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Wireless Network Works

Understand How a Wireless Network Works

Going wireless generally requires connecting an internet "access point" – like a cable or DSL modem – to a wireless router, which sends a signal through the air, sometimes as far as several hundred feet. Any device within range can pull the signal from the air and access the internet.

Unless you take certain precautions, anyone nearby can use your network. That means your neighbors – or any hacker nearby – could "piggyback" on your network or access information on your device. If an unauthorized person uses your network to commit crime or send spam, the activity could be traced back to your account.

Use Encryption on Your Wireless Network

Once you go wireless, you should encrypt the information you send over your wireless network, so that nearby attackers can’t eavesdrop on these communications. Encryption scrambles the information you send into a code so that it’s not accessible to others. Using encryption is the most effective way to secure your network from intruders.

Two main types of encryption are available for this purpose: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). Your computer, router, and other equipment must use the same encryption. WPA2 is strongest; use it if you have a choice. It should protect you against most hackers. Some older routers use only WEP encryption, which likely won’t protect you from some common hacking programs. Consider buying a new router with WPA2 capability.

Wireless routers often come with the encryption feature turned off. You must turn it on. The directions that come with your router should explain how. If they don't, check the company’s website.

Limit Access to Your Network

Allow only specific devices to access your wireless network. Every device that is able to communicate with a network is assigned a unique Media Access Control (MAC) address. Wireless routers usually have a mechanism to allow only devices with particular MAC addresses to access to the network. Some hackers have mimicked MAC addresses, so don't rely on this step alone.

 

Crypto-ransomware.

 

IT Nation Panel: Ransomware Is The Biggest Challenge Facing

Security Firms.

One of the most pernicious threats to your customers’ IT infrastructures and businesses is crypto-ransomware. This malware automatically encrypts user files and makes them unavailable until a ransom is paid to unlock them.

Ransomware has become the most nefarious challenge for security vendors today because of the inability of existing technologies to remediate once the damage has been done, panelists at ConnectWise's IT Nation agreed Thursday.

"Ransomware is just something that you can't clean up," said Marin Kleczynski, CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Malwarebytes. "It's gotten to the point where the FBI director basically said, 'Just pay the ransom.' "

Even though the frequency of ransomware attacks hasn't much changed, the increased severity of these breaches has made it the most vexing issue facing partners and end users of San Diego, Calif.-based ESET NA, Stephen Cobb, the company's senior security research, said during a breakout panel at the conference in Orlando, Fl.

 

Ransomware is a form of malware that, after infecting a device or network, prevents users from accessing their files (usually through encryption) before a ransom of some sort is paid. The most notable recent strain of ransomware was CryptoLocker, which now has encryption keys available for most of those infected (though, CryptoLocker 2.0 is making its emergence). At a recent IT Nation panel, executives said ransomware, while only accounting for about 5 percent of crimeware.

SSD Life in 2015 and Beyond - How Long Will They Last?

SSD Life in 2015 and Beyond - How Long Will They Last?

 

As SSDs continue to grow in popularity due to their advantages in speed and size, customers may still have questions about how other performance metrics compare to traditional HDDs. One big question is about drive longevity. It’s true that SSDs only permit a finite amount of writes and rewrites before wearing out—and out of context, that piece of information can strike fear into the heart of a potential buyer. But experts have been putting SSD longevity to the test, and the reality of how well the drives hold up over time can ease the mind of any customer who misreads finite rewriting as meaning that a drive is slated for an early death.

 

Why – and When – Do SSDs Wear Out?

Seeing how an HDD would wear out is obvious. A spinning plate and various other moving parts, over time, are prone to yielding to friction and mechanical failure. What’s less obvious is how an SSD with no moving parts would wear out.  

Whenever data is erased and rewritten to the flash memory of an SSD, it creates a miniscule amount of wear on the drive. A single instance of one of these cycles is called a program/erase cycle. There are a finite number of these cycles that a drive can go through before it becomes unreliable.

However, endurance tests, which rate drives by writing data constantly to them until failure,have been conducted, and they give a ballpark idea of SSD life. As a whole, tests indicate that even when regularly performing tasks that do a great deal of writing and rewriting, such as video editing, it would probably take a consumer in excess of 13 years to reach the 500TB average tipping point for drive failure.

How Can SSD Longevity Be Increased?

