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  Most Popular Tutorials

• 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.

  Most Popular Reviews

• 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.


If you have a networking problem, then you've come to the right place!  Our Troubleshooting guides and advice columns are full of help and info to get you back on track.

If there's something you'd like to see that's not here, just let us know!

Networking
Network adapter installation and basic network functions.

Gaming Help
Gaming related questions and advice for your network.

Software Proxies
Mostly about problems with older versions of Wingate, but can be useful for solving problems with other proxy-based programs

Wireless
Setup, WEP, drivers and more for wireless networking products.

Other Problems
If they don't fit in any of the above categories, they go here!

Troubleshooting

Tips on Sharing Printers on a Network
You can share a single printer across multiple computers that are on the same network. Here we'll discuss some tips to help you get your printer shared and use it via your other computers.- 8/9/11

Going Away for the Holidays? Skype Yourself!
An inexpensive webcam and pair of free Skype accounts can help you keep an eye on the house while traveling.- 12/18/08

Windows Easy Windows Remote Desktop: Configuring Your Firewall and Router
Before Windows can accept remote desktop connections via Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection client application or via a Web browser, the firewall and router must be set to allow it. Learn how to configure both. - 11/13/08

Windows Easy Transfer: New System, Meet Old Data
Vista's Windows Easy Transfer makes getting a new system up and running a more manageable process. - 8/14/08

Beyond Simple File Sharing: Using Mapped Drives
More advanced sharing techniques are at your fingertips. Learn how to reach out and touch them. - 7/3/08

Get a Little (Technical) Help From Your Friends
Help is an Internet connection away. Using Vista's Remote Assistance feature is way better than doing tech support over the phone. - 6/26/08

Beyond Simple File Sharing: Using Hidden Shares
On a network? Have files you don't want everyone to see? We walk through how to hide whichever ones you want to keep to yourself. - 6/12/08

'Free Wi-Fi' May Not Be What It Seems
Beware of ad-hoc networks in public places. - 5/29/08

Don't Let Your Networked A/V Devices Go It Alone
Connecting multiple consumer electronics devices to your network wirelessly can be a pricey and time-consuming undertaking. Networking them via a wireless bridge is one way to save money, time and clutter. - 4/24/08

Share and Share Alike: More on Vista's Network and Sharing Center
When it comes to network sharing on a Vista network, NSC streamlines the setup. Learn how to set up printer, file, media sharing and more in a snap. - 4/17/08

Vista's Networking Central, A Reason to Reconsider
A plethora of network information and options await within the Network and Sharing Center. - 4/10/08

Ask the Wi-Fi Guy: Hotspot Sharing
Thinking of sharing a hotspot? The Wi-Fi guy weighs in on the best way to manage and control it. - 4/1/08

Reduce or Eliminate Messy DHCP Address Changes
Tired of your printer disappearing due to DHCP-assigned IP addresses? Don't want to assign it a static address? Configurable lease times and reservations offer the advantages of DHCP without the pain. - 3/27/08

Track Down Elusive Network Printers
A painless step-by-step guide to bringing that ghost printer back to life. - 3/20/08

What's in Your Hand-Rolled VPN?
Hamachi makes it a cinch to say sayonara to your VPN woes. With the free software utility, your VPN can be up and running in minutes, usually with little or no configuration. - 3/13/08

Get Fast, Free Smartphone Phone Internet Access With Wi-Fi
You can save a lot of money and gain a lot of speed if your smartphone supports Wi-Fi networking. Here's how to set up your Windows Mobile device for WLAN access. - 3/6/08

Better Security Through Password Management
Quit typing your dog's name over and over: Tools like KeePass and Clipperz can help make dealing with passwords simpler and more secure. - 2/27/08

Master Vista With Keyboard and Desktop Shortcuts
Unless you really like your mouse, it pays to learn how to navigate Vista with keyboard shortcuts. And when nothing but an icon to click will do, save yourself some menu crawling with desktop shortcuts. - 2/26/08

A Tale of Two Passwords
A pair of passwords could be leaving your router — and your network — vulnerable to attack. Learn how to batten down your network and choose secure passwords. - 2/21/08

How to Share Files With Network Windows Media Player 11
If you've got multimedia content such as songs, photos and video that you'd like to access from a remote system, the media-sharing feature of Windows Media Player 11 offers a way to do it. Here are step-by-step tips. - 2/14/08

Windows Vista Tips & Tricks
Tips, tricks and tools for optimizing performance under Windows Vista while ensuring that you're taking full advantage of Windows Vista's advanced security features. - 2/12/08

Block Web Sites and More with OpenDNS
OpenDNS offers quicker and more reliable Web browsing, but when you sign up for a free OpenDNS account, you can also get other features such as content/domain blocking and access to your DNS usage statistics. - 1/31/08

Seven Tips for Safely Sharing Your Access Point
Thinking of sharing your home (or small business) WLAN? This primer on Wi-Fi basics explains security, routers, the various flavors of 802.11 and other essentials. - 1/29/08

Make Your Internet Connection Faster, Better With OpenDNS
free service called OpenDNS can not only help your browser display Web pages faster it also offers some added fringe benefits such as address typo correction and phishing protection, plus site blocking, content filtering, and more. - 1/24/08

Skype vs. Every Other VoIP Provider
All VoIP services allow you to make and receive voice calls via your broadband Internet connection, but there are big differences between Skype and other VoIP services. - 1/17/08

Networking Notes: GnuPG on the Mac: Building Trust
We conclude our look at using public-key cryptography to secure your mail and text by delving into managing your GnuPG keys — the foundation of its security. - 1/16/08

Five Easy Steps to Hotspot Safety
Most people realize that hotspots can be risky, but they fail to take even the most basic precautions. Here are a handful of ways to protect yourself when using public hotspots. - 1/15/08

BitTorrent 101: A Peer-to-Peer Review
You may not have tried it for yourself yet, but chances are good that you have at least heard of BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing technology gets more popular everyday. - 1/10/08

Five Windows Vista Tips for Networking and File Sharing
One of the hardest thing about using Vista is figuring out how to get to the settings and network configuration areas. Here are five tips that will help you maneuver through the networking options in Vista. - 1/9/07

Troubleshooting Help Fresh From the Forums
Tips on port triggering with a Netgear WGR614 for Xbox Live, troubleshooting problems with multiple Windows XP PCs trying to share a cable modem, and step-by-step help for connecting to the Internet using Internet Explorer. - 1/07/08

How to Choose the Right WRT54G Router for You
The Linksys/Cisco WRT54G Router line is famous not so much for what it is, but what it can be thanks to alternative versions of firmware that enable a wide range of networking features. But first you need do know which of its many models does what. - 1/03/08

Getting Started: A Guide to Data Backup
Don't risk losing data to theft, disaster or human error. Play it smart and back it up. We take a look at the basic options. - 12/17/07

Find Answers in the PracticallyNetworked Forums
What to do when two XP computers won't talk to each other. Why is the Microsoft Computer Browser service starting and stopping? And forum members weigh in on Windows Home Server. - 12/11/07

Build a NAS Device With an Old PC and Free Software
Looking for a way to share storage on your network? If you have more time, space and PCs than you do disposable cash, FreeNAS is an excellent and free option. We show you how you set it up. - 12/6/07

Networking Tips From the PracticallyNetworked Forums
Microsoft Windows Home Server resources and reviews, troubleshooting advice for a Linksys WRT54GT router and discussion on file sharing with Windows XP. - 11/13/07

Shiny! Two of Leopard's Practical Improvements
Sharing files with a Mac got much easier and much more robust with the release of Leopard. And if you're on the fence about Time Machine, don't be: It's pretty good despite the eye candy. - 11/01/07

Networking Tips From the PracticallyNetworked Forums
Advice on LAN reconnect issues and using batch files with the "net use" command to map drives and printers. Plus: an interesting discussion on the security risks associated with adding a public hotspot to a business LAN. - 10/29/07

