Whiteboards – 24 Square Feet Of Planning Surface To Play With

Gone are the days of the messy and chalky blackboard, both in the classroom and in conference centers.
The blackboard has been replaced by the whiteboard. Users write with dry-wipe pens instead of chalk.


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he pens come in about eight colors.
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Dry wipe pens leave marks that can simply be erased using a duster or clean board duster. The pens do leave a powdery residue when the board is wiped clean. Using dry wipe pens is considerably more expensive than chalk, but much less messy.

Whiteboards also make excellent additions to home offices, kitchens and garages. Jot your notes, to do tasks and phone messages on the whiteboard and they will never be lost, as pieces of paper will be.
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A whiteboard will allow you to prioritize all the tasks associated with running a business from home. Planning is made much easier, too. My Internet business revolves around my white-boards.

Whiteboards come in a wide range of sizes, though the common sizes are 3 feet by 4 feet and 6 feet by 4 feet. Buy the biggest one you can fit on your wall space, because you will manage to fill it much faster than you think. You may have to buy from a specialist office supplier, like Viking Direct, because high street stores are often limited in the stock they carry.
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Interactive whiteboards are another ball game entirely. An interactive board will cost hundreds of dollars, as opposed to a dry wipe plastic board that only has a cost of thirty dollars or so.

An interactive board allows users to use special non-marking pens that appear to write on the surface, but the board clears when the computer attached to the whiteboard is switched off.
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The interactive board comes into its own when it is used with specially designed software that allows users to project spreadsheets onto the board, then draw on the board with special “pens”, that leave a colored mark on the board, which disappears when the PC is turned off.

There is really no mark there at all.


Who Should Use Myspace Layouts?

If you are familiar with the Internet, you are most likely to have an account on MySpace.
This is an exciting online community, which allows people to have free memberships.


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ou can post the profile for free, and there are many options available for this community. There are free MySpace layouts available for all members to use.

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Anyone having an account on this site should use MySpace layouts.

These layouts come with various themes as well as colors, and all members will find what they want. Some may wonder why they should apply new layouts when there are already default settings on the site. However using MySpace layouts will give a completely new look and feel to the profile.

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Any member on this site should take some effort and should try and find a good layout that will suit their profile.

Trying to match the profile with some good layout is very important. This is because it will speak volumes about the person’s interests and also outlook towards their presence on the community. Members could be present for networking in various groups.

Thus a member should try and pick an appropriate layout for his profile.
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MySpace layouts are probably the simplest techniques that one can follow with any site creation.

Each one has a code, and the code has to be copy pasted on to the profile homepage and it is immediately updated. Within a few seconds the profile is sporting a new look and it will make it all the more interesting to read.

This is the greatest benefit for those using MySpace layouts.
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They may not only access these for free, they can apply it very easily.

Even if you are a fan of a Hollywood movie star, you can find that layout on some site. All you need to do is hunt for it in the right way and on the right site.

If all members use the MySpace layouts that are available on the sites, then they would make the whole community more interesting.
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People are always navigating through sites, and looking for new friends.

When they access profiles, and they find a layout that they like, they are sure to even apply it to their own profiles. However that is not the main part of MySpace layouts. It is to provide a lot of creativity to the profiles, and also allow the members to get as versatile as they can.
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While it is not a compulsion for users to pick MySpace layouts, it is always better for people to use a variety.

It would make a huge difference from default settings, as the themes available are simply astounding. Designers are constantly coming up with various layouts, so that members will be satisfied.

The variety will allow the members to have a fine time, what with the choosing and applying.


Why Are Laptop Batteries So Bad?

If you are like most people with laptops you know that they are only as portable as the nearest outlet.
The companies advertise like their laptop batteries make these machines so that they can go anywhere with you and there will be no problem but there is a problem.


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ou only have a couple hours max of normal word processing type use and then you are toast unless you either have a backup battery or you can plug in somewhere and recharge.
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The other problem is that lots of places that you go and that you would love to use a laptop at aren’t able to supply outlets to everyone and so you are up a creek as they say.

So my main question for this piece is why are laptop batteries so bad?

To answer this question I am going to do a quick search on the internet and try to quickly glean as much information as I can in the next few minutes and then I will proceed to pack it in to the next 2 paragraphs or so.

Here I go….
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Well we will start with what most batteries are made of and that is Lithium Ion cells (older laptop batteries were made of nickel cadmium). These batteries have several advantages including no memory and no scheduled cycling (That does not mean however that it is a good idea to repeatedly run your battery dead).

These batteries are therefore low maintenance. However because their cell oxidation can not be reversed through cycling there is a definite and short lifespan for these batteries.