SSD manufacturers have been doing their best to implement technologies that stretch out drive life in light of the finite number of program/erase cycles a drive can handle. Wear-leveling technology, for instance, assures that data blocks are rewritten evenly so that no one area experiences an uneven number of program/erase cycles and fails early.

Warning Signs

Many SSDs also give error messages leading up to the point when so much data has cycled that drives become unstable.

Will an SSD Outlast and HDD?

Whether an individual SSD will outlast an individual HDD is an impossible call to make. Any number of usage factors and factors specific to the architecture of a given drive. However, in laptops and other settings where a drive is exposed to daily external physical abuse, an SSD stands a better chance of long-term survival than an HDD.

A Bright Future

This is an exciting time for data storage technology, and even as drive tests indicate that SSDs can probably surpass a decade of work without wearing out, technology to better drive performance and longevity will no doubt take huge leaps forward in the coming years.

Remember, however, that a customer should always be advised to keep sensitive and important data in more than one place, no matter what the average stats are on an SSD’s performance. No method of data storage lasts forever—at least not yet. Customers investing in SSDs for enterprise use or personal use in 2015 are making a wise choice, but they will always benefit from backup solutions, security solutions, and added-on support that can prevent and help manage the loss of data in the event of a drive wearing out.

A Simple SSD Comparison to HDD

A Simple SSD Comparison to HDD

 

Understanding what makes an SSD different than an HDD is vital for any VAR hoping to sell SSDs to their clients. So here is a short breakdown of what makes SSDs different – and better.

How they work: A SSD is basically a package of memory chips; typically the same ones as are used in common flash memory cards. This means that SSDs have no moving parts, and they do not require any power to retain data on the chips once it has been recorded there.

One benefit of SSDs: Data fragmentation is not an issue. It doesn’t matter if data from a single file are stored side-by-side or in different locations. 

The reason: Unlike an HDD, an SSD doesn’t have lots of moving parts that have to get from one area of its storage to another to retrieve data. It’s all done electronically. There is some ‘seek time’ expended, but it is some minimal as to be unnoticeable.

An HDD is a complex machine that contains multiple magnetically coated disks (platters), which spin for data access and recording. Data is either recorded to or read from the spinning platters using ‘drive heads’, which are mounted on moving arms. 

The need to spin the platters and move the arms to access data is what accounts for HDD’s slow speed compared to SSDs. It is also why HDDs generate heat and need for cooling, and make noise due to all these parts being in motion.    

The need for spinning and moving parts really becomes a problem when a file is fragmented on the HDD; that is, parts of it are stored in different locations on the platters. The drive has to physically search for and then read these sections, which takes time when all these moving parts are involved.

These fundamental differences explain why you can replace an older computer’s HDD with an SSD, and see remarkably improved performance. This improvement is a direct result of the SSD not spending the same amount of time as an HDD when it comes to accessing and recording data.

This is also why computers equipped with SSDs multitask better than those with HDDs. They take less time to do the same jobs.

There are other reasons why SSDs look better than HDDs when you compare them.

First is robustness: Imagine dropping a solid state digital display watch on the floor. Then imagine taking one of those expensive windup clocks in a clear glass dome, and dropping it. Smash!

In this comparison, the SDD is the solid state watch. The HDD is the glass-domed windup clock. The first doesn’t have the parts to misalign and break; the second does. (Even without the glass done.)    

Second is reliability: Lacking moving parts, SSDs have a lot less to fail than HDDs do. This doesn’t mean SSDs don’t wear out. They do, because the number of read/write cycles are not infinite. Nevertheless, having no moving parts makes an SSD less vulnerable to failure, because there is less that can fail.

Third is power consumption: SSDs use up to ten times less power than HDDs. This can be a big plus when SSDs are installed in battery-powered devices such as laptop computers. Reduced power consumption can make a real difference when an employee is off-site, and not able to plug in their laptop to keep it running; especially if the laptop is older and has batteries that are not longer taking a 100% charge.

Put everything together, and SSDs are just plain better than HDDs -- hands down. This doesn’t just mean in terms of performance, but long-term value. This is because the time savings offered by SSDs add up for businesses in improved productivity and better employee morale. 

Where SSD Technology Is Going in 2016

Where SSD Technology Is Going in 2016

With each passing day, it becomes easier to convince businesses of the superiority and inevitability of solid-state drive (SSD) technology over hard disk drive (HDD) as reliability, speed, performance, and durability continue to increase. 2016 is already shaping up to be a year of bigger, better, and faster in terms of where SSD technology is going.

