Category Archives: Networking

Should I use a VPN to download torrents?

Should I use a VPN to download torrents?

vpn
Random image I found on Google Image search, but it explains what a VPN is very clearly.

 

VPN software is all over the internet, but so are the threats, and the answer to the main question in short is YES you should use a VPN.

A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and pretty much what their designed for is privacy, and security. If your wanting to download something that the government or another agency might not like you downloading you can use a VPN.

The way VPN works is simple. You usually download a software from a 3rd Party or use Windows built in connection tools. You login using your credentials and bam your VPN is set-up. Now your internet connection is ROUTED through the server your connected to. So all of your actions are personally hidden through what you are connected to.

This is useful for many reasons, but the main is privacy and security. Most people simple just feel like big brother is always watching them. Well he might, but who is always watching you is your ISP which in 9/10 cases in the United States will probably be Comcast (Come on Google Fiber!).

Yes if your downloading stuff you should not and Comcast catches you or your ISP than they will likely send you a warning. If you continue they will shut you down. Generally cases of online theft are not taken to court unless a company wants to make a public example of them.

Though it was recently proven that you can not take someone to court, and prove them guilty based on an IP address alone.

So if you want to start using an VPN service now (which is smart) I can recommend one.

pia

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

Yup those guys are the best in the game, and no one can or should try to tell you otherwise. They don’t log your traffic which is GOOD.

Anyway this concludes the article about VPN’s  I hope you enjoyed it and as always link back to us at http://www.prenticenetwork.com/

PCI WiFi Adapter VS USB WiFI Adapter

PCI WiFi Adapter VS USB WiFI Adapter

pci-wifi adapter
Image of a PCI-E WiFi adapter card.

 

Likely you want to enable WiFi access on your desktop or laptop without wireless adapter to eliminate the need for so many cords. Well it is good your here to learn the difference.

PCI WiFi Adapter

I’d like to start this one off by saying if your getting a wireless adapter for your laptop stop reading and just buy a USB dongle you can’t add PCI devices to a laptop.

If your wanting to add wireless to a desktop though that is a different story. PCI devices are much faster than USB devices, and can achieve much greater speeds, and allow for more stable connections. Their raw power, and ability to transfer data is much higher than a USB dongle.

While I say PCI don’t worry if all you have are PCI-E slots most if not all WiFi adapters have this port option available.

Usually these kind of adapters are best if you do a lot of bandwidth intensive task, and game a lot. Their price is not bad either considering they range from $10~$100 dollars. The more you pay the better off you are though. At $10 your probably looking at B/G wireless adapters which will max out at 54mbps which for more people is good enough, and perfectly fine for gaming or YouTube. If you need more though be ready to pay more.

Doing a quick Amazon search you can see the prices aren’t bad. PCI devices are really easy to install too. All you got to do is open the side of your computer see which slot it fits, and than identify that slot if it exist on your motherboard. These days they are usually marked on the board as well in white text. You can also look online using Google image search.

USB WiFi Adapter (Dongle)

Depending on who you go with, and what speeds your looking for these range from just a few bucks to $40+ according to Amazon. The main thing with USB Wifi Adapters is that they are convenient, pretty fast, and very portable. If your laptop’s WiFi adapter burns out a cheap USB Wifi Adapter is the best option rather than getting it repaired.

USB Adapters are great for space too. Usually people who are working on small projects with Raspberry Pi devices use these to give their devices WiFi capability.

The downside to USB WiFi adapters are signal range, and the fact they usually max out at 300mbps on the market. Anything above 300mbps starts to get expensive.

Conclusion

If your looking for convenience, or need a laptop WiFi replacement than get a USB WiFi adapter. If your using a desktop than I would recommend a PCI or PCI-E WiFi adapter card which are relativity cheap, and easy to install.

Don’t forget to bookmark us, and come back and visit at http://www.prenticenetwork.com/

If you feel like supporting us, and want one of these devices you can also follow one of the two below links for either one of the above devices.

PCI/PCI-E WiFi Adapter

USB WiFi Adapter

How to check if your own network port is working (NIC)

How to check if your own network port is working (NIC)

network card

If you have ever wanted to check your own NIC (Network Interface Card) to see if it working than you have come to the right place!

Checking Your NIC Steps (CMD) – Windows

I only use and have a Windows machine so we will be using Command Prompt. So hit the key on your Keyboard located on the bottom left hand side that has the Windows logo on it.

Afterwards type CMD into the search, and hit enter to open Command Prompt.

start-menuAfter Command Prompt is open you can check your Network Interface Card using type different commands.

The first command you can type is:

ping 127.0.0.1

cmd-ping1

or

ping localhost

cmd-ping2

If you have ever dealt with networking or running your own website I’m sure your already aware of the term localhost.

If you get a response at all than your computer’s network port is working.

If your still having trouble connecting to the internet, your router, or any other device via an Ethernet cord than you should troubleshoot those devices, and cables since you have just determined that your NIC (Network Interface Card) on your current device is in fact working.

If you DO NOT get a response using one or both of the above commands than the Network Interface Card on your machine is BAD. If you just got your computer, and it is custom built by yourself than you should double check that you have installed all the necessary drivers. Windows Update in fact is NOT a fix all solution for hardware and does not have drivers for everything.

If you simply don’t have a CD drive to put the driver CD that came with your computer or motherboard than usually you can get the drivers online from the manufacturer’s website.

In a later post I’ll go over the use of Wireshark to help further troubleshoot an entire network to help track down and identify network issues.

Come back to http://www.prenticenetwork.com/ and search for the “Wireshark” to find the article mentioned above.