Wednesday, 31 August 2011

What is Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot Function ?

The idea of creating a hotspot using a data allowance from a simcard has been around since mi-fi devices were born. Before, it was limited to devices dedicated to routing internet connection from a data sim card to devices with wi-fi connectivity. Mi-fi's were priced at least £60 to £70 with bundled pay as you go data calls.

Now, wi-fi hotspot capability is built-in on smart phones. Iphone has internet tethering which is in my opinion, different and inferior than that of wi-fi hotspot capability on HTC's, Samsung's and other smartphones.  Iphone's capability of being a source of internet connection to a device is limited as it uses bluetooth and USB cable! We know the fact that a bluetooth function is limited to one on one connectivity and that is also true to USB connectivity. So iPhone can only power up one device at a given time. And the annoying bit is, it can not even power iPAD wi-fi only models with it's tethering service, as the bluetooth service for receiving internet tethering on IPAD is missing ! Wi-fi hotspot connectivity can power up to 5 devices at the same time! The only limit is the amount of data calls you have with your network, or if your network allows you to.

But even if your network does not allow you, you can use internet passthrough, click here see previous post, to get internet connection and broadcast the signal you receive with the connection by enabling wifi hotspot and you can be a source of internet traffic.


Why do you need it? 

1. If you are away from your home router and want to power up more than one device to go to  the internet, say while on holiday or at the airport.
2. If you have an ample amount of data bundle you want to share among your mobile devices,  instead of buying data bundles on every device, you can only pay one and just share it with the other.
3. If you are considering buying a tablet computer, you can have the option of buying the cheaper Wi-Fi only device and just use your smart phone to internet power your device, iPAD included.

How to activate it?

On HTC handset
1. go to SETTINGS
2. PORTABLE WI-FI HOTSPOT SETTINGS
3. OK
4. Type a name for your connection. Type a password to secure it.
5. You can limit the number of devices to connect by going to the MANAGE USERS tab. Then enable your connection at the top menu or
6. go to WIRELESS AND NETWORKS
7. PORTABLE WI-FI HOTSPOT, touch to turn on

On SAMSUNG, the WI-FI HOTSPOT function is on INTERNET TETHERING menu.



Tuesday, 30 August 2011

How to find the IP Getway

If IP Gateway Address http://192.168.0.1 is not applicable  and  forgot where the documentation of your router, then follow below.

1. Click START

2. At search box type cmd  then press enter,  this will show the command prompt window


3. Then type ipconfig just after the > sign then hit ENTER



4. Look under Default Gateway and just type the numbers and periods after http:// in your browser

Monday, 29 August 2011

How to Secure Your Wi-Fi

Wi-fi connection is handy, a tool to create a hotspot for wi-fi enabled devices to connect to the internet.It routes the incoming and outgoing data requests of a certain device, that's why it is commonly called "router". It can be configured to be wired connected or wireless connected.

Wireless fidelity or wi-fi is the most common choice of connection and the most convenient. It can connect up to 5 devices or more in some instances. The only limit is the capability of the router you have and the amount and speed of bandwidth your ISP is giving you. If you have 5 devices running and downloading at the same time, the speed of data transfer is also devided by 5. Sometimes this causes a slow conection and even an error in chat services using video and audio communication. And even in video streaming, it keeps on buffering. And if  you have a limited data allocation, beware before you run out and pay huge in extra.

These are just some of the reasons to secure your wi-fi connection, to prevent anyone within the range of your wi-fi in connecting to your unsecured hotspot, dividing your bandthwidth and sharing your data allocation without your knowledge and permission. Here's how.

How to Secure Your Wi-Fi

1. Go  to your router's IP Getway page.
a. open your computer and log in to an administrator account. If you have not configured an administrator account, you can create it at CONTROL PANEL, USER ACCOUNTS
b. open a web browser and at the address bar type http://192.168.0.1
 *or you could just click the above link, this is the default ip address of the majority of routers, if this doesn't work, see  your router's documentation


2. Log in to the router's management interface.

 If this is the first time for you to log in, the default user name is admin and the password is password


After clicking the OK button, you should be directed to the  the router's page.

