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Tech

How to Fix Limited or No Connectivity to Internet

Having trouble with limited connectivity? Maybe you’ll have just enough connectivity to find this post. You might see the warning pop up from your system tray as you attempt to connect to the Internet. You’ve seen the yellow triangle with an exclamation point inside. It signals a problem with the dynamic allocation of IP addresses. Limited or No Connectivity or No Internet Access means the same thing: You can’t get online. The likely culprit: A non-responsive DHCP server. DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. A DHCP server assigns an IP address to a computer. The IP address identifies your computer as it communicates with the Internet at large. If a DHCP can’t carry out its function, a computer will assign itself an invalid IP address. What’s the solution if you’re faced with limited Internet access because the DHCP malfunctions?

Limited access: Internet connection solutions you can try

It’s easy to investigate when you have limited Internet access from a DHCP server error. Try these steps:

Repair

  • Right click Internet connections icon in the lower right of the computer screen
  • Click repair or troubleshoot problems
This will review and reconnect your connection. If it doesn’t work, try disabling and enabling your Internet connection.

Disable/enable

  • Right click Internet connections icon in the lower right of the computer screen
  • Open Network Connections
  • Right click the appropriate icon to disable either local or wireless Internet connection
  • Click again to enable
This will reset whichever connection you’ve used, and reestablish it. If that doesn’t work, perhaps try to release and renew your IP address.

Release/renew

  • Click Start menu
  • Select run command
  • Type cmd and enter
  • In the black configuration box that pops up, type ipconfig /all
  • The IP address will show as 0.0.0.0.
  • After the C:\ prompt for documents and settings, type ipconfig /release (be sure there's a space between ipconfig and /release)
  • The all-zeroes IP address will release
  • After the C:\ prompt for documents and settings, type ipconfig /renew (remember the space)
  • This will renew your IP address with one with values, not zeroes

Network layer problems

Issues with the network layer can also cause limited Internet access. That’s the third level in the OSI Model, or Open Systems Interconnection Model. Routing paths for Internet data live at this level. IT staff can best remedy a network layer problem. If this occurs on a home network, consult your ISP’s customer care line.

Tech

No Phone Line Required for Dry Loop DSL

DSL Internet service without an associated phone line is Dry loop DSL. It's also known as naked DSL. Dry loop DSL gives those who’ve forgone their home landline an opportunity for high-speed Internet. DSL, or digital subscriber line, shares phone line to deliver an Internet signal. Dry loop DSL establishes a line for Internet only. Dry loop DSL subscribers can access VoIP phone services through their Internet provider. Many dry loop DSL subscribers depend on a mobile phone as a home phone anyway.

Advantages of dry loop DSL

Quick installation

Here’s where the standalone part comes in. There are no interruptions to home phone service to install dry loop DSL. Also, a technician might find damaged copper lines during regular DSL installation. Those repairs would cause an interruption of your phone service as it’s serviced.

Uncomplicated wiring

Conventional DSL networks have many jacks and filters. Internet and telephone data travel on the same copper lines. Filters help keep them separate and free of interference from each other. Dry loop DSL wiring transmits Internet data only.

No disconnect if you change phone carriers

A switch in providers (or late monthly payment) might result in an interruption in service. With conventional DSL, that’ll also mean an interruption in Internet service. A dry loop DSL service operates independent of your phone carrier in every way. Other advantages: A dry loop DSL connection travels on clean copper wiring. It hasn’t served your phone service before. Customers can select a provider independent of other home services. Dry loop DSL isn’t subject to interference from fax machines and DVRs might cause.

Why is it difficult to find dry loop DSL advertised?

Home service providers offer bundles for Internet and TV or home phone – or both. These carriers offer discounts for bundling, with features that integrate features across services. Some features, such as on-screen Caller ID, aren’t possible with dry loop DSL because it’s not connected to TV service.

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Tech

Wireless Internet for Laptops: Which One Works Best?

