Tips to Improve Wireless Coverage

(Editor's Note:  Nearly everyone uses wireless (Wi-Fi) networks these days.  This article is targeted toward home users, how best to place and use wireless access points and wireless routers, but there's a lot of good information here for small business wireless systems as well.)

If your operating system ever notifies you about a weak Wi-Fi signal, it probably means that your connection isn't as fast or as reliable as it could be. Worse, you might lose your connection entirely in some parts of your home. If you want to boost the signal for your wireless network (WLAN), try some of these tips for extending your wireless range and improving your wireless network speed and performance.

1. Position your wireless router, modem router, or access point in a central location

When possible, place your wireless router, wireless modem router (a DSL or cable modem with a built-in wireless router), or wireless access point (WAP) in a central location in your home. If your wireless router, modem router, or access point is against an outside wall of your home, the signal will be weak on the other side of your home. If your router is on the first floor and your PC or laptop is on the second floor, place the router high on a shelf in the room where it is located. Don't worry if you can't move your wireless router, because there are many other ways to improve your connection.

2. Move the router off the floor and away from walls and metal objects (such as metal file cabinets)

Metal objects, walls, and floors will interfere with your router's wireless signals. The closer your router is to these obstructions, the more severe the interference, and the weaker your connection will be.

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The Future of IT

What an exciting time to be in the tech industry. We are at the beginning of a major transition to the Mobile-Cloud era. Trends like bring your own device (BYOD), access anywhere, virtualization, and machine-to-machine connections have given way to a new breed of applications. We estimate that approximately 50 billion devices will be connected by 2020. In 2010 alone, more than 350, 000 applications were developed with more than three million downloads. A 44-fold increase in data creation is predicted from 2010 to 2020, with 34 percent of it in the cloud. All of this leads to a world of intuitive connections between people, processes, data and things on the network – the Internet of Everything.

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Fake Android Apps

Editors Note:  There are dozens of Android smartphones and tablets in the marketplace.  Here's some "words to the wise" regarding apps that aren't the real thing.

Not all apps are created equal

So, you just got your shiny new Android phone? The world is your oyster and now you want to download apps! After all, who doesn’t want to get Angry Birds® on their phone and start flinging birds at evil pigs right? Slow down, take a deep breath, and hold off on that “Download” button press just a little bit longer. “But I want the app now!” Simmer down and take some time to look over the app you’re about to download.

The reason is simple. There are a fair amount of fake apps in the Google Play Store® (formerly known as the Android Marketplace® ) that could cause some unwanted problems, like a virus infestation, or your personal and sensitive information falling into the hands of someone that could wreak havoc on your very livelihood. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from this happening.

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Wireless Solutions for Businesses

We are living in a wireless society. WiFi is everywhere, in our businesses, in our homes, and the data component of our smartphones is rapidly overtaking voice capability.  We are already starting to see the major cellular carriers changing their plans to primarily provide data with voice becoming secondary.

 

Many businesses and organizatinons added a wireless access point or two over the years as kind of an afterthought.  They purchased a consumer grade (home) access point or wireless router, maybe added baseline security and that was enough.   It is however becoming more and more common in businesses and organizations to have serious wireless access needs and more people are beginning to rely on wireless in order to get their job done more effectively or conveniently.  Notebooks, netbooks, smart phones, and tablets are all becoming very common in the BYOD workplace, and the ability to quickly connect to the Internet or local business network is almost second nature to most people.

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BYOD - Getting real about Security

How many iOS, Android, and other mobile devices are using your company network?

Hint: The numbers are higher than you think.
 
"A client thought that they only had two or three iPad users on their business network," says Clay Ostlund, senior systems engineer at Marco, a Cisco Premier Certified Partner. "When we polled the network with a Cisco Identify Services Engine ISE, it showed there were 100 iPads active." Welcome to the new work culture of bring-your-own-device (BYOD)!  Many people will use their personal smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device on their employer's network. No matter what the IT policy is.  As a leader of your business, it's time to protect your company with BYOD security strategies. Here are a number of ways to do it:

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