Kill Many IM Birds with One Software Stone
Keeping in touch with people on different IM services doesn't necessarily require you to use a separate IM client for each. You can simplify things by using a third-party IM client that supports multiple services. - 10/25/07

Networking Notes: We're Just Web Tenants
Unlike public spaces that have to operate under certain constraints defined by Constitutional considerations, the many private spaces of the Internet are 'democratic' only as long as being so suits the people who are renting them out to the rest of us.- 10/24/07

Easy Troubleshooting With Network Diagnostics and WNTIPCFG
Can't reach a Web site or send and receive e-mail? Tucked away into Windows XP is a built-in utility called Network Diagnostics that can save some time and effort by automatically scanning various aspects of your connection with a single click. - 10/18/07

Help Is Just an Internet Connection Away
In the third installment of our series on remote access, we provide step-by-step instructioon on how to get or give technical help in Windows XP or Vista with Remote Assistance . - 10/11/07

Stay in Control With Remote Access Services
Microsoft's Remote Desktop is free, so why would you pay for a service? For starters, Microsoft doesn't offer Remote Desktop in Windows XP Home, Vista Home Basic or Windows Home Premium. But even if your version of Windows has Remote Desktop, a remote access service is easier to configure. - 10/04/07

Advice From the PracticallyNetworked Forums
Suggestions on how to keep some computers from hogging bandwidth on a network, a look at WiFi routers and wired print servers, and some excellent advice on sharing your Internet connection using ICS. - 10/02/07

Access Your Windows PC Remotely For Free
A variety of remote access services will let you reach your computer from wherever you happen to be. But if you'd like remote access without a monthly fee, check out Windows Remote Desktop feature. - 09/28/07

Security Notes: Manage Your Passwords With 1Passwd
In our ongoing look at password security, this week we take a look at an application for Macs. - 09/26/07

Cable Modems: Buy vs. Rent
You don't have to resign yourself to paying cable modem rental fees in perpetuity. You may be able to save yourself some money over the long run by buying your own cable modem. - 09/20/07

Heard in the PracticallyNetworked Forums
Up for discussion this week is a helpful Dos and don'ts list for wireless network security, how to find and fix IP conflicts on your network, and inconsistent and slow cable modem speeds. - 09/20/07

Security Notes: The Password Game
SWe're taught early on that we need to do the impossible: Create and memorize a unique password for each and every service we use. But there are options — a nifty Web site or just write them down. - 9/19/07

Share and Sync Folders on Multiple Systems
FolderShare is one of Microsoft's Windows Live services and this free (albeit beta) product is an easy way to keep the same data up to date on several systems. - 09/13/07

Practical Mac Networking: Growl Makes Your Mac Chatty
If you're looking for a simple, flexible way to make sure you know about what's going on with one computer from the comfort of another, Growl 1.1 might be for you. - 9/12/07

Is It Time to Get Gigabit Ethernet?
Gigabit Ethernet is now inexpensive and ubiquitous enough for home or small office networks. This week, we look at when Gigabit Ethernet is useful and explore how to add it without having to replace existing network hardware. - 9/06/07

Lessons Learned in the PracticallyNetworked Forums
Readers weigh in to resolve Windows XP Pro connection issues, the case of extremely inconsistent speeds when using a router, and moire - 9/04/07

Looking for a Better Way to Share Storage?
If you want to share your storage across a network, or think you might in the future, connecting devices directly to a PC isn't the best option. This week, we look at several options for networked storage. - 08/30/07

Networking Notes: Microsoft's IP Protection Is Risky Business
When a Vista-based PC fails software authentication, the user continues on in a 'reduced functionality mode.' We'd be better off, collectively, if an invalidated copy of Vista stopped working altogether. - 08/28/07

Sharing on a Wi-Fi Network Using Windows Vista
Learn how sharing resources in Vista differs from Windows XP and see exactly how to perform common network sharing tasks. - 08/28/07

Keep Your Internet Access Going During a Power Outage
The same UPS that powers a PC only for about 20 minutes will likely run your gateway and router a good deal longer — perhaps for several hours. - 08/23/07

Networking Notes: Skype Says That Was No DDoS Attack
Skype responds to rumors that a band of criminal hackers brought down its VoIP service and more security updates. Plus: the latest networking product news. - 8/22/07

Connecting to Wi-Fi Networks Using Windows Vista
Learn how sharing resources in Vista differs from Windows XP and see exactly how to perform common network sharing tasks. - 08/21/07

Big File Transfers? Go Direct With IM and More
Sending large files can be a hassle, but instant messaging and direct transfer software offer a way around going by e-mail or third-party hosting. - 8/16/07

Big Files Don't Have to Be Big Headaches
Ever send an e-mail that appears to leave your outbook, but then later you find a notice that delivery failed? You're not alone — sending large files often fails. Fortunately, alternatives abound. - 8/09/07

Networking Notes: Safe at Home?
Most new malware doesn't do anything you're going to notice. In fact, most of it makes it a point to remain unnoticed. It's decidedly unspectacular, but decidedly dangerous. - 8/08/07

Stream Video From Your Windows XP PC
Last week, we modified a Windows Media Center PC to stream video formats such as DivX and XviD to an Xbox 360 console. But what if you want to stream to an Xbox 360 from a plain-old XP Home or Professional system? We got you covered. - 08/02/07

Stream Videos to Your Xbox 360
Networking a Windows Media Center PC and Xbox 360 lets you access files as if you were front of the computer. But there's a catch: It doesn't work with DivX or XviD (two of the most prevalent video formats). Fortunately, a free utility offers a simple fix. - 07/26/07

Be Careful What You Click For
The strongest firewalls and most savvy anti-virus/anti-spam software can't protect you from phishers. Here's how to not get caught in their nets. - 07/19/07

Networking Notes: The Power of the Hosts File
Need to contact another computer on the Internet? You usually rely on a DNS server to look up the host's IP address. but the system has a few issues that make it occasionally frustrating. Here's how you can use hosts files for immediate access. - 07/17/07

Networking Notes: Netgear's Storage Central Goes Turbo
The network-connected two-drive storage device brings in addition to 'turbo' speed SATA disks, Gigabit Ethernet and disk mirroring. Plus: the latest in 802.11n, iPhone mania rages on and more. - 07/11/07

Utilities for Nothing, Security for Free
Free utilities may lack the polished interface and some of the features you typically get with commercial software, but for most people, free security software can be a cost-effective way to protect one or more PCs. - 6/28/07

Understanding and Resolving IP Address Conflicts
IP address conflicts are usually temporary, but you can't count on them to always resolve themselves. This week, we'll look at likely causes of IP address conflicts and some ways to address them. - 6/14/07

Cut Spam Out of Your Network's Diet
You probably wonder why e-mail providers can't simply block all spam before it gets to you. The truth is there's only so much they can do. The rest is up to you. - 6/7/07

Networking Notes: Prepare Your Network for Tomorrow's Software
The choices we make in terms of our network infrastructure will matter for a lot more than how quickly we can view streaming video. They might end up being our lifeline to apps our businesses (or academic careers, or household budgets) depend on. - 06/06/07

Sauce Up Your Router with Tomato
The firmware options for a given router are typically limited to those provided by the manufacturer of the device. But on some routers you can install third-party firmware versions that may enhance the router's existing features and even add some new ones. - 05/31/07

Wake Up and Smell the Network
More and more people want to take advantage of remote access, but your PC has to be on to be accessible, right? Well, yes and no, because a technology called Wake on LAN. - 5/24/07

Wireless Tips: Stop Roaming to the Wrong AP
It was only a matter of time before businesses started to monetize what amounts to a state of near chaos in wireless connectivity. Time Warner is the latest to buy into the FON model. - 5/22/07

Do You Always Need A Broadband Router?
If you don't need the extra LAN ports or wireless access a broadband router offers, does it serve any real purpose other than to add cost and complexity? - 5/17/07

Networking Notes: Free (and Almost Free) Mac Networking Tools
This week we look at two handy, free tools that make using Macs a little nicer for practical networkers. And we take a peek at one that costs a little, but offer good value. - 05/16/07

