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• Microsoft Vista Home Networking Setup and Options
The most daunting part of upgrading to Windows Vista may be trying to figure out where in the layers of menus the networking and file-sharing options are hidden.

• Do It Yourself: Roll Your Own Network Cables
It may not be something you do everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a network cable on the spot can be very handy.

• Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router and by extension, your network is as secure as possible.

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• Microsoft Windows Home Server
If you have a home network, you'll welcome the easy file sharing, remote access and the image-based backup features of Windows Home Server.

• Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive
Iomega's fourth generation StorCenter Network Hard Drive brings many of the features found in higher-end storage devices down to an attractive price.

• MikroTik's The Dude
This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.

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A good password is made up of a number of different characteristics. For instance, it should be at least 6 - 8 characters long and should include at least two uppercase letters, lowercase letters and numbers. As you mentioned, it shouldn't be obvious. Definitely do not use your children's names or pet's names. For that matter, it shouldn't even be a real word person, place or thing. Use random characters. The more random the sequence of characters, the more secure the password will be.

An example of a secure password would be something like this: Hgs3@4j55nKX!sl

This password is 15 characters long and contains a combination of numbers, symbols, upper and lowercase letters. Since it's long and random, it will be far tougher for someone to hack.

For workstations on a Windows network, Microsoft has developed official password creation rules. These rules are as follows:

  1. Passwords MUST be at least 6 characters long
  2. Passwords MAY NOT contain your username or any part of your full name
  3. Passwords MUST contain characters from at least three of the four class characteristics, which are listed below.

Classes Characteristics:

  • English Upper Case
  • English Lower Case
  • Numerals
  • Non-Alphanumeric (Punctuation marks and other symbols)

Remember, having a secure password is meaningless if you write it down and leave it where anybody could find it. However, if you have difficulty remembering a random password, then you can use a common word like "password," for example, but add three of the four class characteristics to it to make it more secure, such as "paSSw0rd." While not as secure as a completely random password, it still meets the outlined criteria, thus making it far more efficient then your kid's name.

For more help, don't forget to try one of our PracticallyNetworked Forums. Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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