We’re not bound to the PC in the middle of the house anymore. Wireless Internet, in public or at home, means freedom to connect on mobile devices, too. Smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles can connect to the same Internet signal. Subscribers need only plug in a router to establish Wi-Fi from their home Internet network. Perhaps the greatest of these devices: The laptop. For work-from-home, blogging, browsing and more, a laptop includes a full keyboard. It provides a bigger screen than the average device (except for the largest tablet screens). Laptop users have options when it comes to how they connect.

Mobile hotspots

A mobile hotspot brings your Internet provider virtually anywhere. It’s your mobile network; no need to rely on municipal Wi-Fi to connect. Connect through your mobile phone carrier. Go-anywhere Internet can hook you up on the 4G LTE network. That’s super-fast. Typical units can connect as many as eight devices. They’re lightweight (3 ounces or less) and the size of a pack of chewing gum. It’s especially useful when traveling; your Wi-Fi source travels, too. Plus, it’s a reliable backup for your laptop if your home Internet goes down. The downfall: It’s doesn’t take long to eat up your mobile data allowance while browsing on the road.

What’s the best laptop Internet service?

Fast, dependable broadband Wi-Fi will work on most mobile devices. In the house, you’re golden. In places away from home, the ability to connect to a secure network becomes less certain. Don't depend on public Wi-Fi or a friend’s network. Public Wi-Fi carries its own security issues; it’s not safe to bank or shop online on a public network. Cellular phone providers offer USB devices, or air cards, for network access. Connect mobile devices, such as laptops. Internet service through hotspots can often count against a data cap. Certain plans included unlimited data. Access to these cellular networks can come on 3G and 4G networks. The G stands for generation. 3G and 4G are the two recent generations of cell-phone network coverage. 3G was the first network fast enough to create an environment that made smartphones a viable for Internet access. Service providers also offer plans that include wireless Internet for laptops. Those plans often come with a carrier’s upper tiers of speed packages. Check system requirements with the Internet provider. Your laptop might need an upgrade to meet system requirements.

FAQs

What is FTTH? It’s Fiber to the Home

FTTH stands for Fiber to the Home. It represents the latest in communications technology. It consists of fiber-optic cables in a network that delivers communications signals as pulses of light. Hair-thin, flexible glass fibers comprise a fiber-optic network. FTTH goes from a service provider’s headquarters to a subscriber for their use only. High-speed Internet carriers – and potential customers – see fiber to the home as the wave of the future. It's replacing networks made of telephone wires and coaxial cables. It’s a network capable of meeting increased Internet demands in both home and business – for speed and capacity. FTTH networks can deliver phone and TV services too. Advantages include increased reliability as compared to older network structures, and more services available. A fiber-optic network provides greater bandwidth for apartments, condos, homes and businesses, which include: BOOMING VIDEO POTENTIAL | Cable and DSL Internet connections could be subject to buffering and disconnections during video consumption. FTTH connections carry enough bandwidth to sustain heavy downloading and streaming without buffering. POWERFUL INTERNET CONNECTIONS | It’s more than instant video. FTTH connections deliver instant uploads to social media sites and other common Internet activities. With fiber to the home, Internet users can carry out media-rich activity without delays. CRYSTAL CLEAR CALLS | FTTH phones aren’t subject to dead zones and dead batteries, as mobile phones can be. The FTTH network can support a dependable landline phone with a suite of calling features.

FAQ

What is FTTH or other terms that meet FTTx?

FTTH is also called FTTP, which means fiber to the premises. FTTC refers to fiber to the curb (or FTTN, which means fiber to the node.)  It brings the fiber-optic network to the curb (or end of the street). With FTTC, consumers get a fiber-optic network connection, and the last portion of the connection comes through copper wiring. FTTB, or fiber to the building, carries the same function as FTTH.

How does FTTH technology work?

