Top Computer Accessories & Parts Articles
How to Change ACPI BIOS
The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface was developed as an industry standard by several computer hardware and software manufacturers in 1996. The purpose of ACPI is to let the hardware and software manage the power usage of computers through such tools as sleep, hibernation and Wake-on-LAN.
How to Take an App Off an iPod Touch With the Computer
The iPod Touch ships with a number of apps you can use to manage your media, explore content on the Internet and communicate with others. Additionally, you can choose from thousands of other useful apps from the Apple Store and download them to your Touch. While you may find many iPod Touch apps useful, they do consume space on the device's memory card. Consequently, you must budget your use of apps to maintain adequate storage for music, photos and videos. Using iTunes, you can remove unneeded apps from your iPod Touch.
How to Use a Router as a Repeater
As the space you occupy grows with your business, or you refinish the basement and need to provide wireless access to a new area of your home, you can use a repeater to extend a wireless signal to the new area. As the name suggests, a repeater repeats the signal from another router to extend the range of your wireless network. If you have a spare router, you can turn it into a repeater by configuring it to communicate with the other router.
How to Delete a Song From an iPod But Not a Computer
The Apple iPod does not include a way to delete songs directly from the device -- you have to use iTunes to complete this task. By default, iTunes automatically syncs all of your music to the iPod, but you can change iTunes to manual mode if you want to choose which tracks to add or delete. A song that you manually delete from the iPod remains in the main iTunes library on your computer.
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When you link to Wi-Fi and see a list of available connections, some of them have a little lock beside them. This means the wireless network is secure, and only those who have a password can connect to it. To avoid having strangers connect to your network and use your Internet connection, you can put such a lock on your Wi-Fi connection and secure your system.
Any Micro Secure Digital card you purchase to use with your Motorola Droid should come preformatted, but that doesn't necessarily mean the storage device will work with your phone out-of-the-box. The Droid uses FAT32 for memory cards, but it's not uncommon for manufacturers to preformat microSD cards with exFAT. To find out if your memory card has been formatted properly for use with your Droid, try to mount the card on either your phone or your computer.
ASUS designed the EEE series of netbooks for users who don’t want a full-fledged laptop but need a little more computing power than a smartphone or tablet provides. Using Intel Atom ultra-low-voltage processors, ASUS EEE netbooks are highly portable, offer reasonably good battery life and include a full Windows installation. However, the same Intel Atom architecture that makes EEE netbooks so portable also lends to their sluggish performance for power users. Nevertheless, a few improvements and tweaks can help you considerably boost the performance of an ASUS EEE netbook.
You can copy pictures from your computer to your smartphone regardless of whether your device runs Android, iOS or Windows. IOS and Windows Phone require you to use specific software -- iTunes in the case of the former and Zune in the case of the latter -- but with Android, you can transfer photos straight to your micro-secure digital card via File Explorer.
Linksys provides a variety of networking tools that enable you to connect computers together. The most basic connection can be done through a network switch that simply allows the various computers to "see" each other through a network adapter. A network router not only connects the computers but also administers a local area network for the computers. Routers can be either wired or wireless. Linksys also provides gateways which are both routers and broadband modems. Depending on which type of Linksys device you have, you can connect your computers together or give all the computers access to the Internet through a local area network.
Selecting a good, basic router is the key to having a fast and stable home network. While advanced routers may have more features and a longer range, many people prefer the simplicity and price of a basic router, especially if they only have a few devices or are in a small home. There are several solid router options from which a home user can choose in this category.
The motherboard is the single most important piece of hardware in your computer, and one that every other component plugs into. Changing this board isn't impossible, but it does requires careful consideration and work to ensure a successful transition. The wrong board or careless handling could result in problems later, so this is not something that beginners should attempt on their own.
Windows includes a System Restore feature that keeps a snapshot of your computer's state from previous dates. Using System Restore you can reset your computer to an earlier date and all the software, updates and drivers that were added will be removed. However, none of the files you created will be affected. If you installed a program two months ago and you discovered that it isn't compatible with something, you can restore your computer to before the program was installed to undo the changes. Windows creates a restore point whenever programs, updates or drivers are installed.
Although the iPhone does not natively support playback of movies saved in the AVI format, you can still watch these videos on your phone with the help of third-party apps. A wide range of free and paid video player apps provide the necessary infrastructure for playing AVI files so that you don't need to go through the hassle of converting them to an iPhone-compatible format. Once you've settled on an app, transfer the videos to your iPhone using iTunes.
You can add a second router to a home network to extend the network's wireless signal and increase the number of computers that can connect to it. The additional router plugs into one of the local area network ports on the existing router, creating a waypoint, or hot spot, that your PC, tablet or smartphone can use. To properly set up the waypoint, configure the device so that its settings match that of the primary router.
Modern wireless technology not only allows you connect to the Internet without cables or wires, but also lets you share or stream music and video between various devices. With Windows 7, you can stream your favorite music and videos to your TV, a PC in another room, a wireless amplifier or speaker system or even to remote computers and devices over the Internet. Setting up a media server to stream content may seem a little daunting at first. However, with a little planning and basic networking knowledge, configuring a media server in Windows 7 and streaming your content is relatively simple.
Whether used for business, school or entertainment, laptops have become a fixture of everyday life. Unfortunately, these same laptops, with their sleek designs and expensive price tags, provide a tempting target for thieves. Laptop owners can take advantage of several different techniques to permanently identify their machines, guarding against theft and ensuring any lost laptops are returned.