3. Set your router to connect to internet.

Under Basic Setting, type in the log in and password provided by your ISP, then APPLY or OK



4. Then click the WIRELESS setting and make a name for your hotspot or connection,

 you need to enable wireless access point and  allow the broadcast of the name of your hotspot, so your devices can see your hotspot or router.


4.1 At the  WIRELESS page
4.2 Select SECURITY OPTIONS, "WEP" the weakest, but still I use it
4.3 Type in a passphrase (any word you  choose) and click GENERATE
4.4 WEP key should be generated. Take note of the 26 alphanumeric hex key, better is to highlight, copy and paste it somewhere to avoid mistake. You will need this when you connect any wi-fi device to the router
4.5 Click APPLY then exit.



How to Connect Your Devices Into the Secured Connection

Now you are ready to connect your devices into your secured wi-fi.

1. On your laptop click the radio signal button and select the name of the hotspot you just created.


2. Key in your HEX key


3. You should be connected and allowed access into the internet! Repeat this to all devices you want to have access.


Next : How to find the IP Getway Address if the above address is not applicable.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Annoying High Pitched Laptop Beep

A call from Tita Glo greeted me this morning. After 1.30 am to 4.00am oncall duty, I was still drowsy around 9.30 am. The call was about her laptop making a noise. My mind imagined a clogged fan, or hard disk issue.

On second thought, it might be more serious that she needed to call me up. I have some noisy fan before, especially with my desktop which is easily solved by cleaning it. But on a laptop? Though hard drive noise can occur, it will not cause such alarm or prevent you from using a laptop.

The  laptop was delivered an hour after through Carol, and I plugged it in. At the start up, the high pitched beep begins, and it seems like it beeps every after a program or application starts loading up. It stopped after a while and when I start an application, it started again.

Suspects and fix
  1. My first was suspect maybe the laptop is set to play a sound file every time  an application is opened. I checked this but it was not. (Start, Control Panel, Sound, Sound Tab) 

I tried to test and play a sound  file within and  the high pitched beeping sound goes off loudly when I clicked the test button. I tried to play a movie file at windows media player and the same annoying high pitched beep was on the background and couldn't distinguish the sound from the playing movie. So I put on a head set, not to disturb members of the household. Amazing is I could hear the footsteps of my daughter through the headphone as she was coming down the stairs. This has given me another clue to the problem.

 2.       The second suspect is the microphone is turned on! How could it be? 

I noticed SKYPE and Yahoo messenger account on and Tita Glo’s profile's logged in automatically.  I tried SKYPE, a deafening beep came out from the laptop after I hit the test button for the voice chat ! The sound was long and it seems like forever. This time the application has caused the laptop a major crash. It showed me a blue screen and a message of the error saying a bios upgrade or a recently installed hardware is at fault. I do not have any idea about these and I am sure Tita Glo  do not even think about installing a hardware or upgrading a bios.

After a new start up and the annoying high pitched beep, I checked the microphone setting and found out that it was at +30db boost. I tried to put it down to +10 and tried to play a music file, the high pitched beep did not went off! (Start, Control Panel, Sound, Recording, Internal mic properties, Levels )


I tried SKYPE again, and the high pitched beep came back. When I opened the microphone setting, the boost is back to +30. 

3.       I suspected SKYPE as the culprit and uninstalled it ultimately.

 I do not know why this thing happened and how it changed the microphone setting when it is on, I did not tried to reinstall it as I need more research to do. Good thing is, she can watch her favourite online programs without the high pitched beep on the background!And I am sure Tita Glo can live with facebook chat or yahoo messenger for a while!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Save On Mobile Internet

Do you use sim card or mobile network to access the internet on your laptop? If yes, are you on a pay as you go tariff? These  tips to save bandwitdh by tweaking your browser are for pay as you go mobile internet users who use their laptop to access websites.

