Category Archives: Internet

Internet running slow? Here’s some tips

Does it seem your internet is running slow? Here are some tips to help speed things up:

speedtest appCheck your Internet Speed. Download Speedtest program or you can download their app here.  This free program can scan to see what your speed of your Internet Service Provider. Once scanned, results will show your download and upload speeds in megabyte. If the number is low, consider contacting your ISP provider and see what your service includes.

Reboot your Internet Router and Wi-Fi. Depending on your setup, some folks have a router that includes the Wi-Fi feature built in it. If you have two boxes that are connected, you have one Internet Modem that bring the Internet to you  via a cable cord, while the Wi-Fi router gives a wireless signal.

To reboot, unplug the power cord or cords, unplug connections, and wait for one minutes. Now reconnect everything. It will take a few minutes to start your Internet again. You should see lights blink indicating a signal.

Reset your router (video)

How to reset your router (article)

If this doesn’t work, you will need to contact your service provider and ask if they can release/renew your IP address, or check your service to see if there are any issues. (Once I had a wasp nest outside where the wires connected to my house!).

You can also renew/release your IP via the DOS command. This can be intimidating for the computer noob, but the instructions are clear.

Release/renew your IP address. (article)

Capture

 Some causes of slow Internet is not the Internet at all but something on your computer. This could be a browser extension, a browser toolbar, malware, virus, or the router is going bad.

Malwarebytes– can help find malware on your system

It is also possible that if your connection is not secure, someone is using your connection for themselves. Add security if you suspect this.

Make sure your Wi-Fi is secured. Click this link for instruction on how to check.

Change your Wi-Fi password. This will vary depending on the Wi-Fi router model you have. Use Google by searching the make/model of your Wi-Fi router + change password. This will give you instructions on how to access your Wi-Fi settings through a web browser.

Another tip is if you own a smart phone, check to see if your Wi-Fi router has an app. I know Linksys and Netgear have apps that enable your phone to manage the router.

If you have questions, post in comments or send your question to email@learnthepc.net.

Free versions of software

Did you know there are many free versions of software out there that can replace costly programs? Just bear in mind that some don’t offer the same features, or in some cases are not as intuitive to learn as others. They are free, however, so download and try them out. I even use both paid versions and free versions depending on the features I like.

GetTheFreeVersion.com provides some comparisons

free version

Other sites to consider (and bookmark):

ninitehttp://www.ninite.com– lots of downloads to choose from, many of which are ‘must-have’ software like antivirus and security, to video/photo editors, to other useful programs.

Portable apps for the Personal Computer

portableappPortable apps are application that are small enough to work off a flash drive, which enables users a means to work off an external drive.

Why use a portable drive? I own a Windows Pro tablet, which doesn’t have a very large hard drive. Portable apps allow me to use programs without having to install them because I’m working off the flash drive.

I can also share programs with multiple systems. I can switch between the tablet and my desktop PC.

Since the programs are smaller, you can also use these versions if you don’t like the software taking up lots of space on your hard drive.


Some suggested apps:

Portable browsers. You can use Chrome or Firefox easily off a drive, so you can store  your book marks and settings.

Chrome by Google

Firefox by Mozilla

Office Suites. Similar to MS Office, LibreOffice and OpenOffice offer word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation within the software suite. All fits on a flash drive too.

OpenOffice

LibreOffice

Messaging. Need to chat online? Use the following program to chat and manage your network of online social messaging service.

Pidgin– Chat with AOL Yahoo, MSN, and ICQ users in a single app.

Security.  Use this to scan computers with a flash drive.

ClamWin  On the go anti-virus software.

KeePass securely stores passwords.

Graphic Image Editing or Viewing. On the go editing of photos and images.

FotoGrafix is lightweight editor. Easy to learn too.

Infranview works with lots of formats, so you can view the graphic. This includes a few editing features as well.

Sound, music, and video. Here are some apps to create and edit sound as well as video.

Audacity is an easy to use sound recorder and editor.

VLC video player. This doesn’t edit or create, but allows you to view many different format of videos. If you have problems opening a video file, this can help.

There are so many more portable apps you can use, there are only ones I’ve used and can verify are useful, but if you visit PortableApps.com, you can find many more programs to select.

Google Gmail- Setting it up as default email in Chrome

google gmailYou may find that when clicking links in web sites to send email, you get Outlook email popping up. If you use primarily Gmail, this can be frustrating.

Want Gmail to be the default email handler? Here’s a quick tutorial:

1. Open your Gmail in the Chrome Browser and sign into your account.

2.  Take note at the upper right-hand corner of the browser, there is an icon chrome icon called the Protocol Handler icon.

3.  Click on that; this switches your default email handler to Gmail.


If you cannot see the icon, there is another way;

  • Go to Chrome settings using the small Settings icon chrome settingslocated at the upper right hand corner of the Chrome browser.
  • At the bottom of the Settings screen, click Advanced settings.

advanced settings

  • Now scroll to Privacy.
  • In the pop-up window, you will need to scroll down to Handlers.

handlers

  • Select the drop down menu for Gmail and click Done.
  • You now have your Gmail email as your default handler of email.

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Learnthepc Video- Intro do the Internet Explorer Browser