Get the Most From Your USB WLAN Adapter
It's not hard to see the appeal of easy-to-install USB WLAN adapters, but how do you ensure you are getting the best results? - 5/10/07

Networking Notes: So Long and Thanks for Nothing
The only reason anyone could possibly have to ask a question of the sales team at a big-box retailer is simple politeness the guy asks if he can help, so you humor him. - 5/9/07

Wireless Network Configuration Tips for Windows XP
If you have several systems running Windows XP SP2, Windows Connect Now (WCN) provides a way to avoid some of the repetitive, time-consuming and error-prone tasks involved in configuring a wireless network. - 5/03/07

SSL Alone Is Not Enough to Protect You
The presence of SSL can often lead to a false sense of security because it protects your data only from being intercepted while in transit from your computer to a merchant's site. - 4/26/07

Firewire Facts: What's a 1394 Network Connection?
Firewire/1394 is a high-speed serial connection used to connect to external storage and multimedia devices, but you can also run TCP/IP over Firewire to network two systems together. - 4/19/07

Wireless Security: Say No to WEP, And Yes to WPA
If reports and studies are accurate, a significant percentage of wireless LANs (especially those used in homes) are still using outdated and insecure WEP for their encryption. - 04/11/07

Practical Lessons You Can Learn From Network Pros
Much of what we buy off the shelves of CompUSA and BestBuy started somewhere up in 'the enterprise,' and found its way down to us as a way for vendors to differentiate themselves. - 4/11/07

Practical Lessons You Can Learn From Network Pros
Much of what we buy off the shelves of CompUSA and BestBuy started somewhere up in 'the enterprise,' and found its way down to us as a way for vendors to differentiate themselves. - 4/11/07

Can Your Router Keep Your Kids Safe Online?
Plenty of options exist to let you monitor and limit what kids can access on the Internet. You may need to look no further than your broadband router. - 4/5/07

Supercharge Your Wireless Broadband Router
The Linksys WRT54G line of wireless broadband routers and its competitors, may be the bargain of the 21st century when combined with DD-WRT Broadcom-chip-based open source firmware. - 04/03/07

Wireless — Brush Up on Your Bluetooth
While the Bluetooth probably conjures up images of people appearing to talk to themselves, the technology is useful for much more than voice. For example, Bluetooth shines for wireless data networking for up to 32 feet. - 3/29/07

WPA PSK Crackers: Loose Lips Sink Ships
Think Wi-Fi Protected Access makes your home or small business network impenetrable? Think again -- and learn how to protect yourself. - 03/28/07

Windows XP: Don't Forget the Firewall
This week, we take a look at how to set up and use the firewall feature built into Windows XP Service Pack 2. We also discuss why you might need more protection than Microsoft offers. - 3/22/07

Networking Notes: Unsafe at Any Price
If anyone could write a decent anti-virus package for Windows, it'd have to be Microsoft, right? Unfortunately, that argument fails miserably in reality. - 03/21/07

Tips on How to 'Extend' Your XP PC with an Xbox 360
If you're PC is running XP Media Center Edition 2005, you're not using it to its full potential if it's tucked away in a back room. But you can remedy this situation, by using the Xbox 360 game console as a Media Center Extender. - 3/15/07

Networking Notes: Mac Tools — Old Stats with a Pretty Face
This week, we take a quick look at a Mac tool that provides one-stop access to pinging, route tracing or domain investigating. - 3/14/07

A Guide to VoIP Just the FAQs
There are two kinds of people: Those who have switched to voice over IP service and those who are thinking about it. If you fall into the latter category, these frequently asked questions will help you make your decision. - 3/08/07

Networking Notes: Optimize Your Browser's Internet Connection
It seems we're all looking for a way to squeeze a bit more out of our Internet connections. If you're using Firefox, the two add-ons I've got for this week help you speed Firefox up a little without having to deal with its about:config page. - 03/5/07

Three Roads to Network Printing
Having a printer for each computer on your network is usually overkill. A better use of money and space is to set up a networked printer that everyone can share. This week, we explore three printer-sharing methods and discuss the pros and cons of each. - 3/1/07

Microsoft Vista Tips: 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.- 02/28/07

Networking Notes: Build a Dropbox with SSH and Applescript
This week, we take a quick look at a handy feature in Mac OS X called Folder Actions, and discuss how we can use them in conjunction with a program called rsync to create a secure network dropbox.- 02/26/07

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. - 2/22/07

Getting Your System Ready for Windows Vista
If you plan to throw caution to the wind and upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista, here are some things you need to first consider. - 2/21/07

Networking Notes: Tunneling With Mac OS X
This week, we take a look at a part of what SSHKeychain makes really easy: secure tunneling. - 2/20/06

Troubleshooting Tips Before You Resort to a Reboot
When you can't get an Internet connection, a common response is to reboot the computer, router and/or DSL or cable modem device. But this should be the last resort. Rebooting everything may clear up the problem, but it won't shed any light on where the problem was in the first place. - 2/15/07

Networking Notes: Mac OS X — Pimp my SSH
OpenSSH is at home in most Unix environments, and the Mac's OS X is no exception. But getting OpenSSH to feel a little more Mac-like takes a download or two. - 2/13/07

How Powerline Networking Works
With the right (inexpensive) equipment, you can use the AC wires in your walls to transmit data along with electricity. - 02/8/07

Living in Virtual World — It Has Real Benefits
While the virtualization buzz is loud in big business circles, the technology also provides safer, more convenient networking for home offices and small businesses. - 02/1/07

Dynamic DNS Means Anytime, Anywhere Network Access
Because ISPs don't assign static IP addresses, accessing devices your network remotely is tricky. One way around changing IP addresses is to use a Dynamic DNS service, which automatically tracks the changes to your network's public IP address. - 1/25/07

Broadband connections: How Fast Does Your Data Swim Upstream?
Browsing isn't the only thing people use the Internet these days. In fact, for just about any Internet-based application other than Web browsing, the speed of your upstream connection is sometimes more important than your downstream connection. - 1/18/06

Home Networking Made Simple(r)
Using a home network management utility is a good way to make Windows networking easier for novices and experienced users alike. We look the range of features offered in this genre of software. - 1/11/07

Networking Notes: The Problem With Windows (or Any Other OS)
The battle of Windows vs. Linux or Mac people is a case of everybody being to some degree right combined with an abundance of human obnoxiousness. Regardless of which camp you're in, security threats are changing. - 1/10/07

SSL Provides VPN Security the Web Way
If you're looking for a way to set up secure remote access with less complexity and cost than a traditional a IPSec VPN, an SSL VPN may be the way to go. - 1/4/07

Networking Notes: Security Begins at Home
When it comes to keeping outsiders off your home or office wireless network, a little security can go a long way. - 01/03/07

Static DHCP Offers Consistent Remote Access
Open source router firmware such as DD-WRT does things the factory-installed stuff never offers. For example, you can give a computer the same IP address every time so you'll always have remote access. - 12/21/06

Boost Your Bandwidth, Boost your Network Performance
In recent years Gigabit Ethernet has become a practical and economical option for home offices and small businesses. Today it now makes sense to consider Gigabit to the desktop as a viable option when upgrading or setting up a new network. - 12/7/06

Networking Notes: Remote File Access in a Virtual Snap
FUSE lets you make filesystems out of all sorts of things — from remote SSH servers to that spare space you have in your gigantic Google Gmail quota - 12/5/06

Why Can't I See My Computer on the Network?
Your peer-to-peer network is humming along, but you can't see all the PCs connected? We offer several options to browse your network resources. - 11/1/06

Networking Notes: Things That Go Bump on the Network
On this Halloween, we bring you the story of a high school, a mysterious recurring Phantom of Fifth Period network issue and an admin who realized the power of a community watch group. - 10/31/06

Networking Notes: 802.11nuh-Uh
Vendors that are selling 802.11n have decided the imperatives of their product cycles trump the long-term benefit of their customers, who they're busy turning into beta testers. - 10/24/06