1. Mobile internet tarif on pay as you go is not cheap, so it is better to stay on a contract or buy data bundles.
2. In case you only use mobile internet ocassionally with your laptop and want to save bandwidth to make your credit  for longer, do this,


2.1. Disable Flash- Flash extensions displays obviously flash images, whether videos or rotating banners, that can eat easily your data allowance. Mostly this type of website code is for advertising, so it does not affect the purpose of your visit.

Firefox Users

go to TOOLS, ADD ONS, PLUG INS, scroll down to SHOCKWAVE FLASH, then click DISABLE



Internet Explorer Users

click the last icon at the top right, click MANAGE ADD-ONS, scroll down to flash then click DISABLE.





2.2. Disable Photos - if you only use your mobile internet for emailing, reading news and do not bother on looking at pictures, then disable photos! Photos are far more bigger in terms of file size than text, thereby contributes in the heavy use of your bandwidth

Firefox Users 
click TOOLS, OPTIONS, CONTENT then untick LOAD IMAGE AUTOMATICALLY


Internet Explorer Users

Click TOOLS, INTERNET OPTIONS, ADVANCED TAB, scrolldown to MULTIMEDIA and untick SHOW PICTURES


3. If you still want to see photos but want to save bandwidth, it is worth trying OPERA browser. This browser has a turbo mode. When Opera Turbo is enabled, webpages are compressed via Opera's servers so that they use much less data than the originals. This means that there is less to download, so you are saving bandwidth, hence your credit, and also you can see your webpages more quickly.

Enabling Opera Turbo is as simple as clicking the Opera Turbo icon at the bottom-left of the Opera browser window.



4. Chat instead of Video Chat or Voice Chat
5. Use Wap Version website of your favourite sites. It may not feel appealing but this is one of the most effective way of saving your bandwidth. Below are some of favourite destinations with wap versions.

To check if the website has a wap page, type in the website's name then wap or mobile on google's search below. Example: facebook wap



Custom Search

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

iPAD: Crashing Safari and FaceBook Application

I have not used the iPAD for a while and noticed that SAFARI randomly crashes and closes, leaving a blank black screen. Whether you are at youtube, watching movies on other sites, or on facebook.  It can be fired back again though.  My wife confirmed this happening from time to time, and even the facebook apps does the same.  Other apps that do not require internet connection do not have any problem.

The Suspects and Ultimate Fix.

1.Internet Connection

As the apps with the problem use the internet, internet connection was my first suspect.  The antenna of my router falls to either side sometimes. I tightened it up to keep it straight.  It was not resolved. Could it be my  internet provider giving me dropped signals?  I went  to the routers utility to see if there’s a drop in  the traffic  provided by my ISP(usually by typing at any browser's address bar  http://192.168.0.1), and looking at the stats, there’s no sign of  slowdown traffic or interrupted service as it has been up for at least 800 hours.



2. Low Memory

I googled if there are other iPAD users that  might  have the same experience, and one user says he suspect a low memory. Freeing memory by closing the apps you might not noticed to be opened might solve the problem. To show the apps running, I double clicked the home botton and at the bottom part, I saw about 8 apps running.  I closed them but the problem still persists.

To close, press the icon until a minus sign appears, then press the minus sign 


3. Clear Safari Cache


It’s been a while since I used it so I thought of cache clogging up the system. I cleared the cache by going to SETTINGS, under GENERAL, choose SAFARI,  then CLEAR CACHE. No joy!




4. Software Update (Ultimate Fix)


Then I noticed  another obvious situation that I have not updated the unit for sometime. After connecting the machine to the  MAC, it detected  a new update. Download and installation took about 45 minutes, and it seems that it solved the problem! 


Why I have not suspected that first and saved two hours tinkering!



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