Welcome

Welcome to the Netsync Support page. Here you will find many tutorials and guides that can help you. Please feel free to utilize all the resources that are available here, and if there’s anything you don’t see, then let us know, and we’ll make a guide for it. You can get in touch with us by going to our Contact Us page.

Internet Tutorials and Information

Customize Your Homepage (Google Chrome)

Open Google Chrome.

main_ui

Click on the button with the wrench symbol tools_button on the upper right side of the window. Then click on Options.

menu_tools_options

The Google Chrome Options window will appear on the screen. Under the Basics tab, there’s a section called On startup:. Under this section, make sure the dot is next to Open the home page. Then, under the Home page: section, place the dot where it says Open this page:, then type in the address of what you would like your homepage to be. (ex. www.netsync.net, www.google.com, www.yahoo.com) Then click on Close at the bottom of the window.

tools_options

Customize Your Homepage (Firefox)

Open Mozilla Firefox.

main_ui

Click on the Tools menu, and then click Options.

menu_tools_options

The Options window will appear. Under the General section you will see Startup. For the option called When Firefox starts:, set it to Show my home page. Then, where it says Home Page:, type in whatever address you would like to be your homepage. (ex. www.netsync.net, www.google.com, or www.yahoo.com) Then click OK.

tools_options_general

Customize Your Homepage (Internet Explorer)

Changing your homepage is a fairly simple task that can be a real time saver if your current homepage does not provide information that is relevant to you. Here’s what you need to know to change your homepage in Internet Explorer.

Click on the Tools menu on either the left side of the screen (Internet Explorer 6, possibly 7 or 8 depending on settings), or the Tools menu on the right side of the screen (Internet Explorer 7 and 8), then click on Internet Options.

Under the General tab there is a Homepage section. In that section is a white text box that lists your current homepage. Remove the website that is listed inside the white test box, and replace it with the webpage you would like to replace it with. Ex. (www.google.com, www.msn.com, www.netsync.net)

Click on OK.

Dial-up Access Numbers

Local Numbers:

Fredonia: 716.679.4800 | Mayville: 716.753.7455 | Salamanca: 716.244.9199 | Westfield: 716.326.7455 | Jamestown: 716.338.0101 | Olean: 716.543.4199 | Shinglehouse: 814.697.7900 | Forestville: 716.965.6100

Email Tutorials

Setup Windows Live Mail (IMAP)

Open Windows Live Mail.

Click on Add e-mail account.

Enter your e-mail address into the E-mail address field. Enter your password into the Password field. Enter your name into the Display Name field. Place a check mark inside the check box labeled Manually configure server settings for e-mail account. Then click Next.

Please enter all information exactly as you see it in the above image with the exception of the Login ID field. Please enter your e-mail address into the Login ID field. Then click Next.

setup_imap_server_settings

You will be greeted with a summary page that tells you you’ve entered everything you need to setup the account. Click on the Finish button.

Setup Windows Live Mail (POP)

Open Windows Live Mail.

Click on Add e-mail account.

Enter your e-mail address into the E-mail address field. Enter your password into the Password field. Enter your name into the Display Name field. Place a check mark inside the check box labeled Manually configure server settings for e-mail account. Then click Next.

pop_account_setup_02

Please enter all information exactly as you see it in the above image with the exception of the Login ID field. Please enter your e-mail address into the Login ID field. Then click Next.

You will be greeted with a summary page that tells you you’ve entered everything you need to setup the account. Click on the Finish button.

Setup Outlook (IMAP)

Open Outlook 2013. Then click on the File tab.

main_window

Click on the Add Account button.

file_tab

Click on Manual setup or additional server types. Then click Next.

add_account_02

Click on POP or IMAP. Then click Next.

add_account_03

Please enter the information exactly as how it appears in the image below with the exeptions of your name and e-mail address in which you’ll want to use your own name and e-mail address. Then click on the More Settings button.

add_account_04_imap

Click on the Outgoing Server tab.

more_settings_general

Place a check mark in the box for My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication. Then click the Advanced tab.

more_settings_outgoing_server

Please enter the information exactly as it appears in the image below. Then click OK.

more_settings_advanced_imap

Click Next.

add_account_04_imap

Wait for Outlook to test the mail settings, and you should see a window that matches the image below. Then click Close.