Don't Fall Prey to Lazy Password Practices
Building strong passwords helps you protect both business and personal data from unauthorized access. But passwords are meaningless if they are too simple or written down where other can access them. - 10/16/06

Why Wireless Uplink Signal Strength Matters
Signal coverage is very important when deploying a wireless LAN. Here's how to ensure that you're getting the coverage you need. - 10/12/06

Sharing Calendars and Contacts on a Budget
Sharing Outlook calendars and contacts doesn't have to be an expensive proposition. We rundown network-based and hosted alternatives. - 10/4/06

Do You Really Need a Server?
PCs networked in a peer-to-peer fashion are adequate when you have only two or three users on the network. After that you really need to consider investing in a network server. Here's why. - 9/14/06

Have Big Files, Will Travel
Sone files are just too big to send via e-mail. However, you don't have to resort to burning a CD and snail mail. We review the options for getting large files from here to there. - 8/31/06

New Notebook, Same Old Wireless Troubles
Brand new notebook PC, established wireless network waiting at home ... . Everything should just work, right? Our columnist gets a refresher course in troubleshooting. - 8/15/06

Step-by-Step: Creating a Wireless Network, Part 3
You wireless network is set up, but what if it seems to slow or unreliable? In the conclusion to our series we look at some common factors that can undermine your wireless network and how you might be able to improve its performance. - 8/8/06

Building Network Appliances With Linux, Part 6: Running Servers
Once your firewall is protecting your Linux appliance, you need to poke a few holes in it to allow visitors access to network services. - 8/3/06

Step-by-Step: Creating a Wireless Network – Part 2
Once you've got all your gear lined up, it's time to bring your wireless network to life. Part 2 of our three-part series steps you through what you need to know to configure your network easily and securely. - 8/1/06

Don't Leave an Internet Trail Behind You
In addition to storing Web addresses, AutoComplete can also store usernames and passwords of your accounts. So if you're not careful, AutoComplete could inadvertently allow unauthorized users to gain access to your sensitive information. - 7/28/06

Protect Your Network With Content Filtering
One of the best ways to maintain the security and performance of your network — whether at home or in a large office setting — is to restrict the material users are able to access over the Internet. - 7/25/06

How Fast Is Your Wireless Network? Guess again!
To achieve advertised performance numbers, hardware manufacturers employ numerous techniques. As a result, you need to shop wisely: Two competing products might be capable of 108Mbps, but they do so in different ways and are not completely compatible with one another. - 7/11/06

Accidents Happen (Even to Networking Columnists)
Accidents happen all of the time: Hard drives fail, viruses and spyware wreak havoc, or sometimes we just delete things we didn't mean to delete. But mo matter how bleak things look, remember, there is almost always a fix. - 6/27/06

How to Up the Number of Downloads IE Allows
Increase the number of Internet Explorer's simultaneous downloads with this simple registry hack. Plus, how to make Universal Plug and Play work for you. - 6/14/06

An Introduction to Windows Vista, Part II
In part two of our Vista series, we take a closer look at new or newly improved features that could help your small business perform and produce more securely. - 6/13/06

Safety First: 16 Steps to a Healthy Network
To maintain network security takes diligence and the integration of strong security practices into our daily lives. - 6/7/06

Build a Linux Network Appliance, Part 2
In our first installment, we described the benefits of Linux-based network appliances. Now the construction begins using Debian GNU/Linux operating system as the foundation of your gateway box - 5/31/06

Better Living Through the Remote Desktop
Windows XP Professional's Remote Desktop feature allows you to see and control your office PC as though you were sitting directly in front of it. You may never have to leave home again. - 5/23/06

Build a Linux Network Appliance
Welcome to our series on how to build your own Linux-based network appliance. You'll learn how to configure Internet-connection sharing and firewalls, and how to add services such as intrusion detection, HTTP caching, name services, file and print sharing, and network storage. Whether your network is running Windows, Mac or something else, your Linux appliance will serve them all. - 5/18/06

Move Between Networks the Easy Way
Automatic Configuration for Multiple Networks hasn't gotten much recognition, but its transparent operation is one of the most useful features every integrated into Windows XP. - 5/11/06

UPDATED: Special Application Port List
- 5/3/06

An Introduction to Windows Vista
As the rollout of Microsoft's long-awaited operating system draws a little closer, we kick off a three-part series to look at what's new and what Vista offers small and home-based businesses. - 5/3/06

The Importance of Backup Systems — Part 2
There's more than one way to backup up your network. In Part 2 of our two-part series on preparing for disaster, we look at your hardware and software options for implementing an efficient backup strategy. - 4/24/06

Is Wi-Fi Roaming Really Seamless?
Wireless LANs are meant to provide roaming, and most people expect it to be seamless. Here's how it really impacts wireless applications. - 4/20/06

The Importance of Backup Systems
Even though most of us know that we need to do regular backups, the fact is that many us don't. In part 1 of a two-part series, we review why it's important to perform these backups on a regular basis. - 4/10/06

Do It Yourself: Roll Your Own Network Cables
This one begs the question: Why assemble your own Ethernet cables? Maybe you need custom lengths of cable. After all, coiling a 25-foot cable when you need only two feet is overkill, not to mention a decorating don’t. You won't do it everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a cable on the spot is handy. - 4/5/06

Safeguard Your Laptop When You're Away From Home
Wireless networks and Internet cafes have made it more convenient than ever for road warriors to get online, but this convenience often comes at price. Here are some tips to keep your data safe while you're on the move. - 3/30/06

The Lowdown on Wi-Fi Security: From Supplicants to Keys
While you should never just assume your wireless communication is secure, securing your WLAN doesn't have to be a trial. However, it does help to be aware of — and understand — the complexities. - 3/23/06

Trends in Wireless Networking
Convergence, security and lower prices continue to be the hot developments in wireless networking. - 3/16/06

How to Track Down Rogue Wireless Access Points
Rogue access points are the silent killer of wireless network security. However, there are numerous steps you can take to minimize the threat. - 3/3/06

Why All Networked PCs Need Antivirus Software
Many computer users mistakenly think that if they run anti-virus software on the computer connected to the Internet all PCs on the network are protected ... plus, tips for new Mac owners and how far can Ethernet cables reach. - 2/23/06

Understanding IP Addresses
Networks don't work without addresses: Whenever you are sending something, you need to specify where it should go and where it came from. To be able to troubleshoot your network, you need to understand IP addresses. - 2/22/06

Q&A - Wireless Connectivity Starts at Ground Zero
Setting up a wireless network in your home shouldn't be a major project, but one thing can stand in the way of unsuspecting users — it's called Wireless Zero Configuration and you gotta have it. - 2/9/05

Q&A - Installing a Cable Modem: USB vs. Ethernet
Cable modems will operate fine connected to either a USB or an Ethernet port. Your cable provider may not tell you, but one is a much better choice. Plus, everyone talks about using secure passwords, but what constitutes one? - 2/2/06

Q&A - Making a Case for Remote Access
An attorney leaves a big firm to open his own practice and discovers he needs access to his office PC from the road. We outline the options, which range from installing a virtual private network to using a simple Web-based service. - 1/26/05

Q&A - Wi-Fi Authentication and Encryption Demystified
A curious reader — eager to understand how wireless encryption and security works — runs two scenarios by our columnist. Read on to find out if logical assumptions pan out in the world of Wi-Fi. - 1/19/06

Q&A - Managing With Unmanaged Switches
While it's true that managed switches are technically superior to unmanaged switches, that superiority comes with more complexity and the need for a network engineer to get the best performance. For those reasons, unmanaged switches are best for small networks. - 1/5/05

Q&A - What to Do When You're Branded as Spam
If you send an e-mail and it bounces back to you with a message that it was blocked by SORBS, the problem lies with your service provider's open relay mail server. Here's what you need to do to resolve the situation. - 12/12/05

Troubleshooting Poor WLAN Performance
Sooner or later, you'll need to check on performance issues in your Wi-Fi network. Learn how to pinpoint root causes, and what solutions to implement. - 12/7/05