Windows, Mac and Ubuntu PCs with wireless Internet connections can act as Wi-Fi hotspots by extending their Internet connection to other mobile devices within their range. Internet sharing can be a useful option for computers that sit just outside a router's coverage area. Internet sharing can also be a cost-effective solution for travelers purchasing temporary Internet access for one device, but who would like to extend that coverage to other mobile devices without incurring any additional surcharges. For some operating systems, an Ethernet connection in addition to the wireless connection must be available to tether other mobile devices.
When professionals discuss connector plugs and jacks, you may hear them refer to male and female connectors. While the references may seem obvious, connector genders are not always simple to identify. The gender of connectors common to modern computers is relatively straightforward, with a few exceptions.
Before Intel introduced the 32-bit Peripheral Component Interconnect bus in 1993, computer hardware manufacturers produced add-on cards -- such as sound cards, network cards and many other types -- based on the 16-bit ISA architecture used since the early 1980s. With the release of the PCI standard, manufacturers were able to create cards that were literally four times faster and used fewer system resources than the old ISA devices. Since the release of the original PCI standard, manufacturers have continued to develop faster versions of the PCI protocol that add enhanced functionality for personal computers as well as support for modern 64-bit processors.
Connecting a Linksys router to a Motorola DSL modem gives you all the benefits of a wireless network without your having to replace the modem -- often an expensive proposition if your modem is supplied by your Internet service provider. Even if you have a wireless computer, you will need to connect it with an Ethernet cable when you set up the router. After you've connected the router to the modem, be sure to change the router's password and set up its wireless security. Failing to do this leaves your network open to hackers and can put your personal information at risk.
Deciding which laptop to purchase can be quite problematic at times. With several brands offering countless products, sometimes it is best to take a step back and look at the versatility of a specific device. By deciding how and why the laptop will be used, you can obtain a greater understanding as to which device best suits your personal needs. Even after determining personal preference, the idea of versatility does not stop there.
Although Comcast does offer wireless gateways -- devices that act as both a router and a modem -- for use with XFinity, most customers will end up receiving a wired modem and wireless router when purchasing from the company a self-install kit for their Internet service. Once the modem and router are set up, you can connect any computer in range to your home network wirelessly. If you have a guest at your house, however, and you don't want to give them the login credentials for network, you can create an ad hoc network to connect to the other person's PC and share your Internet connection.
If your DSL modem also also acts as a router, as many Motorola models do, you may have the option to disable its routing functions by placing the device into Bridge mode. While Bridge mode can cause a security risk, it can be useful if you are trying to connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or want other computers on the Internet to connect to your computer directly. Bridge mode bypasses all routing functions, including DHCP services, the firewall, WAN and Internet setup. Once Bridge mode is activated you will need to reconfigure your computer to access the Internet.
With the skyrocketing success of the Apple iPad, manufacturers and service providers have been scrambling for new ways to integrate it into their own products. While there are some great apps already available for remotely controlling your TV, computer and home theater appliances, it's important to keep in mind that this is still an evolving technology. The benefits you can get from an app are limited by the technology you have, or what you're prepared to invest to make them work together.
Global positioning system units – such as the Garmin unit you keep in your car – can make driving to unknown locations as simple as cruising your own neighborhood. The unit determines your exact position using GPS satellites and compares your location to its stored maps to determine points of interests around you – whether roads, restaurants or rivers. With accurate maps, the unit will provide concise instructions to reach your destination, but if its maps are out of date, it could send you the wrong way down a one-way street, use inefficient routes or call for a turn where none exists. Garmin gives you the chance to download a free map update with the purchase of a new unit to ensure accurate instructions and proper performance of your new device.
Although apps that can handle plain text files with the TXT file extension are available from the iTunes App Store, one of the easiest ways to read a text file on your iPhone is to email the document to the iPhone. The plain text file will show up as file attachment at the bottom of the email message. You can then tap the file to open it and read the contents in the standard Quick Look app, or print out the document if your iPhone connects to a wireless printer.
If you're looking for Internet access no matter where you go with your laptop, a 4G air card or USB modem can keep you connected anywhere you have cell phone access. These devices simply plug into the USB port of your laptop and then get Internet access using a 3G or 4G wireless network. While "AirCard" refers specifically to the Sierra Wireless brand of USB modems, the term "air card" is often used to describe all USB modems, regardless of the manufacturer.
One of the advantages of having a smartphone is the ability to tap into a 3G or 4G network to access the Internet from a laptop or other Wi-Fi device. Most smartphones today have this option built into the device, without the need to install apps. Use of this feature may be limited by your wireless carrier. In some cases the feature is available only under some service plans and sometimes for an additional monthly fee. Once you have determined that your phone plan includes this feature, setup is just a few taps or clicks away.
Modern computers and motherboards ship with an onboard, or integrated, graphics device; the leading manufacturers of these chips are Intel and AMD. Integrated graphics components for the most part do not offer the same level of quality as do dedicated graphics cards. If your computer came with an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, but you want to install a discrete graphical processing unit like the ATI Radeon to improve video performance, disable the onboard video in computer setup and then insert the card into an expansion slot.
The Logitech USB Desktop Microphone is easy to install on Windows computers. Setup is basically a matter of plugging it in and testing it. Unlike gaming microphones that you use an inch or two from your lips, this model is designed to sit on your desk at some distance from your mouth. Some people have reported low volume when first using this microphone on a Windows 7 computer; however, this can be quickly corrected if necessary by adjusting the microphone sound levels.