add_account_05_imap

Click Finish.

add_account__finish

Setup Outlook (IMAP)

Open Outlook 2013. Then click on the File tab.

main_window

Click on the Add Account button.

file_tab

Click on Manual setup or additional server types. Then click Next.

add_account_02

Click on POP or IMAP. Then click Next.

add_account_03

Please enter the information exactly as how it appears in the image below with the exeptions of your name and e-mail address in which you’ll want to use your own name and e-mail address. Please also make sure that you make the check boxes match the image below as well. Then click on the More Settings button.

add_account_04_pop

Click on the Outgoing Server tab.

more_settings_general

Place a check mark in the box for My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication. Then click the Advanced tab.

more_settings_outgoing_server

Please enter the information exactly as it appears in the image below. Then click OK.

more_settings_advanced_pop

Click Next.

add_account_04_pop

Click Finish.

add_account__finish

Setup Mozilla Thunderbird (POP)

Open Mozilla Thunderbird.

thunderbird_main_ui

Click on the Menu button on the right side of the window, then hover your mouse over Options, and finally click on Account Settings.

thunderbird_menu_options_accountsettings

The Account Settings window will appear and will look like the image below.

thunderbird_accountsettings_noaccount

Click the Account Actions button, and then click Add Mail Account.

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Enter your name, your e-mail address, and your password into the fields below. Then click the Continue button.

thunderbird_mail_account_setup_01

Thunderbird will try to auto-detect the correct e-mail settings for you and show you the results on the screen. The settings that it finds are not correct. So, we will need to change them to the correct settings by clicking on the Manual config button.

thunderbird_mail_account_setup_02

Enter all the settings exactly how you see them in the image below, with the exception that anywhere you see example@netsync.net, please replace that with your own Netsync e-mail address. Then click the Done button. If the Done button is grayed out and you cannot click on it, double check and make sure that both of the drop-down boxes under Authentication both say Normal password, then try clicking the Done button again.

thunderbird_mail_account_setup_03_pop

Click OK.

thunderbird_accountsettings_withaccount

Setup Mozilla Thunderbird (IMAP)

Open Mozilla Thunderbird.

thunderbird_main_ui

Click on the Menu button on the right side of the window, then hover your mouse over Options, and finally click on Account Settings.

thunderbird_menu_options_accountsettings

The Account Settings window will appear and will look like the image below.

thunderbird_accountsettings_noaccount

Click the Account Actions button, and then click Add Mail Account.

thunderbird_accountactions_newmail

Enter your name, your e-mail address, and your password into the fields below. Then click the Continue button.

thunderbird_mail_account_setup_01

Thunderbird will try to auto-detect the correct e-mail settings for you and show you the results on the screen. The settings that it finds are not correct. So, we will need to change them to the correct settings by clicking on the Manual config button.

thunderbird_mail_account_setup_02

Enter all the settings exactly how you see them in the image below, with the exception that anywhere you see example@netsync.net, please replace that with your own Netsync e-mail address. Then click the Done button. If the Done button is grayed out and you cannot click on it, double check and make sure that both of the drop-down boxes under Authentication both say Normal password, then try clicking the Done button again.

thunderbird_mail_account_setup_03_imap

Click OK.

thunderbird_accountsettings_withaccount

Setup Mac OS Mail

Setup Mac Mail OSX 10.5 (Leopard)(IMAP)

Open Mac Mail.

main_ui

Click on the Mail menu, then click Preferences.

menu_mail_preferences

The Accounts window will appear. Click on the + (plus) button at the bottom left hand side of the window.

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The Add Account window will appear. Enter your name, e-mail address, and password. Then click Continue.

add_account_01

Under Account Type: choose IMAP from the list, and for the Incoming Mail Server: field, enter mail.netsync.net just like the image below. Then click Continue.

add_account_02_imap

Enter all the information exactly as it appears in the window below with the exception of the User Name: field. Please enter your Netsync e-mail address instead.

add_account_04

Place a check mark under Take account online, then click Create.

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You will be returned to the Accounts window.

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Under Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP): click on the drop-down box, then click on Edit Server List.

