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If you are a network administrator or if you are trying to find a way of getting more specific details of a particular Wi-Fi network, ezNetScan can be the perfect Android app for fulfilling your requirements. The app has lots of amazing features to help you having all the different kinds of valuable information on your current Wi-Fi network that you are using. Not only that, but, the app is very easy to use and has all those key features that a network administrator will always love to have.

ezNetScan - 1

After you install the app and open it for the very first time, all the related information on the current Wi-Fi network will be displayed before your eyes. The different data that ezNetScan enlists for you are: DHCP server, external IP, gateway IP, BSSID, IP address, MAC address, DNS, link speed etc. These are actually some of the most important information that you will like to find out about the current Wi-Fi network that you are using. Just by a single click on a button, other relevant information such as the different devices connected to the Wi-Fi network will be showed. This is particularly useful when you are at a public space and don’t want to get into the same Wi-Fi network that of strangers.

There is also a Tools menu of this app and that enables you to ping any user on the network. Other features include an external IP scanner tool, a TCP server scanner etc. If you wish, you can actually configure ezNetScan to send wake on LAN requests as well.

ezNetScan - 2

This app is very user friendly and gives you some great deal of information in a very easy manner. I loved using it and I hope that you will have similar experience as well. Make sure to let me know what you think of the same through the comments feature available below.

These days a computer without Internet is nothing but an expensive paperweight. Come on, would you have liked it if you couldn’t check your e-mails, chat with friends or share files with others! I’m sure the answer will not be a positive one.

Windows 7 has made it very easy for its users to share files across different systems. It is not only important to stay connected, but at the same time, the networking system should be secured enough. In today’s article, we will discuss on HomeGroup. This is an enhancement which is primarily targeted for home businesses or home users.

HomeGroup

HomeGroup serves two purposes in general: you can protect your shared files and resources from people who intrude into wireless networks; secondly, it is possible for you to share your important files among different computers which are on a home-based network. Not only that, thanks to HomeGroup functionality, it is possible to print files of different systems from one single printer.

You have to open HomeGroup from your Control Panel. Now click to create a new HomeGroup. Make sure to check only those types of files which you want to share through this network. Once you are done, your operating system will automatically generate a password. Other systems that want to use those files need to enter the password to join the network. If you are using Windows 7 Home Basic or Windows 7 starter, you can’t create a new HomeGroup. However, any computer with a Windows 7 version can join the HomeGroup.

HomeGroup

HomeGroup is very easy to use. I personally liked two facts: it simplifies the process of sharing files and secondly, you can give access of your files to others, but no random wireless connection can intrude in. Only scope of improvement, which I believe can be achieved by enabling even Windows Vista or Windows XP users to join the HomeGroup.

Linux has earned the reputation of being one of the most secure operating systems out there.   Without many security loopholes and open-source programming, it makes it nearly impossible for a virus to go undetected on a Linux based system. However, Linux is still vulnerable to attacks conducted through its ports. To protect you from this, GUFW has an simple user interface that can help you control the firewall ( aka IP tables) easily on any Linux based machine.

GUFW is a firewall and consists of a graphical front end opposed to the more traditional UFW (Used by Ubuntu earlier). It can’t use IP tables fully, but, provides enough management features for all but the most demanding home users.

When you first launch GUFW you will be asked to provide an admin password. After you do, you will see an interface where you can switch the firewall on or off. You can also allow or deny both incoming and outgoing traffic connections manually. If you block incoming traffic, you won’t be able to access the internet- so be careful with this option. However, if you know which ports are used by your system, you can micro-manage these ports manually for better security.

GUFW Interface

If you wish, you can also log all the firewall events. You can even decide how detailed those logs should be. You can include listening reports mentioning protocol, application, Port and address as well. You can add different rules based on your requirements.

If you believe that a specific program should not be allowed to access Internet, you can easily restrict it from GUFW. You can use the advanced features; such as blocking or allowing connections based on the originating IP address itself.

If you have Ubuntu, run this command “sudo apt-get install gufw” and GUFW will be installed. For others versions of Linuz, you may need to search through your respective package manager to find it.

GUFW

As you can see GUFW is an invaluable security tool for Linux.