Copper and phone lines send data and signals by electricity. With fiber to the home, data travels by pulses of light. Signals move through cables of flexible, high-grade glass. This results in lower degradation of quality seen in copper-wire networks.

Is there enough broadband on FTTH for future technology?

High-speed Internet, high-definition TV and dependable home phone – that’s just the start. Beyond projected consumer demand, FTTH could support 3D holographic HD TV and next-generation games. Who knows what unseen trends could take off as FTTH reaches more homes and businesses?

Sources:

http://www.ftthcouncil.org/p/cm/ld/fid=25

http://www.thefoa.org/tech/ref/appln/FTTHarch.html

http://blog.blackbox.com/technology/2015/04/8-advantages-to-choosing-fiber-over-copper-cable/

Tech

5 Travel Gadgets You Can’t Live Without

Why tool around in airports dragging your luggage behind – when you can ride it?

Motorized luggage

Modobag, founded by Kevin O’Donnell, a dad whose kids loved to ride on his luggage as he pulled it, is the first company to manufacture motorized carry-on luggage. What you need to know: The Modobag comes with 2000 cubic inches of packing space and can carry a rider of as heavy as 260 pounds. A single charge is good for six miles of airport travel, at 8 mph. Just get through TSA, hop on, and ride. A lithium battery that meets FAA regulations can reach 80% charge in just 15 minutes. One bag will set you back about $1,000. You lose only 15% of bagging capacity against a conventional, non-motorized suitcase. Seems like a fair trade. So what else is out there that we’ve been traveling without?

See-thru suitcase

Australian manufacturer Crumpler has developed luggage that leaves nothing to the imagination. About as TSA-friendly as it gets, the Vis-à-Vis is a transparent, hard-shell suitcase. Retailing at about $500US, the Vis-à-Vis contains organizing cubes to keep your luggage tidy. For the traveler with nothing to hide, the Vis-à-Vis will also be the most visible suitcase on the baggage claim conveyor belt.

Portable external battery charger

Forget about scrounging for an outlet in every terminal. A 20,000mAh lithium battery carries enough charging punch to charge your iPhone – and the iPhones of nine of your closest travel mates. Slim enough to slide in any pocket of your carry-on luggage, this particular model, from Aukey, about $21US, comes with an integrated flashlight. That’s a great price for the capacity, and it comes with two USB ports so you can charge two devices at once.

Nokia Treasure Tag

Lost luggage isn’t just a hassle. If it happens to be the bag for your laptop or other mobile device, your personal data could also be at risk. Enter the $30 treasure tag. Powered by a standard watch battery, it’ll beep if you leave your stuff behind. Connect it to any smartphone that has at least Bluetooth 4.0. You can track multiple tags on one app. A bonus: it doubles as a remote shutter for those tough-to-take selfies.

Scrubba Wash Bag

For those travelers whose destinations aren’t exactly hotels with complimentary laundry… The Scrubba Wash Bag comes with a flexible washboard and will fit in a pocket of your clean clothes. With a couple of liters of water and a touch of detergent, the bag will have your clothes fresh and clean in 3 minutes. The internal Scrubba nodules rub the dirt and grit right out of your travel wardrobe.

Security

Security Concerns in Facebook – and how to Remedy Them

I don’t even know my Facebook password anymore. I’m one of among 1.51 billion Facebook users active each month on the Facebook app. Why log out and log in on a laptop or desktop computer, when you have the app at a swipe’s notice? Facebook, though, as with other social-media sites, has security concerns that everyday users often ignore. Our open-login nature presents a problem if our mobile device falls into the wrong hands. Not only is your Facebook data at risk, but also your banking, home security or email access, depending on what apps you have open and active on your device. Those concerns can be addressed by simply adding a pass code to a device. Beyond that, there are other security concerns Facebook users face every day. Here are two common issues on Facebook that could also impact other social media outlets. With any platform that reveals personal information, it’s important to take precautions, especially on mobile devices, which could fall into the wrong hands.

