Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: To help protect your kids (and yourself) on the internet from sexually explicit websites, I encourage you to use the DNS service by MetaCert (see below):

Squeak #2: Did you ever wonder if anyone is tapping into your wireless network and robbing you of bandwidth (and possibly data)? Check out this little wi-fi tool designed to monitor your wi-fi network for intrusion (see below);

Squeak #3: Windows 8.1 will soon be here.  One of the new options is giving you the ability to log directly into your desktop, instead of the Start Screen.  Read the article below, from bleepingcomputer.com that shows you how to take advantage of this option; AND,

Squeak #4: There are so many variations of cable connections these days.  Take a look at this kit by Belkin that will help eliminate some of the clutter (see below)…

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Plan on seeing  a lot more of Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]


MetaCert DNS For Family Safety

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The MetaCert DNS is the world’s most sophisticated method of blocking pornography without blocking access to innocent websites. It blocks over 655 million pages of sexually explicit content – or 32+ billion URLs… READ MORE


Essential Tool For Everyone Running A Small WiFi Network And Striving To Keep It Secure

SoftPerfect WiFi Guard

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SoftPerfect WiFi Guard will alert you if your network is used without your knowledge. It is a specialised network scanner that runs through your network at set intervals and reports immediately if it has found any new connected devices that could possibly belong to an intruder… GET IT HERE


How to sign in directly to the Windows 8.1 desktop

@ bleepingcomputer.com

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One of the biggest issues many people have had with Windows 8 is that it automatically logs you into the Windows 8 Start screen rather than the traditional Windows desktop. For those people who do not want to use the Start screen and instead work off the desktop this change has been very frustrating. If this has been an issue for you, Windows 8.1 allows you to skip the Start screen and boot directly into the desktop… LEARN HOW HERE


Belkin F3X1724 7-in-1 Retractable Cable Travel Pack

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This convenient kit offers a great solution for the mobile professional. It gives you an easy way to connect your USB and networking devices to your notebook computer, virtually anywhere you go… SEE HERE


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Help Protect Your Kids On The Internet With DNS Angel

May 17, 2013

Keeping our kids from being exposed to the bad sites on the internet, such as pornography, is a real challenge. There are numerous software options that a parent can install to protect their kids, but knowing what I know about software, computers and parenting; the software option often falls through the cracks. Besides, most people today are app oriented and only want to install something that has a very quick (minimal) learning curve. This is why today apps are so popular on our smartphones and tablets.

To help you through this dilemma of protecting your kids on the internet and at the same time keeping it simple, I found a software option, called DNS Angel, that is an app in a sense. You simply download it and run it (no install – portable app).

DNS Angel

When you open DNS Angel you will see buttons, as illustrated above, where you can select Norton Connect Safe 1, Norton Connect Safe 2, Open DNS Family and MetaCert DNS.

If you click on any of these buttons, it will change the DNS settings on your computer. Do not worry if concerned. You can click on the Default DNS button to return your computer to its’ default DNS settings. Each of these Domain Name Systems (DNS) are services that specialize in blocking  —  known adult websites (porn sites),  malicious sites, phishing sites, and malware sites.

I cannot really attest as to which one of these DNS services are better at protecting your kids (and your computer) from bad sites, but from what testing I did perform, I was quite impressed.

In the end, I found DNS Angel to be an easy install, one click software application, that changes the DNS settings on your computer to a DNS service that specializes in blocking bad content that will (at least) give you some peace of mind (and is better than nothing).

For matter of educating the visitor’s to the blog, DNS is this:

Domain Name System (or Service or Server), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they’re easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name http://www.example.com might translate to198.105.232.4. [Source: Webopedia]

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A solar powered energy cockroach that can start its mini-engine by shaking itself when exposed to sunlight. No batteries are needed.

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New and Improved DNS Jumper

July 10, 2010

Recently I have been following the talk about DNS (Domain Naming System) and which DNS nameserver settings to use that will ultimately optimize and make your internet experience faster and safer.

The DNS protocol is an important part of the web’s infrastructure, serving as the Internet’s phone book: every time you visit a website, your computer performs a DNS lookup. Complex pages often require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading, so your computer may be performing hundreds of lookups a day. – Google

Typically, changing your DNS on your computer requires configuration changes, that are actually pretty easy to do; however, most people will not attempt those changes for fear of causing problems with their PCs. Recently I posted an article about an utility called DNS Jumper that is engineered to change your DNS setting for you and if you are not satisfied with those changes you simply revert back to the defaults.