Q&A - Make Your Wi-Fi Network Cover Your Larger Digs?
Can a router that has been providing wireless Internet access to every room in a one-floor apartment adjust to life in a three-floor townhouse? We offer some pointers to make it work. Plus, why your boss's notebook won't connect to a wireless network? - 11/30/05

Q&A - So You Want to Be a Hotspot
Making your small business a hotspot can be a great boost to customer satisfaction as well as a potential profit center. Here's some advice on how to offer Wi-Fi capabilities without spending a fortune or puttng your internal network at risk. - 11/17/05

Tutorial - The Open Source WRT54G Story
Linksys gave wireless home network tweakers a gift in its Linux based router. Here's how you can get started with open source firmware upgrades. - 11/10/05

Q&A - Making a Case for Wireless Networks
Some small businesses — especially those concerned with compliance, confidentiality and liability issues — are still reluctant to trust wireless networks. In this week's column, we help a network manager at a small law firm go extreme with wireless security. - 11/3/05

Q&A - Wireless Tips for Road Warriors
If you travel a lot for work, chances are good that your notebook PC is equipped with a wireless adapter. So it's understandable that you hate the thought of being tethered to a wired Internet connection — especially a dialup one. Follow these tips if you find yourself away from home and looking for a wireless connection. - 10/27/05

Q&A - Don't Let 802.11b Bring You Down
Buying a 802.11g router won't improve your wireless LAN's performance if you also have 802.11b devices connected to it. The good news is that there is a painless resolution to ensure that faster devices aren't slowed down by slower WiFi devices. - 10/20/05

Q&A - Understanding WEP Encryption Bit by Bit
Wireless technology is confusing enough, but when terminology collides, it can get ugly. We sort out a bit of encryption confusion. Plus, will a wireless network mess with cordless phones? - 10/6/05

Q&A - To Static From Dynamic IP Addresses and Back
No need to stress. You can use both static and dynamic IP address on the same network. We provide a couple of options. Plus, what to do when two PCs on a LAN share the same name. - 9/29/05

Q&A - Deciphering the Latest Wireless Acronyms
Stumped by acronyms such as WPA2 and WMM? You're not alone. We define these new terms and, more importantly, explain why you need to care about them. - 9/22/05

Q&A - Falling Hook, Line and Sinker
A phishing victim explains how he was reeled in by a bogus e-mail. We also offer tips on how to quickly spot a scheme designed to steal your identity and offer some advice on what to do if you're caught in a phisher's net. - 9/8/05

Q&A - A Second Look at Software Firewalls
A few weeks ago, we explained why having software firewalls may not make sense when you have multiple PCs sharing resources on your network. Some readers objected. While we understand the concern, here's why we're sticking with our advice. - 8/18/05

Q&A - Inside the Numbers: Why DSL Speeds Vary
Sure, DSL is a huge improvement over dial-up, but knowing what's befind the speed will help you manage your expectations. Plus, learn what can happen when Windows Update meets a fully functioning wireless adapter. - 8/9/05

Q&A - Two Firewalls Too Much of a Good Thing
One Internet connection and two computers each running firewall software can mean PCs that refuse to talk to each other. Here's an easy way to break down walls. Plus, diagnosing the cause of a dysfunctional wireless network. - 7/29/05

Q&A - Need More Ports on Your Router? No Problem
Because routers have the capability to support up to 256 PCs, they are inherently expandable — just add an inexpensive switch to the mix. Plus, what to do when your WLAN and cordless phone just can't get along. - 7/14/05

Q&A - Why E-mails Come With No Attachments Attached
Microsoft's increased Outlook security features restrict access to attached programs and file types that could contain viruses. If you find this annoying, you can disable the restrictions. We tell you how, but warn you to do so cautiously. - 7/7/05

Q&A - WEP, WPA and Wireless Security
Wireless networking is relatively easy to setup, but it's also easy to forget the importance of protecting yourself. We dissect WEP and WPA and also offer some commonsense advice. - 6/29/05

Q&A - Plug Into Power-Line Networking
Defining the difference between HomePlug and HomePNA, just the 'fax' on DSL and Universal Plug and Play explained. - 6/23/05

Q&A - Are Cable and DSL Created Equal?
Both broadband technologies have matured over recent years and are faster, easier to setup and more reliable. Each has its pros and cons, but which is better? The answer is a frustrating 'it depends.' - 6/7/05

Q&A - Make a Wireless Peer-to-Peer Connection
Tips and tricks for setting up a P2P wireless network with no access point and wireless cards from different vendors ... plus, how to remove unused ports once and for all. - 5/19/05

Five Ways to Improve Your Wireless Network
Whether you already have a wireless network or you're about to take the plunge, these five steps help provide better security and compatibility. - 5/18/05

Q&A - Is XP to Blame for Drops in Wireless Connection?
If you are using Windows XP and haven't upgraded to Service Pack 2, you could experience drops in wireless connectivity. We detail the issue and also suggest some workarounds should you not want to upgrade to SP2. - 5/12/05

Q&A - Sharing Your DSL Connection, The Inside Story
If you're using an internal DSL modem, what's the best way to share your connection with another PC? Buy an external DSL modem or keep the internal modem and use Windows' Internet Connection Sharing feature? Plus, how to turn off annoying 'debug error' popup messages. - 5/5/05

Q&A - Is That a VPN or Is It Just Passing Through?
Is there a difference between a VPN and VPN Passthrough device? Turns out it's a big difference. Plus, what's the best protocol for VPNs? IPSec or PPTP? - 4/21/05

Q&A - Hubs, Switches, Routers ... What's the Difference?
Conversations concerning routers, switches and hubs can be a bit misleading because many people use the terms interchangeably. However, the functions of the three devices are all quite different from one another, even if at times they are all integrated into a single device. - 4/13/05

Q&A - Working With Different Versions of Windows on a P2P Network
Tips for getting Windows XP, 2000 and 98SE to share and share alike on a peer-to-peer network. Plus, turning a wired network into a wireless one ... and configuring firewalls to allow sharing within while keeping intruders out. - 4/4/05

Q&A - Used Routers Can Create Whole New Problems
When you buy a second-hand router, be sure to wipe its history clean for a fresh start ... plus, Internet Explorer limits you to downloading only two files simultaneously. We offer a workaround to let you take advantage of high bandwidth. - 3/28/05

Q&A - Why Your Router May Be Blocking Web Sites
Could your wireless router really be keeping you from connecting to some Web sites and preventing you from sending and receiving e-mail? It could. The problem may lie in something called Maximum Transmission Units. Plus, how to set up TCP/IP using Mac OS X. - 3/10/05

Q&A - Wireless Woes? Repeat, Rearrange or Replace?
Wireless networks must overcome steel beams, concrete, glass, sheer distance and other types of interference. To conquer these obstacles, you can try repeaters and rearranging your WLAN configuration. Or you could opt for a more stable, more secure and faster wired network. - 2/28/05

Q&A - When Wireless Print Servers Meet Multifunction Devices
Can a wireless print server support nonprinting functions such as scanning and faxing? Plus, unscrambling WiFi encryption ... and where is Microsoft's NetMeeting hiding in Windows XP? - 2/22/05

Q&A - What Windows Task Manager Won't Tell You
Many malicious programs are capable of hiding from the Windows Task Manager, but a third-party utility called Securty Task Manager, which performs a threat assessment of every running process on your PC, can help. - 2/11/05

Q&A - Can You Share a Dial-up Connection?
Even in today's high-speed world of cable and DSL connections, dial-up isn't dead. However, options for sharing a dial-up line are limited. We offer a look at the products available and also make a plea to convert to broadband. - 2/1/05

Q&A - Is Router to Blame for Connection Error?
When you can't access a Web site, should you blame your router or is the problem more likely in your browser settings? Plus, why you might be getting inundated with 'runtime error' messages. - 1/25/04

Q&A - What's a MAC Address and How Do You Find It?
To ensure optimal wireless network security, a little MAC (Media Access Control) filtering couldn't hurt. Learn what a MAC address is and how to find your's ... plus, why some online games may be dropping you. - 1/11/05