Facebook’s telling strangers where you are

Know the People You May Know section on your Facebook page? It suggests, sometimes eerily, connecting with people you might have emailed or interacted with on other social media channels. Internet news and commentary site Fusion says Facebook uses mobile location to suggest friends. In some ways, this could be a plus: If you’ve attended a networking event and can’t remember the name of someone you met, they could wind up in your People You May Know suggestions. However, that creepy guy who semi-stalked you in the frozen food section at the market? Not exactly a contact you want to make. As the debate rages on, here’s what you can do.

How to fix it

Unless you don’t mind suggestions possibly being made based on your location, you can turn off the site’s access to your location data. Through Location Settings on your mobile device, opt out of access to location data. Keep in mind you won’t be able to get coupons and other location-based incentives available on other apps.

Cross-site Scripting is a problem

Facebook’s Facial Recognition Technology suggests that friends tag you in pictures. This is great when you want to be part of the share for a concert last weekend or family reunion. It’s not so great when scammers send you messages that ask Why are you tagged in this video? or offer access to a fake new feature, such as the Dislike Button. Once the bait works and you click on the link, you’re encouraged to paste JavaScript code in your browser to remedy the situation. That code can contain malware that puts your personal data at risk, or sends messages in your name to your contacts, connected to – you guessed it – more malicious code.

How to fix it

Take precautions regarding what photos you allow yourself to be tagged in. Be wary of messages that offer access to new Facebook features, or help in removing yourself from tagging. The best way to remove yourself: Change your Privacy Settings in Facebook. The Settings menu can be found in the top right corner of your Facebook page.  Select Timeline and Tagging in the left column. Turn off tagging suggestions. This will remove your contacts’ ability to tag you in photos of people who look like you. Friends will still be able to tag you in photos, though. The very features that make Facebook such a popular social-media site also present opportunities for scammers to strike. With these and other threats, caution is the best remedy. Don’t add friends you don’t really know. Review all posts you’re tagged in, and keep an eye on your timeline for any posts you don’t want there.

News

Free Wi-Fi in American cities: Does it send the right signal?

Right now, where you are – can you get online? Your ability to read this post indicates you can. (That is, unless you’ve bookmarked it to read later. Who does that?) It’s not just Internet accessibility, but also high-speed access. Presumptive Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton considers it essential. Her campaign website lays out an initiative on technology and innovation. It includes free public Wi-Fi in airports, train stations and other areas. No doubt free public would be convenient. Widespread access, especially for students, can help level the playing field. Imagine the possibility for homework and other academic endeavors. What of the plan’s feasibility, though? How has free public Wi-Fi worked already?

A generation says yes

Johnson, Vt., residents seem to want to be on the same virtual webpage: Free public Wi-Fi. It's convenient to check your smartphone for the latest news on your way to Smugglers Notch. That tells only part of the argument for free public Wi-Fi, though. In Johnson, population 1,444 – the median resident age of 21.4 is half that of the state of Vermont’s. The northern Vermont town's culture dictates need that exceeds selfies and data conservation. DISASTER RECOVERY | Hurricane Irene affected Johnson in 2011. The community received high marks for coming together for disaster relief in the aftermath. Residents in Johnson and similar towns gathered in central locations in the wake of the storm when the storm knocked out electricity. A generator could support a Wi-Fi zone during a power outage. A Wi-Fi zone could ease communication. Relief coordinators could maintain a hub for information about road closures. Residents could access volunteer information and resources for supplies with a public Wi-Fi network. EDUCATION | Libraries help bridge a digital divide that limits some kids from equal Internet access. Libraries aren’t open 24 hours, and can’t address access issues away from their sites. Wi-Fi hotspots in restaurant districts can provide a spot to do homework. Spaces where students wouldn't have to buy food would be integral to the concept of equal access. TOURISM |Free access can promote a town’s fun side. Other Vermont towns, such as Woodstock, present a landing page about attractions. Alerts by smartphone inform passers-through of the free Wi-Fi. It can encourage them to stop and shop, dine, and more.