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Under Account Information, enter the settings exactly as they appear in the image below. Then click Advanced.

accounts_smtp_02

Enter all the information exactly as it appears in the window below with the exception of the User Name: field. Please enter your Netsync e-mail address instead. Then click OK.

accounts_smtp_03

You’ll be returned to the accounts window. Click Advanced.

accounts_imap_account

Enter all the information exactly as it appears in the image below. Then click the close button in the upper left corner of the window. You may be asked if you want to save the changes. If you are asked, then save the changes.

accounts_imap_advanced

Internet Safety Protocols

Best Security Practices

This guide is here to give you some basic ideas to help protect yourself online. This guide is not meant to be comprehensive by any means as security issues change rapidly in the computer world, and all of the already existing security issues cannot be covered in a single document. It is meant to provide basic guidelines to help users keep themselves and their computers safe in common situations where users’ security could be compromised. This guide will be updated regularly to keep the information current and relevant to our users. We hope you find this information useful and helpful to improving your experience while online. Using this guide does not guarantee that your computer will not get infected with malware, nor does it guarantee that your identity will not be stolen.

 

Run An Anti-Virus Program, And Keep It Up To Date

It becomes more and more important as each day passes to have a good anti-virus program running on your computer. It’s one of the easiest and fastest things that a user can do to help prevent their computer from being compromised by viruses, trojan horses, worms, and all the other types of infections crawling around the Internet.

Also with the addition of a lot of legitimate free anti-virus programs available, cost is less of an issue in making the decision to put anti-virus software on the computer. There’s a lot of programs out there to choose from, and making a decision on which one to use is not always easy. Below, we have made recommendations for a free anti-virus program, and a paid one. We currently like these two programs the best, and find that they do the best job of protecting a computer from infection, not harassing the user, and have the least impact on the performance of the computer.

Use Windows Update (Microsoft Windows users only)

Windows Update is crucial part of keeping your system up to date, and to minimize the risks of your computer being vulnerable to infection. If you don’t have automatic updates turned on in Windows then we would recommend that you turn it on, or setup a schedule where you manually check for updates once every month.

 

Use A Modern Web Browser

Using a web browser that’s out of date can be just as dangerous as not keeping your anti-virus, or Windows Updates up to date. Use a modern web browser that has the latest updates and security fixes to reduce the risk of your web browser being compromised by an infection. The browsers listed below are all in active development, and have regular security updates. If you don’t have the latest version of one of these browsers, you can click on any one of the images below to get information on how to obtain the latest version, as well as get any security updates for the latest version of that browser.

Opera
Internet Explorer
Safari
Firefox
Chrome

 

Use An Ad Blocker

While surfing the Internet, one of the easiest ways for your computer to get infected with malware are by the advertisements nested in most webpages. We would recommend that you use an Ad Blocker to prevent the ads from being loaded, which reduces the risk of getting an infection from one. It also has the side affect of improving the appearance of many pages that are plastered with ads.

 

Don’t Open Attachments In E-mail

Many malware infections are spread via e-mail attachments. As a general rule, don’t open an attachment regardless of who sent it to you. You can just as easily get a malicious e-mail from someone you know as you could a total stranger.

Now clearly attachments are very useful for getting files from one individual to another, and never opening an e-mail attachment ever would be just as silly never riding a bicycle because there’s a risk that you could fall off. We recommend that if you get an e-mail with an attachment, that you use some means to verify that the attachment is legitimate.

For example:

You have a meeting with a co-worker, and he tells you that he is going to e-mail you a copy of the next year’s budget. 20 minutes later you receive an e-mail from that individual with an excel spreadsheet attachment and the attachment is called New_Budget.xls. Clearly you can open this attachment because the co-worker verified that he was going to send you an e-mail with budget information.

Another example:

A family friend sends you an e-mail with the subject “Look how ridiculous you look in this video”, and it has an attachment that’s called crazy_party.wmv.exe. Regardless of whether you went to a crazy party recently or not, you don’t want to open this attachment. Instead, contact the family friend first. Have them verify that they sent you an e-mail with a video. More often than not, you will find that your family friend did not send you a video, and that their computer is infected with a virus that is trying to spread to all their contacts. Additionaly, the name of the file (crazy_party.wmv.exe) has .exe as the file extension. When .exe is at the end of a file, that file is a program, and not a video. So, if you receive an e-mail, and the file says .exe at the end of it, remember that file is a program, and not a video, or picture, or document.