Q&A -Make a Video Connection ... But Be Careful
Video conferencing lets you stay in face-to-face contact with far-away friends, but getting it to function means fussing with your firewall. We offer some advice for getting Microsoft's NetMeeting to work over the Internet, and then offer some caveats and some alternatives. - 12/22/04

Q&A - Taming a Network Printer for the Home
The good news is your company upgraded its hardware and gave you one of its retired printers. The bad news is that reconfiguring a printer built for corporate workgroups to function on your home network will take a bit of fussing. Fear not. We walk you through the process. - 12/16/04

Q&A - Should You Ever Switch Wireless Channels?
Your Wi-Fi device may allow you to specify what channel to use for your connection, but would you ever want to change the default configuration? Plus, before you let your guard down, know the risks of playing online games or participating in video chats without the safety of a firewall. - 12/9/04

Q&A - Discover the Joys of Automatic Network Configuration
One of the lesser-known features in Windows XP makes it easy to move a mobile computer from a home network to the office LAN without needing to manually reconfigure TCP/IP settings. And it doesn't matter if you are moving between wired networks, wireless networks or any other networked environment. - 11/30/04

Q&A -Can You Ever Be Truly Safe and Secure Online?
You avoided going with a broadband connection for as long as possible, fearing the effects of the always-on nature of cable and DSL modems. Now it's time to hang up the dial-up service. Here are some security tips to ease your trepidation. - 11/17/04

Q&A - Straight Talk on Network Cables
If you are going cross-eyed trying to tell the difference between cross-over and straight-through cables, we pin down the keys to clearing up the confusion. Plus, why every computer needs its own anti-virus software. - 11/9/04

Q&A - New Computer, Wireless Connection Gone Awry
Even if your new computer is a beauty with a wireless LAN adapter built in, your connection could still get ugly. If your WiFi is dropping, here some are simple suggestions to help you pick up some consistent strength in your signal. - 10/20/04

Q&A - How to Cover Your Web Tracks
If your Web surfing has taken you to places you'd rather not have your boss (or anyone else for that matter) know about, here are some techniques and some products that can help you erase the trail. - 10/6/04

Q&A - How to Cover Your Web Tracks
If your Web surfing has taken you to places you'd rather not have your boss (or anyone else for that matter) know about, here are some techniques and some products that can help you erase the trail. - 10/6/04

Tips for Extending Access Point Coverage
Sometimes a WLAN access point doesn't quite cover as much space as needed. Learn how to extend the range of an access point without installing another access point. - 9/29/04

Q&A - Give Your Wireless Signal a Boost
The range of wireless networks can fluctuate dramatically depending on the environment you're in, but there is a simple way to add some power and consistency to your WLAN. Plus, what the heck is NAT? - 9/21/04

Q&A - Make Your Wireless Print Server Print
A wireless print server allows you to print untethered from the constraints of cables. However, this reader ran into an obscure problem. At first confounded, our intrepid columnist recreated the problem and offers some simple directions to solve it. - 9/13/04

Q&A - A Workaround for When Workgroup Networks Won't Work
Ten PCs — some wireless, some not — a network without a server and office workers who need to share info can add up to frustration. Here's our advice and a suggestion. - 9/2/04

Q&A - Will Adding NAS Attract Worms and Viruses?
Network attached storage is a good option if you work with large amounts of data. We look at ways to keep that data flowing but the viruses at bay. Plus, how to configure your router for online games and voice chat. - 8/26/04

Q&A - Two LANs Aren't Better Than One
One house, two LANs and one Internet connection can add up to some PCs being left in the cold. We look at how networks in two rooms can share one cable modem. - 8/12/04

Q&A - 'Why Don't My PCs Share Anymore?'
IOne day your laptop and desktop PCs are happily sharing files, the next day they won't. We look at several reasons and solutions for this failure to communicate. - 7/22/04

Q&A - Hijacking? Blocking? It's a Jungle Out There
If your system has been infiltrated by an error page hijacker, here's how to cleanse you system. Also, learn how the well-intentioned Spam and Open Relay Blocking System can separate innocent users from their legitimate e-mail messages. - 7/15/04

Q&A - Sharing a Dial-Up Connection in a Broadband World
If you live in an area where DSL and cable Internet access is difficult to come by, can you still enjoy the convenience of a wireless router? Plus ... can you tell your firewall from your anti-virus? - 7/7/04

Q&A - What to Do When Spyware Attacks
When sinister spyware and adware invade your system, can you ever take back control? Plus, how to leap your own firewall ... and are two routers better than one? - 6/29/04

Q&A - Let's Chat About Firewall Issues
If your browser is browsing and your e-mail is flowing, there's one logical reason why IRC may be refusing to chat. Plus, sharing a cable between two PCs — we have some good news and some bad news. - 6/21/04

Sharing a Cable Modem Get to the Route of the Problem
In this week's Troubleshooting column, we look at what not to do when you set up two PCs to share a cable modem using a router. Plus, we help you configure your VPN to work with your firewall.- 6/3/04

Q&A - When Work PCs Go Home ... and Vice Versa
When you bring old work PCs home or try to treat new home PCs like your office computer, you often find trouble. But it's nothing that a little time and money can't fix. - 5/27/04

Q&A - Setting Up a Wireless Peer-to-Peer Network
There's nothing magical about setting up a wireless local area network. As with standard LAN adapters, wireless network cards can function in a peer-to-peer mode. The good news is it's relatively simple to configure — with just a few exceptions. - 5/20/04

Q&A - Networking AOL's High Speed Cable Modem Service
Sharing AOL's cable modem service among multiple computers is notoriously difficult to set up, with many giving up on the idea completely. But as this week's Q&A shows, with the right tools and information in hand nothing is impossible, including networking your AOL cable modem connection. - 5/6/04

Q&A - Troubleshooting Internet Performance Problems
Mysterious problems slowing down your internet connection? This week's Q&A presents some tips and advice for resolving internet performance issues, as well as recommendations for preventing them from occurring in the future. - 4/29/04

Q&A - The Wireless ThinkPad Blues
Adding a computer to your wireless network can occasionally be the simplest thing in the world, but at other times it can be more challenging than successfully evading the tax man. This week's Q&A offers a few general tips and some ThinkPad-specific tricks to try when all else fails. - 4/15/04

Q&A - Internet Connection Sharing and Networking Issues
This week's Q&A looks at when to use - and when not to use - Windows XP's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) for networking computers, as well as when to go with wireless over wired networks. - 4/8/04

Q&A - Troubleshooting Networking and Firewall Issues
This week's Q&A presents tips for solving issues that can prevent PCs from being able to share data with others computers on a network. It also diagnoses a conflict between VPN and Windows XP's Internet Connection Firewall. - 3/31/04

Q&A - Wireless Alphabet Soup
This week's Q&A looks at the pros and cons of the various flavors of 802.11 wireless technology. It also addresses potential problems that can prevent you from networking two machines via a crossover cable. - 3/25/04

Q&A - Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi Technology
Keeping current with the multitude of home networking technologies can be quite a challenge. It's all too easy to get lost in the endless avalanche of new acronyms and technologies. This week's Q&A compares and contrasts a couple of commonly confused technologies — Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. - 3/18/04

Q&A - Discover the Wireless Zero Configuration Service
This week's Q&A explores how you can take advantage of Windows XP's Wireless Zero Configuration service and the Automatic Configuration for Multiple Networks feature to automatically configure network settings between different wireless networks. - 3/11/04

Q&A - When Web Browsing Gets Quirky
This week's Q&A troubleshoots a couple of quirky problems that can creep up with your Web browser when trying to access the Windows Update site or sites with scripting issues. - 3/4/04

Q&A - Cable Modem Not Working with Router
This week's Q&A diagnoses a common problem that can prevent your cable modem from properly connecting to and communicating with your router and networked PCs. - 2/26/04

