What is Wi-Fi Certified TimeSync?

Do you have wireless connecting surround systems in your home of various other wireless connected devices throughout your home that don’t seem to sync correctly? Maybe your surround system, although sounding amazing, is a second or a few milliseconds delayed. This can all change later on this year thanks to Wi-Fi Certified TimeSync.

According to studies shared by Wi-Fi Alliance, an average home has about eight connected devices per home, which makes TimeSync useful for everyone. This is a tool that is designed to keep time and functions synced all the way down to the microsecond. This tool will work with audio playback, which means that you will no longer have to deal with mismatched audio and video play. This tool will also support vehicles with multiple video screens, allowing visuals to appear at the same exact time.

Although home systems will surely benefit from TimeSync, this new tool will be of greater help for the manufacturing and healthcare industries. In the manufacturing industry timing is of essence. Many tasks in the industry have to be completed in precise and perfect alignment. This is what helps manufacturers complet materials with limited errors and of great quantity. This is where TimeSync will come in to make sure tasks are completed in perfect alignment.

TimeSync will play an important role in the healthcare industry for many reasons. One major reason for its importance has to do with the fact that different sensors on patients need to be time synced in order to help doctors fully understand how one particular action in time can affect the patient. In order to do this accurately, the timing of each event has to be accurate as well. Having this tool in hospitals and throughout the many healthcare devices will help create accurate and effective data.

For more information on what TimeSync is and how it can affect your business, contact M&H for help.

Tech Life Hacks (Pt. 1)

Technology can be complicated and understanding them can require a lot of work. Because of this, there are many tech hacks available to help make our technology experience easier and our overall lives easier through technology. Since there are so many hacks available, we have split these lists into a two-part series. Here is the first set of tips to help you get through your technology uses; stay tuned for the next set!

For quick browsing:

Type on “CTRL” and “Enter” at that the same time after typing a domain on the URL bar and the “.com” will appear.

For capitalization purposes:

Highlight a word or phrase and press on “Shift” and “F3” at the same time to switch the capitalization through lowercase, all uppercase and first letter capitalization. Unfortunately, this hack is only useful for PC devices.

For slideshow presentations:

When saving PowerPoint presentations, try saving it as “.PPS” rather than the standard “.PPT”. By doing this, you will be able to skip a step and automatically open your presentation as a slideshow whenever the file is opened.

For your headphones:

To keep your apple headphones handy and safe from getting tangled all up, stick them onto your macbook while doing work. Confused? Well, apparently the Headphones are able to stick onto macbooks like magnets.

To help you differentiate between left ear bud and right ear bud, and skip the misplacing process that can be uncomfortable, try painting or marking each ear bud with different colors.

Test these hacks out and stay tuned for the next set!

Why is my Internet Network Slow?

So, we pay for a speedy networking service and later realize that it is not as speedy of a service as it is advertised to be. Most of the time, however, service providers are not the ones to blame. A lot of the time, the issue with our network speed can be easily fixed. Before you go off on your network’s service company, find out all the other reasons for why your Internet network could be slow.

  1. It’s your device.

Sometime the device you are using your network on could be the actual reason for why your service is so slow. Make sure your device is free of viruses or, any other malware, and that your system is updated to its newest software.

  1. It’s a program in your device.

Go through your device and make sure there are no major programs of files loading in the background. Some major files or programs reboot on their own while you are using your computer. When this happens, the program uses a large amount of your network as well, which can slow down the speed of your service.

  1. It’s your router.

A lot of times, the issue can actually lie in your router. Most of the times, the router just needs to be rebooted. Doing this once in awhile can help your internet network to work just as fast as it did when you first had it. If this doesn’t work, your router may need an update. After a few years, the router can become outdated.

  1. It’s the location of your router.

Do you ever think about whether or not your router is in the best location? Well, you should. You never want to place your router behind the door (i.e. a closet), in a corner out of the center of your home/office, or behind a metal wall. These walls and doors, in particular, can cause a barrier between the signals and make it difficult to connect to your device.

  1. It’s a cluttered network.

When multiple devices are connected to your Internet network, it can become cluttered and thus slow down your service. If this is the case, consider upgrading your service and expanding your network.

  1. It’s your location.

Your location can play a major part in your lack of network speed. If you live in a rural region, specifically, your region probably received an overall small and slow connection.

If you are having a difficult time determining why your Internet network is slow, or solving the issue, contact M&H for help.

Extending your Wireless Network

We’ve guided you towards the right steps in moving or expanding your network. Now, today we’ll help you in extending your network when its wireless and you need a wider range of wifi. Before we get into the different ways to extend a wireless network, you need to take into consideration the following: your network needs to be placed in the center of your home or office and avoid placing it behind a door or near any metal walls that could prevent the wireless network from flowing through. Now, let’s get into the more technical ways in which to extend your network.

One option for extending your network is by purchasing a wireless extender in your home. The wireless extender takes the wireless signal you currently have and boosts it for greater use. When setting up the extender, make sure it is plugged in an area with a solid wireless signal. Although this may be the easiest and most affordable way of extending your network, it could be problematic in other areas. Because the connections all happen wirelessly, it is more likely to cause dropped connections and slow down your Internet speed.

