Which Browser Should You Use?

Posted by admin on Apr 10, 2012

Taken from PCWorld Magazine, April 2012 Edition

Not all Web browsers are created equal. Some are faster, some are more versatile, others are especially secure. We tested six leading browsers to learn where each one excels… and fails.

Everyone needs a Web browser, but with so many different ones available, deciding which one is best for you can be hard. Are you looking for something blazing fast? Or is strong security your top priority? Or do you need  lots and lots of add-ons?  Here is how the browsers stack up.

1st Place – Google Chrome – 4 1/2 stars
Chrome wins our top spot thanks to its ease of use, numerous extensions and add-ons, and superb performance. It may not be perfect for everyone, but Chrome is a well-rounded browser that should meet most people’s needs. It lets you close slow or frozen pages without restarting the browser, and its sandbox design helps prevent malware infections.

2nd Place – Mozilla Firefox – 4 stars
The new design has removed the bulky toolbar and replaced it with a row of tabs, and the bookmark bar is hidden by default. It’s biggest advantage over its rivals is its vast library of add-ons, which you can use to customize your browsing and make it more useful.  Be careful, however, as too many add-ons can slow the software down.

3rd Place – Facebook RockMelt – 4 stars
This browser if built on Googles Chromium browser framework, so it looks and acts a lot like Chrome. It is designed to appeal to social media fanatics, making communicating with Facebook friends easier. Pages load quite quickly, but extensions and add-ons are relatively scarce.

4th Place – Internet Explorer – 3 1/2 stars
IE has long lagged behind other browsers in features and ease of use. But the latest version offers a few functions that are at least as good as what the competition offers. Especially noteworthy are some great new privacy features, the ability to scan downloads and built-in cross-site script protection.

5th Place – Opera – 3 Stars
For internet users who prize speed above everything else, Opera should be the browser of choice. The interface looks like a polished version of Internet Explorer 9. It is not HTLM5 friendly, and there are fewer security options and add-ons than other browsers offer.

6th Place – Safari – 3 Stars
It is an adequate and fairly intuitive browser, but you can do better, especially if you use a Windows machine. It did not score well on any of the speed tests, and though its security has always been top-notch, organizing Safari can be troublesome. It plods through pages built with HTML5 and JavaScript.

Secure Your Home or Office Wi-Fi

Posted by admin on Apr 6, 2012

Taken from PCWorld Magazine, April 2012 Edition

By default, wireless routers and access points have security turned off. Without the security enabled, anyone nearby can leach off your wireless Internet, see where you’re browsing, capture your passwords to some websites, and possibly gain access to your PCs and files. Some models help you turn security on via a wizard during initial setup or recommend using buttons or PINs; others require you to enable it manually via the router’s Web interface.

But even with Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 enabled, hackers can exploit vulnerabilities to crack your Wi-Fi security. Here’s how to combat these weaknesses. If your router supports WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup), it is vulnerable.  The best answer is to turn that feature off.  If you cannot turn it off, then consider upgrading the firmware for your router.  Each router has different ways to complete these tasks, so check out your manual for instructions.

If you have done these things and are still worried about someone hacking into your wireless connection, consider hiding your SSID (essentially making your wireless connection invisible) or using MAC addressing.  There is no way to completely protect your wireless connection except to turn it off when you are not using it… but that is not convenient.

Posted in FAQ || No Comments »

Six Basic Steps to Picking the Right Workgroup Printer

Posted by admin on Apr 3, 2012

Taken from PCWorld Magazine, April 2012 Edition

The good, and perhaps daunting, news about buying a workgroup printer is that you have a lot of choices. The standard monochrome laser or LED printer is now joined by colour laser and LED models, as well as by multifunction variants that offer scanning faxing and copying. Higher-end inkjets claim good speed, better image quality, and comparable or better consumables costs. So, how do you decide? This might help…

Match the printer to the task and volume. If your workgroup prints mostly text documents, a monochrome laser or LED printer will do the job.

Check compatibility. If you use Macs, Linux or different versions of Windows, check to make sure that appropriate drivers are available before you purchase.

Know who needs colour and who doesn’t. Monochrome printing is the bulk of printing for many businesses. If you only need a few colour prints occasionally, an inkjet printer can handle low volumes easily.

Balance volume with versatility. If you already have a copier, a fax machine, and a networked scanner, you may get better performance from sand-alone printers. Multifunctions are versatile, but have to juggle more.

Research costs and reliability. Cost of ownership includes the long-term need for replacing ink or toner, plus components such as a laser’s fuser or waste toner bottle. Gather all the pricing and page yields up front to make sure they’ll work with you print content and volume.

If you still cannot decide what printer is right for you, then talk to your I.T. provider or local computer store.  The have experience that can help you decide what is best for your home or business.  A reputable dealer will not sell you something that you don’t need.  They want to make you happy, so that you will return and purchase the ink and toner you need!

Posted in FAQ || No Comments »