While HDD still clearly dominates in terms of sheer numbers, SSD technology is closing the gap. This can be seen in the fact that SSDs are on track to ship more than 190 million in 2016, with forecasts of 227 million in 2017, according to Statista. This growth is being driven by plummeting prices and increasing capacity.

The most recent InformationWeek report states that SSD prices continued to decrease over the last year and should reach near parity with HDD by the end of this year. Two areas of technology improvements in 2016 that are driving this involve the fact that manufacturers have moved beyond 2D NAND and PCIe 2.0 x4.

The advent of 3D NAND has increased SSD capacity while simultaneously decreasing its prices. This in turn is fulfilling the need for greater capacity and speed in the consumer market as well as in the enterprise.

Some of the SSD technology advances we’ll see in 2016 are:

  • 2 TB portable SSD with data transfer speeds of up to 450 MB/s
  • SSDs that will feature capacities of 6 TB and 8 TB
  • A 13 TB SSD small enough to be installed even in a laptop
  • A 16 TB SSD to be available this year and projections for a 128 TB SSD by 2018 through the use of 3D flash technology

Last year, manufacturers introduced 3D NAND technology that stacks flash cells vertically in 32 layers in order to achieve a 256 GB multi-level cell and 384 GB triple-level cell die that fit within a standard package. This year, there is even a new kind of SSD based on a technology called 3D XPoint that can operate up to 1,000 times faster than the NAND flash used in today’s SSDs.

As for Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) Gen3x4 SSD, it makes production of 2 TB and larger SSD technology easier. Currently, it allows read/write performance up to 2,900 MB/s and 1,300 MB/s, which is more than triple the throughput of standard SATA SSD. It’s all about performance, low latency, and Quality of Service (QoS).

Each PCIe Gen 3 lane can move data at speeds of up to 985 MB/s, and some vendors are shipping 20-lane PCIe-based storage devices. That blistering speed is making PCIe-based SSDs very attractive to businesses that move a lot of data-heavy, low-latency content, like streaming video.

In the long term, SSDs have the potential to outgrow HDDs in terms of capacity, with the first 30 TB SSD coming into existence in 2018 and 256 TB SSDs predicted to become available within the next five years.

Businesses and consumers have plenty of ways in which they will use the new SSD technology in order to improve everything from gaming, mobility, and workstation users to medical research done by supercomputers. SSDs are already having a big impact on how system architects build systems and how developers create applications. Every day, more and more 15,000 rpm drives are being replaced by enterprise SSDs.

Not only can the latest SSD technology reduce storage bottlenecks in virtualized environments, but it has the power to change the nature of database applications and big data systems in a world soon to be dominated by the Internet of Things. The accessibility and growth of cloud storage and service offerings will dictate the need for storage in local devices for applications as diverse as file access, media streaming, and surveillance storage and analytics.

As more consumers and businesses learn about the expanding list of superior benefits with the latest SSD technology, it will change their perceptions and ideas about how and where HDDs and SSDs can be used. The technology advancements in 2016 are sure to pave the way for greater opportunities in terms of use, so increased sales are sure to follow.

Did your computer crash?

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Did your computer crash? Do you have a virus? Or is your computer not coming on? You need to take it to someone who has been trained in how to correctly identify what is wrong with your computer and who knows how to repair it correctly. No matter what the problem is with your computer it is better to take it to a professional.

Do you need macbook repair? If your macbook is infected with a virus, you need a professional to remove the virus so that it does not come back. Macbook repair can include virus removal, replacing a broken screen, connecting you to the internet, upgrading your software, and many more.

Is you computer a Sony? Or do you want to buy a Sony computer and have your files from your old computer transferred to it? Then you need to take it to a authorized Sony repair center. At a Sony repair center they can sell you a new computer and put all the files from your old computer in it. So, you would have a brand new computer without the stress of having to redo all of your important files. A Sony repair center specializes in Sony computers.

Notebook repair can be tricky, so it is best to go to an authorized repair center to have it fixed. With notebook repair you can have a new hard drive installed that will have it running like it was brand new. If you don’t have enough memory, you can have additional memory installed.

Few options to worry about when fixing computers

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There’s only a few options to worry about when fixing computers. For example, a Sony repair center would focus on Intel powered components, working to return full function to desktop computers and using experienced technicians to diagnose notebook repair. But time has passed, and the computer landscape has transformed to the point where general computer repair companies need specialists able to apply their skills to macbook repair.