This turns out to be around two to three years and is not necessarily lengthened by not using as oxidation goes on in the form of self discharge even when stored.
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Now it is recommended that one stores the battery at about 40% capacity and in a cool place.

The 40% capacity gives it the ability to self discharge slowly without going all the way dead (which is bad for these laptop batteries, if you recall). These batteries will oxidize more slowly in cooler temperatures which prolongs the life.

These power cells are not meant for long term storage as already mentioned because the self discharge will drain it sometimes to the point of no return.

The reason why these new laptop batteries are so much more expensive than they used to be is because they require an internal circuit that prevents it from overcharging.

Overcharging can cause the battery to heat up and actually burst into flames.


Why Pay For A MySpace Layout? Get One Free.

You have an account on MySpace, and everyone is talking about using different MySpace layouts.
You are wondering whether you need to pay for them or not.


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ell, you can be happy because there are many free MySpace layouts available on the net.
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When we talk about free layouts, you should know that there are thousands available for use.

And you do not need to pay a single penny for using them. Free MySpace layouts came into being because there were millions of users on the networking site.

Since everyone was getting bored with the same default settings, these layouts provided some fresh air for all the users. If you are looking to customize your profile, then the process is not at all difficult.
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There are thousands and thousands of free MySpace layouts that you can choose from. All you need to do is look for some good sites with the help of search engines.

Using this list, you can browse through all the layouts, which are being uploaded on the site. All you have to do is look for the code related to the layout, and then just apply the code on to the profile.
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The layout will be immediately uploaded on the profile.

Using free MySpace layouts will not cost you anything at all, as there are plenty of designers out there uploading new ones every day. And then you have the option to create one if you want as well.

By using the help of generators, you can create a layout of your choice. This will not cost you anything as well.
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All you have to do is get an image of your choice, and then apply them to the layout space available.

The image can be of anything that you like. Both choices can be done for free, and they are available with a great variety.

Free MySpace layouts are popular because of the great features that they have. Since there will be no need to pay for them, almost all users have them on their profiles.
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Though there are plenty of free MySpace layouts on various sits, there will be the need to pick the right ones.

The right sites will also have to be accessed. There will be many designers who are uploading new layouts almost every day, and thus it is imperative that you check before using the free layouts.
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Access to all sites will be free as well.

Because these options are free, there will be the need to keep looking out for the one you want, as there will be plenty to choose from.

You can have a lot of fun with the layouts, as there is a great variety. You can begin to choose with what particular tastes you have.

Free MySpace layouts do not mean that you will get only specific designs.


Why You Need To Find Out More About DVD Rental By Mail

Going out every time you want a DVD rental can be so taxing, that is why it is so fantastic that there are places where you can get a DVD rental by mail.
These guys make renting movies almost too easy and fast, who needs brick and mortar movie stores now?


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ot me that is for sure!

I don’t know about you but the late fees are what get me every tie I try and go to a movie rental store in person.
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It is so hard to remember that you have a movie due back. I mean, how often do you have them tot take back and we are all so busy and we all have so many things on our minds.

That is why I do all my renting from online movie rental places. This way I never have to worry about late fees and I can take my time watching the DVDs.

That takes such a load off of my mind! And I can actually enjoy the movies now.
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When you are an online movie rental membership that allows you to take part in DVD rental by mail you will be able to rent as many movies as you want each month and you can send them back whenever you get around to it.

There is never anything to rush about and never any worries because you didn’t get to watch the movie yet. If you have a hectic schedule you will be able to relax and take your time because there are no penalties for sending your movies back weeks from now even.

You can put off your watching for a couple of weeks and that won’t matter either. No matter what you can have the peace of mind knowing that you have no deadline to stick to, your time is your own again.
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And look at it this way: Blockbuster and those other regular DVD rental stores are not ever going to bring their movies to your door. They expect you to get in your car and pay the zillion dollars for gas to drive there even though it is out of your way.

Getting DVDs by mail is much easier because you get to choose your shows online and then have them shipped right to you. The farthest you will ever have to go is your front door!

Things don’t get much more convenient than that. Don’t you love what you can do with the Internet?

I know I sure do!
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When it comes to getting your rentals by mail it doesn’t matter if you watch two movie a day or one every 6 months you are still going to love being a member of an online movie rental store.

They are cheaper and easier to deal with and they won’t run your life like those other stores will. These types of rental services will change your life and make it a whole lot simpler not to mention way more fun.


Will Firefox Win The Browser War?