The next option is getting a powerline network kit. This kit is a wired network with hidden wires. The kit usually comes together with two Ethernet cables, and two adapters. This extends your network by connecting one of the Ethernet cables to the router while taking the other Ethernet cable and plugging it into whatever other device you would like the network to extend to. Of course, you would have to plug each adapter to each device in order for them to detect each other. Although this can be effective for specific devices, it can take away from extending the wireless to other ones if they aren’t connected to a powerline.

An alternative to the powerline kit is to simply use an Ethernet with a range extender. This option extends better to multiple powerline kits as well as wireless access points (WAP). This option can also help maintain your Internet’s speed and extends coverage better than other options.

The best option, however, is connecting the Ethernet to the WAP directly. This option is best because it doesn’t connect wirelessly and it direct, which means you get fast and reliable Internet. There are many ways in which this can be done. For consultation on which way is the best option for your home or business, contact M&H.

How to Move or Expand your Network

Moving and expanding your network can be a tedious and costly process, especially if your network isn’t wireless. Here are a few tips we’ve gathered to on how to move and/or expand your network.

Physical Network:

First you want to disassemble your network and make sure your equipment is prepared for transportation, if moving.

Then, you want to organize and plan out the location of the network in the new office space. While doing this you want to ensure that the network gets placed in the center of the office with proper ventilation and cooling and that it is in a secure area with a backup system.

Next, you should consider what IT professional you should hire to do the wiring correctly in order to have a successfully running network.

Before you go on and move, you should also alert your Internet service about any change you will be making. This also goes for when attempting to expand your network. Getting successful Internet service is critical for any job, so make sure you communicate changes properly.

Lastly, when moving your network, you want to ensure that you have all updated system documentations. Collect them all before your company moves out of the office.

When taking these steps in consideration, you can see how much of a hassle and how costly it can really be when moving a physical network. Hundreds of dollars can be wasted on the moving process itself let alone in all the details of hiring professionals for wiring, paying to expand or change your Internet service, and more. It can also be difficult to keep track of all the documentation while moving; many things can get lost or misplaced. This is when wireless network should be considered.

Wireless Network:

With wireless network, moving and expanding can be easier and much more cost efficient. It cuts down rewiring and hardware moving costs instantly. Another great aspect of having wireless network is that you don’t have to spend as much downtime as you would otherwise. Setting up new employees can be done easily, with no professional wiring.

Having wireless network and access to cloud service is non-user and non-location specific. So you can make your move whenever, wherever. Plus, increasing storage capacity can be as easy as a simple phone call to your network server.

Contact M&H if you are looking for help or advice on moving your physical network, or if you want to know more information on making the switch.

Getting Optimal Performance out of your Network

It’s always a drag when you have a ton of work to get done online but your network feels like it can’t keep up with you and your tasks. We have all been there before when we have to upload a document online and you can’t even seem to get the website to fully load. Many times the solution to a better working network is a simple one. To get the optimal performance out of your network consider the following tips:

Place your wireless box closer. By placing the box at a closer or centralized location, your devices can get better connection. When doing this, you also want to make sure to avoid placing it near metal beams or doors. This can inhibit a wireless connection.

Use an Ethernet cable. Connecting to an Ethernet cable allows your devices to connect immediately with optimal signal. If you do not need to be portable, this is a great technique for the time being.

Upgrade your Router. Sometimes you just need to upgrade your router, especially if you’re using one that doesn’t work properly for the kind of network you are demanding. For example, when many devices are connected to a router it can cause it to slow down and sometimes crash. This happens when you do not have the appropriate equipment. An upgrade could be best.

Update your router and device. Sometime updating your equipment can feel like a drag, especially when it takes hours to complete, but this can be very helpful in the long run. Updates are usually made to fix any security flaws that were existent before. It can also help upgrade the speed in which it works.

Configure your network. You want to avoid having random devices using your network. You must configure its security to keep others from connecting to your network.

Connect to 5GHz network. If your device supports it, you should connect to a 5GHz network as opposed to the 2.4GHz network that all wireless devices usually hook up to. By doing this, you would have access to other “channels” and receive a better wireless connection since not many devices are connected to it.

If you find that you are still having a hard time with your network or you just need help figuring some this stuff out, contact us for more help.

Is your Wireless Secure?

“Going” wireless usually requires connecting to the internet through a wireless router of some sort.  Then the signal is sent to a device through the air sometimes as far as several hundred feet away.  Any device, whether it is a laptop, smartphone, or tablet can pull that signal from the air and access the internet.  That means anyone nearby can “piggyback” onto your network and access your information unless you take the right precautions.  Let’s look at some basic steps for you to protect your home or business network from intruders.

