network, then sent back through a Wi-Fi device to create a local area of shared internet connections.

Sprint will actually be offering the capability to connect this Mi-Fi device with 4G speed. This blog talked about the real difference between the regular third generation speed and the new fourth generation, coming to the conclusion that the only difference is in faster download speeds for websites and media. The catch is finding a device and a network that supports the 4G connection, so good luck as it is still very new.

There are other devices that create a mobile Wi-Fi spot, such as ATT&T’s 3G which connects via USB to your laptop. Apple came out with an app called MyWi, which turns your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

However, beware of security issues that could leave you wishing you had not opened up this mobile hotspot. Hackers and anyone who can search the internet for ways to get into your Wi-Fi connection can access personal information. Already there have been accounts of Wi-Fi signals being breached by hackers and information such as security keys and GPS locations were ?compromised.

Mi-Fi from Novatel is for the consumer who is always on the go and cannot spend hours at the various locations for Wi-Fi connections. It is expensive, you must activate it through a contract with Sprint costing $60 a month. The device itself costs about $100.

What does this say about the future for Wi-Fi and the internet? It is saying that laptops are becoming less of a necessity as smartphones offer the same functions but with easier access and portability.

As technology speeds up, can we keep pace with the constant updates and improvements and releases of everything new? Better tighten up those running shoes!

Tired of Weak or No Signal?

That damn yellow triangle sign where your wireless bars should be has a “!” telling you that the signal is there, but due to a weak signal or no signal your internet use is put on hold. Until the signal can regain strength, your first thought might be to sit there patiently and wait it out, but who has time for that anymore? We live in a digital world, a wireless world, one that is very fast and waiting is something the tribes did sending a message to another camp hundreds of years ago. Try a second thought: change the things you can! The power to change the signal is yours, listen up.

wireless connection

If we look at the router, it is really an?amazing machine that is capable of fascinating feats for which we should be grateful for, I mean this little network tool makes our lives SO much easier. If we did not have the router, where would we be? Think about it, while you walk across the office to deliver something that could have been handled on a wireless network.

It all started back in Stanford with Bill Yeager who created the first router, which allowed for the wireless internet to blossom, as well as open many doors for the future. Yeager was asked originally to connect various departments at the school, he did much more than that. Back then they were only running on 56kb of memory, look how far it has have come!

How to combat Weak or No Signal

Now that you know a little bit more about where router’s come from, let’s talk on improving that sometimes weak signal which is everyone’s enemy if you use wireless.

  1. Place the router away from the wall. The signal that is being given off the router is too high to go through walls very good, and until we start using the television white space which is a much lower signal but can travel through walls, it is best that you position your device to a more accessible spot. Try placing the router in the middle of the room, house or office. It will be able to reach all the computers trying to access it better.
  2. Keep it off the floor. If you put the router on the floor, the signal being sent to other networks will surely be slow because it is not able to receive the data packets being sent back to the router from your computer.
  3. Do not put the router near metal objects. This is self-explanatory, metal objects can deflect signals and interrupt them, causing that annoying warning sign to piss you off.
  4. Use a hi-gain antenna. The router comes with a regular antenna that sends a signal in all directions, if it is placed in your office then half of the signal is going out the window! A hi-gain antenna focuses on a certain direction, a better choice if you have a desktop computer.
  5. Still weak? Try another type of router. This is called a wireless repeater, you still need your router, but the repeater will take the strong signal it gets in the office, and transmits it to the living room to supply the same strong signal to your laptop while enjoying the news.

If all else fails, just turn the router on and then wait for a couple minutes, then turn it on again. Resetting the router will boot it up again, it usually works to get a good signal after reset.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of that stupid yellow sign that blocks my internet and keeps me from accessing work, finishing emails, and all the basic tasks the internet allows me to do with ease. Thanks to these tips though, I will never have that problem again. After all, ignorance is the only real problem, everything else is just details. As always feel Free to contact us via email or give Computer Geeks a call at 800-433-5435 if you want us to fix it for you!

Cannot connect to internet

Super WiFi and the Future of Wireless

Super WiFi and the Future of Wireless

It seems we have been settling for less in the world of wireless connections. All this time we could have been speeding as fast as cable modems on WiFi. Last September the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) made important steps to freeing up space that is not being used called “white space”; the airwaves between broadcast television.

What this means is the ‘limited access’ connection you have outside Starbucks or any other source of public WiFi? No more, the “white space” would be opened up for wireless broadband connections that would create the Super WiFi hero. This hero has super powers that penetrate through walls, have a large capacity to cover more areas, and can take on a lot more networks.

Brian Connors, president of the oldest electromagnetic compatibility consulting firm in New England, called Connors Company, said in an interview:

“Think of the frequency of a whale, it’s sound can travel incredibly long distances across the ocean because it is a low frequency. In the EM spectrum high frequency and low frequency are in the millions and billions of cycles per second. So if you put WiFi on a low frequency, the information can travel like a whale’s call through walls!”

The Commission announced it’s big National Broadband Plan in hopes to entice investor’s to jump on board. The future is uncertain, but WiFi is already the most used connection to access the internet, so it is easy to see the great potential for this new technology to grow and become as common as T.V.’s are in every household.

Even rural areas will be covered. A test system was recently built in a town where they still used dial-up and had to pay big bucks for satellite broadband. They were in the dark ages until Super WiFi came and brought fast as light!

Regular WiFi uses 2.4GHz radio frequency .With the use of lower frequency white spaces between television channel frequencies, the signal can travel much further than the regular.

This solves the major problem regular WiFi has: short range. I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to access a certain WiFi hot spot, times when I am in a hurry and need to check a site, and was unable due to a weak connection. The possibilities of a WiFi on steroids are endless.