In today’s tutorial, I will help you to enable UPnP on your computer. UPnP stands for Universal Plug and Play and it is a specific network protocol that allows you to link several of your wireless devices together for the purposes of streaming content.  This could for example allow you to stream video or movies directly from your laptop to your TV.

You will first require a laptop that has Windows XP, Vista, or 7.

UPnP

For Windows 7:

  • Go to the Control Panel.
  • Click the icon for Network and Sharing Center.
  • Click a link titled “Change Advanced Sharing Settings” on the left pane.
  • You will then  see an option called “Turn on Network Discovery,” select this option.
  • UPnP has now been enabled your machine.

For Windows Vista:

  • Go to the Control Panel.
  • Click the icon for Network and Sharing Center.
  • Expand your network discovery section and choose “Turn on Network Discovery”. UPnP has now been enabled.

UPnP

For Windows XP:

  • First of all, it is important to know whether the Internet gateway device is visible under network connections or not. To determine this; open up your network connections window (if you don’t know how to do that, go to start menu, then run, type ncpa.cpl and press enter). Check whether the Internet gateway device is displayed there or not.
  • Now check whether your router is appearing properly under “My Network Places” . Under the other places section of your left pane, you should see the “My Network Places” link. Click and see whether the router is available here.
  • If the devices are not visible (Internet gateway device and router), you will need to reinstall the network services component of your operating system. When you do this, make sure that options like UPnP user, Internet gateway device discovery and control client are checked. (Doing this is simple and only requires the original operating system install disk your computer came with; select the repair option- do not reinstall the OS)
  • Now, go to the start menu again, click on run and type services.msc. Locate the option “SSDP Discovery Service” and double click on it.
  • A new window should open. Go to the general tab; now the start-up type drop down list should be visible. Select automatic and you are done.

Once you have enabled Universal Plug and Play on your laptop you can stream content from your computer directly to your TV- which should save you from having to copy movies to a hard drive or flash drive all the time just to view them on the big screen.

How to Set Up a Wireless Router

April 4th, 2012 | Posted by admin in Networking - (0 Comments)

How to Set Up a Wireless Router

Setting up your new wireless router can seem complicated at first, however once you have done it once, it becomes quite easy.  Setting up a router successfully can be done by anyone, provided they follow the correct steps.

You will first need to know the following:

SSID – Service Set Identifier.  Your Set Service Identifier is your network name.  If you have ever connected to a wireless network before, you have selected the network based upon its name, or SSID.  People commonly select SSID’s they will remember, such as “Jim’s Network”, or “Free Public Wi-Fi” if you are at a restaurant or similar establishment that provides free internet service.

Encryption Type – Typically you are allowed to choose between WEP, WPA and WPA2 Encryption standards.  WEP is the oldest standard, and is easily cracked with brute force attacks.  Choose this option only if you must, and make sure to pick a long password.  WPA and WPA2 are newer, and much more secure.

Pass Phrase – This is also known as the “encryption key” or password.  This is frequently confused with the router password.  The pass phrase or encryption key is authorizes a network printer or additional network device to join with the wireless router.  These keys are generated by encrypting any phrase you choose.  You can usually choose between 8-63 characters, and may sometimes use spaces, like “I’m a talking dinosaur”. In this example spaces count.  The result is usually something similar to”13kyp9096!&t8″.  All you have to do then is type the original phrase in to authorize any network device, unencrypted of course.

In order to proceed, you will need to know the following:

1. The routers IP address.
2. The routers username and password.

IP Address

The routers IP address usually looks something like 192.169.0.1, 192.169.2.1 or 10.0.0.1.  The documentation that comes with the router should contain the IP address.  If it does not, a quick search with the make and model of the router should yield the IP address.  Once you have it, type it into your web browsers address bar and type enter.  A login screen should popup prompting you for the username and password of the router.

Username and Password

The username and password generally defaults to “admin” and “password” respectively, if this does not work a quick search is in order.  If you have an older router, a hard reset may be necessary if you don’t know the password.  Performing a hard reset is usually pretty straight forward, usually involves poking a paper clip into a small hole in the back of the router and holding it for 10 to 15 seconds. This will return the router to its factory state.