Security concerns echo a resounding ‘not yet’

How free can free Wi-Fi be? The bigger the town, the bigger the effort would be. There's Infrastructure, such as access points and antennas, to install. And then there’s maintenance. How fast can a shared connection be? Broadband strong enough to support hundreds of users isn’t cheap. Funding would likely come from higher taxes. What about security? It’s tough to ensure web safety in an apartment building, or even a private home. There’s an expectation the connection isn’t private in the public sector. E-commerce, e-banking and even use of passwords could present vulnerability for cybercrime. A town with a public network could be a treasure trove for the average hacker. Users who access the network with smartphones usually log on to social media sites. The also stay signed in to financial institutions. A hacked connection could compromise credit card numbers and other personal data. Equal access to the Internet brings with it benefits in the short-term. Security has improved as connected cities and The Internet of Things move into the mainstream. As a result, free public Wi-Fi access could become more than just a dream.

Sources:

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/factsheets/2016/06/27/hillary-clintons-initiative-on-technology-innovation/

http://vtrural.org/programs/digital-economy/updates/benefits-of-public-internet-access

News

Brexit, PayPal Partnership Signal Strong Days Ahead for Bitcoin

Now you can link your Bitcoin to your PayPal. Bitcoin, a global digital currency largely relegated to the fringe of the financial sector, has a go-between in this arrangement: Coinbase, a virtual currency wallet used in Bitcoin exchange. The agreement between the three entities places bitcoin closer to mainstream than ever. Coinbase users can exchange bitcoin into USD funds, and deposit them into a PayPal wallet. This means bitcoin users could pay for purchases in any marketplace that accepts PayPal payments. It’s the next step in a trend that began as far back as 2014. Online retailers now accepting bitcoin include Dell, Overstock, and TigerDirect. Reeds Jewelers brick-and-mortar locations accept bitcoin, too. Two California professional sports franchises now take bitcoin, too. Fans of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings can buy concessions, jerseys and tickets at Sleep Train Arena, the team’s arena. MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes integrated bitcoin and Coinbase for concessions, merchandise and tickets in May.

What is bitcoin?

It’s all virtual. Bitcoin, established in 2009, doesn’t even have a founder. It began under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto as an encrypted currency free of government regulation and taxation. Users remain anonymous; all bitcoin transactions get logged, but as online wallet IDs, not names. This anonymity allows consumers to buy anything without ties back to them. Illegal and illicit transactions can take place without regulation. They’re a boon for small business, though. They’re not taxable or subject to credit card fees. Bitcoin at one point couldn’t be exchanged or bought, only mined. Mining takes place on computers, with complicated math equations. Miners could earn bitcoin by solving these equations. Exchanges allow people to buy bitcoin, and apps allow transfer not unlike cash exchanges.

Bitcoin and the Brexit

On June 24, 2016, bitcoin’s value rose to $647.32 USD, approaching highs not seen since a surge to near $1,000 USD in 2014. In the wake of Great Britain’s exit from the European Union the day before, most world currency tanked; bitcoin, however, perhaps proved cryptocurrency not as volatile. The Chinese yuan plummeted at the same time. That’s significant; much bitcoin exchange happens in China, so the yuan’s value could play prominently in bitcoin’s ability to remain stable. Predictably, gold’s value also surged on news of the Brexit, prompting questions of whether bitcoin could prove a safe haven for investors, too. However, bitcoin’s value fluctuated in the weeks leading to the referendum in Great Britain. Could this be the crest bitcoin needs for global acceptance? Bitcoin remains potentially volatile and unregulated, and with an estimated $10.6 billion in circulation. When compared to trillions traded in foreign exchange markets, it remains a minor player in global finance. It’s early to be certain, but bitcoin is on the upward swing. The more bitcoin that finds its way into the global market through channels such as PayPal, the more its presence could shift the financial landscape for the future.