It wasn't so long ago that "wireless technology" invoked thoughts of bricklike cellular phones. Today, the term "wireless" refers to a variety of technologies and devices, from smartphones to computers and printers to headphones and speakers, connecting with one or more methods. Current wireless phones, for example, may include 3G and 4G cellular radios, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies. As these technologies advance, investing in the latest wireless equipment, such as a 4G phone or 802.11ac router, could offer you serious speed improvements.
Bluetooth offers the convenience of sending data and media between devices. Apple's iPhone is Bluetooth enabled, but it doesn't offer this service to personal computers and laptops. Although computers will discover your iPhone, the file-transfer process will fail due to the iPhone's design. If you attempt to transfer or send files to and from your iPhone to your Bluetooth-enabled computer and you're not successful, everything is working as it should.
Laptop chargers have the sole function of powering laptops, and when batteries run low, chargers become an absolute necessity for travel and computing on the go. Laptop chargers consist of two components: A small, black rectangular block with a fixed cable that connects to the laptop, and a removable cord that plugs into the wall outlet. Chargers that are lost, stop functioning or become damaged from frayed ends, loose prongs and nonfitting head pins may require replacement. Travelers to foreign countries may also require adapters that fit that country's voltage and outlet requirements. Figuring out what to buy from the variety of universal chargers and factory replacements can be a daunting task, but knowing what to look for can save you time, money and headaches when it comes to the health of your laptop.
Internet Protocol addresses are 32-bit binary numbers separated by periods that identify a computer, printer or other device on a network. The network in question may be your Internet service provider's or your company's. Devices that join the network are assigned static or dynamic IP addresses. Static IP addresses last the life of the computer or until it is explicitly changed by the network administrator; dynamic IP addresses are temporary. The differences between the two come down to address assignment, hardware and network configuration, usage and cost.
In addition to the iPhone's built-in apps, Apple offers an optional Remote app enabling you to control iTunes or an Apple TV from any iOS device. Using your home Wi-Fi network to connect to your computer or set-top box, Remote lets you choose songs, albums or movies, create playlists, control AirPlay-compatible speakers and even enable guests to help choose songs to play in iTunes DJ.
MagicJack is a small device with a USB connection on one end and a phone jack on the other. Plug the magicJack device into your computer or high-speed Internet router and use it just like a regular land-line phone jack to make local and international calls. Take magicJack anywhere in the world to make free international calls to the U.S. and Canada, or send one to friends and relatives in other countries so they'll have a U.S. phone number to make and receive calls for free. You can't make free international calls to any country besides the U.S. or Canada using magicJack.
Garmin's Communicator program is a plugin for your Web browser that enables you to update anything from maps to fitness data at Communicator-aware websites. This includes several pages on Garmin's own site, as well as Google Maps and a large number of third-party sites. The Windows version requires a computer running XP or later, and the Mac version runs on Intel or PowerPC machines with OS X 10.4.11 or later. It's compatible with most versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome, and it's a quick and easy installation.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) modems allow you to have an always-on connection to the Internet through your existing phone line. DSL broadband service requires an account with a telephone service provider, but allows you to use the telephone and Internet at the same time, because the DSL and telephone data are kept separate. When buying a DSL modem, you’ll need to consider cost, service availability, your distance from the service provider, the attributes and features you’ll require and the levels of after-sales support available from your vendor.
Between apps and settings, there are many ways you can customize an Android phone to reflect your own personality. One of the simpler options is setting a custom wallpaper. You can create them or buy them from several websites and apps. You can also set photos as your wallpaper. Creating wallpaper is a simple way to put a personal stamp on your Android phone or tablet. Because you do not need root access to change wallpaper, you can do it on almost any device.
One of the most valuable features of a good GPS is the ability to update your maps. Garmin's devices used map software called MapSource until 2011, when the company switched to a newer product called BaseCamp. Garmin and many other providers still have maps in MapSource format, and BaseCamp will read most of them. Installing BaseCamp, and downloading MapSource maps to your GPS, are both easy procedures.
With the iPhone 5, Apple stretched the screen of its iconic to a perfect high-definition 16:9 ratio that uses every pixel to display movies filmed in HD. Whether you rent or download movies from the iTunes Store or sync your own, the iPhone can play content smoothly and even allow you to move between chapters with controls similar to those you may have used on your computer, DVD player or DVR. Apple's iOS includes a media player that automatically launches to play compatible videos.
DVDs have long been the medium of choice for saving treasured videos memories of events such as birthdays, family get-togethers and weddings. Generally speaking, DVDs provide years of reliable playback if properly maintained. Nevertheless, an accident or mishap could damage or scratch a DVD and make playing the valued clips impossible. To ensure you always have copies of your favorite video recordings, copy them to your computer. Depending on the format used for the video clips, there are a couple of ways to transfer footage to a computer and make them playable in Windows.
A computer isn't a single, simple device. It's actually an ecosystem of multiple devices from different manufacturers, even if every part you see has the same brand name on it. That's because even the biggest computer makers purchase their parts from the same companies whose products fill your local electronics store. If you're willing to put a bit of time into research, you can select specific components for a computer that meets your needs exactly. Ideally you'd just buy the largest and fastest of everything, but in the real world that's an expensive option.
Millions of users now watch movies, music videos and the news on the Internet. Most major news companies stream newscasts on the Web, and companies such as Amazon, Netflix and YouTube are continuing to change the way people view movies and music videos. Since watching a streaming video requires that you download the clip as you view it, several factors can affect performance in your browser. While bandwidth speed is important to watching online videos, there may be other things you can do to improve performance if clips are not streaming smoothly or if they are starting and stopping constantly.
