Shop Around (If You can) for an Internet Provider

The internet situation in the US is sad compared to the rest of the world. Even some third world countries have higher average speeds than this country. A reliable internet connection is becoming essential for day-to-day life in this society. If you have a choice of providers, talk to their customers before you commit to…

Delete Badly Behaving Facebook Apps

Beware of cute Facebook apps like “what’s your gangster name?” and such. you may end up with content you know nothing about posted on your wall. Deny permission to any but the most necessary apps. https://www.thebalance.com/steps-to-delete-facebook-apps-and-protect-privacy-892790

Keep the Hackers Out of Your New Toys

Many of you got new internet-connected goodies over the holidays. Make sure they’re not open doors to hackers. If the devices are capable, update each one to the latest version of firmware. Look for a setting to check for updates, and apply them if available.

4G Capable Tablets and Chromebooks FTW

One of the handiest devices to come along in a while is the tablet and/or Chromebook that comes with 4G network capabilities. WiFi isn’t always available, and being able to hop onto a mobile network mainly used by phones means the internet is never very far away. Make no mistake: WiFi is the preferred way…

Trace Your Family Tree for Free

One area where the internet has changed everything is genealogy. What once took days of research in the library, and hundreds of miles of travel to other libraries, can now be accomplished in a few hours. Case in point: I signed up (for free) at wikitree.com, and entered what information on relatives I could. Wikitree…

RIP Net Neutrality?

Well, US net neutrality is dead. Or is it? A suit is being filed that says the FCC doesn’t have the power to de-classify access to the internet as a utility, which they have been seeking to do since 2014. Regardless, let’s try not to panic. A few hundred million people vs. a small handful…

Get Calibre and Load Up Your E-Reader

Do you have an e-reader like a Nook or a Kindle? If so, you should install an open-source program called Calibre on your computer. It will make it simple to copy books, magazines, etc. to your device. Next step is to visit archive.org and see what thousands of books, magazines, and recorded works you can…

Keep Your Home Network Safe

Your home network is as safe as your router, your router password, and your wireless password. Make sure your router is updated with the latest firmware, and make sure you have a fairly complex password for your wireless network. Make sure you have a tougher password for your router. A hacker has to be nearby…

SSL Encryption Is an Absolute Neccesity

These days, it’s simple to get SSL encryption on websites. That means the green lock in your address bar is front and center, signifying that the connection you have to the site is encrypted. You can fill out forms, submit passwords, and even use your credit card without fear of it being intercepted. If your…

Home Media Server, or Cloud?

Let’s face it, Netflix is simple, fast, cheap, and available. But it all comes down to how good is your internet? If your connection to the web comes and goes, then a local media server will be a better choice. Of course, that means loading it with content. Handbrake is a good DVD/Blu-Ray ripper that…