rocket-d 5 reasons why your Wi-Fi is slow (and how to fix it)

 

5 reasons why your Wi-Fi is slowFor the two decades that the internet has been in our lives, despite all the changes and technology improvements, one constant has remained: pokey connections. Frustration quickly sets in when pages won’t load, videos buffer, or email crawls to a halt. Here are five common problems and solutions to try.

1. Internet thieves

One of the best things about Wi-Fi is the easy access it provides to the internet. But, if your network password is too simple, there could be more people tapping into it than you originally bargained for.

Obviously, this isn’t something you want. Networks with weak passwords or no passwords can be accessed by almost anyone. Use a free program called Wi-Fi History View to review each device that has connected to your network, and look for IP addresses you don’t recognize.

Prevent this by first changing the password for your router. If you don’t know where to find it, a site called RouterPasswords can help you locate the manufacturer’s default password. From there, create a password that is complex and difficult to guess.

2. Congestion

This is a problem in crowded neighborhoods or apartments. When too many people try to connect at the same time on the same Wi-Fi channel, connection speed is significantly impacted.

When your connection slows during peak hours, usually in the evening when everyone gets off work, that’s a sure sign of congestion.

Fix this by selecting a different channel for your router. If you have a 2.4 gigahertz frequency router, there are usually 11 channels to choose from. Channels 1, 6 and 11 are recommended, but try other channels to find a faster connection. Or buy a new 5 gigahertz router.

3. Outdated equipment

Wi-Fi routers are not all created equal. “AC” routers are a step up from the older “B” and “G” models and even “N” models. They have more features and offer better performance. If you’re shopping for a new router, that’s what you want to look for.

AC routers have a maximum spectral bandwidth of around 8 x 160MHz, compared to the 4 x 40MHz standard of N routers. In other words, the increased bandwidth allows more data to be transmitted without slowing down.

4. Your router’s security settings

Aside from protecting your network from unauthorized bandwidth usage, which could slow down your network without your knowledge, did you know that the type of wireless security you use could impact your overall speeds too?

If your network is Open (no security) or is using WEP, change the security setting immediately! Obviously, an open network will make it easy for someone to steal your Wi-Fi, and the older WEP security is easily hacked, so avoid it at all costs.

This leaves you with WPA, WPA2 with TKIP, or WPA2 with AES.

WPA and TKIP are what you want to avoid. Not only are these protocols older and insecure, they can actually slow down your network.

The best option is WPA2 with AES. AES is a newer and more secure setting that lets you achieve higher speeds.

5. You’re too far out of range

Sometimes the easiest fixes are right there under our noses. Routers are not designed to transmit signals over long distances, so there may be hot spots and dead zones in your home.

To map out your network, use a tool called HeatMapper. It helps you see where Wi-Fi signals are strongest in your home or office. HeatMapper is a free download for Windows users. NetSpot is a good alternative for Mac users.

Once you’ve identified the problem areas in your home, you have a few options available. One option is to purchase a Wi-Fi extender that can boost the range of your router’s transmission. Wi-Fi extenders range in price from around $20 to $120, depending on the features included in the model. However, a mid-range extender should work just fine. Click here for a full breakdown of Wi-Fi extender options.

The second option is to purchase a mesh system. The $500 Eero Home Wi-Fi system promises “no more dead zones” in their product description. A mesh system consists of a series of smaller routers that sync with one another to boost the coverage area of your network. Spread these mini routers here and there throughout your home, and you’ll have a strong connection no matter what room you’re in.

rocket-d Blocking Creepers on Your Phone and Desktop

There comes a point in some relationships where you just have to cut ties with another person. Maybe it was a terrible breakup, and the other person just won’t leave you alone. Perhaps you never even had a relationship with a person but in their mind you did, or maybe this person is a straight up scammer and you have just had it with their repeated calls and harassment.

Whatever the case may be, you have decided that it’s time to block this person. 

This may seem like a trivial step for some, but others may have a harder time with it. Perhaps you tried to Safely Unfriend a Creeper, but your strategy just didn’t work or maybe you tried other methods first and now it’s come to this.

Regardless of why you ended up at this point, always be safe. Consider telling a trusted third party that you have reached a point where you feel the need to block a specific person and tell the trusted person why. 

Here are some methods of blocking people on various devices and Internet services:

Blocking Someone From Calling or Texting Your Phone:

Blocking on an Android Phone:

  1. Open your Phone app from the home screen
  2. From the call log screen, choose the number of the person you want to block.
  3. Tap the 3 dot menu icon from the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  4. Select “Add to Auto Reject List”

Blocking on an iPhone:

  1. Open your Phone calling app from the home screen.
  2. Choose the “Recent”icon  from the bottom of the screen.
  3. Find the number you want to reject from the “All” or “Missed” call logs and tap the “i” (information) icon on the right side of the screen by the number.
  4. After the call info screen opens, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select “Block This Caller”
  5. Confirm “Block Contact” from the pop-up screen that opens.

On Facebook:

Facebook features the ability to block someone to where they cant see anything you post or see your profile in search results.  It won’t stop them from using a mutual friend’s account to see what your up to, so I wouldn’t recommend using a block and then expect something you say to not get back to that person because they probably will still here about it via a mutual friend.

To Block Someone on Facebook:

  1. Click the padlock icon at the top-right hand corner of any page on Facebook.
  2. Select “How do I stop someone from bothering me?”
  3. Enter a name or email address of the person you want blocked.
  4. Select the person you want to block from the search list.

