Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Holiday Edition: secure your Internet connection for $50

This blog is celebrating the long holiday weekend, and for the next few days I will post reprints of the more popular early editions of Tech–for Everyone. The article below was the very first; my debut into the world of journaling. It dates from 6/7/7.

I want to start by welcoming all you readers to this shiny new blog–and invite you to take a peek at the About page.

This blog is different from other technically oriented blogs in that it is NOT a tech-news page, nor a place for me to drop names, nor is it an ego-site. The purpose of this blog is to answer questions about the day-to-day usage of PC’s, offer advice for getting full use out of your system, and offer insights into how today’s tech really works. You can post questions here (in the comment box) and get answers, too. Whether you’re a “techie”, or a novice, it is my hope that you will find the information presented here to be usefull and helpful.

Tip of the day: In this area I will place a tip, hint, shortcut, “tweak”, or how-to. It will depend on your previous experience using computers (and other gadgets and gizmos) whether or not you already know the topic. I will try my best not to confuse and alienate those of you who actually have a life outside of computing, while not boring and/or insulting the technically inclined.

Increase the security of your Internet connection for less than $50. For those of you using a DSL or cable connection to surf the Web, you should be aware that your connection is “always on”. That means your computer is able to go online and get security updates and other useful items without your being present, or even aware of the activity. This is a mixed blessing, as it can also do other–less wonderful–things without your knowledge. Prevent being visible to miscreants out there on the Web by hiding your computer’s IP address (a set of unique numbers used to locate and identify machines on the Internet) behind a router which is capable of NAT [addenda: some manufactures call this “with firewall”] — as almost all current makes and models are — such as those sold by Linksys, Netgear, and D-Link. You can research models on the Web, and then find the best prices on such shopping sites as and Shopzilla. If your router allows for MAC address filtering, turn it on! Use a browser to log onto the router’s administrator’s control panel as per its instuction booklet (often it’s and click on “enable MAC filtering”. This will prevent other computers from using your network and your Inernet connection. If you have never logged onto your router and set a password, and your manual is lost forever, instructions can be found at the manufacturer’s website. Putting a router between your modem and computer will also allow you to share your Web connection with multiple computers. Most routers have Ethernet ports for four of your computers.

***Note***If you purchase a router that includes a wireless access point, there are some measures you should take to secure the wireless transmitter/receiver as well. First, turn on and configure encryption of at least WPA as per the instruction booklet, and 2) disable the SSID broadcast. These two steps will prevent intruders from “seeing” your access point, and encryption will prevent a snoop from capturing and reading your traffic.

MY GUARANTY TO YOU: I am a fanatic of getting stuff for free, and the Internet has a wealth of free-for-the-download resources. I will frequently post links to free stuff for you to take advantage of yourselves. But! I will only post links to software that is free from spyware, and to websites that ARE NOT BOOBYTRAPPED. I will endeavor to post a new link at the bottom of each new posting.

Today’s free link:

Game Give Away Of The Day–this website offers a different free game each day. These games range from children’s games to fairly intense 3-D action games. These are complete games, and not just small “demo” versions. I visit this site every day to see what’s being offered, and have already downloaded quite a few fun timewasters. Here’s their blurb:

Game Giveaway of the Day

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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July 4, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, networking, PC, routers, routers and WAPs, security, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | Leave a comment