How to Share Files Between Two Computers, and Share an Internet Connection Using a Crossover Cable

Nowadays it is common for an average household to have more than one computer.  Transferring large files between multiple computers securely doesn’t have to be a daunting task; it can actually be quite easy. Since most everyone nowadays has a USB drive, or flash drive for transferring small files quickly; connecting two computers via a crossover cable would be mainly for larger files.  A crossover cable is also useful in situations where you need additional security and can’t risk your data with a USB drive.

The first thing you need to do is determine if both computers have an Ethernet port.  Almost every computer made in the last 10 years has an Ethernet port, so this shouldn’t be a problem. If both of the computers have Ethernet ports, then you are already halfway there.

A Crossover Cable is a type of Ethernet cable, usually the same size and shape as an ordinary cat-5 or cat-6 cable, however usually different in color, and different in wiring.  Crossover cables have wiring that “crosses over”; thereby bypassing the need for a hub, or other medium in between the computers.  The computers each see each other as part of a network, enabling sharing of internet connections, as well as easy transfer of files.  A normal or straight Ethernet cable will not work for this purpose; those cables are designed to connect devices through a medium, or a hub, not directly.  The computers will not see each other is a regular or “straight” Ethernet cable is used.

You can use an Ethernet crossover cable or a crossover adapter with a normal Ethernet cord.  If you don’t have one already, crossover cables can be bought from most local computer and retail electronic stores.  You can get away with a networking hub if you do not have a crossover cable and don’t wish to buy one.  Using a hub is akin to setting up a LAN, or local area network.  You would simply connect two regular network cables to separate computers, and then join them with an Ethernet hub, if you have one.  This is also simple, and quite secure.  Much more secure than an “ad hoc” wireless network since every computer in the network must be physically connected; not just in close proximity.

The speed of the physical transfer depends on the type of the cable you are using, as well as the networking capability of both computers.  The speed of file transfer via a crossover or network cable can be very high, as high as a USB cable in most cases.  Using a crossover cable is one of the fastest ways to transfer and share files between different computers as crossover cables can reach speeds of over 100mb/s.

What you will need-

An Ethernet or crossover cable.  Regular Ethernet cables are downright cheap; crossover cables are slightly more expensive.  If you have an older computer without a network port, then you most likely do not have a network card.  In this case you can use a USB to Ethernet cable, or a USB to Ethernet adapter.

Both computers will also need network cards.  Once again, this is not really a problem with any modern computer; however some older computers may not have the necessary network card, or necessary drivers to run these cards properly.  If this is the case, and you have valuable data you need to get off the computer, you can purchase and install one.  Usually this is easy enough to accomplish with the correct driver, which is usually found by referencing computer manufacturers’ website.

Once both computers have been connected via a crossover cable, a network hub, or a regular Ethernet cable with a crossover adapter, the computers are joined in a network.  All that is left to do is to run the network wizard on both computers, configuring the network.

Steps -

1. Connect Cable- First of all you will have to connect each end of the Crossover cable to both computers. You can use either end on either computer while connecting the cable.

2. After booting up both computers, you may need to set up the connection manually under network settings.  This is usually as simple as running the “network wizard” on both computers.

3. After a connection has been established, it is actually possible to share an internet connection between both computers.

How to Configure a Shared Internet Connection-

Setting up the Host Computer

The host computer is the computer which has the internet connection.  To configure the host, go to the Start button on the Task bar. Now go to the Control Panel and you will see several options. Now find the Network Connection icon and click on it.

Right click on the network you are currently using to access the internet.  Then right click, and then left click on properties. Under properties, click advanced, check the check box relating to allowing another computer to use the host’s internet connection.  Now the network status of the host computer should change to shared.

Configure the second computer-

To configure the second computer you will have to also access the networks, you should see a network with “limited or no connectivity”.  Right click on it and go to properties.  In the properties section you will have to double click on the Internet Protocol. Now you will find a new window. In this window check the icon that says automatically obtain IP address. Also check the option to Automatically Obtain DNS server.

All that is left to do at this point is to find your local network icon on your task bar with the yellow icon saying, “limited or no connectivity”.  Right click on this icon and select repair, refreshing the IP address.  Rebooting also will refresh the IP address.

Any browser on the second computer will use the internet connection of the host computer.

Voilà! You can now share files, and internet connections between computers.