HP's line of laptop products is widely used, and has a high level of overall quality. However, no product is perfectly reliable, so it's likely that you'll need to replace some parts and do upgrades over time. If your laptop is still under warranty, HP typically replaces defective components for you. After the warranty runs out, you have to do some shopping around for upgraded or replacement parts.
Switching from a Windows PC to a Mac is primarily a matter of making sure you've got the right Mac applications and getting a feel for the new operating system. However, the most tedious part of the process may be moving all of your files and documents from the Windows machine to your Mac. Using an Ethernet connection for your migration, you can boost your transfer speeds to more than three times those of the fastest wireless connection.
Keeping your iPhone's Contacts list organized is essential as the number of entries increases. Assigning contacts to groups makes the device's address book far more manageable, and allows you to keep work, friends, family and other similar entries separate and easier to navigate. Apple does not allow you to create contact groups directly on the iPhone or within iTunes. Synchronize with a free iCloud account to create groups online, and then sync them to your device wirelessly.
Sony's Bravia line of LCD and LED HDTVs offers innovative design and picture clarity that has received praise from owners and professional reviewers alike. With large displays that rival some computer monitors, Bravia TVs are an ideal solution for viewing 3D games from your computer or movies or videos on the Internet. Bravia TVs ship with a number of port options, which include a few designed specifically for connecting the television to a computer. Therefore, regardless of the type of computer you have, connecting it to a Sony Bravia TV is relatively simple and straightforward.
Third-party applications, corrupt system files or hardware incompatibilities and issues such as overheating processors, excess dust or failing parts can result in fatal STOP errors that generate the Windows XP Blue Screen of Death, sending the computer into a reboot loop. The black Windows XP startup screen displays momentarily before stopping and rebooting at the same point. Safe Mode can be used to remove the offending software, replace defective system files or modify the registry. If Safe Mode is not available, you can access Windows Recovery by booting up with the Windows CD and initiate repair and recovery there. When all else fails, you may need to restore the operating system.
Two of the most-used features on the iPhone are its music and video players. The iPhone's audio capabilities evolved from the iPod and iTunes, which changed how the people buy music. ITunes provides the means by which users can import, download, organize and manage music playlists. ITunes also allows users to copy music to their iPhones. With the introduction of iCloud, users also have the ability to download iTunes purchases directly to their devices, although music that is imported from audio CDs must still be copied via traditional USB or Wi-Fi syncing.
There are several ways to share files between Mac computers. For a few small files, a simple way is just to email them from one computer to another. If you have a large file or several files to transfer, your other options include Apple File Sharing or traditional media like CDs or a USB flash drive. When it comes to transferring huge volumes of data or transferring files on a regular basis, shared disks on a wireless network may be the most practical solution.
The Internet uses an IP address -- a 32-bit number represented in dotted-decimal notation -- as a unique identifier to determine the location of a computer. Each PC that connects to the Internet is given an IP address, allowing it to communicate with other computers over the wide-area network. Internet service providers assign either a dynamic -- a temporary address -- or static -- permanent address -- IP to a customer's computer. If you're looking to set up a network in your home or office and your ISP gave you a static IP, you'll need this address to set up your router.
Wireless routers take the signal from your Internet service provider's modem and share it with the computers on your network. They handle the Internet traffic and traffic on your network wirelessly, over radio waves, and through cables via Ethernet ports. Netgear has various models of wireless routers that range from basic networking to more advanced units with special characteristics aimed at specific applications. Once you have a clear idea of what you want your network to do, you can choose the router with the appropriate features.
With each new generation of the iPhone, the quality of its integrated camera improves. Apps such as Instagram, Hipstamatic and Photoshop Express let you filter and edit your images right on your phone. When viewing your pictures on the small screen isn't enough, or when your iPhone's storage is maxed out, upload your images to your computer or the Web for editing, printing or sharing.
Many modern cellphones and smartphones include built-in cameras that rival the quality of many digital cameras. Just as you can with stand-alone digital cameras, modern phones enable you to transfer photos from the device to a computer to free up space for taking more pictures. If you have treasured photos on your phone, copying them to a computer also makes them available for editing and provides a digital backup. With Windows and a USB cable, copying photos from your phone to a PC takes only minutes.
Your D-Link router's browser-based wireless settings give you the option to reset the wireless security key, which is a quick fix for a forgotten password. To access these settings, you must first log in to the setup utility, which requires the router's password. Forgetting this password is more problematic, because there's no way to reset just the password. Instead, you must reset the D-Link router to restore factory defaults. All your settings will be lost, but the default, blank password will be restored, so you can again access the setup utility.
Securing your wireless network matters. It makes it harder for criminals to steal your personal information. It stops freeloaders from using up your bandwidth, which could slow down your own activities. It also stops unscrupulous people from using your network to download or upload illegal materials. Most wireless modems and routers today come with the security enabled by default, but you can also activate or configure the security yourself. Before you can access your router's admin panel, you must determine your internal IP address.
An Ethernet card is the pathway between your computer and a data network, funnelling information to and from your PC. The card itself is a set of specialized computer chips on a printed circuit board. The chips translate data into electrical signals compatible with the Ethernet standard, a well-established set of rules that allow different types of computers to share information easily. With an Ethernet card, you can access files on a local network or browse the Internet.
With most laptops made before the mid-2000s, you had to connect a USB webcam if you wanted to use your laptop for a video chat. However, many modern laptops now include an integrated webcam built into the top of the LCD screen. While many users only think of their laptop webcams when they want to place or receive a video call, the integrated cameras are useful for other purposes. For example, you can use the webcam to shoot still-frame photos like with a digital camera or even record videos of yourself and save them for sharing via email or the Web. Recording a video with an integrated laptop webcam is relatively simple, and chances are good that you already have all the software needed for the task already installed on your notebook.
