Wi-fi is wireless networking, the ability to connect to a network or PC using radio signals (as opposed to network cabling). It is fast and has a great range. You can use it to surf the web while sitting on your couch or in your garden. You can share an internet connection, swap files, or share a printer between computers. Take a look at how you can make your home a wi-fi hub:
1. Equipment Required: You will need a modem and a wireless router that converts signals from your internet connection into a wireless broadcast. Also required is a high-speed internet connection (broadband). If your computer is old, you will need to buy a USB wireless network adapter to connect your computer to your wireless router. For a laptop, buy a PC card-based network adapter.
2. Connect Modem and Router: First, unplug the cable modem or DSL modem to turn it off. Connect your wireless router to your modem. Unplug the network cable from the back of your computer and plug it into the port labeled Internet, WAN, or WLAN on the back of your router. Next, plug in and turn on your cable or DSL modem.
3. Get Online: Once the modem is connected to the net, plug in and turn on your wireless router. The Internet, WAN, or WLAN light on your wireless router will light up, indicating that it has successfully connected to your modem. Using the network cable that came with your wireless router, temporarily connect your computer to one of the open network ports on your wireless router (any port that isn't labeled Internet, WAN or WLAN).
4. Configure Settings: Type in the IP address of the router on your browser to get to the router's configuration page. Configure your wireless network name (SSID), Wireless encryption (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), which protects your wireless network and your administrative password, which controls your wireless network. Now, disconnect the network cable from your computer.
5. Access Wireless Network: Go to “network connections” in the start menu and select “wireless network connections”. From the list of available connections, select the network you have just set up. Enter the password when prompted for it. This will connect you to the wireless network. Repeat this step for every new pc that is added to your system.
Note that wi-fi comes in two speeds: 802.11b or the newer 801.11g whose data transfer speed goes up to 54 megabits per second. Wi-fi 802.11b/g has a range of around 150 feet indoors, making accessing the internet and sharing files ever so convenient. Set up your wi-fi hub and go wire free, seamlessly!
People prefer buying laptops to desktops for their portability. Laptops can be used to access the Internet and e-mail on the move by using a wireless card. Technological advancements have reduced the price/performance margin of laptops with desktops too. For the best possible deal, here are some important features of a laptop model you must consider, before shopping for it.
1. Installed Memory: The more installed memory your laptop has, the more applications you can run at once, enabling you to complete your work with speed and efficiency. Laptops with 2GB of RAM are optimal since upgrading a smaller system is tricky. If buying a system that is pre-loaded with 1GB of RAM, make sure you can upgrade it later.
2. Processor: The CPU determines how quickly a notebook runs applications and performs on-screen tasks. Dual Core or Quad Core processors are good choices for speedy processing, strong performance and great battery life. In the case of Intel Pentium processors, the higher the number, the faster it will process.
3. Hard Drive: The larger the hard drive, the more data you can keep on your laptop. For ordinary tasks, 40GB should do the job. If your tasks demand it, opt for a large drive going up to a Terabyte (1024GB) or more. You also have the external drives option for storing and media-burning. For everyday use, hard disks with the speed of 5,200 or 7,200 RPMs are enough.
4. Screen Size: The laptop's LCD screen is measured diagonally. The larger the screen, the higher the maximum resolution and the more information you can view at once. Bigger is usually better, especially on your eyes. The standard screen size of laptops these days is 15", although some bigger and wide –screen monitors are available too.
5. Expansion Bays: The more expansion bays your laptop has, the easier it is to connect it to other optical and storage drives. This is beneficial for transfer and storage of data. Devices like DVD and Bluray players and writers, pen drives, printers, scanners are useful here. USB, USB2 and Firewire connect various devices to a laptop like digital cameras, mp3 players, cell phones etc. for data sharing.
Other features to consider while purchasing a laptop include an inbuilt LAN card, a modem and integrated wireless and Bluetooth. Ensure that you can see text and images clearly on the screen. Choose the latest operating system since upgrading is inconvenient. A spill-resistant keyboard, a shock-resistant hard drive, a good warranty and laptop insurance are highly recommended. Make sure that the laptop you choose can handle all the tasks you throw at it!
The computer technology revolution is an ongoing phenomenon with new efficiency increasing tools hitting the market almost every other day. Here is a lowdown on the latest tools like the Pen Drive, External Hard Disk, and the Bluetooth that aid in immensely increasing your efficiency and productivity.
1. The pen drive This is a portable USB flash memory device that can be used to quickly transfer audio, video, and data files from the hard drive of one computer to another. It derives its name from its compact pen-like size and shape, small enough to fit into a pocket.
Utilizing a pen drive is a simple task. One end of the drive is equipped with a USB connector. The connector is inserted into the USB port on a desktop or laptop and activated. Just like using any other storage media, you can drag and drop files to and from the pen drive.
This is a great tool for carrying to the meetings. Instead of carrying your laptop, you can simply take all the files you need on a pen drive, plug it into your client's machine at their office and conduct the presentation.
2. An external hard disk This is a type of hard disk drive, which is externally connected to a computer. The benefits of an external hard drive are portability, back up, and safe storage of data. It is used by connecting it to the USB or fire wire port of the computer.
3. Bluetooth Look around at the moment, you have your keyboard connected to the computer, as well as a printer, mouse, monitor, all connected by cables. Most of us have experienced the 'joys' of trying to figure out what cable goes where and getting tangled up in the details. Bluetooth essentially aims to fix this. It is a cable-replacement technology.