Another good practice to follow, is if you feel you need to see the contents of an attachment and cannot verify it with the sender, then don’t open the attachment. Instead, save the attachment to your desktop, and then scan the attachment with your anti-virus program. If your anti-virus program says it’s clean, then you are most likely safe to open the attachment.

 

Check Your Address Bar

Make sure that you’re at the site you think you’re at. If you’re suspicious that you are at a malicious website, shopping online, checking web based e-mail, or doing online banking, then check your address bar and make sure that you’re at the website you think you’re at. Often times malicious websites will attempt to look like legitimate websites, and many times they look pretty convincing, but if you check the address bar you can usually see whether the site is legitimate or not.

For Example:

If you’re shopping at Amazon.com, when you look at your address bar, you’ll see something that looks like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-MacBook-MC371LL-15-4-Inch-Laptop/dp/B003G2ZJTG/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1297284659&sr=1-4

You’ll notice that at the beginning of the address, it shows http://www.amazon.com/ This is an indicator that you are at the Amazon website because amazon.com appears as the actual .com address that you have visited.

Now take a look at this address:

http://www.amazon.xdealsx.com/Apple-MacBook-MC371LL-15-4-Inch-Laptop/dp/B003G2ZJTG/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1297284659&sr=1-4

You’ll notice in this address that http://www.amazon.xdealsx.com/ appears at the beginning of the address. In this case, you are not actually at amazon.com. Instead you are at xdealsx.com which is not amazon.com, and in this example xdealsx.com would be a malicious website trying to hijack your amazon.com account.

As a note, xdealsx.com is not a real website as of this writing. We only used that name as an example of what a malicious link in your address bar could look like. So, if you’re doing any business online, please check your address bar as a way to verify that you’re at the site that you believe you should be at. It’s one more way that you can reduce the risk of an infection, or identity theft.

FAQs

What are the Netsync Mail Server Names? What settings do they require to send and receive mail?

Our POP3 and IMAP Servers have some different settings:

Our Incoming POP3 server is: mail.netsync.net
It requires Netsync username authentication and SSL over Port 995.

Our Incoming IMAP server is: mail.netsync.net
It requires Netsync username authentication and SSL over Port 993.

Our Outgoing Server is the same for POP3 and IMAP and is: smtp.netsync.net
It requires Netsync username authentication and SSL over Port 465 or TLS/STARTTLS over Port 587.

What is DSL?

DSL is a high speed Internet service that runs through standard phone lines. DSL can be used simultaneously with your home telephone service. So you can use the Internet and talk on the phone at the same time with only one telephone line, unlike dial-up service which ties up the phone line.

I see 2 tutorials for every e-mail program. One says POP3 and the other says IMAP. Which one should I use?

Which one you use will depend entirely on where you want your mail to be stored. POP3 and IMAP are two different methods of retrieving e-mail.

With POP3, your e-mail program takes messages off of the mail server and stores them locally on your computer. All of the messages you have downloaded will be available, even when offline. The downside to this is that, once downloaded, the messages are only available from that computer and cannot be viewed elsewhere.

With IMAP, your e-mail program leaves the messages on the server, only downloading the messages you tell it to. The messages stay on the server, and only a copy of what you have downloaded will remain on the local PC for viewing offline. This translates to better performance on slower connections. Your total mail storage, however, is limited to the amount of available mailbox space on the server. This has the advantage of working well with multiple computers, but has the disadvantage of storage limitations and limited offline access.

The majority of email users utilize POP3 for its straightforward setup and operation. However, if you need to check e-mail from multiple locations or devices, then IMAP is a good way to go. Choose whichever option works best for you.

Can I talk on the phone and use the Internet at the same time with dial-up?

No. Dial-up service does tie up the phone line. If you need to be able to use the Internet and the telephone at the same time, then you would need to have 2 phone lines, or you would need to sign up for DSL service. We recommend signing up for DSL service as it is cheaper than having 2 phone lines and dial-up.

What is USB?

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, and it provides a high speed data port to connect devices to your computer. External Hard Drives, printers, pen tablets and webcams are a few of the devices that use USB to connect to your computer.