Q&A - Dealing with Sneaky, Slimy Malware
There are all sorts of less than scrupulous downloads and sites that covertly install malevolent code onto your system. In this week's Q&A, learn how to avoid malware malaise by protecting yourself from the threat of insiduous, often invisible adware and spyware. - 2/19/04

Q&A - Troubleshooting Windows 98SE Networking Issues
This week's Q&A addresses a couple of networking issues on Windows 98 Second Edition machines, including how to network multiple 98SE machines that have software- or hardware-based firewalls in place, and how to share a printer over a 98SE network. - 2/12/04

Q&A - Transferring Files Between Computers over the Internet
Firewalls, routers, and security settings can make transferring files between two computers – or controlling another computer – over the Internet quite challenging. This week’s Q&A looks at two options that can help ease your pain and frustration. - 2/5/04

Q&A - Power over Ethernet vs. Powerline Technology
Keeping current with the multitude of home networking technologies can be quite a challenge. It's all too easy to get confused as new acronyms and technologies pop up right and left. This week's Q&A compares and contrasts a couple of commonly misunderstood technologies – Powerline and PoE. - 1/22/04

Q&A - Networking Multiple Computers Without a Hub
In some cases, it doesn't make sense or is simply not feasible to use a hub when networking multiple computers. This week's Q&A steps through the process of setting up a network and sharing internet access without using a hub or switch. - 1/15/04

Q&A - Controlling Internet Access for Specific Apps with Windows XP's ICF
This week's Q&A reveals how to enable specific applications to connect to the Internet through Windows XP's Internet Connection Firewall. We'll also explore how Uplink ports on network hubs differ from regular ports. - 1/8/04

Q&A - Wired Networking, Step One – Choosing Your Connection
The first step in networking two or more computers is to determine how best to connect them. This week's Q&A looks at the pros and cons of networking via direct cable connections, hubs, switches, or routers. - 12/23/03

Q&A - Troubleshooting the Basics – Equipment Failure
When networking problems inevitably pop up, it can be all too easy to forget that faulty equipment can be the source of your trouble. Save yourself some time and frustration by doing a quick check on the cables and your hardware before narrowing in on potential software issues. - 12/18/03

Q&A - Overcoming Wireless Network Configuration Obstacles
Any number of problems can pop up when attempting to properly configure a wireless network. This week's Q&A provides solutions for some of the more common configuration issues. - 12/4/03

Q&A - Automatic Configuration for Multiple Networks
One of Windows XP's lesser known features makes automatically switching network settings between different types of networks – wired, wireless, or whatever – a breeze. Learn all about the feature in this week's Q&A. - 11/20/03

Q&A - Wireless Networking Performance Tips
Suffering from wildly fluctuating wireless connection speeds or having trouble getting any connection at all? This week's Q&A offers some tips and tricks for helping you get the maximum speed out of your wireless network. - 11/13/03

Q&A - The Hardware vs. Software Firewall Debate
Any broadband Internet-connected computer should be protected by a firewall at the bare minimum, but should that protection come in the form of a hardware or software firewall (or both)? Explore the advantages and disadvantages of each in this week's Q&A. - 10/30/03

Q&A - Diagnosing Net Connection Problems
Have a network with one or two PCs that can't connect to the internet or other networked computers? This week’s Q&A looks at several tips and tricks for diagnosing and fixing connection issues. - 10/23/03

Q&A - Ill Intentions: Adware and Spyware Applications, Part 2
Arming yourself with up-to-date anti-virus software should be top priority, but even with virus protection in place you'll still be vulnerable to the threat of adware and spyware applications. Learn what these insidious tools can do and how you can protect yourself from them in this week's Q&A. - 10/9/03

Q&A - Ill Intentions: Adware and Spyware Applications, Part 1
Arming yourself with up-to-date anti-virus software should be top priority, but even with virus protection in place you'll still be vulnerable to the threat of adware and spyware applications. Learn what these insidious tools can do and how you can protect yourself from them in this week's Q&A. - 10/2/03

Troubleshooting Wireless Networking Performance Issues
Suffering from performance problems with your wireless network connection? This week's Q&A reveals some of the more common issues that can prevent you from getting top-notch speed out of your wireless connection. - 9/25/03

Q&A - Setting Up an FTP Server - Part 2
FTP servers are inexpensive and relatively simple to operate tools that work well for sharing files over the Internet. In this week's Q&A, learn how to upload files to and download files from your FTP server as well as how to open up ports on your firewall for allowing Internet users to access your FTP server. - 9/18/03

Q&A - Setting Up an FTP Server - Part 1
An FTP server is an inexpensive and relatively simple to operate tool that works great for sharing files over the Internet. Learn how to install, configure, and operate an FTP server in this week's Q&A. - 9/11/03

Q&A - Distinguishing Between Friendly and Fell Firewall Attacks
Ever wonder whether or not external "attacks" reported by your firewall are dangerous or how these "attacks" could possibly be allowed to penetrate your defenses? Explore the logic behind firewalls and also learn how to share a broadband connection between both Windows and Mac computers in this week's Q&A. - 9/2/03

Q&A - Sharing a Printer Across the Network
Confused about whether or not you can share a printer over your network? Learn the most effective ways for setting up printer sharing in this week's Q&A. We'll also explore why it's imperative that each workstation on your network have up-to-date anti-virus software installed. - 8/14/03

Q&A - Sharing Your AOL DSL Broadband Connection
AOL's High Speed Cable Modem service is weakened by several limitations, so it's only natural to wonder whether the company's DSL broadband service suffers from the same. This week's Q&A examines how the two AOL broadband services compare in terms of networking and provides step-by-step details for sharing your AOL DSL service via a router. - 8/7/03

Q&A - Wireless Security Tips and Tricks
This week's Q&A introduces a few tips you can easily implement on your current wireless network that should help keep it as secure as possible until you're able to upgrade your equipment to WPA later this year. - 7/31/03

Q&A - Wireless Security Beyond WEP
This week's Q&A tackles the critical shortcomings of WEP security for wireless LANs and takes an in-depth look at its ultra-secure successor. - 7/24/03

Q&A - Firewall and IM Not Playing Well Together?
This week's Q&A explores the problematic issue of configuring a firewall to allow instant messaging. We'll also look at why it's inadvisable to run Microsoft's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) on computers networked through a router. - 7/17/03

Q&A - Crossover Cable Connection Troubleshooting
This week's Q&A troubleshoots various issues that can creep up with peer-to-peer connections networked via crossover cables. Ron Pacchiano also addresses the limited network functionality in most of today's all-in-one multifunction printers. - 7/10/03

Q&A - The Infamous 'Could Not Reconnect All Network Drives' Error
If you're using Windows XP Home Edition and have tried using it on a corporate network, you might have encountered a "Could not reconnect all network drives" error message at startup. This week we'll explain what causes the error and how to prevent it from occurring. - 6/26/03

Q&A - Sharing Files and Printers via a Wireless Peer-to-Peer Network
Looking to share files and printers between computers without using cables? Ron Pacchiano details how to set up a wireless network in peer-to-peer mode for this purpose, and also discusses how to intermix wireless and wired networks. - 6/19/03

Q&A - Dial-up and Broadband Connections Coexisting in Harmony
Have a dial-up connection that insists on stealing Internet access from your broadband connection? We'll discuss how to configure Windows to allow the two connections to coexist in harmony. We'll also cover how to set up your VPN access to work with Windows XP's Internet Connection Firewall. - 6/12/03

Q&A - Troubleshooting Wireless Networking Conductivity Issues
Have a wireless adapter that's finding it difficult to obtain an IP address from your wireless router's DHCP server? This week we'll cover some of the more common issues that can prevent your wireless networking gear from talking to each other. - 6/5/03

Q&A - The NetBEUI Blues
This week we'll show you how to install the NetBEUI protocol on your Windows XP systems and explain why you might be having problems seeing all of the computers on your network. - 5/29/03

Q&A - The Wonderfully Problematic World of Windows
Mysterious problems in Windows giving you trouble? We'll discuss some of the things you should look for to resolve them, as well as a couple of ways to prevent them from happening in the future. We'll also show you how spending a little bit of money on the right equipment now will not only make your life easier, but will also save you time and needless effort. - 5/22/03