Today I noticed that a new version of DNS Jumper is out there that is deserving of attention. This little utility (which is portable) has evolved into a very attractive and powerful tool where you can manually select a free DNS Service or you can let DNS Jumper find the fastest DNS service for you.

DNS Jumper

Other features built into this tool are:

  • Add your own DNS Services to the already compiled listing
  • Flush the existing DNS cache on your PC
  • Backup the DNS Configurations
  • Check/Test the response time of your current DNS

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Test DNS Server Performance

June 17, 2010

If you been following the tech blogs, there has been a lot of talk about DNS (Domain Naming System) and which DNS nameserver settings to use that will ultimately optimize and make your internet experience faster and safer. For example, instead of using my internet service provider’s default DNS settings, I have opted to the DNS settings from a provider called OpenDNS. OpenDNS is claimed to be faster than your provider’s DNS and has the ability to filter out the bad content, when properly setup. There are other popular DNS services such as Norton DNS and Google DNS.

Why does DNS matter?

The DNS protocol is an important part of the web’s infrastructure, serving as the Internet’s phone book: every time you visit a website, your computer performs a DNS lookup. Complex pages often require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading, so your computer may be performing hundreds of lookups a day. – Google

Changing your DNS settings is very easy to do and is not complicated at all. Once you decide which DNS provider to go with it is a matter of inserting a set of numbers at the computer level (under your Network Connections) or you can actually do it at the router level. Instead of rewriting those instructions on “how to”; best instructions I have found on how to change your DNS is reflected in Bill Mullin’s recently posted article “Norton DNS – Another Layer of Computer Security“.  Those same instructions (found toward the end of the article) will apply to using any of the DNS providers.

Once you get a general understanding about DNS and what all the fuss is about, you are probably wondering how do you benefit from changing your DNS settings and which DNS provider is best? One tool to help you benchmark the various DNS providers (or servers), AND answer these questions,  is the small (154K) portable tool called DNS Benchmark.

“You can’t optimize it until you can measure it”
Now you CAN measure it!

DNS Benchmark

DNS Benchmark – This little puppy will help you determine your DNS performance by comparing (or benchmarking) your performance with other DNS nameservers.  What you will learn is it is all about location; where you are located relative to the DNS nameserver you are using.

GRC’s DNS Benchmark performs a detailed analysis and comparison of the operational performance and reliability of any set of up to 200 DNS nameservers (sometimes also calledresolvers) at once. When the Benchmark is started in its default configuration, it identifies all DNS nameservers the user’s system is currently configured to use and adds them to its built-in list of publicly available “alternative” nameservers. Each DNS nameserver in the benchmark list is carefully “characterized” to determine its suitability — to you — for your use as a DNS resolver. This characterization includes testing each nameserver for its “redirection” behavior: whether it returns an error for a bad domain request, or redirects a user’s web browser to a commercial marketing-oriented page. While such behavior may be acceptable to some users, others may find this objectionable.

In my testing, using DNS Benchmark, I found that OpenDNS, from my geographical location, was top dog and utimately made a noticeable difference in my browser page loads. Remember DNS is like a phonebook.  Everytime you visit a website in your browser, your computer performs a DNS lookup using the DNS provider that you have selected. It really does make a difference!

Other interesting articles about DNS:

OpenDNS – Something to try…

Google’s Public DNS Resolution Service

Flushing The DNS Cache On Your Computer

Change Your DNS Easily with DNS Jumper

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#63)

June 9, 2010

If you have a passion for computers and information technology, then the place to be is at the sites listed below. Each week What’s On My PC features links to recent postings, called “Geek Squeaks’” that are authored by the members of the What’s On My PC blolgroll. Truly a blessing to be associated with this group!