The Apple iPhone works on 3G and 4G LTE networks all over the world on carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. iPhone users are able to share this 3G or 4G connection with their computers or laptops through wireless or wired tethering. You may need to pay extra for this service depending on the carrier or plan you currently use. The iPhone "Personal Hotspot" option can be set up either wirelessly or wired via USB on your iPhone.
Keyboard spills require immediate action if you wish to save your keyboard or laptop. Keyboards are sophisticated electronic devices, and water and electronics don’t mix. Even a tiny bit of moisture will wreak havoc on your keyboard’s electrical circuits, so delay is devastating when you have a spill. If you stay calm and take immediate measures to clean the spill before it has had a chance to damage the keyboard’s internal circuits you stand a good chance of regaining full use of the keyboard or laptop. At a minimum, you can limit the damage to your laptop and prevent data loss.
Amazon's range of Kindle Fire devices are able to do more than loading and displaying e-books. You can also store MP3 music files on the device or in your Amazon.com account's Cloud Drive and listen to them directly from your Kindle via a wireless streaming connection. An Amazon.com account is required, which your Kindle Fire must be registered with to use the Cloud Drive facility.
Windows, as well as many peripheral devices, include formatting utilities that can reformat your Secure Digital card. Reformatting not only erases all data on the SD card, but it also specifies the file system used, such as the FAT32, exFAT or NTFS file systems. When reformatting in Windows, you also have the option to overwrite data and establish a drive label for easier identification on your system.
Routers connect a local area network -- a collection of one or more computer devices -- to a wide area network, such as the Internet. You can set up a Belkin router in your home or office to enable your computers, tablets, smartphones and gaming systems to use the Internet at the same time. Modern Belkin routers include a CD that automates the setup process, but if you're using an older model or lost the setup disc, you can configure the Belkin router manually.
SD cards are commonly used in digital cameras and other portable devices to externally store data that can then be accessed on computers. With storage capacities ranging from under 1GB to more than 64GB, they can also be used as portable storage drives. Although your SD card should work out of the box with your Mac computer, you may wish to reformat it. With Apple's built-in Disk Utility program, you can format your SD card to use either the FAT or Mac Extended Journal file systems.
If you find yourself out of reach of a reliable Wi-Fi network, you can use your iPhone to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, giving you Internet access on your computer or any other Wi-Fi device. This feature is built right into the iPhone network settings, but may have some limitations depending on your cell-phone plan. In addition to Wi-Fi, the iPhone Personal Hotspot can also be accessed via Bluetooth or by using the USB cable it shipped with.
A computer is a system for processing information. It receives data from various sources and combines it with instructions to produce the desired results. Early computers in the 1960s used punch cards for inputs and produced results on monitors or special computer paper. Apple produced the first consumer computer with a graphical user interface in 1976. With the more powerful processors available today, you can add other items to expand the computer's functionality. Connected to networks and the Internet, computers can receive, process and send information in many different ways.
A wireless router broadcasts radio signals containing packets of data to computers within range. You can plug a wireless router into a broadband modem to create a wireless network capable of sharing Internet service with connected devices. While setting up the hardware itself is essentially the same from router to router, the network settings configuration for a D-Link is different from that of other brands. After connecting the router and modem to one another, log in to the D-Link router from a Web browser to set up the Wi-Fi network.
Netgear produces a complete line of wired and wireless routers that allow you to connect multiple computers to a local area network and enable them to share an Internet connection. Like most other wireless routers, those made by Netgear support connections via Wi-Fi signals as well as standard RJ-45 Ethernet cables. Netgear makes installing and conjuring a router on the network relatively simple with an installation Smart Wizard included on the disc that ships with the router. If you lose or misplace the installation disc, or need to connect a computer with an operating system other than Windows, you can use a more advanced method to install the router manually.
Photos taken on the 8-megapixel iPhone 4S camera rival photos taken on traditional entry-level digital cameras in quality, but taking lots of these stunning pictures does take a toll on the device's internal storage. You can free up space on the iPhone by transferring the photos to a Windows-based computer. This can be done without using iTunes. Simply attach the device to the computer and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the transfer or treat the iPhone as a portable drive and perform a copy-and-paste operation.
Wireless routers cut the Ethernet cord. A quality wireless unit still provides reasonably high connection speeds while dramatically increasing your work and entertainment flexibility. Choosing the right wireless router for your home or office network are functions of range, reliability, security options and parental access controls. Take your time in selecting the right router, since the wrong choice can hamper your connectivity options.
With iTunes serving as the multimedia hub for many households, it isn't uncommon for two iPhone users to be docked and sync at the same time. ITunes references each iPhone separately, syncing apps and music independently. It is possible to sync two iPhones with separate or shared accounts, depending on how you handle your data and phone plan. Keeping each iPhone properly synced is easily managed through iTunes, keeping each customized to the owners' desires.
Your Wired Equivalent Privacy security code can be in one of two formats: an ordinary password, called a "passphrase," or a hexadecimal security key. The passphrase is an alphanumeric code from which four hexadecimal security keys are generated. Although the passphrase and security keys are frequently referenced synonymously, they are not the same thing. Some hardware allows you to enter the easier-to-remember passphrase, but others require one of the actual keys. Both the passphrase and security keys can be found in your wireless router's administration program, but if your PC stored this information from a previous connection, you can find one or the other in your network settings.
