Key Home Network Router Settings

Did you know that your router has lots of unused options? You surely did! That’s why you were so happy to only set up the minimum, absolutely necessary options, and then enjoy your faster, rock-solid Wi-Fi network.

I have to admit that setting up a router can be scary, especially if you don’t work in the IT field. But the sad truth is that some of those options you’ve never explored are crucial when it comes to security, and yes, even download speeds. Read this article and you will discover the router settings that are guaranteed to provide a better Internet browsing experience.

Begin by setting up a strong router admin user name and password. Some routers will only allow you to change the password, so you will have to keep the “admin” user name. It’s a pity, because their manufacturers are actually easing the hackers’ way into your router. Be sure to set up a strong router password. Go for a password that’s as long as the device allows you to. Pick one that’s hard to guess and includes all sorts of letters, numbers and symbols.

Write down the password; you won’t use it too often, so I guarantee that you won’t be able to remember it next year, when you may need it.

Choose the proper Wi-Fi security protocol. The good news is that most modern routers try to hook up your network using the WPA2 protocol, which is the strongest one available. Nevertheless, if you’ve got an older router, your Wi-Fi network may be set up using WPA or – much worse – WEP. If this is the case, be sure to switch to the WPA2 security protocol, which is much harder to break.

The MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) sets the largest number of bytes that can travel as a single data unit across your network. According to a Data Alliance consultant, typical router MTU values are 1480, 1492 and 1500. For best results, check with your Internet service provider and find out the preferred MTU value. Mismatched values can lead to serious connectivity problems – timeout errors while trying to visit certain websites, for example.

“Wi-Fi mode” is the section that sets the wireless protocols which are supported by your router. Most routers are able to communicate with old Wi-Fi devices, which only support the slow 802.11b protocol, for example. If you’ve got devices like these, you should enable your router’s backwards compatibility, of course. But if your devices are modern, you should restrict Wi-Fi mode to the 802.11g or newer protocols, because this will bring a significant network speed increase.

Your router’s Wi-Fi channel is also an important setting, and yet very few people take the time to change it. Most routers are set up to broadcast on channel 6; this means that if all your neighbors are using this channel, signal interference will slow down all the Wi-Fi networks in the area. Be smarter than your neighbors! Use the router admin area to change the channel to one that’s unoccupied, or at least choose a channel that’s less crowded.

Most devices are able to connect to a Wi-Fi network by identifying its name, also known as SSID (Service Set Identifier). The top router manufacturers want to advertise their products, so they will ship them with predefined SSIDs that include the manufacturer name: Asus, D-Link, Cisco, and so on. It is wise to change the default network name, because this will help you avoid conflicts with other Wi-Fi networks nearby, while also boosting security.

Pick a random network name like “pineapple34”, for example.

I hope that you like these tips. Apply them all and you will boost Internet speed and enhance network security. And the best part is that all these changes will only take you about 30 minutes to implement. Good luck!


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Researchers Invent Bluetooth Sensor Which Tracks Hydration Levels

Scientists working at Carolina State University have invented a wearable device that is ideal for people who are interested in working out. The device includes a sensor which can evaluate skin hydration levels during intensive workout activities.

The hydration sensor will tell the person when it’s the best moment to drink water, in order to replace the quantity that was lost due to perspiration and intense physical effort.  The same device makes it easy to monitor people who are working in very difficult weather conditions – when the air is hot and the human body is highly stressed, for example.

Hydration levels were very difficult to measure until now, especially among military personnel, athletes, firefighters and other people who were involved in activities where water levels can decrease fast, leading to fainting and body organs malfunction.

The same sensor can be used in medicine, helping doctors determine the hydration levels of their patients, as well as in the cosmetics industry, where the device can be used to evaluate the quality of moisturizers.

The invention consists of two electrodes, which can evaluate the electrical properties of the skin. They are made from an elastic polymer composite, which has conductive silver nanowires. The sensors can be incorporated in a wrist band, or in a patch that can be attached to the chest.

The patch and the wrist band contain Bluetooth receivers and transmitters, so the data can be easily sent to other devices, where it can be monitored. Other similar devices are very expensive, but the good news is that the sensors used in this new device only cost one dollar to produce. Let’s hope that the costs will be reasonable for us, the end users, as well.


Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard – is it worth it?

People who spend a lot of time in front of their computers appreciate ergonomic keyboards – that’s for sure! But it’s important to understand that the good old QWERTY keyboard was not created with comfort, ergonomics or flexibility in mind. No, the first computer keyboards were designed to look like the typewriters that were used back in the day. Their manufacturers wanted to make people who were using typewriters feel familiar with their new invention.

I have to admit that during the last 20 years, I have seen Microsoft’s interest in changing the classic keyboard, with the goal of making it more ergonomic. Many of their ergonomic models have split the keyboard into two halves, making it easier for people to type.

And now, Microsoft has come up with the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard, which is considered to be their best model so far. It’s a plain grey keyword that doesn’t stand out at first, but – trust me – it may start a revolution!

To begin with, all the keys can be reached easily. They have a nice depth and provide resistive feedback. The keyboard is very quiet, even for heavy writers, who like to bang on their keyboards like crazy.

The hands get a well-deserved rest even while typing, due to the natural angle created by the keyboard layout. This translates to less tiring, even after hours and hours of constant typing.

The new keyboard has a shape that’s different in comparison with the ones we’re used to, but I am pretty sure that we can overcome this issue, especially when we take into account its many advantages. I am not sure how many people will pay $130 for this keyboard, though. Still, I guarantee that if you type for a living, it’s an investment that’s well worth it!




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