Bluetooth is a specification for short distance wireless communication between two devices. Any two devices which are blue tooth enabled can send and receive data in a wireless environment. This makes sharing and transfer of data exceptionally easy and quick.
So if you are still stuck in the world of floppy's or CDs for sharing, carrying and storing data, get out there and explore a whole new world full of these new tools, waiting to enhance your productivity.
Did you just hit the delete button in a really important file by mistake? Did you also empty your recycle bin? No, don’t start panicking yet!
The internet has a wealth of free softwares you can download to help you recover files you have accidentally deleted. One such useful program getting good reviews in the blogging circles these days is Recuva (www.recuva.com). This software recovers files by scanning for the actual 1s and 0s of the file that don’t get deleted. What gets lost is only your operating system’s reference to it. Recuva looks for such unreferenced data on PCs, cameras and MP3 players too! Try out this free download (which should go quick at 647 kb) and never fear the delete button again!
Searching the web is simple. But can the same be said about searching for files and pictures on your computer? Most of us end up with a large, unsorted collection of random snippets, so that searching for something particular at a later date can be next to impossible.
Thanks to Google’s desktop search application, you can search your computer with ease. From music, pictures, and files to chats, web pages, emails, this comprehensive desktop application puts you within reach of all information and also helps you stay organized.
Getting started: Install Google Desktop. Once you download the application, run it to enjoy all the features. Google Desktop then starts charting your emails, files and web history stored on your computer, all the while also making sure your index stays updated with emails or files as you modify them.
Searching your desktop:
With a Desktop search, you'll go to a page showing you the most relevant search results, each of which include the file name and a brief snippet with your search terms highlighted. Google Desktop even allows you to search multiple file types on any computer – Outlook Email, Outlook Express, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Gmail, Google Talk, MSN Instant Messenger, Netscape Mail, Thunderbird, Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, PDFs, music, videos, images, zipped files, text, and more.
For a super-quick search, press the "Ctrl" button twice to call up the search box and press "Ctrl" twice again to hide it.
So you’re looking for a single disc on which you can store 50 GB data?
With the help of Blue-Ray Disc you can do just that. A Blue-Ray Disc is a "high-density optical disc" format for storing digital media, including high-definition videos.
The name "Blue Ray Disc" is derived from the blue-violet laser that is used to read and write this type of disc. It can store 25 GB of data on each layer as compared to a conventional 4.7 GB DVD. A dual layer DVD of 50 GB storage capacity can store up to 9 hours of high definition video and up to around 23 hours of standard definition video. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
However, there is a slight catch! In order to make full use of the Blue-Ray Disc, you will need a Blue-Ray DVD ROM along with certain codecs as and when required, depending on the media you wish to play. Once you’ve procured these, you can make the most of all that the Blue-Ray disc has to offer!
Microsoft has released its new Windows Vista OS. But what are the various features that make it better than the trusted previous versions? Here are 5 things about Vista you need to know.
Security: Windows Vista provides security features that are the most advanced of all the Windows versions so far. It is touted as the most secure windows edition yet. It offers protection from malware, spyware, hackers...the works!
Organisation and Search: With Vista, you no longer need to search in the conventional way and hope for a hit. Vista allows you to edit the keywords associated with a file and hence make searching for it at a different point of time easier, even if you don’t remember the name or location.
Gadgets: Vista introduces a sidebar with gadgets. These gadgets can be something as simple as a calculator, a sticky note or a messenger contact to something that gives you weather updates, messenger status and lots more. You can select the gadgets you want to see in the sidebar.
Networking: You can graphically see the connectivity of your computer as well as the network your computer is part of. If any computer in the network loses its link, it immediately gets graphically shown on your computer.
Slide Show: This is a feature that is of more use to the laptop faithful. It allows you to view your contact details, meeting schedules and other important details without having to switch on your laptop if you have a secondary device in any format.
So go ahead and arm yourself with the latest in Windows, if you think you can handle it!
A home computer is fine but is restricted to just one room. So why not go for a home laptop instead. These 7 tips allow you to choose wisely when buying a laptop.
Processor: Any processor, preferably dual core, will do just fine. Make sure it's not an Intel Celeron or an AMD processor, as these are set aside for cheap notebooks.
Operating System: Choose the OS based on your requirements. Microsoft Windows XP Home is sufficient. Windows XP Professional is better. Some are even offering Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
Memory: Memory is also dependent on what you plan to use the laptop for. 512 MB is a good amount, but dual core processors should be paired with 1GB.
Hard drive: Laptops can be used for larger purposes than a normal PC. So when you are searching for a hard drive, go for 80GB and up.
Graphics Card: A mid-range card like the ATI Mobility Radeon X1300, the nVidia GeForce Go 7300, or even the new integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 or 950 GM is good enough. Make sure graphics memory is at least 128MB.
Optical Drive: A Dual layer, dual-format DVD/RW drive should be standard. This will give your drive the basic functionality it needs.
Ports/Slots: You'll find at least three USB ports. A multi-format media card reader, a Firewire port, S-Video and VGA-Out port should all come standard. Choose between an Express Card Slot and PC Card slot.
You are now set to enjoy the freedom the laptop provides you, while you work, play or simply browse the internet.