For as long as you can remember the basic Internet browser was Internet Explorer.
Of course, there was a moment in time when Netscape was trying to get that market share, but Internet Explorer won out and there are many people that don’t realize Internet Explorer is only their browser and they can change if they like.


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n fact, most folks believe Internet Explorer is the only option for reaching the Internet.
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However, this is not the case and there is a new kid on the block that is taking advantage of the security issues Internet Explorer has experienced and pulling a significant amount of market share in a short period of time. This newcomer web browser is Firefox.

Firefox is a browser that focuses on opening web sites rapidly while keeping those nasty pop-ups and spyware at bay.
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Firefox was in its final stages last summer and fortunately for the up and coming browser two federal agencies recommended Internet surfers choose a different browser than Internet Explorer due to security issues IE was facing.

This timing was perfect for Firefox and when it was placed on the web for download there were so many people trying to download at once the server almost could not handle all of the requests.
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However, Firefox came through and many web surfers switched from Internet Explorer. In fact, Internet Explorer held the market share for web browsers at 95.5%, but has slipped to 92.9% in just the few months Firefox has had its test version on the market.

This might seem like just a few percentage points, but these percentage points represent millions of individuals who have switched from IE to Firefox. In fact, approximately 23 million preview copies of Firefox have been downloaded.

So, what does this mean for IE and Firefox?

Who will win this browser war?

If Firefox continues gaining market share as it has then Firefox might come out on top.

However, if IE works to fix its security problems it can probably hold onto its 90% plus market share. Only the future has the answer, we will just have to wait and see.


Wireless Barcode Scanners: The Next Generation Gizmo

Wireless barcode scanners are a clear example of the best just having got better.


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uch like Alexander Graham Bell’s wired telephone that got eclipsed by the cordless phone which became a craze across millions of households, wireless bar code scanners have become a mega-hit with an ever-increasing number of business entrepreneurs making the upward shift to realize greater productivity day in day out.
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To put it simply, wireless barcode scanners offer you all the benefits of your regular barcode scanner or barcode reader and then, some more!

But hold on just yet, while wireless barcode readers and scanners are blitzing the market, you still need to which type of the device you need to best suit your business needs before going ahead and making a purchase.

You need to very clearly articulate the reason for wanting to move into the wireless barcode scanner space and the plausible reasons for wanting to go wireless could be any of the following:-

  • You need the freedom of mobility to be able to capture information away from your computer because of the spatial location of your tagged products
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  • You might want to collect the data away from your computer but be able to sync it or upload it once you get back to the origin i.e. the computer
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  • You might not only want to collect data away from the computer but also be able to log on via wireless networks to a database and post the captured information
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    Thus simply put, do you need a simple barcode scanner with a really long cord or do you have a genuine need for a wireless barcode scanner?
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    And once you do a cost comparison on the various types of the barcode readers and barcode scanners, both wired as well as cordless, you will know exactly how much you are paying for what, and how much you are likely to benefit from the application of the device.

    Accurate information capture, ease of the information capture, speed at which different materials can be barcode registered and tagged, exquisite levels of data control are just some of the innumerous benefits that this technology promises for the user!

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    Finally a key thing that you need to keep in mind is that implementation of a new technology by itself does not guarantee success.

    You need to handle the change from one level to the next very well and proactively too, as in the case of wireless barcode scanners too. People management as part of change management is crucial to the success of your business and this should be given core focus.

    New technology is useless unless its espoused as a unifying cause by all in the work force.

    Once you have mastered the change in people, you have truly put yourself on the road to progress. Experience the wonders of wireless barcode scanners and be awestruck!


    Wireless Ethernet: A Viable Business Opportunity for the IT Consultant

    During 2002, many vendors were rushing to market 802.11a (up to 54Mpbs) wireless Ethernet products that were supposed to be the next wave in wireless networking.
    However, at the same time, an “in-progress” standard called 802.11g may supplant both the original 802.11b and newer 802.11a standards.


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    o frankly, the “safest” bet for now may be to seek out wireless Ethernet hardware that supports all three standards: 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g.

    Wireless Ethernet as a Business Opportunity

    As an IT consultant you should be aware that wireless is a great business opportunity for savvy computer consultants.
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    However, since there is a fairly large installed base of 802.11b (11Mbps) products already, and most 802.11a products are not backward compatible with 802.11b products (although many vendors are rushing to market with hybrid 802.11b/802.11a products), this 802.11a standard faces an uphill battle in the marketplace.

    The Bottom Line about Wireless Ethernet

    While wireless Ethernet will likely overtake wired Ethernet (Category 5) as the dominant small business networking standard at some point in the future, the “when” and “how” is still very unclear.