Q&A - Serving Up Your Own Website
Have you ever had the urge to publish your own website, but weren't sure how to go about it? This week we'll give you some general guidelines for serving up your website(s) on the Internet. - 5/15/03

Q&A - Tips and Tricks for Sharing Broadband Access
Having trouble sharing your broadband internet access with multiple computers? This week's Q&A looks at three scenarios that might prevent you from sharing your connection and describes how you can resolve the issues. - 5/8/03

Q&A - Tips and Tricks for Configuring Wireless Networks
Having trouble getting your wireless network up and running? We'll show you some of the more common mistakes users make when configuring them. We'll also explain why you might not be able to use America Online Instant Messenger (AIM) service on your office PC. - 4/30/03

Q&A - Hackerproof Your Broadband Connection with a Firewall
Along with its many benefits, broadband access also brings the threat of potentional attacks by hackers or Trojan horses infiltrating your network. If you're worried about the downside to broadband, fear not -- we have the 411 on the most important component in protecting your PC/Network from attack, firewalls. Plus, we'll delve into how and when to remove Windows XP's ICS in order to share PCs and your internet connection via a router. - 4/24/03

Q&A - Wireless Without Broadband
Do you think you can't have wireless access just because you've been handicapped by a 56k Internet connection? Think again. We'll show you two products that will have you wirelessly surfing without broadband in no time. Plus, we'll we'll give you an overview of the various flavors of the 802.11 protocol. - 4/17/03

Q&A - Dealing with the Limitations of AOL's High Speed Cable Modem Service
Over the last couple of weeks we have received quite a few questions regarding AOL's High Speed Cable Modem service. Apparently a number of people are experiencing difficulty installing a router with this service in order to share among multiple PCs. We'll explain why and what you can do to overcome the service's limitations. - 4/10/03

Q&A - Is RAID Worth the Cost?
This week we'll explore the topic of RAID and discuss whether or not its overall value justifies the added expense. We'll also discuss some of the problems you might run into with a misconfigured firewall and what you can do to resolve them. - 4/3/03

Q&A - Cutting the Cable on Print Servers
This week we'll show you how to add a bit of mobility to your office printers as well as suggest a network operating system which might benefit a small office with a limited IT staff. - 3/27/03

Q&A - Expanding Your Horizons with Dynamic DNS
Would you like to host your own website but think you can't because your DSL or Cable modem provider saddled you with a dynamic IP address? We'll show you how you can run a Web server and more even with a static IP address. Plus we'll show you a quick and easy way to get access to your office PC while at home or on vacation. - 3/20/03

Q&A - Firewalls vs. Proxy Servers
Do you think that a firewall and a proxy server are one and the same? You're not alone. This week we'll discuss the differences between firewalls and proxies. We'll also introduce a site that will help you measure the bandwidth of your cable or DSL connection. - 3/13/03

Q&A - Proprietary Cable Modem Frustrations
This week we take some of the mystery out of why cable and DSL providers require you to use their telecommunication equipment as opposed to purchasing your own. As an added bonus, we'll also show you how to get PPTP traffic to pass through your firewall. - 3/6/03

Q&A - Tips for Setting Up Wireless Networks
This week we outline some of the more common problems you might run into when attempting to set up a wireless network. We'll also introduce a low cost alternative to 802.11b, HomePlug. - 2/27/03

Q&A - Troubleshooting the Windows XP Internet Connection Firewall (ICF)
Are you using the Windows XP Internet Connection Firewall feature correctly? In this week's Q&A, we explain how and when ICF should be used. We'll also show you how to easily increase the range of your wireless network. - 2/20/03

Q&A - Networking Two PCs via a Crossover Cable
This week we'll show you how to connect two PCs together with just a crossover cable. We also answer that age old question, "What is the difference between a Hub and a Switch?" - 2/13/03

Q&A - Network File Sharing Woes Continued
Are you having difficulties sharing files with other users on your network? Well you're not alone. We'll show you some of the common problems you should look for. Plus we'll explain why you might not be able to get DSL in your area. - 2/6/03

Q&A - File Sharing with Windows XP Home Edition
Sharing files with other PCs and gaining access to files stored on company networks via Windows XP are two issues that come up all the time here at PracticallyNetworked. We'll show you how to do both. Plus, learn how to easily reset the password on the popular Linksys BEFSR41 EtherFast Cable/DSL Router. - 1/30/03

Q&A - Networked Computers Can't See Each Other
Troubleshoot why some networked computers can't see each other, even though they are all able to access the Internet without any problems. Plus: Learn more about the Trace Route tool and its various uses. - 1/23/03

Q&A - Unblocking AIM
Figuring out why you can't connect to AOL's Instant Messenger depends a lot on where you setup a network. Plus: The optimum setup for a home network doesn't include using the USB port. - 12/23/02

Q&A - Sharing with 2000 and XP
Wonder why you can see files on a Windows 98 system but not on Windows 2000 or XP? It's a shared resources issue. Plus: Going from an internal to external DSL Modem. - 12/16/02

Q&A - What about DOS?
Talk of networking in a home these days tends to be about Windows systems, but what if you've got an older DOS computer you want to connect? PLUS: Networking a printer and router blocking Web pages. - 12/11/02

Q&A - Two Routers are Not Better than One
Even if you have two routers, you shouldn't use them together on the same Internet connection to your network. Plus: Why you need a crossover cable to direct-connect two PCs and adding Token Ring. - 12/2/02

Q&A - The Reason for Routers
Two computers, one broadband connection with one IP address -- we answer a question that cuts to the heart of home networking. Plus: Problems when you don't have a proxy server. - 11/25/02

Q&A - DVD Sharing Over the Network
Can you watch a DVD running on different computer on your home LAN? The answer is "Maybe." Plus: Bridging between two networks at home. - 11/21/02

Q&A - The DSL Slow-Down
Troubleshoot your broadband problem before you call your service provider. Plus: What you need to share a dial-up connection and later upgrade to a cable modem. - 11/11/02

Q&A - Direct Crossover Cable Connections
Linking two Windows computers takes more than just a crossover Ethernet cable. Also: opening ports in a firewall for sharing folders and why networked PCs can't use all the functions of a multi-function printer. - 11/4/02

Q&A -Importance of Port Mapping
The safe way to open a computer on your network to the Internet is to map the ports needed for gaming or other activities. Plus: some software firewall "attack" messages explained. - 10/28/02

Q&A - Remote Connection through the Router
When you're on the road and want to connect to your home PC with remote access software, how do you get through the router? Plus: Another look at why networks with routers don't need to use Windows Internet Connection Sharing. - 10/22/02

Q&A - Cable Modem vs. Dial-up
Sometimes dial-up Internet connections must be used, even when you have broadband. Here's how to dial-in without losing your high-speed access to the Internet. - 10/14/02

Q&A - What Network Do You Need?
An overview of the different types of networks possibilities, from peer-to-pear to client/server, and what kind of products you need to run them. - 10/7/02

Q&A - Networking Your Satellite Internet Connection
Here's a quick look at getting a Macintosh to share a Direcway satellite connection and how to deal with viruses on your network attached storage products. - 9/30/02

Q&A - Using DHCP on a WLAN
Solving problems with wireless cards that can't receive an IP Address from a router; and just what is a home network router good for, anyway? - 9/24/02

Q&A -- What Keeps Computers Safe
Here's the scoop on the differences between hardware and software firewalls, virus protection, and why you need them. - 9/10/02

Q&A -- Configuring the XP Firewall
Figuring out why using the built-in XP firewall blocks other computers when using Internet Connection Sharing; Trying to share PC resources without at least a hub isn't worth the effort. - 8/31/02

Q&A -- Peer-to-Peer Problems
It's our new regular feature here at PracticallyNetworked, where we answer your questions. This week, we address issues with ad hoc wireless networks and explain why you can't VPN via your broadband satellite connection. - 8/27/02

 



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