It’s possible to hire experts skilled in both macbook repair and notebook repair, but it’s perhaps more efficient to look for computer shops with more than one specialist, someone whose skills are targeted at restoring Apple products to full function, and at least one other person to work specifically on personal computers based on an Intel architecture.

Some Apple computers do use an Intel architecture but they’re still designed to run some version of the OS X operating system, which a technician specializing in macbook repair will be far more familiar with. Fortunately, those are the only two operating systems favored by manufacturers, most likely because they’re both giants of industry and it would be near impossible to compete with either Apple or Intel.

A Sony repair center works exclusively on Sony products, of which there’s a dizzying amount, from cameras to games consoles, high-definition televisions and any other piece of electronics found in electronics stores. Several popular notebook computer lines are part of the Sony brand so notebook repair is part of a Sony repair center, as is working on Sony’s huge line of professional cameras and media players.

Computers are a part of our daily lives

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Computers are a part of our daily lives. Keeping your machine in good running condition is just par for the course. What happens when your computer starts experiencing problems? You might need macbook repair. Finding the right company to take care of your computer can be problematic. Who do you turn to for macbook repair? Get the people that specialize in dealing with macbook repair.

You might be running your business with your computer. You might need your notebook to complete your coursework. When problem pop up, you should use sony repair center. They can zero in on your problems and get you back up and going again. The sony repair center understands how important your computer is and the attachment that you have to it. Use the sony repair center and zap your computer problem like ants with ant spray.

Your computer is acting funny and you need to get it checked out. Don’t wait for notebook repair. Get notebook repair quickly. Waiting might be causing more damage to your machine. Get notebook repair as soon as you see signs of a problem. Your computer might be compromised and the professionals can help get your computer back to good health.

Computers are necessary business and school tools. When you need them, you want them to work as designed. A computer that is running badly can be really frustrating to the user. You don’t have to endure the pain. Get your computer fixed and back on the right track. Keep your machine in the best condition and operating function possible.

Why Professional Computer Repair Is Recommended

Why Professional Computer Repair Is Recommended

Computer repair is a frustrating topic. Unfortunately, technology is a part of life that we just can’t get away from. It doesn’t matter if you are a home user looking for a personal Toshiba repair or an IT professional looking for data recovery LA, a professional can guide you through your tough times.

The biggest hurdle to getting good repairs is hiring a technician that is good at their job. There are tons of computer experts advertising their skills on the internet. Be careful and choose someone who can do everything you need. Lenovo repair and Toshiba repair is doable by any competent computer firm or technician. Try to find companies that use certified computer technicians; they have enough training to deal with your specific problems.

Find a technician that has experience in things like computer repair and data recovery LA. A couple of years experience means that they are familiar with troubleshooting and the intricacies that go into it. It can be tempting to hire someone who is less experienced and cheap. This strategy can backfire; if the person breaks your computer, you have no recourse.

It is important to hire a reputable computer repair shop. If you don’t, then you run the risk of your computer being ruined even further. Many computer firms make a bunch of money repairing other people’s bad work. These secondary services cost you a lot more than getting it fixed right in the first place. When you have computer problems like a Lenovo repair, make sure to do it right the first time around.

Modern Notebook Repair

Modern Notebook Repair

Repairing the delicate electronics that modern technology has given us can be a challenging proposition, and notebook repair is no exception to this rule. Notebooks are getting smaller and smaller as time goes on, particularly when it comes to the latest variant, ultrabooks.

As these laptops become more complex in a smaller space, it also becomes harder to find somewhere they actually has the know-how to perform the notebook repair properly. For example, if you own a Sony Vaio notebook, you’ll almost certainly have to go to an authorized Sony repair center to have it fixed. Sure, you could try and have it fixed somewhere else, but more than likely, they’ll fail at fixing it themselves and just send it into a Sony repair center anyway, something you could have just done yourself.

Perhaps the most notorious computers when it comes to repairs are Macbooks. Macbooks don’t necessarily break down any more often than other notebooks, but they do use a number of extremely unique parts that are only understood by the people that are specifically trained to perform Macbook repair at your local Apple store.

Apple claims that these unique parts allow them to build better computers, and perhaps they do, but as a side effect, you always need to have any Macbook repair done at an Apple store. At the end of the day, a good rule of thumb for modern notebooks is to always take them to an official repair center first. It will save you a ton of hassle, as well as a ton of money.