Device Firm Update, or DFU mode, is a state the iPhone enters when interacting with iTunes while connected to the computer. DFU mode is used to downgrade firmware or to install custom firmware to jailbreak the phone for use on other networks or to unlock a SIM card. It is also used to reinstall the operating system if the iTunes Restore option fails. DFU mode differs from recovery mode in that it lets you bypass the loading of the operating system to enter directly into restore mode. You can exit DFU mode using the same routine as a forced restart if no other problems exist with the phone.
When your computer launches a program, it moves the program's information from your hard drive or media into its random access memory, or RAM. This memory provides temporary storage that the computer can access within nanoseconds, enabling the program to function at a high rate of speed. The amount of available RAM in your computer limits the amount of information the computer can handle at once, because once your computer gets over this limit it has to move information out of RAM and into slower storage, greatly lowering the computer's overall response time. RAM is modular, which means that it comes on a chip you can easily remove and replace in your computer, giving you the freedom to upgrade your memory as needed.
Digital Subscriber Line revolutionized the way people connect to the Internet. Before DSL, most Web users suffered with painfully slow dial-up connections that often took several seconds to load even simple graphics in a browser. Modern DSL connections not only enable much faster loading of Web pages, but also allow you users to stream videos and movies, and can support multiple users simultaneously. However, by default, most DSL connections allow only one connection port or interface per telephone line. If you want to share a single DSL connection with two or more computers, you must connect them to a router, which routes and splits the Internet connection between the PCs on demand and as needed.
People often purchase laptops or notebooks rather than desktop computers because they are compact and portable. You can easily move even a large laptop from desk to desk or around a home, and the battery lets you move it without shutting it down. Although notebooks are usually smaller than laptops, the terms are often used interchangeably, depending on the manufacturer. A key difference is that notebooks typically don't have an optical drive while laptops often have a DVD drive included. Whether choosing a laptop or notebook, you should ensure the model you get matches your needs.
Wi-Fi is broadcast on a high-frequency radio spectrum that is shared by many other wireless devices. Video game controllers, wireless security cameras, video senders and even some microwave ovens and doorbells can emit very similar radio frequencies to your Wi-Fi router. When this happens, your devices can have difficulty detecting the correct signals, which reduces their range, speed and reliability. To help compensate, your router can be set to use one of 13 different radio channels, allowing you to separate its signal from the noise created by other wireless devices.
Adding a password to your wireless network is an essential security precaution. Without it, any computers or devices connected to your Wi-Fi router are vulnerable to unauthorized access. Activating the security option in your router's settings and applying a strong password is the first step toward securing your wireless networks. Although your router most likely includes an option for using WEP security, this protocol is outdated and should not be used. WPA2 with a strong password is the most secure option, as of September 2012.
If you want to extend the range of your existing network or speed up communication with remote nodes, you may decide to add a secondary router by connecting it to your primary router. However, unless you set the secondary router to operate in bridged mode, you will create a second network rather than an extension of your primary network. You will also create a condition called "double NAT," which makes it more difficult for computers using the secondary router to access Internet services that require port forwarding.
Although certainly convenient, wireless networks are popular targets for data leeches, online criminals and hackers. Leaving a wireless network open is just inviting trouble, so you should enable encryption on your network, which is accessible by entering the security password. Most routers offer the option of WPA2, WPA and WEP protocols. WEP should be avoided if at all possible, because it is inherently weak and easy to crack. WPA is considerably better, but WPA2 tops the list with the strongest and virtually impregnable algorithm.
Computers are everywhere -- even hotel room locks and car keychains use them. For most people, computers revolve around data input. The most common human data input method is the standard 104-key keyboard. While there are several vendors and some variations between types of keyboards, the basics don't change much between them.
Computer keyboards evolved from the IBM electric typewriter keyboards that were the basis of the 83-key keyboard for the original IBM PC. With the second-generation AT PC, IBM introduced a 101-key version similar to modern keyboards. This keyboard moved the function keys to the top and the numeric keypad to the right. Since then, Windows function keys and a few additional control keys, depending on the keyboard, have raised the total to about 105 keys but left the basic layout the same.
As the iPhone has a built-in digital camera, it's easy to take many photos and store them on your device. These photos can be removed from your iPhone in two ways, freeing up space in your iPhone's memory. The Camera Roll is used to store and organize your photos on the iPhone and is also used to remove unwanted pictures from the device. Photos synced through iTunes can also be removed from your iPhone by changing the synchronization settings on your computer.
Enabling security on your wireless router protects you from would-be data thieves, hackers and bandwidth leeches. Most routers walk you through setting up security when you first set up the router. However, if you forgot your password, you can still locate the password through the router's administration utility. Some routers do not display the password in this setup program, but you can change it there to something you'll remember. If you plan to make changes to the wireless settings, it's recommended to make a wired connection for the procedure.
If you're like a lot of iPhone users, you take full advantage of the iPod-style functionality the device offers. To do this effectively, spending a few minutes cultivating playlists is a priority. Syncing those playlists to your iPhone through iTunes is a fast and reliable method, placing your favorite music in your purse or pocket.
When your Mac slows to a crawl, the problem may not be an outdated processor or Internet voodoo -- it may be your RAM. It's important to know where you stand on memory, both how much you've got and how your applications are using it, to keep your computing as speedy and trouble-free as possible. If your applications are RAM-hungry, adding more memory may improve their performance significantly, at a fraction of the cost of a new computer.