Modern USB comes in two forms – USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. The ports look the same and are compatible with each other. So you don’t have to worry about buying a USB 3.0 device and only have USB 2.0 ports. Manufacturers have designated USB 3.0 with either the super-speed USB “SS” logo or making them blue. The main difference between the standards is speed. The maximum bandwidth of 3.0 is over 10 times higher than 2.0. This doesn’t mean transfer speeds are ten times better in the real world, but there is a huge difference.

You’ll see much quicker file transfers with a USB 3.0 drive plugged in to a 3.0 port. Transfer speeds are not better if you plug a 3.0 drive into a 2.0 port. Data can still be transferred, but only at 2.0 speeds.

My laptop battery won't hold a charge!

All rechargeable batteries eventually die. Major computer manufacturer Dell reports that, “For the typical user, noticeable reduction in run time generally will be observed after 18 to 24 months.” If your laptop doesn’t run as long when unplugged or turns off as soon as you disconnect, you probably need a new battery.

If you have more questions bring your computer in and our techs can examine your computer.

What is Netflix and what kind of internet connection do I need

As most are familiar with, Netflix is a subscription based service that allows you to stream movies, and television shows. Netflix also sends DVD’s and Blu-Rays by mail. Netflix is available for streaming on laptops, desktops, tablets, gaming consoles and smart phones.

Netflix streaming does require a broadband connection so dialup will not work. If you have dialup, you may still use Netflix although you are limited to only receive physical media in the mail. Netflix recommends a bare minimum of 1.5 Mbps although you will experience frequent buffering with limitations only to low quality streaming. For DVD quality movies, they recommend 3.0 Mbps and for HD quality they recommend a 5.0 Mbps connection. For Netsync customers, it is recommended to have at least our Family DSL package which provides up to a 6 Mbps bandwidth or our Multimedia DSL package which provides up to 12 Mbps. The faster the speed, the better the experience although you may receiver buffering no matter how fast your connection is as Netflix may experience high server load during peak hours.

What is the difference between a bit and a byte?

Bits and bytes are commonly confused and interchanged. A bit is a contraction for binary digit which means that it is either a 0 or a 1. The zero represents an off switch or zero voltage and the one represents an on switch or voltage is present. A byte is basically eight bits stringed together. Every time you hit a key on the keyboard, the key you press is translated into a byte so the computer can understand the command and process it. The caps lock on your keyboard is represented in the byte of 00010100.Another example is the ip address on your computer is equal to 4 bytes or 32 bits and would be read by the computer as 00001010 00000000 00000000 00000001. Everything you do on a computer starts as a bit.

What are torrents?

A torrent is simply a control file that contains the information as to where to get a specific file from multiple sources. The file is downloaded in small pieces from several different sources on the internet and reassembled on your computer once it is downloaded. There is a misconception that torrents are all illegal software downloads. This is not true as torrents are also used for downloading free legal software. Several companies prefer this method as it minimizes a load on their server as torrents are spread amongst various sources for one file. Most common free legal torrent downloads range from video games made by indie developers, eBooks and even music although you will not typically find music by big name artists as most free torrents are offered by underground bands.

What is the difference between a bit and a byte?

Bits and bytes are commonly confused and interchanged. A bit is a contraction for binary digit which means that it is either a 0 or a 1. The zero represents an off switch or zero voltage and the one represents an on switch or voltage is present. A byte is basically eight bits stringed together. Every time you hit a key on the keyboard, the key you press is translated into a byte so the computer can understand the command and process it. The caps lock on your keyboard is represented in the byte of 00010100.Another example is the ip address on your computer is equal to 4 bytes or 32 bits and would be read by the computer as 00001010 00000000 00000000 00000001. Everything you do on a computer starts as a bit.

Do I need an anti-virus program on my tablet (iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook, etc.)?

While viruses on tablet computers are rare, as tablets continue to grow in popularity they’re likely to be targeted more frequently by virus writers. Any device that accesses the Internet should maintain up-to-date anti-malware software to protect your data from being compromised or Internet surfing hindered by pop-ups or web re-directs. There are many free programs available so there’s nothing to lose (provided you pick a reputable program) and it may save you the headache of time and data loss should your device be infected and require a system restore.

