Best Computer Networking Tips in Denver

Jeri MorganWireless NetworkingLeave a Comment

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     best computer networking tips in denver

     We have been getting a lot of calls lately asking for the best computer networking tips from our Denver based clients.  We put together a top 10 list to help our clients.          

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      Change the default password to your router. One of  the single best computer networking tips we can give you  is the most fundamental thing most users do not do.  Routers are shipped with a default password (usually admin or password) to access the router’s configuration.  If this is not changed, it leaves your router exposed to hackers who can easily change its settings effectively “stealing” it from you and using it for their benefit for illegal activities such as child pornography, hacking into other bank networks to steal money, etc.  How do authorities track these activities?  By IP address.  Each computer or device connected to the internet is assigned a unique identifier number known as an IP (Internet Protocol).  Your router obtains an IP from your internet service provider.  If your router is compromised and being used for illegal activities, it will be tough to prove to the authorities you are not the true perpetrator.   Changing the default password of the router should be the first thing to do when you first take it out of the box.

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.        Hide your SSID (network name).  This is another effective tool to keep prying eyes from targeting your router.  By hiding the SSID, the router is not broadcasting a network name for all to see.  You can still connect devices to a WiFi network with hidden SSID by selecting “other” from the list of networks available.  That allows you type in the name of your network along with the network password (not to be confused with the default password as described in Tip #1).

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        Use a unique and hard to remember password for your network.  Another one of our best networking tips is that just like the default password to the router, the network password is equally important.  This password secures your WiFi network by asking a connecting device for a password before it is allowed to access to the WiFi network.  Once the device connects, it remembers the password so you don’t have to keep entering it, unless you delete the network from your managed wireless list (more on this in another blog).

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        Secure your network.  Yes, passwords and hiding the SSID are the first steps in securing your WiFi network.  The next is to use encryption to secure the transmissions sent/received over your WiFi network.  As WiFi is radio waves, anybody can “listen” in on your network traffic.  The key to securing the transmission is to use encryption.  This “scrambles” the signal so that only the devices authorized to use the WiFi understand the transmission.  There are multiple security options available on today’s routers.  WEP is very common but outdated.  It remains an option even in newer routers to maintain backward compatibility with older WiFi devices.  WPA or, better yet, WPA2 are the standard methods today.  They offer higher level of encryption than WEP and are easier to implement.

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        Place router in central location.  For maximum performance of your WiFi network, place the router in a central part of your home.  Some of the customers that contact us looking for the best computer networking tips have routers in the basement of their houses and sometimes inside metal boxes.  Basements are below grade which hampers radio transmission.  Being inside a metal box only just shields the radio signal all together.  The best place for a router is the upper floor of your home as radio waves radiate out and downward.  What about homes that extra long?  We have gone into many different homes where the house was longer than most WiFi routers can reach.  In those instances, WiFi extenders are required to cover the home.  WiFi extenders sit on the outskirts, overlapping the routers range.  They “re-broadcast” the WiFi signal to reach hard to  reach areas of the home.ated through the routers config web page.     

     Keep your router firmware up to date.  Like the operating system and software on your computer and smartphones, the firmware on the router needs to be constantly updated to fix bugs and add features.  This is another extremely overlooked area by most.  The firmware can be updated through the routers config web page.

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        Change your Routers Default Channel.  Most routers operate on channel 1, 6, 11 for the 2.4Ghz range.  The problem is that chances are your neighbor’s router is also operating on one of those channels which may cause interface issues.  If you experience dropped connections, try changing the default channel on the router.

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        Use the 5Ghz range.  Most routers and WiFi operate on the 2.4Ghz frequency range.  This frequency is overcrowded by other electronics in your home; microwave, cordless telephone, other WiFi routers.  Newer devices have the capability of connecting the 5Ghz range.  This range is not only less crowded but allows for higher bandwidth, making your WiFi faster.  However, not all devices support 5Ghz so in those cases you are forced to the 2.4Ghz default range.  See Tip #6.

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       When possible use Ethernet cable to connect to the internet.  For those bulky desktops, one of the best computer networking tips is to connect them to your router via Ethernet cable.  Why?  Simple, Ethernet is always faster and more reliable than WiFi. WiFi is a great convenience but if your bulky computer is sitting next to your router, just hard wire it with Ethernet.  No sense in adding extra load on the WiFi for something that is sitting 3 feet away.

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        95% of network issues are resolved by power cycling your modem and router.  We hear all the time that the internet is slow or fails to connect.  The simple solution is to power cycle the modem and router. Some routers are built into the modem so only the modem would need power cycled.  But If you have a separate router, power off both the router and modem, then power up the modem and wait for the “Internet” light stays on then power up the router.  Chances are your internet will start feeling like the Indy 500 again.  Routers and modems also go bad after a period of time.  If they start requiring constant power cycling, then it’s time to replace them.

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Code Blue Computing is a Computer Consultant firm headquartered out of Broomfield, Colorado.  They specialize in Computer Networking, Virus Removal, Computer Repairs, and PC Tuneups.  Their service area includes Denver, Broomfield, Boulder, and Longmont.  Call them at 720-746-9763 for any questions you may have related to computer networking. 

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