Sources

http://www.coindesk.com/information/what-can-you-buy-with-bitcoins/

http://money.cnn.com/infographic/technology/what-is-bitcoin/

http://qz.com/715681/world-currencies-are-tanking-on-brexit-but-bitcoin-is-surging/

Security

Internet Safety Quiz

How’s Your Internet Safety Score? Take Our Quiz

It takes just a click. One click on a link to something unsavory can compromise your computer. It might come as an attachment, or a pop-up, or URL in an instant-message conversation. A malicious link can unleash malware on your computer. It can slow performance to a crawl and put personal data at risk. It’s a pain at home – so you can imagine how much worse it could be at work. A Top10Reviews infographic estimates malware infects 32% of computers worldwide. Hackers early in 2016 infiltrated the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with malware. Before the bank could react, the intruders stole $81 million. Authorities blocked transactions for another $850 million. This brazen bank heist represents the heavy hitters of cybercrime. Plenty happens on a smaller scale, too. Software maker Panda says it detected and neutralized 84 million malware attacks in 2015. That’s a jump of nine million from 2014. That works out to 230,000 malware samples daily. Anyone who taps on a tablet, searches on a smartphone or leaves it all on a laptop for the boss represents the front line of defense against cybercriminals. What you do – and don’t do – when exposed to invasion attempts to your company’s servers. Take this quiz to uncover how you’re doing for your employer in the battle against cybercrime.
  1. 1. When a box pops up for me to update software on my work computer, I:
  1. 1) Close it – ain’t nobody got time for that
  2. 2) Update it – I’m a disciplined soldier
  3. 3) Ask IT – it looks legit, but I should check

  1. 2. When a link comes by email from a co-worker, I:
  1. 1) Click it – hey, I know that guy!
  2. 2) Pause – stand up and ask the sender over a cubicle or two if they just sent you something
  3. 3) Hover over it – holding a mouse over a link without a click will reveal the link destination

  1. 3. It’s time to create a different password for my computer. I:
  1. 1) Simplify it – my address and ‘password’ will suffice
  2. 2) Mix it up – I’ll change skywalker32 to skywalker33
  3. 3) Strengthen it – my password includes at least eight characters. I've used uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols

  1. 4. An email comes through with tons of exclamation points and misspellings. I:
  1. 1) Click it – this looks important!
  2. 2) Open it – but use caution before giving my social security number
  3. 3) Trash it – correspondence from my bank wouldn’t look so sloppy and unprofessional

  1. 5. I’m working at a coffee shop on my laptop. When I connect, I:
  1. 1) Surf it – this Internet has to be secure. They sell scones here!
  2. 2) Check it – I’ll be sure it’s the coffee shop’s wireless account
  3. 3) Encrypt it – Data on my laptop or USB drive is too valuable to my company to leave to chance

How did you fare?

1-5 | Malware Rookie Cyber criminals count on rookies. Trust less and check more when it comes to work accounts and devices. Your IT department can provide simple guidelines for safer surfing. 6-10 | Virtual Virus Victim Simple attacks don’t get past you. Attacks, though, become more complex every day. Trust your instincts on questionable links, and raise your diligence up a notch or three. 11-15 | Trojan Tenderfoot It’s an improvement, but still, too much leeway. “It’s probably safe,” doesn’t cut it. Your instinct warns you of danger; trust it. 16-20 | Phishing Phenom (In The Making) Especially 19+ here, you’re doing it right. A perfect 20 means cybercriminals will have a tough time cracking this smart cookie. Spread the word and keep on keeping on.

Sources:

http://cloudtweaks.com/2014/04/cloud-infographic-computer-virus-facts-stats/

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/business/dealbook/hackers-81-million-sneak-attack-on-world-banking.html?_r=0