To find an anti-malware program, start at your tablet’s app store. We like Lookout Mobile Security (www.lookout.com), a free product available for iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire and Android (through the Google Play store). It runs with minimal user interaction (some others send regular pop ups, banners or push notifications, which we find annoying) and uses few system resources so it won’t drain your battery. It offers protection from malware, backs up your contacts in case of data loss, and offers remote location if your phone is lost. The premium version is $2.99/month and adds additional cloud storage for your photos and call history, a “safe browser” that blocks malicious sites and remote lock and wipe to further protect your data if your phone is lost or stolen.

What is the difference between 1080i and 1080p?

As most people know, these are both resolutions common on high definition televisions. 1080i is interlaced and 1080p is progressive. The number 1080 is the amount of lines vertical on the screen and represents a screen resolution of 1920×1080. With 1080i, the frame is produced by displaying the odd lines first and then followed by the even lines. With 1080p, the frame is produced with all lines at the same time. Progressive is considered the better resolution and it eliminates blurring, interface artifacts and reduces eyestrain which may be present with interlacing. With this being said, it is recommended to purchase a television that does 1080p over 1080i although both resolutions will give you a great high definition experience when upgrading from an outdated CRT television.

What is the difference between Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 cable?

Cat5 is the most common type and comes in two varieties. One is UTP or Unshielded Twisted Pair and the other is SCTP or Screen Twisted Pair. SCTP has shielding to provide extra protection against interference. Cat5 supports 10 or 100 Mbps Ethernet.

Cat5e is similar to Cat5 except that it is capable of handling higher rates of data. Cat5e supports data of 1000 Mbps and also experiences lower levels of crosstalk.

Cat6 has the better performance than Cat5 and Cat5e. The cable has four twisted pairs which are separated by a longitudinal separator which reduces crosstalk and allows for higher data rates. Cat6 is capable of handling a 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

All three cables have a maximum length of 328 feet. It is recommended to use Cat5e or Cat6 when creating a new network as they are the most advanced technology capable of the highest data transfer rates.

What can I do to protect my computer and electronics from power surges?

The most common mistake people make is plugging their devices directly into an outlet which provides no surge protection. The other mistake is that they plug their devices into a power strip which will not protect against a power surge. It is recommended to purchase a surge protector rated at a minimum of 400 joules. Joules is the rating of how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it will fail. Higher ratings equal better protection. Good surge protectors are clearly labeled with their rating so only purchase one with this rating on its packaging. No matter how well a surge protector is rated, devices fail regardless of their cost or rating. It is also good practice to turn off and unplug electronic devices during a lightning storm or if you will be away from home for an extended period of time. This will give you the best protection for all your electronic devices.

How is computer software made?

Computer software is made by a computer programmer. A programmer compiles lines of instructions for the computer. These instructions tell the computer exactly what it needs to do. In order for the program to work, it needs to be translated so the computer can understand what to do with it. This is called compiling. Some examples of programs compiled with code commonly used today are Microsoft Word, phone apps, and Internet Explorer just to give a few general examples. There is a variety of programming languages that are in use today. They all have scenarios that they are recommended to be used for. Some of the most common ones are PHP, C# (C Sharp), Javascript, Perl, C and C++, Java, Python and Visual Basic. There is a variety of beginner’s guides available on the internet to assist those that are interested in jumping into the world of computer programming.

How can I backup my data on my computer?

There are several methods to backing up the data on a computer. The earliest method of backing up your data is burning your data to a physical media such as a CD, DVD or Bluray. Using this method requires manual selection and moving of the data unless you use the backup function available within the more recent versions of Windows. Another method is moving your data to an external device such as a USB Flash drive or external hard drive. There are several external hard drives on the market that include backup software. The backup software automates the backups for you once it is configured. There is also ways to backup your data over the internet by using services such as Dropbox, Box.com, Google Drive and Skydrive. With these services, your data can be uploaded to a remote server and may be accessed on any computer that has access to the internet.

What is “the cloud”?

The cloud is a network of servers. When you check your email on a website, you are accessing the cloud. Google Docs run on the cloud. Essentially, when you access something on the internet, you are using the cloud. Data backup services such as Dropbox utilize cloud computing since your data is uploaded to a remote server. When you access the data, you are accessing it on the internet which would be the cloud.