Geek Squeaks'

Scoroncocolo Tech Pages
How To Lock Down Facebook Privacy Settings

Tech-for Everyone
Software License Giveaway: Genie Timeline Professional

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
In The News – VISA Launches A Highly-Secure Card In Europe

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Styling Windows XP (Part 2): How to Change the Visual Style

Canadian Tech Blogger
Norton Launches Norton DNS

I Love Free Software
PDF Hammer – Free Online PDF Editor

Worthy Tips
Extend Recycle Bin power with RecycleBinEx

Netbook Freeware
Best 10 Free System Optimization and Diagnostic Tool for Netbooks

404 Tech Support
New 0-Day Attack Targets Adobe Reader, Acrobat, and Flash

TTC Shelbyville
Use the Task Manager to Analyze Your Computer

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites June 8

AKS-Feel The Change
Handy Backup Server – reliable backup solution for enterprise network (Review)

Carol’s Vault
Free Fashionable WordPress Theme | Themesbell

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove AV Security Suite

Plato On-Line
Your Brain On-line

Rarst.net
Mini-ITX PC (Antec ISK 300-150, ZOTAC GF9300-G-E)

Lifehacker
Dual Monitor Tools Manages
Your Multiple Monitors with Open-Source Tools

Bill Mullins’ Web Blog – Tech Thoughts
Download Dmailer Backup –
A Free Handy Dandy, Easy Backup Utility

Crazy World of G
LastPass

Right On Technology
AT&T Stops Unlimited Data Plans, Introduces Tiered Rates

thePC Security
New MSN Hotmail Account Security Features by Microsoft

What’s On My PC
Over 33,500 High Quality Clipart Images

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#60)

May 19, 2010

If you are a member of the What’s On My PC blogroll and you posted an article within the past 7 days, expect to see a link to your blog on Geek Squeaks’.  It is my way of saying “Thank You” to my fellow bloggers; AND, my way of visiting each and every blog to read the “best of the best”!

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Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Life in the Trenches –
Never Assume Anything When it Comes to Computer Security

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Cool Stuff On The Net

TTC Shelbyville
Google Voice for Students

404 Tech Support
Product Review: HP MultiSeat

Netbook Freeware
Advanced Uninstaller – Best Free Uninstaller for Netbook

Worthy Tips
SuperbarMonitor: A portable CPU, Battery,
Disk, Memory monitoring system

I Love Free Software
Folder Marker – Freeware to Change Folder Icon and Color

Canadian Tech Blogger
OpenDNS Suffers DDoS Attack

Internet Security Review
Komodo Dragon Browser Review

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Has Facebook become too big for it’s boots?

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Styling Windows Vista (Part 1): Give Your OS a Facelift with a New Boot Screen

Free PC Security
GeSWall Test

AskBillFirst
Laptop Scandal School’s Own Law Firm: Aside From Those 58,000 Spy Photos, There’s No Evidence Of Spying | Techdirt

Tech-for Everyone
5 Tips For Internet Safety

Rarst.net
PSU calculator – online app to compute PC’s wattage

Lifehacker
Turn a Suction Cup into a Phone Stand

Crazy World of G
Crow Saves An Eagle

thePC Security
How to View HTML Code of a Web Page Without Opening it

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove System Armor

Plato Press
Facebook ‘Friend’ Murders Teener

What’s On My PC
Free Layer’s of Protection

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#48)

February 17, 2010

The hits keep on coming…  Geek Squeaks’ are weekly marvels of articles crafted by the members of the What’s On My PC blogroll. If  you have an interest in computers and information technology, I suggest that you bookmark these sites and make them part of your daily reading.

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TTC Shelbyville
Test Drive Windows 7 Online

Snakebytez
Easily import Twitter contacts into Google Buzz with Tw2buzz

I Love Free Software
360Desktop: Desktop Manager Adds 360° View to Desktop

Worthy Tips
How to unsubscribe from a Google Buzz conversation?

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Blogging with windows live writer. 7

TuneUp Blog
Building the Perfect Media Center (Part One)

Canadian Tech Blogger
Top 5: Best Laptops

Internet Security Blog
Change DNS Server IP Address Settings With Few Clicks [How To]

thePC Security
Auto Lock / Unlock Computer With USB – Free Download

Lifehacker
Google Says Buzz Needed Wider Testing, Issuing Fixes This Week

Rarst.net
View Microsoft Excel files with native free app

Tech-for Everyone
Briefest Scam Email Ever?

Free PC Security
Valentine’s Day ‘I Love You’ Around The World

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove My Security Wall

WP Expert
Image Organization Workaround For WP.com

Plato On-Line
Company to Care for Pets after Christian Rapture

Evilfantasy’s Blog
BITS from MooSoft

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Two Free Apps to Encrypt Your USB Drive

Big Geek Daddy
Identity Theft Advice

Scoroncocolo
Windows 7 and Vista God Mode

What’s On My PC
Beware! Telephone Bill Rip-Off…

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