Much like a mailing or personal address, the IP, or Internet Protocol, address of a computer is the unique identifier of a computer on a broader network. An IP address is usually required for troubleshooting or PC maintenance-related calls, but it may also be useful in setting up other features like Remote Assistance or drive mapping on a network to share system resources. There are two ways of locating the system's IP address in Windows 7. One requires navigating through a series of menus. The other uses a more direct route by way of the command prompt.
The Droid is a popular variety of smartphone produced by Motorola. This phone is able to play many types of media, including music. Droid owners can use "MicroSD" brand memory cards to store up to 32GB of music. This is the equivalent of over ten million individual songs. A USB transfer cable can be used to move audio files from a computer to the Droid. The Droid supports both Windows PCs and Macs.
Computers require two kinds of cable: electrical power cables and data transfer cables. In some cases, data transfer cables handle the electrical power function too, allowing a device to function without a separate electrical connection. If you build a PC from scratch, you should end up with all the cables you need simply by buying the hardware components themselves, which usually come with the necessary cables. For beefy builds you might run out of a certain kind of cable, in which case you’ll need to buy more.
Your Mac computer lets you perform a multitude of computing tasks from surfing the Web to editing pictures and videos you shoot with a camera or camcorder. However, cameras are not the only means of creating images to use on your Mac. Using the Grab utility or keyboard shortcuts built into Apple OS X, you can create screenshots of any window or part of the screen that you can view on the computer.
Windows 7 includes many native tools to help you find detailed information on your computer's specifications. Depending on the information you need, you may prefer a simplistic view that displays the bare-bones information, such as operating system, memory and processor. However, if you need comprehensive specs, you can delve deeper and find detailed information on everything from individual hardware components and their drivers to video codecs.
Many computer enthusiasts considered early versions of Bluetooth good for little more than the occasional file transfer or small print job because of its relatively slow data transmission rate. However, since the release of Bluetooth 3 in 2009 and Bluetooth 4 in 2010, many experts changed their views on the wireless protocol considerably. With speeds that now rival Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet, Bluetooth has returned to the forefront and can now be found in hundreds of devices from wireless keyboards and mice to wireless stereo speakers. Windows makes connecting to Bluetooth devices fairly simple. However, before connecting to compatible devices, you must make the Bluetooth adapter in your computer discoverable.
Wireless routers are a convenient way to extend Internet service to many computers in the same location. However, they can also be a source of frustration when you can't get them to work or when they suddenly stop working. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot basic wireless router issues such as an inability to connect to the router, making a connection but not receiving an address, slow performance or dropped connections and losing the Internet connection.
The iPhone syncs to a variety of calendars, including Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar. To sync an iPhone calendar with Microsoft Outlook, you must connect the iPhone to the computer and open iTunes to initiate the transfer. The process is more straightforward for users of Google Calendar. There is also a way you can sync to both Outlook and Google Calendar wirelessly. This method employs Google Calendar Sync, which uses Google Calendar as a base in which to sync to Outlook.
The iPod touch features a built-in digital camera that takes photos and records videos, which are stored in the device's Camera Roll album. Move these multimedia files to your computer using Windows' automatic import function as a conduit, or move and organize them manually using Windows Explorer. Windows recognizes the iPod touch's Camera Roll album as a standard digital camera when connected via USB, allowing you to view, copy and delete photos and videos captured by the device directly from your computer
Many people use encryption protocols such as WEP to encrypt their wireless communication and protect their home networks. If you didn't write your WEP password when setting up your router, you may find it challenging to add a new computer or device to your network. You can find your WEP password in Windows if your computer is connected to the router wirelessly. If you are unable to connect to the router because you don't know the WEP password, connect your computer to the router with an Ethernet cable and obtain the password from the router's setup screen.
Your SanDisk microSD card unleashes small, personal electronics by increasing their storage capacities. These fingernail-sized cards also allow easy transfer of data between your device and a computer. However, if this data becomes corrupt or you simply want to start over with a fresh card, you might want to format the card. Formatting the card will wipe the card clean and correct many issues that may arise.
You may not be aware of how many different kinds of PC mice you can choose from until it comes time to replace your mouse. If cost is your greatest concern, you might decide to use a standard mouse with a cord that connects to the computer. If you prefer wireless, you can choose between two different kinds of wireless technology. If comfort is most important to you, you may decide to replace your mouse with a ergonomic model that puts less stress on your wrist, arm or shoulder. Whatever your preference, there are many different models to choose from.
Wi-Fi routers allow you to connect multiple wired and wireless computers to a network and share a single Internet connection. Depending on the router you purchase, though, the unit's wireless connection may or may not ship in an enabled state. Therefore, you must usually configure wireless access on a Wi-Fi router with a computer connected via an Ethernet cable. After you make the connections of the modem, router and one of the network computers, activating the wireless LAN capabilities is relatively simple.
To speed processing, each memory module in a pair on a motherboard has a dedicated wire, or channel, to move data to and from the CPU. Together they create a dual channel that supports moving data simultaneously for each module in the pair -- but only if the modules have the same timing, speed and capacity. The best way to match memory to ensure dual-channel operation is to install identical pairs of memory sticks. After you install the memory, configure the BIOS screens for the motherboard to enable the dual-channel feature.
Listening to music while at your desktop is a good way to pass the time and explore new genres. You may sit closer to one speaker than the other, have a hearing deficiency in one ear or have a wall on one side reflecting more sound towards you. In any case, you can compensate per audio device for the imbalance on a Windows computer without altering other settings.