  • Password Encryption – Leaving your router open without a password is like inviting intruders to use your bandwidth and access your information. Wireless routers often come out of the box with the encryption feature disabled, so be sure to check that encryption is turned on shortly after you or your broadband provider installs the router. To turn on encryption, you will need to pick a wireless network password. Longer passwords that utilize a combination of letters, numbers and symbols are more secure. If there is a default password be sure to change it immediately.
  • Limit Access – Allow only specific devices to access your wireless network. Every device that is able to communicate with a network is assigned a unique Media Access Control (MAC) address. Wireless routers usually have a mechanism to allow only devices with particular MAC addresses to access to the network. Some hackers have mimicked MAC addresses, so don’t rely on this step alone.
  • Get Network Monitoring – There are several apps out there that can monitor to see if unwanted visitors are using your network.  They can report information such as hostnames, IP addresses, MAC addresses, and more. If there is any information you don’t recognize, you can investigate and find out if someone or something is on your network that shouldn’t be.
  • Secure the Router – Several steps can be taken to secure the actual router including: changing the name of the router, changing any pre-set password, turn off remote features, keep your router up-to-date and logout as admin so no one can piggyback on your session.

802.11ac — The New Wifi Standard

Wireless networking is something we take for granted and use almost every day without a second thought. It is convenient to have network and internet access anywhere in our office or our home regardless of our location and without the need for wires. Computers, smartphones, TVs, printers, and many other electronics all have WiFi capability, which has become an indispensable feature. However, having all of these devices on your wireless network simultaneously can slow it down tremendously, interfering with productivity or entertainment.

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Thankfully, wireless networking technology has progressed over the years to keep up with the growing number of wireless devices, the most recent advancement being 802.11 ac, a new standard that promises to deliver next generation speed as well as backwards compatibility. Probably the most compelling reason to upgrade your existing wireless network to 802.11ac is for the performance increase. This new standard has a maximum transfer rate of 1300 Mbps or almost 2.16 times faster than 802.11 n (the next most recent standard), assuming both use the newer 3×3 MlMO standard and optimal spatial streams. Additionally, if you are upgrading from 802.llg (commonly found on routers that are a few years old), which operates at up to 54 Mbps then you will see an even greater speed increase of approximately 29 times faster. Provided that your internet and other network components can keep up with the higher bandwidth, this performance increase will allow you to send and receive files quicker, stream videos in higher resolution, and access data on your network with close to wired connection speed. Your wireless connection will no longer be the bottleneck it once was.

To get the most out of 802.11ac, your router or access point and wireless devices both need to implement this new standard. However, 802.11ac networking equipment is backwards compatible with 802.11 alb/gin, so even though your older devices will not see a performance increase they can still connect to and utilize it.

In addition, since this new wireless standard operates at 5 GHz you are less likely to experience the same interference and overcrowding as with the older 802.11 b/gin devices, which operate at 2.4 GHz, a common issue in office building, apartment complexes, and other densely populated areas.

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802.11ac is steadily gaining popularity, and for good reason too. It is much faster than its predecessors are, it is backwards compatible with existing devices, and most newer computers support it or can be upgraded to support it. If you have any questions about 802.11ac Wi-Fi, contact us any time at 866-9MH-TECH or email us at support@mhconsults.com.

Wireless Network Security

In recent years, wireless networking has become more and more popular. Laptop computers, smart phones, and tablet devices all have become essential business tools, and integrating these devices into your business office usually requires a wireless network. While many of these devices come with 3G and 4G data plans available, the speed and security of these networks cannot match what is provided with a properly configured wireless local network.

So you already have a wireless network set up in your office or at home? Great! The next important step is making sure that it is secure. If your wireless network is not properly secured, it can be broken into by even the least skilled hacker who is willing to do a little research.

Some people may not care if others use their wireless internet however they should keep in mind, surfing the net might NOT be what they have in mind. If someone with basic networking skill accesses the network, the hacker will be able to scan all of the devices and computers attached to the network, and potentially gain access to the data stored on them. What’s worse, the company would probably never know that the intrusion occurred. They could also be held accountable for actions taken by a hacker while using the Internet connection.

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Some may say that they already have security on their wireless router however, if they purchased and set up a wireless router themselves, or if it was set up by their Internet provider, there’s a chance the network is not very secure. The router could be using an outdated type of encryption, or no encryption at all. On most wireless routers, the default security setting is to use WEP (“Wired Equivalency Protection”) encryption. WEP uses an algorithm to encrypt (‘ scramble’) the contents of all information being passed over the air, so that only the router and a computer with a manually entered “key” can decrypt it. Unfortunately, WEP encryption has been hackable for many years, and today it is easy to find tutorials and tools online for hacking WEP. WEP is still included in routers because it is universal, and older wireless devices may need to use it.

In order to use the best security users should ensure that their router is using the most current type of encryption, if possible. Most recent laptops and wireless devices can use WPA2 encryption. They should also consider changing their network passphrase periodically, and change it immediately if they suspect unauthorized access. Another step to minimize exposure is to tum off “SSID broadcasting,” which simply means that your router will no longer announce to the world that its wireless network is available. This way, a user would have to already know that the network exists, and would need to know the name of it in order to even attempt logging in. Keep in mind that any changes made to the router would need to be configured on each device that accesses the network.

If you have questions about securing your wireless network, you can call M&H Consulting at (866)964-8324 or email support@mhconsults.com.

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