On Twitter:

If you have someone harassing you on Twitter you can remove them as a follower, but they could set up another account and still harass you. That is going to require a little more effort on their part, and you can just block that account as well.

To Block Someone on Twitter:

  1. Open the Twitter profile page of the account you want to block.
  2. Click on the gear (settings icon) on the person’s profile page.
  3. Choose “Block” from the menu that appears.
  4. Select “Block” to confirm that you want to block them.

On Instagram:

Instagram will let you change your mode from public to private where you can better control who sees your pictures. You might not be as popular, but it should cut down on the amount of harassment you receive. 

To Block Someone on Instagram:

  1. Select the username of the person you want to block to open their profile.
  2. Choose (iPhone/iPad), (Android), or (Windows).
  3. Select “Block User”.

On Dating Sites

Most dating sites such as POF, OKCupid, etc, feature fairly straightforward blocking mechanisms and normally you just have to click on either “hide this user”, “block messages from a user”, or if things get really ugly you can report them to the moderators or administrators.

rocket-d What to do when your PC freezes or locks up

My-Computer-Keeps-FreezingIt happens to everyone at some point. Without any warning, whether you’re working on an important project, browsing aimlessly or trying to beat your high score on Solitaire, your computer suddenly freezes. You wiggle the mouse, click the buttons a few times, tap some keys on your keyboard – and get nothing. Your 21st century piece of technology is as useless as a pet rock. What do you do next?

Restart!

OK, this step is obvious. But don’t pull the power plug or flip the switch on the power strip. Instead, press and hold the computer’s power button for 5 to 10 seconds. This will restart it with less disruption than a power loss.

There are a few things that can happen next. Let’s look at the three most typical ones and what you should do next.

1. Computer starts fine

If the computer starts up fine, back up your important information immediately in case a serious problem is on the way. If you don’t, you might find yourself scrambling through more complicated ways to get files off a dead computer.

Then use the computer as you normally do, because it may not freeze again.Find out why a restart often makes problems disappear. But if the computer does freeze again, keep reading for more steps to take.

2. Computer asks you how to boot

While restarting, the computer might say there was an error with Windows and ask if you want to start normally or in Safe Mode. The first time, choose to start Windows normally. Then back up your data and keep using the computer.

If it freezes again, choose to boot in “Safe Mode with Networking.” Then use the computer and, if it doesn’t freeze again, the problem is probably software. If it does freeze again, it could be software or hardware. Keep reading for tips to investigate both.

3. Computer freezes again immediately

If the computer freezes again immediately after you reboot, whether in normal mode or Safe Mode, then the problem could be software, but it’s probably hardware.

Now we’re going to look at some ways to find the cause and fix it.

Basic software troubleshooting

An occasional or consistent computer freeze could be the result of a program acting up. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open Windows’ Task Manager, then select the “Performance” tab. In Windows 8.1 and 10, you might need to click the “More details” link at the bottom of the Task Manager to see it.

Start using your computer as you normally do, but keep an eye on the CPU, memory and disk categories. If the computer freezes, and one of these is really high, then that could be your answer. Make a note of which area was really high, then restart the computer and open Task Manager again. But this time, choose the “Processes” tab. Sort the list by CPU, memory or disk, whichever was really high the last time the computer froze, and see what process pops up to the top of the list as the computer freezes. This should tell you what software is acting up, so you can uninstall or update it. Learn how to unravel what processes tell you about your programs.

You might also have hidden software, such as a virus, that’s causing problems. Be sure to run a scan with your security software to see if there’s something that shouldn’t be there.

In cases where your computer freezes during startup in normal mode but boots OK in Safe Mode, the problem could be a program that’s loading during the boot sequence. Use a program like Autoruns to selectively disable the programs that begin at startup and see which one is causing the problem.

If your computer is freezing during startup no matter what, and it’s at the same point, then the problem could be corruption in Windows, or a hardware problem. A quick way to tell is to grab a Live CD for another operating system, such as Linux Mint or Tails, and boot with that.

If the other operating system boots OK, then you’re probably looking at a problem with Windows, and you may need to reinstall. For those using Windows 10 (and 8), it has a Refresh/Reset feature that’s supposed to return Windows to a factory state. It’s under Settings>>Update and recovery>>Recovery. If Windows is having trouble starting, it should pop up a Recovery option during boot that includes this, or you might have to use a disc.

If the non-Windows operating system has trouble, too, it’s time to look at your hardware.

Basic hardware troubleshooting

A computer that freezes both in normal mode and Safe Mode or with another operating system often indicates a problem with your computer’s hardware. It could be your hard drive, an overheating CPU, bad memory or a failing power supply. It also might be your motherboard, but that’s rare.

Usually with hardware problems, the freezing will be sporadic at the start and increase as time goes on. Or it will trigger when the computer is working hard but not when you’re doing more basic things. Fortunately, you can run some checks to see if that’s the case.

Use a program like CrystalDiskInfo to check your hard drive’s S.M.A.R.T. data for signs of impending failure. A program like SpeedFan can tell you if your computer processor is overheating or if the voltages are fluctuating, which might indicate a problematic power supply.

If you want to go more in-depth, you can grab a diagnostic CD like FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD. It has plenty of other tools for checking out your computer, including MemTest, which puts strain on your computer’s RAM to see if it’s working OK.

Learn about more signs that your computer could be close to dying. If your computer is still under warranty, you’ll want to contact the manufacturer or seller. But if it’s an older computer, you’ll need to decide if it’s less expensive to repair or replace it.