    In the meantime though, many small business computer consultants are still finding wireless Ethernet to be a tremendous marketplace opportunity.


    Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Biz Tech Talk. All Worldwide Rights Reserved.


    Wireless Networking Cards – A Closer Look

    Ok, so you’ve read all the cool stuff and heard all the great things about going wireless and then it just hit you.
    However, that works you don’t know or care but it hit you. That was it, the little voice in your head said, “do it” and that was that.


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    nfortunately, that was awhile ago and since that “moment” you’ve done your part.

    You did some research into what was needed to upgrade your computer but it’s all just so darn confusing. You keep thinking, why can’t someone just give me a few basics so I feel more comfortable about this whole “upgrading” process.

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    If the above paragraph describes you and if you’re the typical computer user it probably does, then it’s time to exhale, calm your nerves, grab a latte and settle in because hopefully this article can shed a little understanding on at least one aspect of going wireless – the network card.

    Like most “typical” computers users, you love your computer and you’ve pretty good at surfing the net, using email and you’ve probably even gotten fairly proficient at using your favorite word processing program but when it comes to some of the more technical aspects of your computer or computing in general, you are probably about as close to a “deer in the headlights” as you can get.
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    Hey, no problem because you’ve stumbled across a source that hopefully can shed a little light into that wireless networking card abyss.

    See, those searching skills do come in handy.

    Let me start out by saying that when it comes to selecting a wireless networking card you can pretty much ignore all the hoopla except for the following three key factors: range, speed, and standards.

    Ok, let’s do it and take a look at a few specifics.
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    Below is a typical specification for wireless networking card.

    This one just happens to be for a Linksys wireless PCMCIA laptop card. Frankly, I can’t tell you if this card rocks or it stinks, I’m simply using it as an example. And with that, let’s take a closer look.

    Here’s the description from Amazon:
    11 Mbps high-speed transfer rate; interoperable with IEEE 802.11b (DSSS) 2.4Ghz-compliant equipment; plug-and-play operation provides easy set up; long operating range (up to 120m indoor); advanced power management features conserve valuable notebook PC battery life; rugged metal design with integrated antenna; compatible with virtually all major operating systems; works with all standard Internet applications; automatic load balancing and scale back; model no. WPC11
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    Like I mentioned above, most of the specs can be ignored.

    To start with, “compatible with virtually all major operating systems.” That means nothing.

    It’s simply fluff to expand the description to make the card appear better.

    Range

    Take a look at where it says “up to 120m indoor”.

    This means that the maximum range of the wireless card is 120 meters — sure if everything was perfect. And by the way, one meter is equal to about 39 inches or 3 feet.

    However, in the real world where nothing is ever perfect interference caused by thick walls, other power sources and the list goes on could reduce this number by as much as 90% – so just be aware of this.
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    And without enough range, your wireless network is no longer wireless and therefore – worthless.

    It serves no purpose to go wireless if you have to keep your computer next to the wireless port in order for it to work or if you have multiple computers to keep them all in the same room to get them to connect to each other.
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    As a rule of thumb, unless your walls are made of drywall or wood, it’s best to buy about four times the strength you think you’ll need.

    Even in perfect conditions, get twice what you think you’ll need – just to be safe.

    Speed

    Take another look at the description and find where it says Mbps.
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    Mbps is the speed of the wireless connection – 11 Mbps is about one and a half megabytes per second. All 802.11b wireless cards have a speed of 11Mbps, while 802.11g cards run at 54Mbps or nearly 5 times faster. And of course, the next generation will be even faster.

    Clearly, speed is important to your wireless network because it’s going to directly influence how long you have to wait to connect, how fast pages upload, file transfer rates, and your overall computer experience is always better when things download faster.
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    I don’t know about you but if something takes more than a few seconds to download, I start to get impatient.

    However, because there are currently very few Internet connections running at speeds over 11Mbps – it’s really as much as you need, at least for now.

    Standards

    You’ve probably noticed in the above specs the number 802.11 followed by a letter b. The b is the standard that the wireless device conforms too. Currently, there are 3 standards – a, b and g.

    In a nutshell, 802.11b and 802.11g are compatible with each other while 802.11a isn’t compatible with either.
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    Due to the incompatibility issues with the other two standards and because it’s an older less robust standard I would stay away from cards using it.

    Between b and g, b is cheaper but slower, while g is more expensive but faster. It’s also worth considering that adding a b-speed device to a network that has g-speed devices will often slow the whole network down to b-speed, making the g-devices pointless.

    Basically, the network will operate at the speed of its weakest link.
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    If your wireless device doesn’t conform to the right standards, it’s not going to be much good to you. I often see uninformed people bidding for used wireless equipment on eBay, not realizing that it’s going to be terribly slow and may not work with other equipment they might have.