How to Connect Two Computers with a USB Cable

Did you know you can connect two computers, for sharing files, using a USB cable?  Not a normal USB cable like you would to connect a peripheral to a computer with, but a special USB cable called a Bridged USB, or USB networking cable.  Don’t try to connect two computers using a normal USB cable, as this can cause system damage.

Here’s how you do it:

Buy a Special USB cable- You will need a bridged USB cable or a USB networking cable, you can get this cable from your local computer store.  If you can’t remember which type when you get there, just ask them for the USB cable to connect two computers together.  Now, there are a couple different versions of USB cables out there, make sure the cable you buy is USB 2.0.  USB 2.0 means it has a maximum file transfer speed of 480 mb/s or Megabits per second.  If you buy a USB1.1 cable then you will be limited to a max transfer speed of 11mbp/s; Obviously not ideal when transferring large files,  as you will want the faster speed.  To fully utilize a USB 2.0 cable, each computer will need to have a USB 2.0 port.

Install Drivers- There should be a driver packaged with the cable when you buy it.  Run the driver install program from the attached CD, then follow the on screen prompts to complete the install of the driver.

Modes- You will be prompted to choose one of the following choices when installing the driver: Link Mode or Network Mode

Link Mode- Link Mode allows transfer of individual files between computers at the highest speed the cable and USB ports will support.

Network Mode- Network Mode is really the best option if security is not a concern.  Network mode allows all of the options in link mode (sharing files) as well as the ability to share folders, share an internet connection, and share printers.

After installing the driver go to the hardware manager, and check to see that the USB cable driver is correctly installed.  After the driver has been successfully installed on both computers, simply connect the USB cable to both computers.

If using network mode, make sure you enable sharing from within the Network Connections folder right click on the network which is connected to the Internet and select properties. Under the advanced tab, check the box to allow a shared internet connection. This will allow this computer to act as the internet host, and grant access to other computers in the network.

After restarting, both computers will be networked. You can now pool network resources; such as individual files, folders, printers, and internet connections.  Using this method you can link as many computers together as you wish and share resources.


How to Set Up an Ad Hoc Wireless Network

Setting up an “Ad Hoc” wireless network is an easy way to connect two wireless devices, without the need for a centrally based network acting as an intermediary.  Ad-hoc mode allows two or more devices to discover each other wirelessly and connect directly.  This is useful for the transfer of larger files, via peer to peer, in lieu of an actual network. Setting up one is easier than you may think, and usually takes less than five minutes:

What you will need:

Two or more laptops or wireless devices.

Wireless network adapter capability on all devices you wish to link (aka Wi-Fi); most laptops nowadays come with Wi-Fi standard.

Windows XP users-

Click on the Start button, and then go to Control Panel.  Under Network and Internet Connections, select the “set up a wireless network” option.

You will then be prompted to select a name for your new network (up to 32 characters). Populate this field with the network name of your choosing.  Note – you cannot change the network name once you have chosen it.  Uncheck the lower box titled “The key is provided for me automatically”.  Select “ad hoc computer to computer network” box. In the box labeled “Network key”; create a password for the network connection and then click ok.

Now you have an Ad Hoc network. You can connect two or more computers and devices to the ad hoc network. Under network connections, find the network, and populate the correct password.  The computer will then connect, and then you may share files wirelessly across your newly created network with any authorized laptop in the immediate area.

Vista users-

Under the Network and Sharing Center look for a link titled, “Setup a connection or network’, click on this link.

Choose “setup an ad hoc wireless network”, then click next and choose a name for your network.  Then select WEP and create a password.

All that’s left to do now is to connect to the network with any laptop in the vicinity, just populate the password.

Windows 7 users-

Click “Start” and type “Wireless” and click search. A few options will populate in the search results list; select the option” Manage Wireless Networks”.

Click on the “Add” button then click, “Create ad hoc network”.  The wireless setup wizard will then prompt you for a network name.  It will then prompt you to choose a security type; we recommend WEP, and then create a password.

To connect, simply choose the wireless network from any nearby laptop and populate the correct password.

Creating an “Ad Hoc” wireless network is quite simple, and similar on most windows operating systems.  If you find yourself in a position where you need to quickly exchange large files, or share network resources among laptops or devices, creating an Ad Hoc network on the fly is an easy solution.  You can delete the network after you are done using it for security reasons if you like.  Make sure you always specify a password for this type of network, because it is much less secure than a conventional network.