It is becoming common for businesses to eliminate server’s onsite and allow the users to login to a web application. When they login to the web application, they are accessing all their software on cloud storage. This type of cloud computing eliminates the overhead costs needed to maintain the servers and reduces cost for businesses as the cloud service fees are typically lower than the maintenance and staffing to run the servers onsite.

What is the difference between a hub, switch and router?

A hub is the cheapest of the devices and is typically called a “dumb” device. Basically, anything that comes in one port is sent to the other ports. Every computer can see everything that the other computer can see regarding data. The computer receiving the data decides if it is the recipient of the information as the hub does not pay attention to the traffic being transmitted

A switch basically does what a hub does although it does it more efficiently. Initially the switch sends the data to all the ports although it pays attention to the traffic and is able to learn what address/computer the data needs to go to. After it learns where the location of the computer is, it will only send the data to that one machine. This behavior makes the network significantly faster than using a hub.

A router is the smartest of all three devices. Routers come with or without wireless built in. As far as traffic routing, a router works the same as a switch. Routers perform two additional tasks over a switch. It is able to do DHCP which is short for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. A device will ask for an IP address (an IP address is the location of your computer on a network) and the router will assign an IP to that device. A router also does Nat or Network Address Translation. When a computer sends out a packet of data out to the internet, the local IP address of the computer is replaced with the IP address assigned by the ISP. When the data comes back, it knows to translate in reverse.

What is hacking and what can I do to keep my computer safe from it?

Hacking is gaining unauthorized access to a computer or network to acquire information or sabotage. There is a variety of different strategies to hacking.

 

Hackers use security holes to enter a computer or network. To prevent this, the best thing is to keep your computer up to date with the latest security patches. These patches fix security holes that can be used to compromise your computer. Hackers may use a Trojan horse which is a form of malware to infect the computer. The Trojan can be a key logger used to steal passwords or credit card information. A Trojan can also allow a hacker to watch a computer user’s screen and see everything they are doing. To help prevent these types of infections, it is recommended keeping your antivirus software active and up to date. Trojans are easy to spread via email attachments as a Trojan horse is easily disguised as something it is not such as a picture or program. It is recommended to avoid opening up and forwarding forwarded emails that contains jokes or other various content as this is the most common way of infection.

Hacking does not always pertain to your personal computer. Another form common today is social engineering. This form of hacking is as simple as standing behind someone and watching them type in their password on their computer or even at an ATM. Impersonation is extremely common as people tend to manipulate in saying they are someone they are not in order to obtain information. We encounter this at Netsync with customers calling in for passwords. This is social engineering. Common sense and being cautious to those around you are the best ways to keep yourself safe.

What is the difference between a wireless range extender and a wireless access point?

A wireless range extender picks up a wireless signal and increases the distance it can go by rebroadcasting the signal. A wireless range extender is also commonly called a wireless repeater. This device is a good solution to push a signal to a location in a building you normally would have low or no signal strength.

 

Wireless access points are networking devices that allow you to add wireless to a network that only contains wired Ethernet access. It has to be connected directly to the network by an Ethernet cable. One common situation an access point is used for is when a wireless range extender is not sufficient due to range issues or structural degradation of the signal. Ethernet drops could be installed and the access point could be plugged into the Ethernet drop in the room that needs the wireless.

Memory and Hard Drive Storage are commonly confused, what is the difference?

Memory is most commonly known as RAM (Random Access Memory). When an application is run, it loads the data from the hard drive into the memory so it can be accessed quickly by the processor. When the computer is turned off, this data is lost which is nothing to worry about as the data is likely saved to the hard drive. Think of RAM as the workbench of the computer.

 

Hard Drive Storage is where files are kept permanently unless manually deleted. This is where the operating system, applications, games, pictures, and documents are stored. When you turn off the computer all the data remains. Think of the Hard Drive as the filing cabinet of a computer.

When shopping for a computer, please stay cautious of marketing strategies by pc makers that focus on selling the large hard drive over using sub par components in the rest of the computer. Most consumers never utilize the amount of storage they are oversold. Having an extremely large hard drive will not make a computer faster. Please stop by our Technology store for expert advice on when a large hard drive is better for you.