One major possibility is a link to disaster zones. Suppose those of us who live on the East Coast get washed away after global warming melts the ice caps. Those of us floating all with out smartphones or iPads still intact will be able to communicate with rescue efforts to be saved! Another possibility is a home wireless network, where video can be sent between the television and computer. A North Carolina company that is testing out the Super WiFi is using the white space to send live feeds from traffic and surveillance cameras.

The future of wireless communications is getting better and better. With this National Broadband Plan we will be seeing new technologies come out that use the capability of Super WiFi to reach more people, connect more devices, and make life seem like a wireless world of wonder!


What You Need to Know About 3G and 4G

Ever wonder what people are talking about when they are explaining the features of their new computer? Or are you in doubt on whether or not to upgrade your lap or desktop to a better network called “4G”?

There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to these numbers and letters.

3G stands for Third Generation, its real name is International Mobile Telecommunications-2000, and it is what you see today in cell phones and other mobile devices. The 3G network allows you to access television, have a video chat, and the web all on your cell phone. Remember when cell phones just had a green and a red button, call and end? Not anymore. With 3G phones are hand-held computers that do everything. Who needs just a phone in today’s world?

The Nokia phones were one of the first to use the 3G network. The Koreans came out with the first networks, and since then it has evolved into a standard for broadband connections with better signals all over the world. Today the race is on to reach that magical number: 4.

You may have seen on T.V. the advertisement from T-Mobile saying that they have the 4G. This is what you might call bending that little thing we call truth. It is not 4G, just faster version of 3G, the real 4G is yet to be reached. The speed is measured in Mbit/s, or megabits per second, and companies are getting close to 4G standards but the closest is only 3.9G.

So what do customers do with all this running around trying to find the fastest “G”? Wait and see, sooner or later phones like Sprints new HTC EVO 4G will be the basic phone and we will be surrounded by networks speeding in 20 Mbit/s(that is fast!)

The only catch with getting these 4G phones now is this: there is no 4G network! Companies like Sprint and T-Mobile are trying to get a “one-up” on all their competition by boasting of the first 4G phone. Don’t buy into that crap, because even if it says 4G on it and it goes fast, the so-called 4G will revert back to 3G in most areas because it is not covered there.

That means that upgrading to 4G is really wasting your money. Stay with your phone that has 3G and do not worry about all the hubbub concerning 4G with the fastest broadband signal. Eventually yes, you will want to make the upgrade to 4G, but what is the point of having 4G when it does not really work?

You will know when the real 4G hits the market. It operates in Giga-bit speeds(1 Billion) so it is super fast. That is the one thing that makes the difference: speed, and companies like WiMax and LTE(Long-Term Evolution) have come close to reaching the 1 Gig mark, but not quite. 4G will have seamless mobility in file-transfers and internet access without interruption, like when one broadband signal moves to another area of coverage, and offers more in terms of gaming and streaming multimedia.

DirectAccess Replaces VPN for Windows 7

Microsoft has unveiled Direct Access for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, remotely connecting users to their office as if they were right there. Establishing bi-directional connectivity with the user?s enterprise network, this solution keeps them connected to their office, forging a link each time the user?s computer ? provided it?s enabled by DirectAccess ? is connected to the internet.

As the workforce transforms, with the information age evolving at a rapid pace, the needs of an organization adapt accordingly. Increasingly, employees are working from remote locations, the advances in internet technology affording them the ability to work from an off-site location ? home, business meeting abroad, etc.

The mobility of our workforce has contributed to the success of those companies driving our economy, with new technologies facilitating the uninterrupted productivity of employees whose presence in the office is no longer a necessary component in the operations of an efficient and profitable enterprise. By 2011, the number of mobile employees is expected to have increased by 30.4 percent (IDC, ?Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2007-2011 Forecast,? Doc #209813, Dec 2007).

While technology has contributed to an outgrowth of wireless communication, with the internet providing the backbone for those gains, corporate security ? namely, firewalls ? obstruct the accessibility of those resources which are native to an office. This poses a number of problems, not the least of which being access to the network from those IT professionals tasked with managing the corporation?s network.

In the past, VPN (Virtual Private Network) has been the solution employed for that purpose. However, as any IT professional will tell you, the use of a VPN can prove challenging. VPN requires users to wait for authentication, a process that can see the end user waiting for what has commonly amounted to several minutes. If internet connectivity is lost, the VPN connection will be severed, requiring the user to repeat the authentication process. With alternatives providing even less functionality and additional hurdles to overcome, VPN has become the de facto solution, its problems notwithstanding.

Surmounting the challenges inherent to VPN, DirectAccess immediately establishes a bi-directional connection between the user?s computer and office?s network. Using Windows 7, the DirectAccess client detects its connection to a network. The DirectAccess client will then connect to an intranet website designated during the initial configuration of DirectAccess. The process is seamless and automatic. Unlike VPN, which requires authentication with each use, DirectAccess authenticates the computer before the user even attempts to access the network.

Easier to use than VPN, the efficiency of DirectAccess is a boon to the productivity of an enterprise?s workforce. With a transparent connection to their corporate network, employees will no longer find themselves enduring the cumbersome process that has soured many? on the use of VPN. Using DirectAccess, the information on a company?s network ? intranet, applications, file-shares ? is accessible wherever the employee finds an internet connection for their portable computer.

Computer Geeks, a leader in on-site technical assistance, prides itself on educating the public about those advances that are relevant to the industry within which we continue to grow. If you have any questions about DirectAccess, never hesitate to call us.? Our technicians are here to assist you.

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