The first webcams relied on slow parallel or serial cable connections to stream video to monitor screens. With the advent of USB in the late 1990s, webcam video improved considerably, but it was still tied to the computer because the cable required to connect the camera was relatively short. Modern wireless cameras let users break the wired chains and place a camera virtually anywhere; it's also possible to connect and view the camera from remote locations. There are several types of wireless cameras that you can view on a computer, and with a few easy-to-use gadgets and network devices, you can even make traditional wired cameras wireless in just a few minutes.
Magellan is an electronics company that produces several GPS units. Many of these GPS devices can display the user's location on a moving map. Due to changes in cities, roads and trails, Magellan periodically releases new maps. These can be selected using a computer and synchronized with the GPS unit using a USB cable. Loading the newest map can help prevent navigation errors and make the GPS more useful during trips.
Apple's iPod touch is a portable music, movie, game and application playing device. Its versatility causes many users to take the unit with them everywhere they go. This high level of use drains the battery over time, so one way the iPod touch combats this is by making the unit time out, or go into standby mode after a prescribed amount of time. Additionally, certain software updates for the iPod touch may time out during installation, requiring further action to resolve the issue.
More than a music player, the iPod touch is also a digital camera, a video camera, a handheld game console and a Wi-Fi browsing device all rolled into one. Like the Apple iPhone, the iPod touch uses iTunes to configure many of its settings and install applications and updates. With iTunes, you can back up your iPod touch settings, Camera Roll, apps and tracks purchased via iTunes and other files and settings. After backing your iPod touch, you can then use Windows to burn the backup to a disc for safekeeping.
The Amazon Kindle is an electronic e-reader device. Introduced in 2007, the Kindle is designed to digitally store a large selection of books. Unlike some earlier e-reader units, the Kindle uses screen technology that simulates real paper and reduces eye strain during extended reading. As of 2012, six different versions of the Kindle can be purchased. In addition to the base model Kindle, the Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G are available. The Kindle Keyboard 3G and Kindle DX are larger versions of the design. The Kindle Fire is also available. Considering the different features and benefits of each model will allow you to make an informed decision and choose the version that best meets your needs.
In addition to the apps, music and video you've downloaded to your iPod Touch, the device also may contain personal information you'd rather not pass on if you sell or donate it. If it's feeling sluggish or crashing, taking it back to square one may be the easiest way to resolve the problem. Fortunately, reformatting your iPod Touch or other iOS device is a feature of the iTunes software.
DSL modems and wireless gateways perform different but complementary roles in a home or business. A DSL modem provides a connection to the Internet, but it can only do this for a single computer unless additional hardware is used. A wireless gateway connects to a DSL or other broadband modem, allowing it to serve multiple users through wired or wireless network connections.
Video chat can help you keep in touch with family and friends or stay connected to the office while at home. To video chat, use a webcam and a popular chat client such as Skype, Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo Messenger. If you own a laptop with a built-in webcam, you can turn on the device by launching the webcam software installed on your PC. Most desktop computers, however, don’t include a built-in webcam. If you’re using a desktop PC, connect the external webcam’s USB cord to an open USB port on the computer, and then install the drivers and webcam software provided with your purchase.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, before DVDs and recordable optical discs, most people watched their favorite movies or recorded video memories on VHS tapes. While VHS tapes generally provide acceptable playback quality, they are prone to damage from dust, exposure to heat or moisture and from even being eaten by a misaligned head in a VCR. If you have a collection of movies or home videos on VHS tape, or inherited one, you can protect the videos by transferring them to your computer. Transferring VHS tape videos to your computer allows you to watch them on the PC, burn them to a DVD or store them on an external flash drive or hard drive for safekeeping.
The iPad's ability to support multiple file types and its inherent portability make it a useful productivity and entertainment tool. Like most portable devices, the iPad's internal storage capacity is relatively limited when compared to a conventional desktop or laptop. You normally sync documents to your iPad from iTunes through a conventional dock cable connection. However, the increasing prevalence of cloud storage means that you will want to explore uploading to the iPad from those environments as well.
Getting a wireless signal on your computer in order to connect to the Internet requires a wireless router for your Internet modem and a Wi-Fi adapter for your computer. If security is a concern, select a router that offers at least WPA2 encryption so that users are prompted for a password in order to access the Wi-Fi network. If your computer has a free USB port, use a USB Wi-Fi adapter, which is usually relatively inexpensive and easy to install on most computers, provided the model you get is recommended for your operating system.
People frequently think of the terms "wireless" and "Wi-Fi" as synonymous, when they describe two entirely different ways of accessing the Internet. While a wireless connection utilizes a cellular network and allows you to use the Internet almost anywhere, establishing a Wi-Fi connection requires you to install hardware in your home or use your computer within range of a router to which you have access. Both connection types have benefits and drawbacks in areas such as transfer speed, signal range and cost.
Formatting your iPad erases all your stored data, including your applications, and returns your settings to their factory defaults. You might want to format your iPad before selling it or giving it away to prevent the recipient from seeing your personal information. You may also want to format the device for troubleshooting purposes or to clear it out so that you can start from scratch. There are two main ways to format the iPad: one using iTunes on a computer and one using the device itself. The format feature within the device has some additional reset options that you may find more palatable than erasing everything.
Bluetooth is a digital wireless connection protocol, able to send data between a "master" and "slave" unit. If your computer has a built-in Bluetooth adapter, it helps with secure syncing with cell phones, wireless headphones and other hardware. Bluetooth "pairs" these devices using various levels of encryption. Since Bluetooth devices pair to your computer over the air, incorporating this functionality potentially reduces desk clutter from extra wires and cables scattered across your workspace.