    Always check what standard the wireless equipment is using and if you don’t know the 802.11 letter, don’t buy it!

    A great place to research and find answers to everything “wireless” is Zephyr Net. Simply click the Wifi Hotspot link in the resource box below.

    Wireless Router & Security: A Step-By-Step Guide

    Setting up a wireless router is easy.


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    ssentially you turn your cable or DSL modem off and your wireless router on.

    Then, you connect the router to the modem with a cable, and turn the modem back on. You are more or less done.

    The wireless network wizard on your computer will pick up the router and, if your ISP does not have any special requirements, away-you-go, you are on the Internet.

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    For ease of setup and configuration, manufacturers ship wireless routers with all security disabled.

    Therein lies the problem. If you do not take any further steps to secure your router, and a surprising number of people don’t, your network will be wide open to all passersby and strangers. It’s like you’ve hung out a sign, “The door is open. Please come in and help yourself.”
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    The problem is not that strangers will be able to use your router to access the Internet but that, without further protection, would-be intruders will be able monitor and sniff out information you send and receive on your network.

    Malicious intruders can even hop on to your internal network; access your hard drives; and, steal, edit, or delete files on your computer.

    The good news is that it is relatively easy to secure your wireless router.

    Here are three basic steps you should take.

    1. Password protect the access to your router’s internal configuration

    To access your router’s internal setup, open a browser and enter the routers setup URL.
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    The URL will be specified in the manual. The URLs for D-Link and Linksys routers, two major manufacturers of wireless routers, are http://192.168.0.1 and http://192.168.1.1, respectively.

    For Linksys routers, leave the user name blank and type “admin” (without the quotes) in the password field and press enter. To change the password, simply click on the Password tab and enter your new password.

    For other routers, please consult your manual. Alternately, you can search on the Internet with the term “default login for “.

    Don’t be surprised to find quite a number of pages listing default login parameters for many different routers, even uncommon ones.

    2. Change the default SSID (Service Set IDentifier)

    The SSID is the name of a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). All wireless devices on a WLAN use SSIDs to communicate with each other.
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    Routers ship with standard default SSIDs. For example, the default SSID for Linksys routers is, not unsurprisingly, “Linksys”.

    As you can see, if you don’t change the default SSID of your router a would-be intruder armed with a few common SSIDs from major manufacturers will be able to find your wireless network quite easily.

    To change the SSID, click on the Wireless tab. Look for an input item labeled SSID. It will be near the top. Enter a new name for network. Don’t use something like “My Network”. Use a name that is hard to guess.

    3. Disable SSID broadcast

    Wireless enabled computers use network discovery software to automatically search for nearby SSIDs.
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    Some of the more advanced software will query the SSIDs of nearby networks and even display their names. Therefore, changing the network name only helps partially to secure your network.

    To prevent your network name from being discovered, you must disable SSID broadcast.

    In the same screen that you changed the name of your network, you will see options for SSID broadcast. Choose “Disable SSID” to make your network invisible. Now save all your settings and log out.

    Since your wireless network is now invisible, you will have to configure your computers to connect to your wireless network using the new name. On Windows XP, start by clicking on the wireless icon in the Notification Area and proceed from there.

    With these three steps, your network now has basic security.

    However, if you keep sensitive information on your computers, you may want to secure your wireless network even further.

    For example, you can…
    – Change the channel your router uses to transmit and receive data on a regularly basis.
    – Restrict devices that can connect to the router by filtering out MAC (Media Access Control) addresses.
    – Use encryption such as WEP and WPA.

    As with most things in life, security is a trade off between cost (time, money, inconvenience) and benefit (ease of use).
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    It is a personal decision you make. However for the majority of home uses, the three basic steps plus WEP/WPA encryption provides reasonably strong security.

    Turning on encryption is a two-step process.

    First you configure your router to use encryption using an encryption key of your choice. And then, you configure your computer to use the encryption key.

    The actual process of configuring your router for encryption varies from router to router. Please consult the router’s manual.
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    There are even stronger methods for ensuring security.

    A strong and robust security method is RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service). Using RADIUS requires additional hardware and software.

    However, there are companies that offer RADIUS security as a subscription based service. The fees are reasonable and dropping.

    Therefore for example, if you run a business on your wireless network, have sensitive data on your computers such as credit card information, and have a number of users who access your network, you should consider using RADIUS.

    Since the service sector for RADIUS is dynamic and growing, a search on the Internet with terms like “RADIUS subscription” or “RADIUS service” is probably the best way to locate one.